Is There Really A Best Way To Make Coffee?

A reader asks: "Is it true that how you make coffee affects the health benefits?"

If your definition of "the best way to make coffee" is based on taste, the best way for you will depend on your personal likes and dislikes. If you're looking for the most nutritious coffee, though, about the only thing everyone can agree on is that no one can agree.

Is there a healthiest way to make coffee?
Is there really a best way to make coffee for its health benefits? The science is confusing.

One thing we think we know, though, is that the biggest predictor of your coffee's antioxidant content isn't the way you make it. It appears that how the beans were roasted plays a huge role--and may help explain why some of the science on coffee's antioxidant content has been so inconsistent.

So does it actually matter how you make your morning brew? For taste, it certainly does. Coffee that is boiled--as happens with a percolator--will give you a drink that runs toward the bitter side of the taste spectrum while coffee made with not-quite-boiling water--like you use in a French Press--will give you a smoother taste.

How your coffee is made can also affect its caffeine content but the difference is probably not important for people staying in the 3-4 cup range. And, again, how your beans were roasted probably plays a bigger role than your brewing method.

Milk & Cream Users, Rejoice

For years coffee drinkers have been told that adding cream, milk or other dairy products lowered the potential health benefits. The theory claims that proteins in dairy foods bind to coffee's antioxidants and make them less bio-available. But recent research casts doubt on that claim.

Cold-Brew Drinkers, Not So Fast

One production method that seems to rob coffee lovers of the maximum health benefits is cold brewing. It appears that, at least when it comes to antioxidants, time is no substitute for heat.