There are many types of coffee filters out there and in truth, the best coffee filter depends on the type of brewing you are doing. There are metal filters and paper filters and both are great options.
This article aims to help you simply choose the best paper filter for your next cup of coffee.
Bleached filters are paper filters that have been put through a process to make them white – like the bleached white Wonder bread at the super market. The taste from these filters is exactly the same as the taste from unbleached filters, witha the only difference being their negative impact on the environment. If you care about the environment, then bleached filters might not be the best choice for you. Unfortunately, the bleach used to dye the paper is just not good for the earth.
On the other hand, unbleached paper filters are much better for the environment. They have a more natural brown hue to them and they decompose much more naturally into the ground. The taste you get from an unbleached natural paper filter is just as good as its bleached counterpart and you are helping save the environment. Great coffee and helping the planet? That’s a win-win.
Paper Coffee Filter: Shape of Filter
Coffee filters come in two main types of shapes – conical and basket.
Conical or cone style filters look exactly like they sound. Due to their shape, these filters force hot water to travel quickly through the filter at a higher velocity. Some say this produces a more pronounced flavor profile in the brew. This stands to reason given that coffee is all about chemistry and the rate of water flow will naturally change the taste of your brew.
Basket filters – or cupcake filters are some of the most common coffee filters. When you think of a common coffee maker, it most likely utilizes basket filters to brew its coffee. These are great coffee filters, but the main drawback is brewing with these filters can cause uneven extraction. Since the basket filters have large and flat bottoms, the coffee grounds can get unevenly dispersed across the filter and the balance of the brew can be impacted. However, if you are needing a filter that can handle brewing a large amount of coffee then the basket filter is a perfect filter for you.
For the coffee geeks and connoisseurs out there who would like more information, check out the Specialty Coffee Association's full technical findings on the differences between using a conical vs basket filter.
Paper Coffee Filter: Size
Coffee filters come in a variety of sizes for a variety of reasons. If you are brewing using the pour over method, you will want to use a #6 size coffee filter. This is a larger coffee filter and will give you the space you need to brew the best cup of pour over.
For all electric style coffeemakers, you will be using smaller sizes – most likely a #2 or #4 depending on the size of your coffeemaker.
All coffee filters serve a purpose, so the truth is there is no one best paper coffee filter. The key is to find the right filter for the right cup of coffee you plan to brew. A conical filter will give you the most flavor extraction from the bean, and the basket will brew large quantities of coffee at a time. Unbleached is better than bleached and the size completely depends on your brewing setup.
Hopefully this guide on choosing the best paper coffee filters will give you a better idea of what to look for when you start the process. Shop our vast selection of top paper coffee filters.