If you’ve ever had to buy your own paper coffee filters, chances are, you’ve stood in the coffee isle of the local supermarket staring at the wall of coffee filters with a slightly confused look on your face.
White or brown? Flat bottom or cone?
While the difference between getting flat bottom or cone filters is a bit more apparent, and is based on the style of coffee machine you have, the difference between white and brown coffee filter might confuse you a bit more.
The Difference between White and Brown Paper Coffee Filter
What makes one set of filters white, and the other brown? Well, the difference is whether the paper itself is bleached or unbleached. That really is the only difference. But, methods of bleaching do vary.
White – The Bleached Paper Coffee Filter
There are two different ways that white paper coffee filter manufacturers bleach their filters, one way being through oxygen, and the other is with chlorine. Of the two, the oxygen method is seen to be more natural, and is usually a sign of a higher quality paper coffee filter. Even though the chlorine method isn’t seen to be as high quality as the oxygen method, there are no negative effects to it.
Brands such as Melitta are known for using oxygen to bleach their white coffee paper filters.
Brown – The Unbleached Paper Coffee Filter
Both Oxygen and chlorine method of bleaching do cause harm to the environment, which is where unbleached filters come into play. Because the process of bleaching coffee filters can have negative effects on the environment, unbleached natural brown paper coffee filters are slowly starting to take over, seeing how their impact on the environment is much less than that of bleached filters.
The only difference in brewing coffee with an unbleached filter, is to make sure that you rinse the filter first with water. Though, it is recommended to rinse every type of coffee filter just before use, as it helps prevent the natural flavor of the filter from seeping into the coffee.
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