Making the perfect cup of coffee is an art form in itself; everything from choosing the right kind of beans to even the way you grind and infuse your coffee will determine the outcome of your brew! Despite all of that, coffee enthusiasts seem to always be stuck when it comes to coffee filters.
The most common types of coffee filters are paper, metal, and cloth. Making good coffee doesn’t always require fancy equipment, but one thing’s for sure, filters are an indispensable component to the coffee-brewing process, and the type that you choose to make your coffee with will influence the overall taste and flavour of your cup of joe. If you are a coffee lover who is passionate about making home-brewed coffee, read on to find out which type of coffee filter will best suit your taste preferences and budget!
- Paper Filters
Paper filters are some of the most commonly used filters among beginners and experts alike due to the clarity of flavour they provide for your coffee. They are used in brewing methods such as pour-overs and drip machines.
Paper filters tend to be the go-to choice for coffee brewers as they are easy to obtain and are generally inexpensive. They can also be disposed of instantly with barely any cleanup needed.
Paper filters do well at trapping the oils and fine grounds to provide a light, cleaner-tasting cup of silt-free coffee and are thus perfect to use for single-origin beans with rich aromas and complex flavours, such as The Hub’s Ethiopia Bench Maji Geisha (Anaerobic Natural).
- Metal Filters
Metal filters are metal mesh structures that are typically made of stainless steel or aluminium. They are typically built in and found in certain coffee makers, such as the espresso machine, percolator, Moka pot, and the French press.
Unlike paper filters, metal filters have small holes that allow oils and water to penetrate through the filter and enter your cup. This kind of perforated filter will also allow some fine grounds to pass through, leaving a bit of sediment at the bottom of your cup and giving you thicker coffee with heavier mouthfeel. With the coffee oils present in your coffee and some silt at the bottom of your cup, metal filters tend to provide a full-bodied cup of coffee with a richer taste and stronger aroma.
Unlike paper filters, metal filters are multi-use and can be reused over and over again. They can even last a lifetime if properly cleaned and maintained. That said, metal filers will require cleaning after every use to ensure your next cup of coffee will remain bold, flavourful, and highly aromatic.
- Cloth Filters
Though less common than their aforementioned counterparts, cloth filters have been around for longer than paper filters. Cloth filters are typically made from organic cotton or linen and are commonly used alongside pour-over brewers.
Cloth filters serve as a great middle ground between paper filters and metal filters—they are similar to paper filters in that they keep fine particles from passing through, but their fabric also allows some of the coffee’s flavor-filled oils to seep through into your cup. The result is rich, smooth coffee with complex flavors and a strong aroma without so much as a hint of silt.
While cloth filters provide the best of both worlds and are more environmentally-friendly than paper filters, they are the highest-maintenance of the three types of filters and thus require significant upkeep. With every use, cloth filters become clogged with the fine particles from the grounds, so they need to be thoroughly rinsed and washed between each brew. Before the first use, and once every few months, it is recommended that they are boiled for at least 10 minutes to properly sanitize the cloth, remove any oily buildup, and shrink the weave to keep the grounds from going through in your next brew.
Cloth filters may also hold onto the flavours of the beans from your previous brews. If you’re someone who likes to switch up your beans from time to time, you may want to keep several cloth filters on hand to avoid disrupting the resulting flavour of your brew.
When it comes to choosing the right coffee filter for you, it all comes down to your preferred brewing method and taste preferences. Whether it’s a clear cup of coffee with no silt and complex flavours, or one that has a heavier mouthfeel and stronger aroma, there’s always a coffee filter that can offer you what you love and need!
At The Hub Coffee Roasters, we source only top-quality beans from around the world, because everyone deserves to taste a good cup of coffee. To learn more about why we do what we do, visit us at thehuboug.com and let us remind you why you love coffee.