Should You Rinse Paper Coffee Filters?

August 22, 2016

Papery flavors, chlorine aftertastes from bleaching... If you're serious about your coffee, these are the things you DO NOT want in it. But did you know those 3 things could be in your filters? No? Well then maybe you might want to do something about it!

Rinsing Paper Coffee Filters

At high-end coffee shops that use artisan brewing methods like pour-over, you’ll see baristas rinsing paper filters before brewing. Why, you may ask? Think about it; most filters didn’t get white all by themselves, they may have been treated with things like bleach to make them white. Without rinsing, filters can give a papery taste to coffee. That is definetly true with lighter roasts. To avoid adding unwanted flavors, do what the pros do and rinse your filter with hot brew water before use. This will help avoid any unwanted flavors and help with the pre-warming of the brewing equipment.

Flavor tainting is more pronounced with cheaper mass-market filters, so you may want to pay a little more specialty filters, such as filters made by Chemex and Krups. You’ll find specialty filters made from bamboo fibers and others which forgo the bleach and use an oxygenating process for whitening.

For drip brewing another option that can be used would be fine meshed re-useable metal filters. They need to be cleaned regularly to remove coffee oil build-up which can go rancid. With metal filters you’ll likely get some sediment in your cup. Some prefer the flavor of paper filtered coffee saying they absorb some of the oils which can cause bitterness.