How to Make Better Coffee With Non-Toxic Coffee Makers

The best non-toxic coffee makers

How important is a coffee maker in most homes? According to some sources, excluding water, people consume coffee more than any other beverage in the world, and it is the second most traded commodity. Though the health benefits of coffee can be debated, most people (myself included!) consume it in large amounts every day.

How much coffee exactly? Well, the world consumes over 2 BILLION cups of coffee a day. This means that the way we choose to drink coffee can have a big impact on our health and on the environment.

The Rich History of Coffee

According to one (very interesting!) legend, Ethiopian shepherds first discovered the stimulating properties of coffee after noticing that their goats had extra energy after eating coffee berries. A little research uncovers many other interesting facts about coffee’s history:

  • The French philosopher Voltaire consumed up to 50 cups of coffee a day. (Fun fact: The lethal dose is 100 cups/day!)
  • Teddy Roosevelt drank 16 cups per day.
  • The Italian government regulates espresso because it is considered an essential part of daily life (similar to how carbohydrates and proteins are listed and regulated on food packaging here). Baristas are also highly respected in Italy.
  • Bach wrote an opera about a woman who drank too much coffee.
  • The word “cappuccino” comes from the similarity of the drink in color to the robes worn by Capuchin monks.
  • The King banned coffee houses in England in the 1600s because he thought people were conspiring against him in coffee houses.
  • Before coffee gained popularity, beer was the breakfast drink of choice in the U.S.
  • The world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, costs $600 per pound and is literally coffee beans eaten and excreted by a Asian Palm Civet (a large cat).
  • Money may not grow on trees, but coffee does. The coffee “bean” is actually the roasted seed of a bright red berry (making it a fruit).

So we know the world universally loves coffee … but is it healthy?

The Effects of Coffee on Health

A way to supercharge coffee and make it healthy and great for your skinAlthough I’ve covered the health risks and benefits of coffee before, here’s a recap of some of the issues with consuming a large amount of coffee:

  • Caffeine dependence – Over-reliance on caffeine as a stimulant can affect the adrenals in a negative way.
  • Pesticide exposure – Coffee is a notoriously heavily sprayed crop.
  • Mold – Dave Asprey has several good articles on how much mold coffee from inferior sources can harbor.

The good news is, this doesn’t mean you have to give up coffee. Coffee contains antioxidants and other proven health benefits, and there are ways to limit its downsides:

  1. Something as simple as when you have your coffee can make a difference. Consume coffee between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. to protect natural cortisol patterns.
  2. Add a boost of healthy fats ups the benefits of a morning cup of joe (here’s how I doctor it).
  3. The way you make your coffee makes a difference to your health. Choosing a healthy coffee maker is an important way to maximize coffee benefits without adding harmful chemicals or burdening the environment.

The Problem with (Some) Coffee Makers

Even if you choose organic and fair trade coffee to avoid the pesticides, some unsavory substances may end up in your brew from other sources.

Ditch the Pods!

Unfortunately, some modern methods of consuming coffee carry their own set of risks. For instance, the popular coffee pods (or k-cups) have become an increasing burden for the environment. Over 10 billion of them ended up in landfills last year alone! Endocrine-disrupting plastic chemicals from the pods can end up in the finished coffee, and these plastics have been linked to various health problems.

Even regular coffee makers (and coffee pod machines) contain plastics that come in contact with hot liquid. These can leach plastic chemicals into the finished coffee.

Yep … Mold in Your Coffee, Again

It makes sense if you think about it. The perpetually dark, wet, and warm environment in the tubes of many coffee machines provides the perfect environment for mold, mildew, and even biofilms to grow.

In fact half of all coffee mugs tested contained mold spores, potentially from the tubing inside coffee makers, and unfortunately the hot water and acidity of coffee is not enough to kill this mold.

Safer Non-Toxic Coffee Makers (That Make Better Coffee Too!)

Though modern drip coffee makers are certainly a convenient way to make coffee, there are other much healthier options that (in my opinion) produce a much better cup of coffee. These are some of my favorite non-toxic coffee makers:

French Press

There are some great French Press options in the coffee maker world. A French Press allows you to have control over the temperature and intensity of your coffee. The water must be pre-heated using another method, but French Press coffee makers don’t require any electricity or heat. They don’t keep coffee warm like a drip coffee pot would but are a great option for making a couple of cups of high-quality coffee. As an added bonus, they can also be used to make tea.

Traditional French Press coffee makers (like this one) are typically glass with a stainless steel interior filter, but there is now also a completely stainless steel French Press machine that won’t crack or break like some of the glass options.


