Different Types Of Coffee Filters

Coffee Filter Types

An avid coffee drinker will know that every cup of coffee does not taste the same. Let’s be honest…a 7/11 coffee and a Starbucks coffee are not on the same level. But only a true coffee connoisseur will know that the impact that coffee filter type can have on a cup of joe.

The original coffee filter was made of paper, but today there are arguments over whether bleached or unbleached paper coffee filters are best. But paper coffee filters are not the end all be all to coffee filters- there are also several types of permanent coffee filters on the market.

Does the type of coffee filter you use really make a difference? Let’s find out.

Different Types Of Coffee Filters

Disposable

Arguably the most widely used type of filter, they’re intended for single use. However, there is a debate whether bleached or unbleached coffee filters are better. Many coffee connoisseurs fiercely defend their paper filter of choice because they claim that the other will affect the taste of coffee. If you’re one of these people, we hate to break it to you, but you’re wrong.

There isn’t enough bleach used in bleached coffee filters to negatively impact the taste and there’s nothing special about brown, unbleached coffee filters, either- when it comes to taste. However, there are some other factors that may determine which paper filter you prefer.

How to make best coffee

Bleached

Bleached filters go through a bleaching process using chlorine or oxygen for the sole purpose of altering the color of the paper filter. Filters bleached using oxygen are typically of higher quality. While bleached filters may not be harmful to people, they are harmful to the environment, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Unbleached

Unbleached filters may not look as pretty as bleached filters, but they are more natural. It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone to find out that paper is naturally brown- like trees. Because unbleached filters have no need to go through a manufacturing process, they don’t cause as much harm to the environment when thrown away.

While there isn’t a significant impact on taste, coffee brewed with unbleached paper can taste slightly papery if it isn’t brewed correctly; however, that can be easily prevented by first wetting the coffee filter and disposing of that water before brewing your coffee. When brewed this way, no one will be able to tell whether you used a bleached or unbleached coffee filter.

Paper filter benefits

Paper filters, surprisingly, can be healthier than permanent filters. The oily substance in raw coffee beans called diterpene, which has been linked to high cholesterol, is filtered out by paper filters. There is also little to no chance of the filter growing bacteria because it’s thrown away after one use.

Disposable filters are typically best for those who don’t have much time to dedicate to brewing coffee because after it’s brewed, they can simply throw away the filter and have much less clean up.

Paper filter cons

Because they are made of paper, these filters aren’t as sturdy as permanent metal or nylon filters, meaning they run the risk of bursting in your coffee pot. They can also contribute to deforestation; however, paper filters made out of substances like bamboo won’t hurt the environment.

what are coffee filters made of

Coffee filters of paper are made from about 100 g/m2 filter paper. The crimping of the sides allows the coffee to flow freely between the filter and the filtration funnel

Permanent/Reusable

Nylon

Nylon coffee filters are made from synthetic fabric. This is why they hold their shape better than paper filters and rarely break or overflow. If you want to try a permanent coffee filter, but save a few cents, nylon filters are your best option. But remember that you get what you pay for. Nylon filters are lower in quality and can make the coffee taste more acidic the older the filter becomes.

Metal

Metal coffee filters are by far the sturdiest of coffee filter types. There is no risk that these filters will fall apart and they can last for years if taken care of properly. However, they don’t do a great job with straining coffee beans. Unlike paper coffee filters, the mesh of metal filters is not fine enough to keep oils and micro fines out of the coffee.

The oils that seep into coffee when strained in a metal strainer have been linked, in some studies, to high levels of bad cholesterol. But these same oils have been said to give brewed coffee a much richer and fuller-bodied taste.

Cloth

Cloth filters are quite possibly the least popular type of coffee filter, but one of the most unique. One of the reasons cloth filters aren’t widely used is because they can only be used for pour-over coffee; however, true coffee enthusiasts know that pour-over coffee has the strongest and most authentic flavor.

This coffee filter is an ideal option if you’re a pour-over fan and want to filter out oils and sediment, but want an environmentally-friendly option. Cloth filters do everything that paper filters do, but are reusable.

Clean up

When choosing which coffee filter is best for you, it’s important to consider how long clean up takes with each filter. Now, if you’re someone who doesn’t need to be anywhere in the morning and prefers to drink coffee slowly, savoring every moment, then permanent coffee filters may suit your lifestyle best.

Nylon and metal filters do give coffee a bolder flavor but require a bit more clean up time. Because the filters are permanent, the coffee grounds need to be dumped out in the trash can (so none clog your kitchen drain) and the filter then needs to be cleaned thoroughly to prevent any old coffee grounds from making their way into your daily cup of joe.

