All coffee filters are not created equal

May 13, 2022 0 Comments

You head to the kitchen, grab your coffee filters and coffee can, and make your morning coffee. Ahhh! Your eyes widen, your blood quickens, you’re ready to face your day! Although you’ll probably get the same results from this routine every day, you can actually improve the flavor of your morning drink simply by considering a different type of filter.

You can start with white paper, brown paper, fabric, gold fiber, stainless steel, plastic…the list goes on. Oh! You say. You had no idea there were so many options for a simple coffee filter. Believe it or not, there are more, but we have chosen only the most popular, simple and easy to find varieties for this article.

Let’s start with the old disposable paper filters. There are two kinds. White filters and brown filters. They have the same casting style and are the most widely available. The main difference is whether you want them “natural” or bleached, bleached, or “oxygenated” to make them flawless. All latte filters have been chemically processed. Think about it. “Paper is not white, just as cheese is not orange.” Regardless of how you feel about chemical processing, white filters will change the flavor of your coffee based on the types of chemicals, degree of saturation, and brewing method.

No whitening for you, you say? No problem. Many consumers are turning to all-natural paper filters that may or may not be chemical-free. Please note that not all brown filters are created equal. Read the packaging to make sure the filters are untreated and don’t assume that color alone means they are process-free. If the filter is not treated, it will not alter the flavor of your coffee and you will get a better taste. The advantage of paper filters is that they are quick, easy, inexpensive and perfect for almost all coffee machines. Simply fill the paper filter with coffee, place it in the basket, add water and…poof…coffee. Throw the used filter in the trash and it will biodegrade.

A growing “green” solution is fabric filters. These handy little ones are washable, reusable, moderately inexpensive, and relatively chemical-free, depending on your laundry habits. They are generally made of muslin or cotton and are adaptable to many types of brewers. Just put them in the basket, prepare your pot and rinse them for the next use. The downside is that you have to make sure to check the size and cut before you buy so that the fabric will fit your machine.

Taking a step towards a flavor change is investing in the gold filter. This type is a gold metal fiber mesh filter that you simply rinse and reuse. They are durable, moderately priced, easy to clean and maintain, and are widely available for most coffeemakers. If you are going to use this type of filter, plan on buying filtered or distilled water as tap water will quickly change the results. Over time, the flavor of your coffee can be affected as it picks up minerals and elements from tap water. These filters are generally excellent for several years before requiring replacement.

Finally, if you want to go for the top of this group, there is the stainless steel filter. This is a permanent filter that combines gold and stainless steel designed to last as long as your coffee cravings. These do not require paper filters and are simply emptied into the trash or compost pile and then rinsed with water for reuse. These gems are fairly impervious to most tap water changes, but that always depends on your particular water sources and filtration systems. The downside to these filters is that they are usually made for specific types of pots and can be a bit pricey depending on your system.

The perfect cup of coffee is on the palate of whoever looks at it. For most coffee drinkers, regular paper filters are adequate for everyday brewing outside of work. However, if you’re like me and experiment with different coffee strengths, blends, and grinds, you’ll want to try different filters to find what works for you and your particular coffee style and taste.

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