As the name suggests, this method of brewing involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds and letting gravity do the work. Unlike the French Press, there isn’t a way to push down the coffee to speed up the process, and the pour over method does take a little longer. I find that the extra time and effort are worth it for the quality of the coffee. In fact, This many high-end coffee shops use the pour-over method.

Popular pour-over brewing options include:

Old-Fashioned Percolator

What’s old is certainly often new again! Old-fashioned percolator coffee makers are a great alternative to drip coffee pots. Many of us may remember these iconic machines even though they lost popularity (largely due to modern drip coffee pots and more recent coffee pod brewers). Percolators don’t require any additional equipment or filters though, are easily cleaned, and plug in much like a drip machine. They also keep coffee warm like a coffee pot, so they are a good option for anyone who likes having a pot of warm coffee ready for longer than a few minutes.

Just make sure to use a completely stainless steel model for both durability and to avoid plastic.

Stainless Espresso Makers

The traditional Bialetti espresso makers are often made of aluminum (my husband has used one since college and refuses to get rid of it, much to my chagrin!) instead of steel. Though harder to find, stainless steel stove-top espresso makers work just as well and don’t have the health risks of aluminum. These are a good option for those who prefer espresso to regular coffee.

Coffee Makers: Bottom Line

Don’t let a mold-infested plastic coffee maker ruin a good cup of coffee. Try one of these non-toxic coffee makers. Many have the added benefit of not needing disposable filters and create a better cup of coffee anyway!

Are you a coffee drinker? What is your coffee maker of choice?

Most coffee makers can harbor mold or mildew and may leach plastic chemicals into coffee. Try non-toxic methods like pour-over, French press and percolator.

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Reader Comments

  1. I like this post.  As you typically post advice and information (which is great), your mention of the children playing with the old coffee pot and drawing on the coffee table makes you more “real.”
    Looking forward to your slow cooker ideas – I really need to use mine more often.

    • I’ve been reading about how slow cookers leach lead into the food. I know- bummer for me too. But there is no amount of lead that is “safe”…. in thinking pressure cooker. It has a stainless steel bowl.

      • instant pot is the best pressure cooker. it has a stainless steel insert and has a slow cooker function.

  2. Yes!! i would love a podcast!!  the blog is awesome, but the podcast i can listen to while i clean, cook, walk, drive or all the other things that require my eyes.  ….Cant Wait!!

  3. My “blogging with kids” secret is….wait until they’re in bed. With 5 kids, I rarely have 2 free hands if they’re awake. I love this post…great to know a little more about you!

  4. Love the personal thoughts!  I found crockpot365 last year as well when I was looking for gluten-free slow cooker meals.  She’s hilarious and I follow her on Twitter too: StephanieODea.  

    It’s kind of weird when your blog worlds combine — I also read EverydayPaleo regularly aside from your blog.  Love how some of my favorite food resources are coming together!

    • We use an 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup and pour hot water over the grounds. After sleeping for 7 minutes we pour the coffee through a strainer into a half-gallon jar. From there we may refrigerate and use as needed or reheat it a tad on the stove. Coarse coffee grounds are preferred for this method as they are easier to catch in the strainer.

  5. Not very eco but WD-40 takes crayon off anything.

    I’m also a member of the 1 hand typing tribe, I feel your pain & your typos!

  6. Here are 7 things about me, based on what you posted. 🙂

    I totally love my French press.  It makes the best coffee.  Especially with real cream in the cup.  I also drink Irish Breakfast tea with cream and raw honey.  It’s an indulgence, I know, but at least both have antioxidants, right? 😉
    I am also now in the midst of 1HT (also known as NAK – nursing at keyboard), so I don’t mind!

    I have a confession that I still use Gatorade.  Well, correction, dh uses Gatorade.  Most of the time, I do a pinch of Real Salt and 2-3 pinches of sugar in water, plus some lemon juice.

    My hobbies are knitting and sewing, but it’s hard to sew with little ones underfoot, the farm, and homeschooling.  Knitting is more portable, and sometimes I sneak in a few rows during seatwork.

    The most recent family photograph we have features only 2 children – our 8 year old is 9-10 months old in that pic! Don’t feel bad.  It’s just a lot of hassle to wrangle 4 (now 5) boys for pics.

    I like podcasts.  I’d listen to yours! 🙂 (Okay, that wasn’t about me, but I do like to listen to podcasts – I use them a lot for homeschool)

    I just repinned a cool crockpot chicken soup recipe on Pinterest today.  It is Mexcian-y.  I normally hate my crockpot, but am trying to learn to love it, as it does make busy days a lot easier, especially with a wee baby in arms.

