Filter coffee has been around since the early 20th century when the first paper filter was invented in Europe.
The South Indian classic that you may be used to is often attributed to the French as the ones who initially came up with the coffee and chicory combination.
But as time passed, more and more versions of filter coffees have come out with variations ranging from the type of filter to the type of brewing method.
And with each of these, there are some pros and cons; some aspects that make them more suitable to certain people and not so much to others.
Learn about what these filter types are and how you can choose the one that’s ideal for your lifestyle & preferences.
Paper Coffee Filters
These are single-use filters that are thicker than normal paper and coarser to the touch. They are used for brewing coffee in a pour-over jar or in devices like the Aeropress.
Paper coffee filters tend to have crimped sides that slope inward because of the conical shape of the filter. Such a structure allows the decoction to drip down through a concentrated point.
You’ll find both bleached and unbleached versions of these filters. Keep in mind that neither tampers with the taste of your brew. So you can choose either type of coffee filter. The only difference is that the bleached ones will be white in colour.
Many paper filters are also made with some plastic; so they are not as eco-friendly.
What they essentially do is absorb the oils from the ground coffee. This is a good option if you don’t like your coffee to have a somewhat heavier mouthfeel.
Some paper filters may also allow fine particles to drip down with the brew, but you don’t have to worry about your coffee being grainy.
Depending on the type of paper coffee filter you use, you will have to change the ground size of your coffee to achieve the optimum decoction and vice versa.
Metal Coffee Filters
There are several versions of metal coffee filters in the market - stainless steel filters and brass filters.
Some metal filters use mesh to contain the grounds and brew the coffee, whereas others like the Vietnamese coffee filter or the South Indian coffee filter have a metal container with a porous base.
Metal filters are long-lasting and economical. Since you won’t have to keep buying new metal filters regularly, they are good to go for years.
Unlike paper filters, these allow oils to seep into your coffee. So, those who enjoy coffees that are rich in flavour would prefer metal coffee filters because a lot of the flavour profile of the coffee comes from the natural oils present in the grounds.
The only thing you need to consider is keeping it clean. A couple of minutes spent on maintaining the metal coffee filter can mean hassle-free coffees for decades.
Cloth Coffee Filters
The third and last type of coffee filter is the cloth coffee filter. They are made of finely woven cloth and catch all the fine particles but not the oils.
You get to experience high acidity in your coffee when using cloth filters. The coffees made with these aren’t thin as they would be when made with paper filters and also give you a strong brew.
The main thing to remember is that cloth filters are a bit time-consuming to clean because there’s no simple wash and dry. You would have to ensure they don’t have any sediments left in them.
Moreover, they last longer than paper filters but not by a lot. Cloth filters have to be replaced regularly to prevent your coffee from tasting odd.
Now, that you know about the types of coffee filters, you can decide which one works for you.
If you’re looking to get a metal coffee filter, we highly recommend our South Indian coffee filter. It was customised specially for Malgudi Days and is one of our community favourites.