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Main Coffee Filter Types

Using filter is one of the most convenient methods to brew coffee. There are several coffee filter types, but people don’t know much about them. This article introduces 3 main types of filter, describes what are they made of, and points out how they influence coffee taste.

How does coffee filter work?

Filter for brewing coffee works the following way: first, the hot water dissolves the flavor compounds of the beans. It also absorbs their taste, color, and aroma. Then, the filter separates resulted liquid from the coffee grounds.

It is usually made of the material porous enough to let liquid go through it. At the same time, it doesn't let the small grains of coffee get into the drink. Simply speaking, it traps the coffee grounds and other substances that you don’t want to drink.

Paper filter

Paper coffee filter is one of the most available and widespread filter: you can easily buy it in grocery store at cheap price. It is highly absorbent and tightly woven, so it soaks up oil from your beans and keeps all the grounds from going through. There is an opinion that paper filter is the best option if you’re looking for delicate coffee made of gourmet or single-origin beans.

There are two main shapes of paper filter: conical and basket. The first one is used with pour-overs, while the second one, also known as cupcake filters, with large-capacity drip machines.

Paper filters are single-use, which means you don’t have to spend time on cleaning after drinking your coffee. But it also means that they are less environmentally friendly, although they are compostable.

Potential drawback of paper filter is that you may feel a slightly papery taste in your drink. But this problem can be quickly solved: just put your filter in your coffee maker and drizzle it with water. Throw away the water that comes through, fill the filter with grounds, and brew it. This pre-rinse will take all the unnecessary taste notes.

Metal filters

Metal filters are normally made of stainless steel or aluminum. The main difference between metal filter and paper one is that the metal coffee filter has larger pores. So it doesn’t block as much of the natural oils or tiny coffee grounds. But it doesn’t mean that it is bad. Vice versa, many people believe that coffee brewed with a metal filter is full-bodied, rich, and tasty. For instance, certain flavors only appear when there are oils in the coffee, which give a sweetness that paper filters remove.

Due to the fact that metal filters are reusable, you’ll need to clean them after every usage. Actually, they’re quite easy to clean, especially if you use stainless steel. It also makes them very environmentally friendly.

One of the brightest and most well-known examples of metal filters is traditional Vietnamese coffee filter – phin. Coffee made this way is rich, strong and very aromatic. Here you can learn more about its features, history, and methods of using.

Cloth filters

They are similar to paper filters in terms of the level of absorbing oils and holding the coffee grounds. These filters are mostly used with pour-over brewers. Cloth filters create light and smooth coffee with complex flavors.

When it comes to cleaning, cloth filters require the best maintenance. With every usage filter will slower let water through because the filter itself as it becomes clogged with oils and grounds. That’s why it is recommended to rinse the filter between brews as it absorbs the taste of previous brewing. If you often drink several coffee types, you should purchase several cloth filters or just spend a lot of time on cleaning. To fully clean these filters, producers advice boiling them for about 10 minutes. You may need to change them every few months.

Although cloth filters are reusable and environmentally-friendly, they are less durable than metal ones.
Mr. Viet produces real Vietnamese coffee with coffee filter – phin. Mr. Viet coffee beans are expertly roasted in Dalat region, Vietnam. We carefully select and control coffee roasting in order to get tasty and balanced coffee. We produce it in accordance with all the traditions of Vietnam. Follow us to learn more about coffee and Vietnamese coffee culture!

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