So you’ve decided to do away with paper filters, K-Cups, or capsules.
Congratulations! This is a big step for sustainability and, in many cases, making better coffee.
So, where to start in terms of getting the right reusable filter? At the end of the day, it’s about systems to produce the types of coffee you want and choosing a more sustainable path to extract the kind of coffee you really want.
However, let us not belabor one major point – we strongly favor metal and ceramic filters over other options. Yes, you will run into the occasional Coffee Sock or Appalachian trail hiker plastic Hario lover (and they have their place). But, overall, metal is the best option for several reasons, including ease of cleaning, sustainability, durability, and just plain aesthetics. A sustainable coffee filter is defined by its ability to provide an eco-friendly and long-lasting solution for brewing coffee without harming the environment. Metal and ceramic reusable filters are excellent options for sustainable coffee filters. Metal filters made from stainless steel or other food-grade metals are durable, easy to clean, and can withstand repeated use. They are also compatible with various coffee makers and do not require any special equipment to use. Additionally, metal filters allow more coffee oils and flavors to pass through, resulting in a richer, fuller taste. Ceramic filters, on the other hand, are also a great sustainable option as they are made from natural materials and can be reused indefinitely. They do not alter the taste of coffee and are easy to clean. They also do not require paper filters, which can take years to decompose and contribute to waste. Both metal and ceramic reusable filters are excellent choices for sustainable coffee filters as they are durable, easy to clean, and eliminate the need for disposable filters, contributing to a more sustainable future.
Durability is a crucial factor that makes reusable metal and ceramic filters a superior choice over plastic and paper filters. Metal filters are made of high-quality stainless steel, which means they are built to last and withstand high temperatures and pressure. n addition, the ability to use them thousands of times means you will save money over using paper filters.
Aesthetics also play a role in the choice of filters. While paper and plastic filters are often white and indistinguishable, ceramic and metal filters come in various colors and designs. They can add a touch of elegance and style to your coffee setup, making them an excellent choice for those who want to elevate the aesthetics of their coffee brewing experience.
Now that we’ve gotten that out let’s talk about what kind of coffee you like. We’ll focus on a few techniques, pourover, press, drip, espresso, and cold brew, and look at options. We’ve tested and love these options, so we only recommend what we think makes sense here.
Pourover-style coffee is a method of brewing coffee where hot water is poured over a bed of ground coffee, allowing for a slow and controlled extraction of the coffee’s flavor and aroma. This method produces a clean and balanced cup of coffee with little to no sediment or bitter flavors. The pourover technique is generally the choice for tasting small lot and specialty coffees (sometimes known as 3rd wave). Pourover brewing is a visually appealing method, and it has a lovely aesthetic as a daily ritual at home.
The Chemex Coffeemaker is a pour-over coffee maker made of non-porous borosilicate glass, which means it won’t absorb any odors or chemical residues. The Chemex’s unique design allows for a slower and more controlled pour, which results in a cleaner and brighter cup of coffee. The Chemex, with the Able KONE metal filter, is sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, and makes fantastic coffee
The Hario V60 is a pour-over coffee maker made of durable plastic or ceramic and features a unique spiral ridged design that allows for maximum coffee expansion and better flavor extraction. The V60 is also known for its large cone shape, which gives more room for the coffee to expand and bloom, and its small hole at the bottom helps to control the flow rate of the water, which ensures a better extraction. Add a metal filter and a system that makes tasty and sustainable coffee.
Both the Chemex and the Hario V60 offer a simple and elegant way to brew a delicious and clean cup of coffee. They are easy to use, clean, and transportable, making them excellent options for coffee enthusiasts and travelers alike. Whether a coffee connoisseur or a casual coffee drinker, a pour-over style coffee maker is a great addition to any kitchen, and the Chemex Coffeemaker and Hario V60 are excellent choices.
Here’s my trusty Chemex making an epic specialty gesha:
Press and French Press
French press coffee, also known as cafetiere or coffee plunger, is a method of brewing coffee where coarsely ground coffee is steeped in hot water and then separated from the water by a metal or nylon mesh filter. French press coffee is known for its full-bodied and rich flavor and ability to retain the coffee’s natural oils, giving it a distinct taste.
