Aren’t all coffee filters alike? Actually, there are a few varieties of filters that include disposable paper filters, manufacturer’s filters, cloth filters, and even specialty filters too.
Perhaps you start your day in the exact same way as billions of other people – you head to the kitchen, grab the coffee filters and canister of coffee, and whip up your morning brew. Though you probably get the same results from this procedure almost every single time, you could actually improve the taste of your coffee simply by considering a different sort of filter.
We’ll start this discussion with a look at the most commonly used of them all – the disposable paper filters. Because these are often highly processed products, they can be full of chemicals and bleaches that may not be harmful to the individual but which can seriously impact the flavor of the coffee. Bleach in a filter? Remember these are paper products and they are treated to give the sort of appearances that consumers are used to. This means that they can contain whiteners and all kinds of materials that can change the taste of the water and the coffee. What is the solution? Most consumers are encouraged to look into the all-natural paper filters or those using no chemicals in the manufacturing process. This can create optimal results with even the simplest brewing processes.
If you are interested in retaining flavor and also being as “green” as possible, you can purchase cloth coffee filters. These are reusable filters usually made from unbleached muslin or cotton that can be quickly and conveniently rinsed out between pots of coffee. Most come as multiples and should be purchased to fit into the specific brand name of coffee machine to ensure the best results. Some manufacturers will create their cloth filters to work with any machines, but they give the reservoir size number to help with the purchasing decision. For example, a size #6 cone filter is very common.
If you are more interested in a permanent filter instead of those that require disposal or washing, you can always buy a manufacturer’s filter or a specially designed gold filter. The manufacturer’s filters are usually offered to consumers at the time they buy a new machine. Generally a blank order form is included in the printed documents inside of the packaging, but if not, most also make such filters available through their websites. These require no paper filters and are simply emptied into the trash or compost pile and then rinsed with water to use again. The important thing to remember about this sort of permanent filter is that it might absorb “off” flavors if the owner consistently uses tap water or water with chemicals or minerals that can build up in the coffee machine. For this reason it is usually a good idea to always use filtered water when brewing coffee.
Finally, there are some coffee machines with specially designed filters that include gold filters. These too do not need any further paper filters to be used, but they can work with any sort of water and prevent off flavors from developing.
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