    As far as good reading, I don’t get to read much these days, but I did read a really cool article about John Taylor Gatto.  It was a bit scary, too, realizing how much trouble our country is in because of our “public education” policies…

    • Thanks for sharing! Your post inspired me to check out pinterest… now I’m addicted:-)

  7. Family Pictures: Try recording a ‘photo shoot’ with video. Take a few, or more, minutes of video while trying to pose. Then, with software, extract a good image. The benefit: you can go frame by frame and find that perfect moment you may not be able to capture with a still shot.  I think Roxio (a relatively cheap video editing software) is the easiest to use. Hope this helps!

  8. I’m also a type with one hand blogger 🙂 Actually right now the baby is sleeping but my 2 year old is pulling my arm and swinging on it as I type.

  9. I’ve kept this window open forever trying to think about what to write. So I’m just going to wing it!I love finding out that you drink coffee, I was becoming discouraged at all the things I was trying to give up. Tell myself, babysteps and Progress, not Perfection. Since finding you, your blog, and all of the other blogs from Monday Mania, my family now thinks I am even weirder! I consider that a good thing! You would like to go scuba diving, I would like to go horseback riding again. And I will too. My treat when I release 50 pounds is to go riding again. (I’m at minus 20, so it Is getting closer!) I am not putting my life on hold, having ridden before, I know what it takes physically, and I’m not quite there yet. Thanks for all you do, Fran

    • Great progress. You’ll be on that horse again soon! Horseback riding is another thing I’d love to try at some point…

    • I have been trying to think about how to respond to the original post – Horseback riding is my thing too!! (and scuba diving actually, but horses mostly!)  I just sold my horse 🙁  with 2 kids under 2 it just didn’t make sense to keep him.  I used to compete in Dressage with him and he’s fairly high strung.  However, I have a fantastic in home daycare that my kids now go to one day per week so I can ride again!  I’m just borrowing someone else’s horses for now.  I love my kids and staying home with them, but riding is my mental therapy.  Plus it feels good to remember that before I became a dairy cow (how I sometimes feel after nursing for 2 years) I did have other hobbies!  🙂  Keep up your good work, riding is so worth it!!!!

  10. 1) I am pregnant with #5 (My oldest just turned 7) so I totally resonated with the recommended reading “Do You Want More Kids.”

    2) Our family members already think we’re weird (lots of kids, homeschool, don’t vaccinate, etc.) so who cares what they think about us not eating grain!

    3) I love to run but it’s a discipline now to do it before the house wakes up.

    4) I love to ski and it’s great that our older kids are now old enough to enjoy it too.

    5) Our 4 year old was diagnosed with Dyspraxia several months ago and it’s made me delve even further into how our nutrition (or lack of) effects every aspect of our lives. In my limitedly-researched, unprofessional opinion… I believe many nuerological disorders (adhd, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, etc.) are because our kids are being born with terrible guts that allow toxins to attack their brains at a crucial, young age.

    6) I grew up overseas as a missionary kid.

    7) I’m thrilled to hear you drink coffee. I don’t drink it often anymore because I stopped dairy but I splurge even once in awhile on a soy latte. (I know. I know. That’s why it’s a splurge!)

    • 1. Congrats!
      2. Me too on all those!
      3. I hear you on that… not a fan of mornings!
      4. I really want to try skiing too, but I’m always pregnant during
      the winter… hopefully this year!
      5. I agree.. definitely a lot of research pointing that direction and it makes sense.
      6. Cool!
      7. 🙂

  11. Love the post on answering the question “do you want more?” ha! And I have found the only way to get good pictures are to do candids with a photographer friend outside where they can play & photo shop in the good faces 🙂

    7 Random Facts about me:
    # I have 3 boys a girl (7,5,4,2) and YES I know how that happened & NO we didn’t just keep trying for a girl.  We love our kids & always prayed God would give us what we could handle & I pray one day we’ll have MORE!!
    #2 I LOVE early mornings when the house is quiet, the sun is rising & I feel like I’m just that much closer to God
    #3 I homeschool my kids and NOPE I’m not super patient, kind, or have a super woman cape, I just love them so much & want to give them a Christ-centered education
    #4 I LOVE excel spreadsheets & look for weird reasons to create them
    #5 I am on the board of directors for a non-for profit that I use to work at for 10+ yrs as the agency director, where we serve people with developmental disabilities & love those Adult only meetings once a quarter but secretly miss my kids when I’m gone for just those couple of hrs!
    #6 I have a passion for helping woman find hope & freedom in parenting, marriage, and from unplanned pregnancies where they may have chosen to abort, adopt, or parent.
    #7 I LOVE taking pictures (at least 100 a month) and creating photo books on shutterfly with them!

