This post is not about whether coffee is good for you. If you’ve landed here, I assume you’re a coffee drinker, just like me.
Actually, I lead a very healthy lifestyle. (This is a natural health blog.) I don’t smoke and I don’t eat junk food. Most of my meals are made from scratch, using organic meat and produce. I get a moderate amount of exercise. I avoid chemical cleaning solutions. Instead, I use DIY cleaners made from essential oils.
Coffee is my one vice. But I make it in a non-toxic coffee pot. At least I thought I had been doing that. Then I realized my electric perk coffee maker contained an aluminum heating unit. (Read my important update below.)
Now, I use a French press coffee maker. I love how easy it is to use and how it makes a great cup of coffee. The hot water that we pour into it doesn’t come into contact with anything toxic. No worrisome plastic or aluminum.
Plastic is definitely something I don’t want to drink. If plastic is exposed to hot water there’s the possibility of leaching. This is why I don’t use drip coffee makers with plastic parts. Nor do I own one of those fancy machines with little plastic disposable cups filled with coffee.
Stainless Steel Coffee Maker No Plastic
Important Update: I love my coffee. I love it so much that I paid a lot for a new electric perk coffee maker. But I thought it was a great deal. Because I assumed it was non toxic. At the time of purchase, the product description clearly stated the “inner fixtures” were made from stainless steel, “rather than the more common (and less durable) aluminum.”
However, I need to thank one of my readers. I owe her a lot of thanks. She told me that all wasn’t well with the Presto Perk, the coffee maker we own. (Very soon it’s going in the recycle bin.) This observant reader noticed a product description in a local brick and mortar store. It said the Perk contained aluminum.
I was shocked, to say the least.
Non Toxic Stainless Steel Coffee Pots
A call to the company confirmed this was correct. For years, I’d been drinking coffee that had come into contact with aluminum. This toxic heavy metal has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and kidney problems.
Even worse, I’d been recommending this coffee maker to my readers. After all, I was using it myself.
The good news is that the Perk doesn’t contain plastic. But it does contain aluminum. There’s a little well in the bottom with aluminum. And it comes in contact with your java. I feel like I’ve been taken for a ride. I also sincerely apologize to my readers for inadvertently misleading them.
Where To Find a Non Toxic Coffee Maker
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So, how do I make my morning cup of strong black coffee?
Remember in the 1960s, when you wanted coffee, you had to wait for it to percolate? Well, guess what? Percolated coffee is back. Except you won’t to wait too long for that strong cup of java. That’s because you can now find electric coffee percolators that make steaming hot coffee quickly.
We own a Presto Perk Stainless Steel Coffee Maker. (But I don’t use it.) Unfortunately, my husband still likes it, aluminum or not. I am working on switching him over to a French press. But it’s a process.
Meanwhile, I’m perfectly happy with a non-toxic French press. This is the coffee-making option I now recommend to my readers. Because it involves no potentially hazardous parts.
I did research other electric coffee makers. They contained stainless steel insides and outsides. But I wasn’t able to confirm the lack of an aluminum heating element. Since I won’t use them myself, I can’t recommend them to anyone else.
One company I called insisted their products didn’t contain aluminum. But, when I asked for this in writing, I didn’t receive an email. I took this as a very bad sign.
Presto Stainless Maker
Many health conscious coffee drinkers are turning to stainless steel coffee makers. Because they’re billed as non-toxic. I was fooled too.
Glass or stainless steel French presses are a better option. (Just make sure the one you buy doesn’t have a plastic pouring spout. Some models do.) Stainless steel is a much better choice than plastic.So is glass. Coffee is very caustic. So it can potentially pull chemicals out of plastic. Same with aluminum.
I mistakenly used my Presto coffee maker thinking that it was aluminum free. That meant it had no parts on the inside that contained aluminum. Sometimes I’d even let coffee cool in the Perk and heat it up later. I hate to even think about that now, since it has an aluminum well at the bottom.
Coffee Maker Without Aluminum
I definitely don’t want to drink coffee that may contain aluminum. This is a heavy metal that has been associated with a variety of serious or degenerative diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Aluminum is widely present in the environment. But it has no function in the human body. We don’t need aluminum like we need iron or trace amounts of copper.
I remember my grandparents brewing coffee in a stove top aluminum percolator. However, most people nowadays don’t buy aluminum coffee pots unless they are planning to take a lightweight model on a camping trip. (A better option is a French press or a stainless steel Vietnamese coffee maker. We now own both.)
Using a Non Plastic Coffee Maker
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of plastic, especially in the kitchen. Coffee and plastic are an especially bad mix. That’s because of the highly acidic and caustic nature of coffee.
This is especially true when the coffee is piping hot. That’s when it’s much more likely to draw toxins out of the materials it comes into contact with.
Much has been written about one chemical, in particular. Bisphenol A is found in many plastic. This compound has been found to cause early puberty in laboratory mice, probably because it mimics estrogen.
Is There BPA in Keurig Cups?
Federal health officials in the United States have differing opinions on the potential hazards of BPA. The FDA has ruled that it is safe, as it’s now being used. However, the National Institutes of Health has issued various warnings, and has advised consumers to limit their exposure and to store food in glass or stainless steel, rather than in plastic containers.
Although many people are now aware of the possible dangers of BPA, some environmental advocates believe all plastic warrants concern, when it comes into contact with something we plan to consume.
From what I can gather, the popular Keurig cups contain no BPA. However, you may want to read this Mother Jones article on polystyrene coffee pods, so you can make your own decision.
I’ve decided that I’m simply don’t feel comfortable drinking anything made from hot water that comes into contact with plastic.
Presto Electric Coffee Maker Alternative
The Presto Perk Coffee Maker makes anywhere from 4 to 12 cups at one time. I liked that, and I also liked the speed of brewing. One cup a minute. But the aluminum heating element is a deal breaker.
Many serious coffee drinkers prefer the taste of percolated coffee. That’s because the water has more contact with the grounds, resulting in a richer taste. Before the advent of automatic drip coffee makers, people used to percolate coffee for at least 10 minutes for a full, deeper flavor. However an aluminum-free French press will achieve the same result, because the hot water spends the same amount of time in contact with fresh coffee grounds.
Presto Coffee Maker Review
At this point I just have to say don’t buy one. The representative I spoke with said the company should update the product description. I just hope they hurry.
Non Toxic French Press
So now, we’re the happy owners of a French press coffee maker. Sometimes my husband will use the French press, instead of that darn percolator. A French press is a good option if just one or two people will be drinking coffee. Our French press makes enough coffee to fill two medium–sized mugs.
Like the Presto Perk, French presses are made from glass and/or stainless steel. (But they contain no aluminum.) I’m choosing to show one here that is 100 percent stainless steel.
Using a French press is very easy. You put ground coffee in the bottom and pour boiling water over it. Then you let it sit for about 10 minutes, before pressing. This involves using a plunger device that comes with the press, which separates the grounds from the coffee.
A French press would also be an excellent choice for camping or vacationing. It doesn’t need electricity. Just boiling water.
In our house we now rotate our coffee makers. We use both a non-toxic Fresh press and a small very portable non-toxic stainless steel Vietnamese coffee maker. You can see them below. The Vietnamese coffee maker is even easier to use than the French press. It’s also great for traveling.