Coffee Filters - Paper VS Metal
The baristas in our roastery are often asked about paper vs. metal filters when manual brewing. Most manual brewers like the Chemex, Aeropress and even the Mocca-master have metal/ alternative filter options available as an add-on.
We’re going to quickly explain the difference between each so you’re more informed and can make an educated decision for yourself and your manual brewing.
What’s so good about Paper filters?
Paper filters produce a brighter, sweeter cup of coffee with little or no sediment or oils. This is because the paper filter absorbs a lot of the coffee oils & coffee fines that contribute to the flavour and body of your coffee. Whilst paper filters do absorbed a percentage of the oils found within coffee, you will still get a brighter and sweeter tasting brew as compared to a metal filter.
Are Metal Filters Better?
Metal filters produce a richer, fuller body and visually darker cup of coffee. Using a metal filter produces a coffee which contains more oils as they aren’t able to be absorbed by the filter like they are with a paper filter. A metal filter also tends to produce small amounts of sediment (fines) at the bottom of your brew.
Are paper coffee filters bad for the environment?
Another thing to consider is the impact on the environment, metal filters may initially be a larger investment, but if well looked after they will be with you for years and years. Paper filters are a far smaller investment, but can only be used once before they need to be thrown away. For those with a compost at home, your paper filters can go in there and decompose ready to make your garden super happy.
You decide 🤷🏽♀️
Paper is a renewable resource, and if manufactured correctly has less of an environmental impact than the Non renewable resource like steel. Having said that, Stainless steel is highly recycled in Australia, so we think it comes down to personal preference.
Camping with coffee filters
After several trips away this year (WA is such a big state that being locked in isn’t too bad) we have decided that we think metal filters are easier to use. Rinsing paper filters while your trying not to spill the hot water on you feel and dropping it into the dirt is a stress we didn’t need (maybe we are a little more uncoordinated than most 😜) Our suggestion is to carry some emergency papers just incase you loose you metal disk.
Both metal and paper filters are great and ultimately it comes down to your own personal preference. If you like a more robust full bodied coffee then a metal filter may be the way to go. Light, Bright and sweet cup - keep brewing with paper and get yourself a compost bin so your filters & coffee grinds can go to good use.
Happy Brewing, stay Grouchy