Coffee Filter using brown paper feature

Do You Need a Coffee Filter for a Percolator? What You Need To Know

Do you need a coffee filter for a percolator? Yes, you need a coffee filter when brewing coffee with a percolator.

Regardless of the type of coffee you want to brew, it’s essential to use a filter to ensure that you make sweeter and smooth coffee.

Most coffee filters are permanent in the coffeemaker, while others, like paper filters, are removable.

While both coffee filters are great for a percolator, they deliver different results.

A paper filter can help you achieve a very smooth and cholesterol-free coffee drink.

do you need a coffee filter for percolator

Permanent filters are also useful for filtering out the coffee ground residue, but they may not filter oils and bad cholesterol from the coffee.

If you enjoy clean and smooth coffee with zero residues, then paper filters are your best bet.

How Was the Coffee Filter Invented?

Invented in 1908 by a German mother of two, the coffee filter is a creative way to make sweeter and smooth coffee.

The German mother wanted to achieve a better cup of coffee with less broth or coffee grind residue. After trying a gust of creative inspiration, she came up with a simple solution.

Her solution was a metal disc with small holes covered with paper and then went further to get a patent design to revolutionize the coffee preparation method. This is where the coffee filter was born.

Coffee filters help reduce the cholesterol level in your cup of coffee by filtering out the cafestol, a cholesterol component found in coffee.

With a coffee filter, you can brew better-flavored coffee with any coffee grind. You will be able to obtain clean coffee without the ground residue.

However, when brewing coffee with a percolator, some coffee grounds may go through the holes in the in-built filter, and they will end up in the final product.

A built-in or permanent percolator coffee filter may not be the best filter for clean and smooth coffee.

Therefore, if you feel that your percolator does not produce as clean coffee as you desire, you can invest in coffee paper filters.

Paper Filter vs Permanent Filter

When it comes to the percolator’s filtration system, you can use a paper filter or the permanent filter built in the percolator.

But not all percolator coffee makers come with a built-in filter. Hence, you will have to use a paper filter to sieve your coffee.

Paper Filters

Most coffee enthusiasts prefer paper filters because they are more sanitary and make the cleaning process much easier.

They are also potentially healthier than various studies reveal that paper filters play a critical role in eliminating the cholesterol-raising component in coffee.

Paper Coffee Filter

The major problem with using paper filters is the regular cost incurred in purchasing them.

It’s also quite tricky to find a reliable supplier who can offer you high-quality paper filters consistently.

Read More:

How Much Coffee To Use In A Percolator

Types of Paper Filters

Coffee filter papers can either be natural brown white. But there are some brands like Melitta that have developed unique coffee filters made from bamboo.

Whether white or natural brown, paper filters perform the same. However, you should avoid cheap filters as they can negatively impact your coffee’s taste.

Cheap filters can transfer foreign flavors and promote under extraction or over extraction.

Another drawback of using cheap coffee paper filters is that they can easily cause a mess by bursting or clogging.

To avoid all these issues, it’s crucial to purchase high-quality and reliable coffee filters for brewing clean coffee.

Here are the types of coffee paper filters that you can use:

White Filters

The natural color for all papers is brown. So, white papers are simply bleached filter papers.

White filters are well-processed and bleached with chlorine or oxygen to achieve the white color. Most of them are perfectly safe to use.

Some people also wonder if the white filters can affect the taste of your coffee.

The truth is, white coffee filters don’t interfere with the taste of your coffee, as they use very little bleach that cannot leech into your cup of coffee.

White Paper Coffee Filter

If you have been drinking unfiltered coffee or use a permanent coffee maker filter, you can try the white filters to enjoy clean and sweeter coffee.

Nonetheless, it’s always important to consider the quality and check how the filter papers are made before buying them.

In this case, oxygen filters are considered the best and more natural and higher quality white coffee filters.

Natural Brown Filters

These are unbleached coffee filter papers. They are eco-friendly but should always be rinsed before using them.

As with the white filter papers, natural brown filter papers do not interfere with the taste of your coffee.

However, some people feel that they don’t make a better cup of coffee compared to white filter papers. That’s why they are less purchased than bleached filters.

Natural brown papers are less processed, hence brown. It’s recommended to wet or rinse them with water before using them to get the most out of these filter papers.

Bamboo Filters

These coffee papers are made from 40% bamboo, and they have patented flavor improving technology.

The good thing with bamboo is that it’s a renewing resource that grows back soon after it’s cut. This means that bamboo is quite friendly to the environment.

What is the Best Size of a Paper Filter?

Whether you choose bleached, unbleached, or bamboo filter papers, it’s important to ensure that they are of the right size.

The best coffee filters shouldn’t be too thick or too thin. Very thin coffee filters will let the water pass faster, which will result in under extraction.

Too thick coffee filter papers will limit the water flow and lead to over extraction. You will end up with a bitter cup of coffee.

Permanent Filters

The best thing about using permanent coffee filters is that you won’t have to worry about replacing the filters.

While a package of paper filters will only cost you less than $5, it will be expensive compared to a permanent coffee filter in a percolator that doesn’t need to be replaced.

Most coffee lovers who have used permanent and paper filters reveal that the metal filters produce darker coffee than the paper filters.

