Well, I was in a bit of a pinch with filters, so I tried a Melitta in the ol’ Chemex.
The answer is…yes, you can use Melitta filters in a Chemex, but the fit and performance will be sub-optimal. Melitta filters are usually designed for their own coffee makers or other drip-style coffee makers. Chemex filters, on the other hand, are specifically designed for the Chemex coffee maker and have a thicker, cone-shaped design that is meant to encourage proper extraction.
Melitta filters come in different sizes, mainly 1, 2, 4, and 6, which correspond to the number of cups of coffee they can brew. The most common sizes for home use are 2 and 4. The number indicates the size of the filter and the amount of coffee grounds it can hold.
Melitta filters are usually designed with a flat bottom and fluted sides, while Chemex filters are cone-shaped with thicker, heavier paper. The differences in shape and thickness can affect how well the filters fit and performance when used in a Chemex.
The main reasons Melitta filters don’t fit well in a Chemex are:
- Shape: Chemex filters are designed with a specific shape to ensure even extraction and optimal flow rate through the coffee grounds. The shape of the Melitta filters is different, which can lead to uneven extraction and a less desirable flavor.
- Thickness: Chemex filters are thicker than Melitta filters. The thicker paper in Chemex filters is designed to remove more oils and impurities from the coffee, resulting in a cleaner, brighter cup. Melitta filters are thinner and may not remove as many oils, potentially altering the taste of the coffee.
- Fit: Because of their shape and design, Melitta filters may not fit perfectly into a Chemex coffee maker. The filter may not sit evenly or might slip out of place during brewing, causing an uneven extraction or potential mess.
If you’re in a pinch and only have Melitta filters, you can try using them in a Chemex by folding the filter into a cone shape and placing it inside the Chemex. However, the extraction may not be as even, and you might not get the same taste and clarity that you would get with Chemex filters. It’s always best to use the filters designed for your specific coffee maker to achieve the best results. I certainly would wait until my Chemex filters arrived (usually 2 days on Amazon) for anything high end
While it is possible to use Melitta filters in a Chemex in a pinch, you may not achieve the same quality of coffee you would with Chemex filters. For the best results, it’s recommended to use the filters designed specifically for your coffee maker.