Coffee Filters have become a very important part of making the perfect cup of Joe and they have developed a lot over the years.
The very first coffee filter was created way back in 1908 by a German housewife named Melitta Bentz, who become frustrated by the bitter taste you get from boiling those loose grounds, so developed the first ever paper coffee filter.
After realising how great this new paper coffee filter was, she patented it and went on to create her own paper filter company, selling small to begin with, before expanding further afield.
110 years later there are a wide range of different coffee filters for a coffee lover to choose from and I am going to help you find the perfect filter for you.
Paper Filter Type
When it comes to choosing the right paper coffee filter for you, then you really need to choose between one of these three types; Bleached, Unbleached, and Bamboo.
The bleached paper filter is not too different from the unbleached paper, with the biggest difference between the two being, you guessed, the bleached being bleached white, while the unbleached is not. There are two main ways in which a bleached paper filter is actually bleached. The chlorine bleaching, which is seen by many as being very damaging to the environment, and then the oxygen bleaching, which will still not great is seen to be much better for the environment than chlorine bleaching. Be sure to keep an eye out for which bleaching technique has been used on your bleached paper filter.
There is no denying that, while the unbleached paper filter might not look quite as attractive as the bright white bleached filter, it is so much better for the environment. Unbleached paper filters do not require the same high level of processing as bleached filters, which is why they are that much more environmentally friendly. Meanwhile, the taste of an unbleached filter can be a lot more papery than that of a bleached filter, but with a good rinse you should be able to get rid of that paper taste and all will be well with the flavour of your cup of Joe.
Now bamboo filters are something which is relatively new compared to your bleached or unbleached paper filters and one of the best things about the bamboo filter is the fact that it is extremely environmentally friendly, with the bamboo being a completely renewable resource. Made from 60% bamboo and with absolutely no chemicals, the bamboo filter is the way to go for the good of the planet. As for the taste and flavour, many feel that the bamboo filter actually makes a better tasting cup of Joe than its rivals, so it really is regarded as the best paper filter out there.
Permanent Filter Type
While the paper filter is the original king of the coffee filter world, there are now many people who much prefer to use a permanent filter, with there being three types in particular which you will want to consider: Gold, Stainless Steel, and Nylon.
When it comes to the gold plated permanent coffee filter, they are basically the same as the stainless steel filters, just with the fact that they have a gold plating. This type of filter is easy to fit and remove, making it easy to clean. When it comes to the taste of the coffee when using a gold filter, it lets very little amounts of the coffee grounds through, while still letting the coffee keep those natural oils for a great tasting cup of Joe. There are some very high quality gold plated filters out there and the better the quality, the better the taste of the coffee.
As we just mentioned, there is not too much of a difference between the gold plated permanent filters and the stainless steel filter, with both doing a very similar job. With that said, it does seem to be a common consensus that the stainless steel filter does seem to let a little bit more of the coffee grounds through, while keeping back some of those important oils, so the taste of you finished cup of coffee is not quite going to be at the same high level as that of the gold plated filters. With that said though, you can get your hands on a stainless steel permanent filter for much less than the price of a gold plated one, so it all depends how important flavour and taste is to you.
he nylon permanent coffee filter is not really up to the same standards of the stainless steel or gold plated filters for a number of reasons. First off, the nylon filter is made of a synthetic material which makes it much harder to clean than the other two mentioned. As well as that, it is simply of a much lower quality and will not last anywhere near as long as the others. Finally the taste, it does not take too long for the nylon filter to start giving you an acidic taste to your cup of coffee, which nobody wants. With that said, the nylon filter is much cheaper than the gold or stainless steel filter, so again, it really is up to you to decide what is the most important for your cuppa.
Finally we have the cloth filters, which seem to be a bit hit and miss with coffee lovers but, if cloth filters are what you are after, then you again have three which you might want to look at: Cotton, Hemp, and Muslin.
While the paper coffee filters are the original of the coffee filter world, it is probably fair to say that they have been surpassed by the other filters out there. The cotton filter lets through much more of the natural oils than the paper filters but not quite as much as the permanent filters, so it is somewhere in the middle of the two, giving you a better tasting coffee than the paper filters but not quite up to the standard of the permanent filters. The same can be said for the cleaning process, as it is easier to clean than the paper filters, but not as easy as the permanent filters. Then we have to price which, as you can of course guess, is somewhere in between the two again.
