Get Rid of Paper Filter Mess with
Reusable Coffee Filters

Some people like to use a permanent coffee filter instead of disposable paper filters brewing coffee in drip coffee makers.

Permanent reusable coffee filters do have some advantages over the paper filters, but they have some downsides too, as I'll point out here.

For reviews on reusable coffee filters click here.

Advantages of Permanent Vs
Paper Coffee Filters

Here are some advantages of reusable coffee-filters - and some reservations about some of the points too - versus disposable coffee paper filters.

  • First off, one main reason people decide to switch to metal filters is to save money by buying a one-time filter instead of paper filters that they need to constantly toss away, change and reorder.

    My reservation on this point is that paper filters are not that costly, and you can buy 500 or 1000 packs for just a few dollars. On the other hand, permanent filters do not last forever either, and at the end of the day it's not that much of a saving.

  • Another reason people choose go for metal filters, like stainless steel and mesh coffee filters, is to help save the environment by cutting down on the wastes of paper filters.

  • Permanent coffee filters also spare the mess of paper filters and there's nothing to throw away, save for the used grounds, of course.

    Well, I'm not that much convinced by this argument. On the flip side of the coin, permanent filters need to be rinsed and cleaned thoroughly for all the grounds to come off. This takes some time and effort that you would have spared by using disposable filters.

    By the way, if you intend to put the filters in a dishwasher, make sure it's dishwasher safe.

  • Here's another plus for permanent filters: they are space savers. You don't have to stock up paper filters in your kitchen cabinets. If you are short in cabinet space, this really counts.

  • People who use permanent filters claim that the coffee has a better, richer and more flavorful taste because of the oils of the coffee beans that are getting through to the coffee as opposed to coffee brewed with paper filters that absorb the oils containing the flavors and aromatics of the beans.

    Some people like to compare the taste of permanent-filter coffee somewhat to that of French Press coffee that is known to be richer and more flavorful than drip coffee.

  • Finally, permanent filters are sturdy and stay firm in the coffee maker while paper filters can be a bit tricky to unfold and keep straight without collapsing.

    Some people are even using the reusable filter just for this purpose, to keep the paper filters straight and stable in them. Thus, they use both a paper filter inside a permanent filter, and the primary purpose of the metal filter is to keep the paper filter firm.

    This way, they spare the problems associated with the permanent filter (see the following point), like some coffee grains getting through, that some people don't like. On the other hand, they don't get rid of the problems of paper filters, like managing the mess, taking up cabinet space, and reordering.

  • Now, this one is actually a disadvantage: permanent coffeefilters tend to let through some fine grains or dust of the coffee into your pot, so you may have some grit sitting at the bottom of your last cup of the brew.

    One way to minimize this is to adjust the grind size if you grind your coffee by yourself; however, I'm not really sure this helps. Otherwise, you may just want to avoid drinking the last drops that have the sludge in them.

Permanent Coffee Filters - Some Considerations

Some things to consider when you buy a permanent coffee filter:

  • Make sure that the coffee maker filter fits the particular coffee maker model that you intend to use the filter with.

    Don't discount this point, as many people who buy reusable coffee filters eventually are disappointed to find out that it doesn't fit well into their coffee maker - it may be too large, or too small, or otherwise not the proper size for their coffeemaker - and often it't not worth the price to return it.

  • Permanent coffee filters may be of metal, mesh and stainless steel and parts of it may be of plastic. Some reusable filters have mesh on the sides and solid plastic on the bottom. This may or may not be to your liking, considering that many people don't like to use plastic or heated plastic, but some argue that the plastic on the bottom slows down the water stream through the grounds and so contact and transfer more of the flavors into the cup.

    In any case, read the product descriptions carefully before you buy so that you know whether the permanent coffee filter has some plastic to it.

  • There are flat based basket filters and cone shaped filters. The cone coffee filter is said to make better coffee because the water gets through gradually and manage to pick up more flavors of the coffee along the way resulting in at more tasteful cup of coffee.

So much for the permanent coffee filter discussion. Now let's get to some reviews of reusable coffee filters here.

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