Cafestol and kahweol
Cafestol and kahweol are naturally present diterpenes in the coffee oil. For a time, coffee drinkers were concerned about findings from studies regarding these two molecules, because of their capacity to increase blood cholesterol levels.
But after further research it was found that moderate consumption of coffee has only a modest effect on cholesterol levels and it is limited mainly to the unfiltered coffee such as that prepared by the Scandinavian or Turkish method.
The espresso contains half of the amount of cafestol and kahweol than non-filtered coffee, and because it is consumed also in smaller amounts, it doesn’t have much of an effect on cholesterol levels. It is interesting that, the traditional “sock” method of coffee preparation used in Singapore, as well as the Indian metal filtered coffee, both result in low amounts of diterpenes concentrations comparable to European paper-filtered method.
In the other hand, cafestol and kahweol may also have some health benefits. It has been shown that these coffee-specific diterpenes act as antioxidants and exhibit chemoprotective effects reducing inflammation and carcinogenesis. Above all, cafestol and kahweol appear to reduce cancer risk in liver and colon.