  12. For getting wax off of clothing I use a paper bag and a hot iron…so maybe the same could be done on your coffee table depending on the material??

    Thank you for the ‘more children’ article–did you catch that they have since welcomed #5? 😀

  13. Can not wait for your crock pot recipes since Molly is totally grain-free, and that time between school and dinner is MY time with the kiddos, I hate to abandon them to cook dinner. Very excited!

    Incidentally, this pregnancy has me off coffee because the baby hates all things except some fruit and rice and SALT. (Trust me on this, I’m all about grain-free thanks to Molly.) I’m kind of hoping I can stay off the stuff post partum as well, though, I’d rather be off grain and on coffee than on grains and off coffee!

  14. as far as your coffee table goes, depending on the paint/finish try baking soda!  it is my go to for cleaners!

  15. The real question is… Have you roasted your own beans? You can do it in a hand crank popcorn popper! You get the roast just how you like it, and green beans are cheaper!
    We use a french press and a stovetop espresso pot.

    • Not yet, but it’s definitely on my list of things to try!

      • Can anyone recommend a coffee grinder that grinds course for use in a French Press (and of course is not plastic)?

        • I love my cuisinart burr grinder. You can set the coarseness you want.

  16. Yes I’m a coffee drinker, a friend thought getting me a coffee from Tim Hortons would be nice, unfortunately it made me throw up. I only use a percolator it took me over 3 years to find one again after the house I lived in burnt down, first cup tasted great! Quit using Keurig it’s adding pollution to your bodies and the environment.

  17. A couple of years ago we got turned on to Turkish coffee at a Mediterranean restaurant. I ordered a Turkish coffee pot (a little pot with a long handle and spout) of my own and don’t drink anything else now. We put cold, filtered water in the pot with some honey and a couple of drops of orange essential oil, Add a couple of spoons of Mehmet Effendi Turkish coffee (the coffee should be added last because it will float), place on the eye, and wait 3 minutes. After 3 minutes the coffee should have sunk into the water, and you can stir everything well. Wait about 3 more minutes until the foam on the top begins to rise (but don’t let it actually boil). It is then ready to pour. Try to pour some of the foam in each cup. You drink Turkish coffee in little cups, like espresso, but it doesn’t have the bitterness of espresso. 6 minutes might sound like a long time to the instant pod crowd, but it is well worth the wait!

    • Sounds great! Where did you get coffee pot? Price , brand info would be appreciated. Thanks

      • Linda:

        We got the first set from Turkish coffee world, but we have since bought a set for our second home from Amazon. The brand from the set bought on Amazon is Bosphorous. Both the pots are great, and we haven’t had any trouble with either one. The set we bought from Turkish Coffee World had an option for double shot sized cups, which we do really like, but we just bought a set of 1 pot and 2 cups, with saucers. The set we got on Amazon has a larger pot, a serving tray, 6 cups (smaller) with saucers and lids (which keep the coffee warm). On all sets, the cups are ceramic inserts into copper holders with a handle.

  18. Katie, I enjoyed this article, love the way you research things and the images too. You really cover everything and make it so interesting!

    I have my Keurig in storage for when company comes over. I stopped using it as convenient as it is because I don’t want chemicals in my coffee from the plastic parts in the Keurig. I also don’t want to use the stale K cup coffee anymore. .

    I finally went back to using the old world stainless steel percolator and buying fresh coffee which is already ground which is a little easier than grinding your own beans, for me anyway. The aroma of the coffee (organic) is enticing which I did not have when I used the K cups. I take my coffee black with a little bit of organic cacoa mixed in to give it a slightly sweetish taste since I don’t use sugar. It’s a snap to clean up and maybe I will have a second cup later on in the day. I will never go back to plastic coffee makers no matter how many colors they come in or how many soups or hot/cold drinks they make. You pay a price for cuteness and convenience with your health and to me that’s just not worth it.

  19. I agree Mary#18-

    Turkish coffee is great! I love your version– adding essential orange to the water… Wonderful idea!

    In Cyprus- same method but the long handled pot it usually aluminum not copper, and they call it Cypriot coffee (depends on which side of the line you are on!) I am sure they have healthier pots.

    These strong coffees are sometimes served with Mastic candy! YUM 🙂

    Some people can like to read your fortune with the coffee remains from the cup.

    The locals here love the ice-cold Frappe — served in a tall glass. Not the Starbucks version but still addictive! I must experiment for a healthier version!


    • Michelle:

      Do they make the ice-cold Frappe with the Turkish coffee? If so, how do you avoid getting the grounds mixed in? It is easy to leave the grounds in the bottom of the little espresso cup without drinking them, but I am curious as to how it would work in a frappe.


      • Hey Mary,

        They use instant coffee granules (unfortunately always the Nescafe crap!)

        This is the method:
        in a shaker add a good tablespoon scoop of instant granules and tbs white sugar (both to your taste)
        add 1/4 cup or so water… quickly cover and shake like mad. it will foam up! (they have these tiny foamer machines)
        pour foam in a glass and add milk to your taste. leave room for icecubes!

        Enjoy! 🙂

  20. Another option for brewing coffee is the ‘cold brew” method. It makes a coffee concentrate that can be refrigerated then reconstituted 1:3 ( ie 2 oz. of concentrate and 6 oz. of hot water) to provide a very rich cup of coffee. If left to brew for 8-10 hours the coffee concentrate is caffeine free while left longer, say 24 hours it makes a caffeinated concentrate. The caffeine free coffee is also acid free. I find I can drink as many cups a day as I like and not get “buzzed” on caffeine. It even taste good cold. There are lots of websites with the particulars for making coffee this way.

  21. Wow. Had no idea there are some toxicity issues with coffee makers. I exclusively use a French press, but sometimes I wonder if I’m better off with the convenience of a drip coffee maker. This gives me another reason to stick to my French press.

  22. What about the old stove top Melita drip coffee makers from years ago?? I still have mine!

  23. This is a comment about making coffee. For the past 5 years we have used a little non-electric espresso maker called a ROK that I bought my husband as a birthday present half expecting it to be a 5 day wonder. We have gone through SO many coffee makers in the past 25 years so having the same one and using it every day for 5 years is a really big deal! I promise you, I am nothing to do with the company and receive no money from them for my endorsement- I am just a regular coffee-loving person. Here is the website and it has a little YouTube video showing the designer making coffee with it. Enjoy!
    p.s. I make mine with more water than he does and most days add coconut oil and butter whizzed up with a stick blender. Yum!

    • I looked it up and not only is quite expensive,this thing doesn’t have the best reviews.Also,pretty much everything that comes in contact with your coffee is made out of plastic.

    • we use a ROK too,and we love it. you must have a good burr grinder that can get a very fine, even grind in order to pull good shots. my husband bought me this for Mothers day last year, and we have been using it daily since. hen ikes gadgets so he has about 8 different ways to make coffee, but after using the ROK i wont really drink any coffee he makes with his other makers! once you figure outyour variables, it makes the best espresso shots for great Americanos or lattes. everyone loves a cup of our coffee when they come over, so i dont know why the other commenter said it has bad reviews.

  24. After reading the post, I am thinking of purchasing French Press as it suits my needs far better than the others. Anyone tried these other types of coffee makers? Please explain your experiences.

  25. I’m late to the coffee party! 🙂 I traded in my drip pot for counter space! I got a ceramic pourover and have never turned back! Now friends and family who visit ask me to make them a cup of my yummy coffee 🙂
    I only drink one cup a day (whereas for years I had an extra appendage coming out of my hand 24/7) because I only like it with sugar and half & half! Yumm.
    Love your blog, still check every email and read so many that catch my interest! Thanks so much!

  26. Have you ever heard of/tried a Coffee Siphon? Also known as a Vacpot.

    It is a all glass pot with a glass filter, nothing else. So everything is very clean and ensures a refined coffee product with no flavor removed. I find it makes the best coffee and is as green as it can get.


  27. The Hario pour over brewer makes terrible coffee. The hole in the cone is way too big and doesn’t allow the coffee to steep properly. We tried to make it work and ended up throwing it away. We have one that came with a reusable stainless steel filter and the cone is made of glass. It makes a wonderful cup of coffee.

  28. I make coffee for my husband the same way my parents and grandparents did it.Boil some water in a small 1 qt stainless steel pot,add the coffee and let it boil for a few seconds.Turn off the heat and let it rest for 1 min so the coffee grounds will rest on the bottom of the pot.Strain it through a very fine stainless steel mesh and done.Where I come from this was called Turkish coffee.Also takes less time than using a coffee machine.

  29. Ladies, you may have forgotten water quality, as hardness and presence of both added toxic fluoride and aluminum used in water processing…..all affecting coffee flavor. Best option use distilled water at less than $1 per gallon or high quality spring water.

    • I have a RO water filter under the sink.

  30. Katie, you may be interested in this information on different brewing methods and their effect on cholesterol. If you’re waffling between French press and pour over, there is a clear answer health-wise (that being said, I personally still use French press):

  31. I have a keurig and I never thought about the plastic parts problem but I do use the reusable filters. I was looking at those pourover coffee makers and I must say they look interesting.

