After buying a fancy new coffee machine, the next choice you must make is deciding between using the gold plated reusable filter the machine probably came with, or using paper filters. While both metal and paper coffee filters serve the same purpose, the results both yield are pretty different.
Paper Coffee Filter – White and Brown in Color
Paper coffee filters come in two main styles: white and brown in color.
White coffee filters are made with bleached paper, and brown ones are made with unbleached paper.
Other than color, these two paper filter varieties brew coffee that pretty much tastes identical. The only difference when it comes to brewing, is that brown coffee filters should be rinsed with warm water before use. You may read my article Difference between White and Brown Paper Coffee Filter to know more.
Some pros of using paper filters, is that you don’t need to wash it after every use, they are cheap, and the coffee that is brewed through them is very clean, meaning that there is no sediment that will make its way into your cup.
Some will even say that paper filters are more sanitary than using a metal coffee filter, as it can just be discarded after use, with no worry about bacteria buildup.
Though, despite how convenient paper coffee filters are, their use can take a toll on the environment, especially bleached filters.
Even though paper filters are 100% biodegradable, it doesn’t matter if the user just throws them into the trash can after use, as opposed to into a compost bin.
Gold Tone Permanent Coffee Filter
Despite being called “gold” coffee filters, reusable metal filters are not made out of gold, but are actually just gold plated in some cases.
Metal coffee filters are great for people who don’t want to deal with having to buy filters every so often for their coffee machine. Because the mesh on this type of filter isn’t as fine as a paper filter, the coffee yielded can be more flavorful, as it allows more of the coffee’s natural oils to make their way into the cup, similar to a French press.
Gold coffee filters, most of the time, come free with whichever coffee machine, meaning you don’t need to buy anything else to brew, besides coffee of course.
Another reason why reusable metal filters are great, is because they help reduce the amount of paper waste in landfills when used instead of paper filters.
Downside of Gold Tone Metal Coffee Filters
One of the downsides of metal filters, is that they must be washed after every use. And by washed, I mean with soap and water, not just rinsed off. This is because the oils in the coffee grounds will stay attached to the metal filter, meaning they can go rancid after a short while, and will greatly effect the flavor of the coffee.
For those looking for a super clean cup of coffee, a metal filter is not for you, seeing how the bigger spacing in the filter itself allow for more oils and smaller coffee grounds to make their way into the cup.
Years ago when I first got into brewing coffee, I started off using the family coffee pot, and a gold filter, because I didn’t own any paper ones. It was after accidentally leaving the gold filter unwashed in the machine, did I decide that paper filters are the way to go.
In the end, personal preference matters more than anything when it comes to making coffee.
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