If you’re leaning towards a permanent filter, however, it’s important to note that cloth filters are the messiest of them all. With nylon or metal filters, coffee beans can wash out easily with a bit of water, but cloth filters absorb quite a bit of coffee and coffee grounds. They should be cleaned thoroughly, which is a bit more time-consuming and requires more effort than other permanent filter types.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who has to be out of the house bright and early every morning, but needs that caffeine boost, then you’re better off using disposable coffee filters. There is little to no clean up required for paper filters because all you need to do is throw the filter away on your way out the door.

Price Differences

The final factor to consider when deciding which type of coffee filter to purchase is cost. Cost is typically a leading factor in any decision that we make. Many people live by the saying “You get what you pay for,” but that motto can be a bit harder to apply to coffee filters. There is a price difference between disposable and permanent filters, but because permanent filters last longer, the initial price difference may not matter as much.

Permanent filters

Permanent filters cost more up front- anywhere from $5 to $60 on average- but they also last for several years. When it comes to permanent filters, you do get what you pay for because more expensive filters stay in good condition for longer. For example, if you opt for a higher end permanent filter that costs $60, it could last upwards of 8 years which would make the annual cost less than $10.

Chemex Reusable Drip Coffee Filter

pour over coffee

 

Hamilton Beach Permanent Gold Tone Filter

 

Disposable filters

Disposable paper filters only cost about $0.10 each, but that can add up. If you make one pot of coffee daily, you’re already paying $0.70 per week; this may not sound like a lot but it adds up to over $36 annually. Financially, paper filters can be a good choice if you are living paycheck to paycheck, but can end up costing four times as much annually as a permanent filter!

It’s also important to note that, although they are more natural than bleached filters, unbleached paper filters can cost slightly more than bleached paper filters. If cost is a determining factor for you but your heart is set on paper filters, it’s best to opt for paper filters bleached with oxygen.

At the end of the day, permanent filters cost much more than paper filters up front but can last much longer and be cheaper in the long run. Paper filters, however, require no investment and are easily accessible.

So if you’re wondering whether a permanent or disposable coffee filter is the best choice, there really is no straightforward answer. However, there are a few questions to ask yourself that can help determine which filter is best for you:

  • Do you prioritize environmentally-friendly products?
  • Do you prefer your coffee to have a lighter, brighter taste or one that is bold and rich?
  • How much time do you have for clean up?
  • Would you prefer to spend more money up front or in the long run?

Read through the article with the answers to these questions in mind and you’ll be able to determine the best coffee filter for you in no time at all.

An avid coffee drinker will know that every cup of coffee does not taste the same. Let’s be honest…a 7/11 coffee and a Starbucks coffee are not on the same level. But only a true coffee connoisseur will know that the impact that coffee filter type can have on a cup of joe.

The original coffee filter was made of paper, but today there are arguments over whether bleached or unbleached paper coffee filters are best. But paper coffee filters are not the end all be all to coffee filters- there are also several types of permanent coffee filters on the market.

Does the type of coffee filter you use really make a difference? Let’s find out.

White vs Brown coffee filters  And There Types

Disposable

Arguably the most widely used type of filter, they’re intended for single use. However, there is a debate [See link to another point of view] whether bleached or unbleached coffee filters are better. Many coffee connoisseurs fiercely defend their paper filter of choice because they claim that the other will affect the taste of coffee. If you’re one of these people, we hate to break it to you, but you’re wrong.

There isn’t enough bleach used in bleached coffee filters to negatively impact the taste and there’s nothing special about brown, unbleached coffee filters, either- when it comes to taste. However, there are some other factors that may determine which paper filter you prefer.


Bleached vs unbleached Coffee Filters

Bleached

Bleached filters go through a bleaching process using chlorine or oxygen for the sole purpose of altering the color of the paper filter. Filters bleached using oxygen are typically of higher quality. While bleached filters may not be harmful to people, they are harmful to the environment, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Unbleached

Unbleached filters may not look as pretty as bleached filters, but they are more natural. It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone to find out that paper is naturally brown- like trees. Because unbleached filters have no need to go through a manufacturing process, they don’t cause as much harm to the environment when thrown away.

While there isn’t a significant impact on taste, coffee brewed with unbleached paper can taste slightly papery if it isn’t brewed correctly; however, that can be easily prevented by first wetting the coffee filter and disposing of that water before brewing your coffee. When brewed this way, no one will be able to tell whether you used a bleached or unbleached coffee filter.
what are coffee filters made of

Paper filter benefits

Paper filters, surprisingly, can be healthier than permanent filters. The oily substance in raw coffee beans called diterpene, which has been linked to high cholesterol, is filtered out by paper filters. There is also little to no chance of the filter growing bacteria because it’s thrown away after one use.