With the hemp coffee filters you can kind of take on board everything we have said about the cotton filters but there are a few differences. Some people have found that the hemp filters do tend to start to fall apart after a while, which can lead to some bits ending up in your cup of coffee. There have also been some complaints that they are much more difficult to clean than the cotton filters. With that said though, if you are willing to take a bit of mess on board and keep renewing your filter every time it falls apart, then you can get the hemp filters for quite a low price. Not a great filter but probably a small step up from the paper filters.
Again, with the muslin coffee filter you are going to find that there is going to be a lot of cleaning involved with them but, unlike the hemp filters, it seems that the muslin filters are actually much easier to clean and can take a lot of cleaning before they start to deteriorate in quality. Many people seem split on whether muslin filters or cotton filters are the best of the cloth filters, so it really does come down to personal preference. The muslin makes a solid tasting cup of Joe and is not too expensive either but, if I had to recommend one to you, the cotton just edges it for me.
Coffee Filter Sizes
When it comes to choosing the size of the coffee filter you want, you have so many different options to choose from, it all really depends on the amount of coffee you are looking to make. The typical cone sizes are #1, #2, #4, and #6, with the bigger of the filters being able to make up to around 12 cups of coffee in one useage. Be careful not to opt for a cheap coffee filter though, no matter the size, as you will find that they do not have the quality to deliver the delicious cuppa you are after.
How to Make a Homemade Coffee FIlter
If you ever find yourself without a coffee filter and no easy way of getting your hands on one, then you can use this technique to make your very own homemade coffee filter. All you need to do this is, your hot water source, you coffee grounds and then a nice clean sock.
Step 1: Put a few scoops of your desired coffee grounds into the clean sock
Step 2: Put the coffee-filled sock over your cup, with the lower half hanging inside.
Step 3: Slowly pour your hot water into the coffee-filled sock.
Step 4: Allow the fresh coffee to come through the bottom of the sock.
Step 5: Enjoy your fresh cup of Joe.
It really is that simple. An old sock does not need to be thrown away. Just make sure it is clean and then turn it into your new, homemade coffee filter.
Emergency Coffee Filters
An old sock is not the only way that you can can make an emergency coffee filter. Here are a few other techniques that also work fine.
Napkins or Paper Towels:
It really is simple to just shape the napkins or paper towels into the shape of the filter and then use it in the same way that you would use an actual paper filter.
It might not sound like the most hygienic way to make a coffee filter but, if you really are in desperate need of a coffee filter, then you can also use toilet paper in the same way.
This is another great emergency replacement but remember, the finer the cheesecloth, the better the coffee, as less ground will make it through the filter.
If you happen to have some fine cloth around, make sure to clean it up and then fit it into the coffee filter shape. Be sure to use one that is going to be able to let the water run through but not the actual coffee grounds.
Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central
The Cuisinart Brew Central is a simple, classic machine that uses a permanent, removable gold-tone coffee filter.
This ensures smooth coffee with the convenience of being dishwasher safe. Along with being machine washable (much like its 12-cup glass carafe), gold-tone filters are made to last, and make your life easier… no more wondering if you picked up coffee filters on the way home!
This machine is compact, to the point and has a classic stainless-steel exterior.
Its additional features are pretty standard. If you don’t feel like waiting for an entire pot to brew, you can utilize the brew-pause feature as well as small batch brewing.
If you are looking for a mid-range coffeemaker and hate the idea of waste, due to using paper filters, the Brew Central is a great choice for you.
Thousands have chosen this machine as their go to for at home coffee brewing and customer feedback has been consistently positive. Most, love this machine for the pure coffee taste it provides.
This is as a result of not only using a permanent gold-tone coffee filter but a charcoal water filter as well to ensure water is at its purest prior to being brewed.
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Complete with a custom measuring scoop, this machine uses a charcoal water filter and gold-tone coffee filter to brew your coffee.
This keeps your coffee smooth, clear and properly proportioned. Existing owners really love this machines gold-tone, permanent coffee filter.
It keeps coffee tasting like… coffee!
And not plastic. This permanent filter comes with handle for easy removal. Once you’re done brewing coffee, just pull it out and empty any old grinds into the garbage or compost.
It’s even machine washable!
Its exterior is black, with steel accents and although basic in its features, this machine offers some handy additions such as an ergonomic handle, knuckle guard and drip-free pouring.
It is an affordably priced, mid-range machine, that is easy to use and environmentally friendly.
With, of course, a permanent, removable coffee filter. These are just some of the reasons why it has become widely popular among consumers.
This machine is well-liked overall, although it doesn’t have any real wow-factor.