    • I have used a Chemex pour over for years. Love the fact that there are no plastic parts. Unbleached natural filters for me. Yes, it does take a little longer because the water (I use distilled) must be heated in a separate vessel, but in my opinion, a good cup of coffee should be a ritual to be enjoyed properly to take full advantage of those rare moments of quiet.

  32. Just checked out the coffee perk on Amazon and was surprised to see someone post that they returned it because there is some aluminum at the bottom of it. That is disappointing as it sounded like it might be a good option. Have you heard about this?

  33. What kind of coffee do you recommend.

    • Unfortunately, this model has an aluminum well inside the pot, at the bottom 🙁

      • Does the description say that?

        This is why I bought it: Luxurious stainless steel construction for easy cleaning and lasting beauty


    • I am updating my original post. This coffee maker was excellent but sorry to say that there is a piece of aluminum on the bottom which I only found out about after a year so I don’t use it anymore!

      I then started using a stainless steel filter but it took so long for the coffee to drip out that it was always lukewarm. I finally found exactly what I wanted. It’s a stainless steel french press, no plastic parts, just ss. I do have to heat the water in a separate pot first but it’s only a few minutes, then I pour it into the french press, let it say for 5 minutes. Then I have hot steaming rich coffee. It comes with a scoop that is just the right amount of coffee for me. Here is the link if you want to take a look

  34. I use my French press maker for groups, but for day-to-day drinking, we use a 4-cub stainless steel espresso maker, much like the classic Bialetti. We steam milk for lattes, or if my husband wants a tall cup of coffee, we simply add hot water to his share of the espresso to make an Americano. My press pots are both more than 15 years old, and the espresso maker is 10. Nothing, save for the reusable mesh filter on the press pots, needs be replaceable–and you can probably get 5-10 years out of those if you’re careful. Both are economical options–and space-saving!

  35. Vacuum Siphon, like the Yama I own, is another good one.

    It’s also usable without power, like the above listed methods, because it uses a little burner (mine is ethanol, but there are butane ones as well) to heat the coffee.

    That, and pour over, are the only ways to make coffee.

  36. What about fair trade, organic, low acid instant?

  37. I only use the french press (I have several sizes) and the pour over which I like for large amounts of coffee for meetings. I used to own several of the Chemex glass and when I moved 12 years they were sold in a yard sale as I had to resize but I so regret that since they are pricey now. However there is one thing you did not mention in your post that I have noticed as I try to find coffee to brew. With the K cups mania there seems to be less and less choice of coffee in stores and literally no beans for sale, and yes I do order online but sometimes run short. The K cups makes awful coffee and is expensive and makes a lot of trash not to mention the chemicals in all that plastic and packaging. And the grind needs to be coarse so buying ground coffee in a store is not a good choice. Old fashioned grocery stores had the grinder where you could purchase beans and grind to your choice but except for my co-op that is gone also. Just wondering if anyone else has noticed the change on the shelves in stores. Thanks

    • Check out your local Kijiji and maybe you will luck out and find one of the grinders just like they have in a grocery store. I got one for $50 that hadn’t been used in a commercial establishment but had been in an office setting for a few years. It was sparkling clean. It I did grind some organic rice through it before I used it anyway. I wouldn’t give it up. I’ve had so many domestic grinders: messy things spraying ground coffee everywhere and lasting no time at all. I had 3 replacement Cuisinart grinders in one month!

  38. Can I just say that, not only are you my favorite and go-to blog for wellness, but I love the layout and readability of your blog. Every time I read a popular blog, AND I MEAN EVERY TIME, it slows down my computer from all the badly placed and over-used advertisements. I stopped reading certain blogs because of this reason. I don’t know what you are doing, or how you are doing it, but thank you so, so much for taking my time and sanity into consideration when configuring your blog. I really, really appreciate it! Keep these amazing recipes and tips coming! (And I’ll keep using your affiliate links) I support you 100%!

  39. Hi Good Evening Doll,

    I loved this post…I have a question in regards to the Chemex brand.. I love the company as a whole and the pour over method seems like such a healthy option but as a nursing student and full time employee this process seems a little bit time consuming since im usually on the go trying to beat traffic . The Chemex brand now has something that has the Ottomatic coffemaker that heats the water for you and pours into the chemex and I was wondering is this still a healthy alternative or will I still obtain any harmful plastic chemicals? If so I will just wake up earlier and do the pour over method? Or maybe you know a faster healthier option…any input would be highly appreciated. thank you 🙂


  40. I love my Aeropress. It combines pour over with a French press style plunger. Makes delicious, rich, low-acid coffee.

    • That’s what I use and I love it!