Disposable filters are typically best for those who don’t have much time to dedicate to brewing coffee because after it’s brewed, they can simply throw away the filter and have much less clean up.

Paper filter cons

Because they are made of paper, these filters aren’t as sturdy as permanent metal or nylon filters, meaning they run the risk of bursting in your coffee pot. They can also contribute to deforestation; however, paper filters made out of substances like bamboo won’t hurt the environment.

Permanent/Reusable

Nylon

Nylon coffee filters are made from synthetic fabric. This is why they hold their shape better than paper filters and rarely break or overflow. If you want to try a permanent coffee filter, but save a few cents, nylon filters are your best option. But remember that you get what you pay for. Nylon filters are lower in quality and can make the coffee taste more acidic the older the filter becomes.

Metal

Metal coffee filters are by far the sturdiest of coffee filter types. There is no risk that these filters will fall apart and they can last for years if taken care of properly. However, they don’t do a great job with straining coffee beans. Unlike paper coffee filters, the mesh of metal filters is not fine enough to keep oils and micro fines out of the coffee.

The oils that seep into coffee when strained in a metal strainer have been linked, in some studies, to high levels of bad cholesterol. But these same oils have been said to give brewed coffee a much richer and fuller-bodied taste.

Cloth

Cloth filters are quite possibly the least popular type of coffee filter, but one of the most unique. One of the reasons cloth filters aren’t widely used is because they can only be used for pour-over coffee; however, true coffee enthusiasts know that pour-over coffee has the strongest and most authentic flavor.

This coffee filter is an ideal option if you’re a pour-over fan and want to filter out oils and sediment, but want an environmentally-friendly option. Cloth filters do everything that paper filters do, but are reusable.

Clean up

When choosing which coffee filter is best for you, it’s important to consider how long clean up takes with each filter. Now, if you’re someone who doesn’t need to be anywhere in the morning and prefers to drink coffee slowly, savoring every moment, then permanent coffee filters may suit your lifestyle best.

Nylon and metal filters do give coffee a bolder flavor but require a bit more clean up time. Because the filters are permanent, the coffee grounds need to be dumped out in the trash can (so none clog your kitchen drain) and the filter then needs to be cleaned thoroughly to prevent any old coffee grounds from making their way into your daily cup of joe.

If you’re leaning towards a permanent filter, however, it’s important to note that cloth filters are the messiest of them all. With nylon or metal filters, coffee beans can wash out easily with a bit of water, but cloth filters absorb quite a bit of coffee and coffee grounds. They should be cleaned thoroughly, which is a bit more time-consuming and requires more effort than other permanent filter types.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who has to be out of the house bright and early every morning, but needs that caffeine boost, then you’re better off using disposable coffee filters. There is little to no clean up required for paper filters because all you need to do is throw the filter away on your way out the door.

Price Differences

The final factor to consider when deciding which type of coffee filter to purchase is cost. Cost is typically a leading factor in any decision that we make. Many people live by the saying “You get what you pay for,” but that motto can be a bit harder to apply to coffee filters. There is a price difference between disposable and permanent filters, but because permanent filters last longer, the initial price difference may not matter as much.

Permanent filters

Permanent filters cost more up front- anywhere from $5 to $60 on average- but they also last for several years. When it comes to permanent filters, you do get what you pay for because more expensive filters stay in good condition for longer. For example, if you opt for a higher end permanent filter that costs $60, it could last upwards of 8 years which would make the annual cost less than $10.

Chemex Reusable Drip Coffee Filter

 

Hamilton Beach Permanent Gold Tone Filter

 

Disposable filters

Disposable paper filters only cost about $0.10 each, but that can add up. If you make one pot of coffee daily, you’re already paying $0.70 per week; this may not sound like a lot but it adds up to over $36 annually. Financially, paper filters can be a good choice if you are living paycheck to paycheck, but can end up costing four times as much annually as a permanent filter!

It’s also important to note that, although they are more natural than bleached filters, unbleached paper filters can cost slightly more than bleached paper filters. If cost is a determining factor for you but your heart is set on paper filters, it’s best to opt for paper filters bleached with oxygen.

At the end of the day, permanent filters cost much more than paper filters up front but can last much longer and be cheaper in the long run. Paper filters, however, require no investment and are easily accessible.

So if you’re wondering whether a permanent or disposable coffee filter is the best choice, there really is no straightforward answer. However, there are a few questions to ask yourself that can help determine which filter is best for you:

  • Do you prioritize environmentally-friendly products?
  • Do you prefer your coffee to have a lighter, brighter taste or one that is bold and rich?
  • How much time do you have for clean up?
  • Would you prefer to spend more money up front or in the long run?

Read through the article with the answers to these questions in mind and you’ll be able to determine the best coffee filter for you in no time at all.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *