Stainless Steel vs. Paper Pour Over Filters

Stainless Steel vs. Paper Pour Over Filters:  What Tastes Best?

When I first began making pour overs for my morning ritual, I used paper filters. I bought them on Amazon, at Target and even at Krogers. Sometimes I found the paper filters at T.J.Maxx and quickly snatched them up. As time went on I became concerned with the expense of paper filters. So, I bought a metal filter, stainless-steel, for my pour overs.

I discovered a big change in how my coffee tasted in the cup when using the stainless-steel filter. There are several factors that can affect what you taste in the cup, such as grind size and water quality. When it comes to your filter, it’s really a matter of personal preference. Let’s discuss the details below.

The purpose of the filter is to keep out ground coffee from the cup. But what’s the difference between the paper and stainless-steel filters?

Paper filters strain out the oils and sediment, ground coffee particles, resulting in a clean and bright cup of coffee. You’ll probably taste more specific flavor notes as there is little residue in the cup. You won’t see oils swirling around on top of your coffee and when you take your last sip, there will be no coffee grinds in the bottom of your cup. It’s clean and crisp!

The cons to paper filters are obviously cost and waste. If you select a paper filter, opt for one that can be composted.

Now, let’s consider metal filters. Most metal filters are made of stainless-steel and can be used over and over again. You’ll find that metal pour over coffee filters allow some oils and sediment to end up in your cup. That’s not always a bad thing. The oils and sediment are responsible for the fuller mouthfeel and deeper flavors you’ll experience in the cup. Drinking coffee from a metal filter is a little like drinking coffee from a French Press.

When it comes to clean-up, the metal filter is harder to clean. I throw the ground coffee in my garden and rinse the mesh until it’s totally clean from oils and residue.

Coffee is a full sensory experience, from preparation to consumption. You’ll enjoy the smell of ground coffee and the aroma while it’s brewing or steeping.  Coffee has rich colors and the feel of coffee in your mouth makes it so interesting. Coffee has over 650 aromatic compounds in the natural oils. Depending on the coffee’s origin, you will taste and smell a variety of deliciousness such as vanilla, fig, jasmine, dark chocolate, cinnamon, lemon and a host of other exciting flavors.

When it comes to coffee filters, it’s really a matter of taste and personal preference. I like to have both paper and stainless-steel coffee filters on hand, depending on what I wish to taste in the cup that day.