Read on Fikanyc‘s post following to understand more about Bleached Vs Unbleached Coffee Filters.
Coffee filters might not be your top priority when brewing coffee, but how else are you supposed to enjoy your coffee without using something to separate the grounds from the liquid coffee? These disposable utensils can either make or break your drink, so it’s essential to choose the right type before you start brewing.
Coffee filters come in different varieties but for this article, we’ll focus on the most widely used type: paper. There are two kinds of paper filter, bleached and unbleached. They are technically the same, but the difference in manufacture has created a divide among coffee lovers. To find out more about how these two paper filters differ, just keep reading!
Bleached Vs Unbleached Coffee Filters
To make paper filters appear white, they are bleached using either chlorine or oxygen bleach. Although chlorine isn’t necessarily toxic in very small amounts, it does affect the environment negatively, which is why a lot of brewers tend to steer clear from this variant. Instead, they go for oxygen-bleached filters that are safer to use, but at a higher price.
Filters come in different shapes and sizes, but the most commonly used is the no. 4 size filter that fits most pour-over kettles and electric coffee makers. A great example of a no. 4 white filter is the Technivorm Moccamaster #4 White Paper Filter. This is made of high-quality paper material and is oxygen-bleached, so it’s guaranteed safer to brew with.
Unbleached coffee filters skip the bleaching phase to reduce harm to the environment, which is why it retains its natural brown color. Unfortunately, it does have an unpleasant papery taste. To prevent this from happening, simply rinse your filter at least once or twice with hot water.
Unbleached filters also come in no. 4 size filters, but if you’re using a standard coffee maker, a basket paper filter is a more suitable option. The Melitta Unbleached Basket Coffee Filter can contain up to 8-12 cups worth of coffee grounds. They are thicker and more resistant to tear as well, since unbleached filters have undergone less manufacturing processes than its bleached counterpart.
Does bleaching affect the flavor?
A lot of people think of this as a fact, but it’s actually just a myth! Bleaching does not, in any way, alter the flavor of your brewed coffee. Whether you choose a bleached or unbleached coffee filter, the taste will be virtually the same unless you change the brewing method or add different ingredients that can significantly change the coffee’s flavor.
Which is more eco-friendly?
There’s no denying that unbleached coffee filters are friendlier to the environment than bleached filters. The chemicals used in bleaching, especially chlorine, are pretty harmful to our environment, so it’s understandable why most brewers choose oxygen bleached ones instead. Although it does use sodium percarbonate, this compound is milder and still does the same job as chlorine. So if you’re conscious about how your consumables affect Mother Earth, unbleached filters should be your go-to.
So, which is better? As cliche as this may sound, it all depends on your personal preferences. Bleached filters are a bit cheaper and don’t have a papery taste, but chlorine bleaching has a negative impact on your surroundings. On the other hand, unbleached filters have a thicker material and are eco-friendly, but you’ll need to rinse them first before brewing. If you’re still not sure which one to pick, then why don’t you try them both? This way, you’ll have a more objective feedback and be able to come up with a more informed decision.