Here I will explain why using a coffee filter is recommended for a better tasting cup of home brewed coffee. While a filter is not required, depending on your coffee brewing method of choice, it is quite difficult to get around if your preferred brewing method is the typical auto-drip coffee maker.
Yes, some auto-drip coffee makers will come with a metal mesh basket, but the actual paper filter is the better choice.
The paper filter removes, or holds the coffee grounds, also could be called the filtration factor.
One of the main reasons to use a paper coffee filter in the auto-drip is that the filter it keeps the coffee grounds out of your cup, yes, this is obvious. A paper coffee filter is helpful in trapping unwanted particles and the oils that are released from the coffee grounds when brewing. The result is a very smooth cup of coffee. The paper filter can slightly alter, or improve, the taste of the coffee, but the filter makes it much easier to drink when it is a nice smooth coffee.
When coffee is brewed in an auto-drip (or most other methods) ,the hot water releases part of the coffee acids, and sugars that can cause the coffee to be a little bitter. Some will say this alters the coffee away from the true coffee taste, but the smoother coffee is just better. The filter also keeps out the grounds, unless you put the filter in the auto-drip incorrectly, which will result in a whole lot of grounds in your coffee. Nobody wants that kind of coffee.
Using a coffee filter gives you a smooth and cleaner-tasting cup of home brewed coffee without the bitterness or unwanted debris that could be in the auto-drip water reservoir or in the coffee grounds.
The paper filter is thin enough to allow the brewed coffee to auto-drip through into the coffee pot. Flavors, caffeine, and color pass through the paper filter so you have a cleaner coffee flavor and aroma. The metal mesh coffee filters tend to stain and hold the bitterness over time which can end up in your cup of coffee. Use the metal filter as a last resort, even though it came with your coffee maker.
When using a paper coffee filter (bleached or unbleached) removes the bitter flavors and allows the real coffee flavor to pass into the glass coffee pot. For taste improvement when using a paper coffee filter you can rinse the paper filter before adding the grounds. Some home brew experts say that rinsing the filter removes the paper taste. You’ll have to test with and without rinsing and see if it makes a taste difference to you. It is a extra step, and, if you cannot tell the difference, then go with the dry filter.
The paper coffee filter is a mess-free way to brew coffee at home. Other coffee brewing methods take the coffee grounds without the option for a filter. Cleaning the coffee maker, such as the French Press, or percolator can be messy with the wet grounds. The filter traps the wet grounds and makes it easy to clean up the coffee maker so you can quickly make another much needed cup of coffee. The filter saves precious coffee drinking time.
Also, using a paper coffee filter can make your coffee maker last longer. The coffee grounds can clog parts of the coffee maker. The trapped grounds can make your coffee brew slower. In an auto-drip, the water can leave minerals in the coffee machine. The filter helps to trap the minerals and build up. Most auto-drip coffee makers benefit from a descaling every few months, depending on how often you make coffee. Use a paper coffee filter when descaling the machine so you can see all of the build up that is released when descaling the machine. Not the kind of stuff you want ending up in your morning cup of coffee. Thanks to using a coffee filter, you will not have this grit in your precious brew.
A few good reasons to use a paper coffee filter, but you should still do a comparison between the bleached coffee filter, the unbleached coffee filter, and the metal mesh coffee filter. Go with what tastes best to you as all three types of filters make clean up easy.
About Mr. WeGotCoffee
We Got Coffee is where I share all of my coffee obsessions, meal prep guides and recipes for things that pair well with coffee. I also throw in lots of humor and caffeinated wisdom. Read More...