Simply add coarsely ground coffee to the carafe, pour in hot water, wait for 4 minutes, press the plunger to the bottom, and enjoy your delicious cup of coffee. Clean-up is also easy. Rinse with warm water, and it’s ready for the next use.
For us, the Bodum Chambord is tough to beat. It’s a classic French press coffee maker made of high-quality, heat-resistant borosilicate glass and stainless steel. I’ve had one for 25 years, and it still works great. The Chambord features a unique three-part stainless steel mesh filter that allows for a complete flavor extraction, and its double-wall construction keeps the coffee hot for longer. The Chambord also features a sleek and elegant design, with various colors and sizes available, making it a great addition to any kitchen. In addition, it’s not especially expensive, and it’s easy to make a coffee for a guest even if you go a different route.
Another great choice is Aeropress. Aeropress is a manual pressurized brewing system that allows you to brew coffee under high pressure, resulting in a clean and flavorful cup of coffee. However, it’s not a filterless system. As an Aeropress owner, I’ve found a great solution. The Able Disk filter is a reusable stainless steel filter compatible with the Aeropress and is known for providing a clean and sediment-free cup of coffee. The Able Disk filter is durable, easy to clean, and a sustainable alternative to paper filters. Combining the Aeropress with the Able Disk filter will provide a convenient, easy, and sustainable way of brewing coffee, and it’s an excellent option for coffee enthusiasts, travelers, and those who want a delicious cup of coffee without the hassle of complicated brewing equipment.
Stovetop Espresso / Moka Pot
Prefer the taste and texture of espresso but don’t have the space or budget for a machine? Go for a Moka Pot. Moka Pots, a stovetop espresso maker, are an excellent choice for coffee lovers who want to brew a robust and rich cup of coffee at home. They are easy to use, require very little skill, are compact and portable, and are relatively inexpensive and durable. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or a casual coffee drinker, a Moka Pot is an excellent addition to any kitchen. They are great for camping as well. Best of all, they have a built-in metal basket, so they do not require reusable filters.
One of the main advantages of using a Moka Pot is that it is easy to use and requires very little skill or experience. Fill the bottom chamber with water, add ground coffee to the filter basket, and place it on the stovetop. The brewing process is quick, taking only a few minutes, and the result is a delicious cup of coffee that can be enjoyed black or with milk and sugar.
Another benefit of using a Moka Pot is its compact size and portability. These coffee makers come in various sizes, from small single-serving models to larger ones that can brew several cups at once. This makes them an excellent choice for those who are short on space or want to take their Moka Pot on the go.
For what’s it worth, I think for daily espresso drinkers, a quality machine is worth it and pays itself back, especially if you can replace going to a café. have ownership experience with just two espresso machines, so this isn’t an espresso machine review site (ha ha though I would LOVE to do that). However, after my wife and I spent a summer in Italy, we bought a La Spaziale Lucca A53 from Clive Coffee, and my lord, it is fantastic.
I have two Moka Pots, an Alessi Pulcina that’s so beautiful I almost feel bad using it, and an inexpensive Pingrui pot that works just fine. That’s my Pingrui there.
Drip Coffee Machines
Replacing your drip coffee filter with a metal basket is a great option. It’s more sustainable. We won’t go into the details here, but ensure you find one that fits your machine.
OK, not metal! Cold brew coffee is a method of brewing coffee where ground coffee is steeped in cold water for an extended period, usually 12-24 hours. This method produces a smooth and low-acidity coffee that is perfect for hot summer days or those sensitive to acidity. I’d make an exception if you wanted to use nylon here if you made it a lot. Since it’s easier to clean, you’d save lots of water. Otherwise, get a Coffee Sock or use a muslin-type bag. The Coffee Sock, though we make fun of it a little bit, is an excellent option as it’s reusable, easy to use, and clean. In addition, the Coffee Sock is made of a durable that can withstand high pressure. It’s also easy to clean and can be washed by hand or machine.
Alright, so there you have it! Our guide for moving from paper filters or capsules to better, more sustainable coffee. Think of how many filters you’ll keep out of the landfill or compost! Good luck, and let us know how it goes!