  41. Thank you for writing this!!! haha

  42. Great timing! My drip coffee maker just broke down 2 weeks ago. I’ve been boiling water on the stove and pouring it through the top of the machine. It works well enough, but now I’m considering the other options. Thanks

  43. We have the old-fashioned percolator you mentioned and we love it. Our friends came to visit us recently and they liked it so much they bought 3! One for a family member they were going to visit and 1 for each of them!

  44. Filtron cold press coffee concentrate maker. Make 1# of coffee at a time. Thenadd the concentrate to the temp water you want. The cold press method through the thick wool batting makes for very low acid coffee. I use organic coffee only.

    • I haven’t heard of the Filtron system. I used to have a Toddy until the carafe broke. Cold brew coffee is so smooth and can have either hot water or ice water added to reconstitute.
      Personally I am a French Press user as I typically only have 1-2 cups a day and it’s just the hubby and I. I like to make a “rocket fuel latte” using a recipe I found on another blog site. It includes:
      Hemp hearts (1-2 Tbsp)
      Coconut oil (1 Tbsp)
      Raw cacao butter (1 Tbsp)
      Collagen or gelatin (1-2 Tbsp)
      Pop that into a blender with the coffee, whirr, and enjoy. It’s my all in one coffee boost and breakfast.
      Sometimes I add flavourings to it, but it really doesn’t need it. Only problem is my hubby hates the WHIRR WHIRR WHIRR of the blender in the morning while he’s trying to sleep! 😀


  45. Last year I gave up on percolators. Had been buying Cuisinart perks but the last few only worked for a short time before loosing the power to heat the water hot enough making for a very weak brew. As soon as the coffee is done we turn off the machine since we don’t mind a quick blast in the microwave to reheat coffee. A secret: I’ve been known to make a pot and reward it cup by cup over the course of 3 days. I do make fresh for guests though. Back to the point: my Technivorm provides fabulous drip coffee although I wish the basket that holds my gold permanent filter was something other than plastic.

  46. We have a Chemex but still use our old Bunn to heat water. What do you recommend to heat water? Is there a safe tea pot out there?

  47. Has anyone found a percolator without the aluminum (like the presto has)?

    • Kim,
      You might look into the old Farberware Superfast Model 138. That’s what I bought after much research. From everything I’ve read, it’s completely stainless steel (brew basket, spreader, pump tube and well), and has a glass knob/bubbler on top, not plastic. It makes excellent HOT coffee. I found mine on Ebay.

  48. We abandoned our old Mr. Coffee type coffee maker for an old fashioned Farberware 8-10 cup ALL stainless steel percolator. The fact that EVERYTHING in this percolator is stainless steel (brew basket, spreader, pump tube and well) was just what I was looking for. It makes fabulous coffee quickly and hot, Hot, HOT. That was part of what I hated about coffee makers, the coffee was never really hot. Thanks for this post, great information! To think I might have been consuming mold just creeps me out!!

  49. The Hario V60 is on my list, and the Bodum drip brewer is amazing too…

  50. It’s funny how the pendulum swings back-and-forth on things like coffee! I had read sometime ago that the French press is unable to filter out something that harms your heart. I wish I could remember what that is but I ditched my French press years ago because of it. Have you seen any research about that?

  51. We have used the cold brew method for years and we enjoy the flavor and less caffeine. I also use the Aeropress.

  52. I found that when I used a Bialleti exxpreso maker ( actually called a mocha maker) I can sleep at night, whereas with a french coffee press, I can’t. This caused some controversy in Uganda were i lived, so when I got back to South Africa for a visit, I went to a forensic pathologist with my story. She was very interested and said she would check it in the lab. She first made a 3 cup espresso, and measured the caffeine. Lets give it 1 unit.
    Then she made a filter coffee, Drip system, with the same amount. of coffee. 2 units.
    The grind for filter coffee is coarser than for espresso. She then ground the coffee as fine as for an espresso, and put it through the filter. 3 units.
    With the same amount of coffee, she used a french press. Served and drunk immediately, it was 3 units.
    But if it stood around for 15 min it gave a whopping 7 units of caffeine!
    So I guess that if you want your coffee to kick you awake, you use a french press and leave it standing for a while before drinking, and when you want to go to sleep, you drink an espresso.
    Another interesting fact,, dark roast has less caffeine, than light roast, even though its taste is much stronger

  53. Big thanks to all the kaffeklatcher’s for suggestions. 1) My opener is yes, have the distinction of being one who kicked her Kthingey to the kurb. A. No way to get a strong cup unless dark roast B. Ecowise, I hate the landfill problem. C. Felt trading convenience for mold prone. 2) But not to worry, I have two antique percolators, a porcelain Melitta pour over, and a pricey French Press scored at yard sale and I rotate ’em all I long ago dismissed automatics when lived at altitude and didn’t heat the water to my taste (lower boiling point!!). Recently preppered a liter of comm’l cold brew for if our rural electric goes out x 24 or wintery blasts I loved it for convenience (my perker keeps the water superhot) so am going to try making my own. Which will be with Sav-A-Lot’s 99 cents a gallon R/O water altho’ ingest some tap fluoride for the other mineral content. I look forward to trying all the suggestions, especially the Turkish brew ones. Thanks to our worthy wellness expert plus readers for the real coffee “scoop”.