For a 12-cup pot-style coffee-maker, with easy-to-use controls, charcoal filtration and a permanent, reusable coffee filter, this is a great buy.
It is priced very reasonably and great for the average coffee drinker who doesn’t want to use paper filters any longer.
So, ditch the paper filters and enjoy a great cup of coffee from Cuisinart!
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Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe Option
Mr. Coffee wants you to enjoy pure, filtered coffee free of any chlorine-like taste.
Pure tasting coffee starts with pure water and this machine from Mr. Coffee, filters water to ensure that up to 97% of its chlorine is removed.
It uses a removable flat bottomed, basket shaped coffee filter for easy cleaning and to ensure all of your coffee grinds are completely covered in water when brewing.
This also ensures great tasting and fully extracted coffee.
Mr. Coffee has always made funky looking machines.
And this particular pot-style machine is no different.
It has a curved frontal profile highlighted by stainless steel accents.
Its 12-cup carafe has a curved, ergonomic handle as well.
With options for a thermal carafe to keep your coffee hotter for longer and such features as a freshness timer and automatic shut-off, consumers really like this machine.
Thousands upon thousands have chosen to rely on Mr. Coffee for their morning cup coffee and are grateful for it.
If any, criticism on this particular machine is that it could come standard with a gold-tone removable filter as opposed to a plastic one it currently comes with.
Many users dislike the hassle of using paper filters and the taste they provide with the standard filter basket.
Metal or nylon, reusable filters produce much better tasting coffee, not to mention creating less waste.
For those who would like the added feature of a gold-tone, metal coffee filter, Mr. Coffee does sell one separately. It can easily be used in place of the standard plastic basket.
With this addition, you can enjoy well-filtered water as well as clean tasting coffee without any papery taste or hassle that comes along with using paper or disposable filters.
For a coffee-maker that has already amassed thousands of fans around the world, Mr. Coffee has you covered.
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BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker, Black, (DCM600B)
Black + Decker knows appliances. They know their clientele just as well. They keep things simple and deliver what is important.
And in this case, that is a coffee-maker, with a removable filter at an affordable price.
So, how can you make the most out of this inexpensive, entry-level machine? By taking matters into your own hands an upgrading. In this case, you’ll be upgrading the removable, plastic coffee filter.
This machine comes standard with a reusable, removable plastic basket with a flat-bottomed design.
One that you would use paper filters with. But if you don’t want to use paper filters, then don’t!
Simply purchase a metal, nylon or gold-tone coffee filter / basket separately and use it instead. Black + Decker uses a standard basket size, so replacements are easy to come by.
And the great thing is, this machine is already designed for flat bottomed baskets, which are better for coffee extraction anyways.
The result, is pure tasting, smooth coffee without the wastefulness or hassle of using paper coffee filters at an unbeatable price-point!
Besides a very fitting, all black exterior, there is a water fill line and ON / OFF switch. That’s about it.
The machine itself is small, simple, to the point and hassle-free.
Most criticism from customers on this machine is misplaced, because for a machine as inexpensive as this one is, you can’t expect top-of-the-line performance.
It’s perfect for dorms, small spaces or infrequent users.
**Just make sure you use our coffee-filter life hack, if you want the get the most out of you Black + Decker 5-Cup coffee-maker!
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Hamilton Beach 49980Z 2-Way Brewer
This machine is referred to as a ‘2-way Brewer’ although it offers many more options than just two.
It is a pot-style, single serve, pod-style and drip coffee maker all built in to one!
Two different sized, removable brewing baskets does in fact give you ‘2-way’ brewing although, the expression seems to sell the machine short. 1 removable, flat bottom basket allows for brewing of up to 12-cups of coffee without the need of paper filters.
The other single-serve basket, actually doubles as a scooper… and triples as a pod-style soft pod basket!
Remove the single-serve mesh basket to brew up to 14-ounces of drip coffee or insert a soft pod of any brand. Now that’s versatility!
Resembling more of a science project than a coffee-maker, this unique machine pairs well with any modern kitchen and has a brushed steel exterior.
It rates very high with customers as well, mainly for its versatility and ease-of-use.
Are you looking to brew a whole pot of coffee? …great!
Only need to fill up your travel mug? …even better!
Do you want a single serving of coffee using any soft-pod on the market plus have the ability to fill up your brew basket with loose grounds if you so choose? …the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer can help with that too!
All this, at an affordable mid-range price-point and fewer design issues than that of its competitors.
Hamilton Beach knows coffee-makers and knows how to deliver convenience as well… in more ways than one!
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