How do diterpenes affect coffee’s flavor and health?

Diterpenes, such as cafestol and kahweol, affect coffee by contributing to its taste and aroma and potential health effects. They are present in high concentrations in unfiltered coffee, such as espresso, French press, and Turkish coffee, and are known to have a positive impact on the taste and aroma of the coffee, giving it a richer and more full-bodied flavor.

Paper coffee filters effectively remove a significant amount of diphenylpropene, a compound found in coffee that can contribute to bitterness. The paper fibers in the filter work to trap these compounds, resulting in a less bitter cup of coffee. Metal or plastic filters may not remove as much of these compounds, and may not produce as clean a taste. However, there are more definitive answers than this, as the effectiveness of a filter in removing diphenylpropene can depend on the specific type of filter and the brewing method used.

How paper coffee filters lower coffee’s cholesterol levels?

However, diterpenes can hurt health by raising cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that consuming coffee with high concentrations of diterpenes can increase total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease. Diterpenes are a class of organic compounds that belong to the family of terpenes, which are naturally occurring hydrocarbons. Diterpenes are formed from the combination of four isoprene units, which are the building blocks of all terpenes.

Coffee filters remove the diterpenes from the coffee to reduce the cholesterol-raising effects. Filters made from paper, metal, or cloth, trap the diterpenes and other impurities in the coffee, making the final brew less thick and more clear. This results in a milder taste, lower caffeine content and less cholesterol-raising compounds. As a general rule, paper is more reactive and absorbs more, and some of the flavor differences between paper and metal filters come from this effect.

Subscribe for Updates

Become part of our community where we share updates, promotions, recipes and lots of other good stuff!