When it comes to coffee, everything has to be the best! Even when it comes to the coffee filter, there's a lot to consider. We might think the filters don't make that big of a difference, but the fact is, they have a huge impact on the taste of your coffee. This is because the filters can absorb the oils of any coffee. These oils are the source and dump of flavors and richness; the more oil in your coffee, the better the flavor.
So if you want a flavorful and strong cup of coffee, you can go for plastic or metal filers that don't absorb the oils that much.
But these oils in coffee, also called terpenes, may elevate the cholesterol levels in coffee drinkers. So those who are health conscious may want to use other types of filers, like paper and cloth filters.
Another factor to consider is the cost of these filters. Reusable coffee filters are a great option to consider; though they're expensive, they are environmentally friendly and don't need to be changed often.
Also, while disposable filters are easy to discard and easy to change, the reusable ones may need to be adequately cleaned after each use.
Let's get into the details about types of filters to consider:
Paper filters: With specific sizes, shapes (cone or flat-bottomed, for example), and varying thickness, paper filters cater to many brewing methods and types of coffee. Made from bleached or unbleached papers, they're usually meant for one-time use. Paper filters come in multi-packs and specific thicknesses, so they're your best option to experiment with when it comes to flavor. Keep in mind they will absorb some flavor.
One difference to note is the natural color of paper is brown. If your filter paper is white, it may have been bleached using various methods and exposed to multiple chemicals. So a better choice would sometimes be to go for unbleached paper filters. This will make a surprising difference in the taste of your coffee!
Metal filters: Usually made from a finely woven wire mesh of stainless steel, the coffee grounds are filtered out due to the mesh, but not the oils, which results in a bold, strong, and heavy-bodied cup of coffee. These are also available in many shapes for various coffee makers. Metal filters are ideal for a rich cup of coffee, as they are not absorbent and last for a very long time.
Nylon filters: These are filters made from fine nylon mesh-mounted onto a plastic basket. Very similar to the metal filters when it comes to filtration qualities, these are also available in various sizes, but nylon filters are cheaper and a little less durable. If less absorption and more coffee oils are what you're looking for, go for nylon filters.
Cloth filters: Made from all-natural fabrics like cotton or muslin, cloth filters can just be placed into the filter basket. The holes in the cloth may differ, some being larger and allowing more coffee grounds through, some being finer and absorbing some coffee oils as well. These also come in multi-packs but are reusable for months.
I hope that answered your question and your next cup of coffee will be filtered exactly as per your preferences!