The filter part of the percolator is located on the tube and is usually a perforated chamber built with a lid.

Permanent coffee filters are designed to have either a cone or basket shape.

Cone Filters

Cone coffee filters come in different sizes that are selected by a number. The numbers correspond to various coffee makers. For instance;

Size filter one fits one-cup electric coffee makers, number two fits about two to six-cup coffee electric makers.

Basket Coffee Filters

Basket coffee filters are designed for large coffee makers. They usually fit all six to twelve-cup basket-style coffee makers.

There are also junior baskets, which are designed for four to six-cup coffee makers. 

Both cone and basket coffee filters are durable and very easy to clean up.

When buying a permanent coffee filter for your coffee maker, it’s essential to ensure that you go for the right size that will fit your percolator.

Paper vs Permanent: Which Filter is Better?

chemex with coffee filter

Whether you use paper or a permanent filter in a percolator, you will make a richer cup of coffee. It all depends on your preference.

If you like drinking much finer coffee, then you will want to use a paper filter. Along with giving strong and smooth coffee, paper filters will make the cleaning easy.

A permanent percolator coffee filter is the best option if you are after a cheaper way of filtering coffee, and you don’t mind the sediment at the bottom of the coffee cup.

How to Keep Coffee Grounds Out of Percolator with a Paper Filter

There are two main ways to use paper filters in a percolator to filter your brewed coffee.

First, you can filter coffee through a paper filter after brewing your coffee. To do this, pour your hot coffee into a cup through a paper filter after brewing it in a percolator.

The other way is using the paper filter in the percolator all through the brewing process. In this case, you will need a filter that fits the percolator and use it during the brewing process.

Some of the best paper filters to use when brewing coffee in a percolator includes the Disc Paper Filters by Melitta. They are made of high quality, yet very affordable.

Coffee Filter Alternatives

1. Paper Towel

Paper towel is one of the easiest and readily available coffee filter alternatives. Almost every home has a paper towel.

Converting a paper towel into a coffee filter involves a few steps. Simply fold the paper into two halves and fold the already folded paper into the two halves.

Use your fingers to form a porch that will hold the beans at the center.

Only you have to ensure the paper towel is not treated with chemicals. Moreover, paper towels can easily break when exposed to hot water. So, ensure the water is below the boiling points.

2. Reusable Tea Bag

If you are a tea drinker, then there are high chances you have a few unused tea bags in your house.

The good news is that you can use a reusable tea bag as a coffee filter.

To use them at home, add the correct ratio of finely ground coffee in the bag, seal it entirely, and throw it into the mug with hot water. Leave it to steep, and there you have it!

3. A Wire Mesh Filter

This is one of the best coffee filter alternatives when it comes to reusability. You don’t have to throw it away after use since it can be washed and used again.

The fine wire mesh filter will hold your coffee ground content over a collecting mug as you pour hot water.

The only disadvantage of this filter is that a few coffee grains may find their way into the coffee. However, to go around the problem, you can use clean cheesecloth over the mesh.

4. Napkin or Towel

The napkin or dishcloth is perfect in filtering if you use them in the correct procedure. Take a clean piece of dishcloth or napkin and place it over a mug or a collecting container.

To ensure the cloth does fall into the mug, you can tie it around the mug using a rubber band. Leave it to sag a little bit into the container. Place your coffee contents on the cloth and pour your hot water.

5. Old T-Shirt

While the T-shirt is also another great option, it has to be clean and if you don’t intend to wear it again.

Filtered Coffee


The presence of residue at the bottom of a coffee cup is a common criticism of percolator brewing.

Fortunately, it’s easy to correct this issue by using a filter when brewing coffee with a percolator.

You need to use external filters such as paper filters to achieve a smooth texture. Be sure to buy the filters that fit your percolator to make an excellent percolator coffee filter.

While deciding the best coffee filter between bleached and unbleached, it all depends on personal preferences.

Unbleached coffee filters are the best when it comes to Eco-friendliness, and they do not introduce the papery taste into the coffee.

Bleached paper filters are the most commonly used and they are more processed than the brown filters. They also don’t interfere with your coffee’s taste.

Coffee percolators came with in-built filters. However, these filters allow some grounds to pass into the brewed coffee.

To avoid this, you can use other filters with the percolator.

Paper filters can also remove some bad coffee elements like cafestol that are not good for people with a high level of cholesterol.

Yes. Percolators can use filters, even though they come with their metal filters.

These metal filters are not the best since they allow some coffee components like oils to go into the coffee.

You can choose to use paper filters on your percolator for better brewing, tastier and healthier coffee.

This type of coffee filter mainly prevents oils and other coffee sediments from getting into coffee.

When used in a percolator, these coffee filters will fold around the coffee grounds. This makes it easy to remove the sediments and clean the percolator.

Final Thoughts

While some people prefer to drink their percolator coffee unfiltered, coffee filters can yield much brighter and smooth coffee.

Paper filters deliver sweet coffee as they filter out heavy coffee oils and cholesterol components.

If you are wondering whether you need a coffee filter for a percolator, the simple answer is yes. You need a coffee filter to obtain sweeter and smooth coffee with no bad cholesterol. 

Similar Posts