  54. Single people can use a ceramic or stainless steel pour over coffee dropper. I’ve used both, and prefer the stainless steel as I get my electric water pot boiling hot. I use a Melina #4 double filter so I can have my dark coffee bound fine and it has no residue or bitter taste this way. I can make it as strong or as weak as I want it. No coffee makers, just a water kettle which comes in handy for tea, hot chocolate, instant oatmeal, etc…..

  55. According to some of the reviewers on amazon, the percolator that you linked to is not fully stainless steel. Part of the interior on the bottom is made of aluminum.

  56. Love air pressed coffee

  57. Thanks Katie a great post, here in the uk we use the cafetière (French Press) a lot.
    I just wanted to add, the kopi-luwak palm cover coffee is made by the cruel practice of caging wild civets in bare cages. I’ve linked National Geographic’s report here- I just don’t want people buying it without being aware of the circumstances in which it’s made. Hope this is ok?

  58. Hey Serra,

    absolutely, there is no amount of lead that is safe. However, it would take a really long time for the lead to leach into the food/drink. I own a Chemex coffee maker myself and I have to say that I am a big fan ever since I got mine. Not only for the health benefits but also for the ritual. It makes me appreciate the coffee itself more.

    Also, it draws some attention from friends and guests when they are over and makes for a few minutes conversation. as I said, I couldn’t have made a better choice. They also explain about lead and its dangers. Hope I could help! 🙂

    Kind regards from another Chemex lover

  59. Good to hear about the percolator. Use to use a percolator and remember the coffee tasting great. I have been using a Cuisinart drip for several years now. After reading this write up I might go back to using a percolator, press or poor over.

  60. Thanks for the info on ways to brew coffee, now I know I’m getting rid of my coffee maker! Just started to use French Press, and I love it. Also started to cold brew, which makes less acid, which is always good.
    Love your posts. I recently saw your book in our local book
    store, Books A Million, and although I may not know you, I was so proud of you when I saw it. Great job!

  61. There are good alternatives for brewing coffee in this article. However, you may wish to reconsider the old-fashioned Presto percolator. At the bottom of the pot, the center stem nests in a piece of solid aluminum. I used the Presto percolator for several months. I finally discarded the pot when I noticed that the aluminum piece was showing significant pitting.

  62. Glass or ceramic for me. I won’t use any stainless steel (or other metals) with coffee, including travel mugs. Many chefs will specify in their recipes (esp those using tomato products) to use a “non-reactive” pot or pan because it can affect the taste. I find the same to be true with coffee. I know we think nothing can come from stainless steel, but it’s not true in my experience. It always imparts a metallic taste to my coffee. Also, for pod addicts, the Organic Coffee Co sells a K-cup compatible coffee pod where everything except the very top rim is compostable paper, not plastic. I have no relationship to this company, but have found it to be really good:

  63. We are big coffee drinkers in our house (my husband works for a local coffee shop). At home, we used to use a french press, but about 2 years ago we discovered the Sowden Softbrew and haven’t looked back! They aren’t cheap, but they produce a superior cup of coffee. And, you can use any size grind you like, and it’s impossible to over-brew. We found ours at Williams Sonoma, but I’m not sure if you can find them there anymore.

  64. I really appreciate that your practical approach to coffee and that you acknowledge the risks and the health benefits and tell how to make it better . I get tired of health bloggers railing against it or saying no one should drink it without recognizing that it’s not an all all created equal.

    We use a pour-over, French Press or AeroPress. In my experience, Percolators make terrible tasting coffee because how they brew it draws the bitterness out of the beans. (I’m married to a coffee nerd who roasts his own and is extremely picky about his coffee! 🙂 )

  65. Hello guys 🙂
    I am new and so glad I came across this website !!!
    I also love my coffee in the morning :),
    To make it, I use cast iron pot (like Japanese for tea) to which I put some coffee, some ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and tiny bit of salt. Once it starts boiling I turn down the heat and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. All spices are dried and grinded.
    I take my coffee with soya milk and maple syrup… the smell and taste is delicious.
    I have been doing it for years and still it is my favourite one.

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