• Ann Allanson

Coffee Filter Snafu: How to Make A Good Cup of Coffee without Them

Updated: Apr 1

Oops! You thought you had another box in the pantry but...it's not there. Worse, it's 6:30 a.m. and your brain is screaming, "Wake me up!"

It's a coffee lover's worst nightmare. No coffee filters and a body that won't settle for morning without it. What do you do?

If you can't wait until you get to your local Staunton coffee shop, here are three different ideas that make a good cup of coffee!

Use A French Press

A French press doesn't require paper filter, so it's a good idea to keep one handy (for emergencies just like this one.) And, if you like to camp, a French press is an excellent coffee making device.

Get A Cloth Filter

If re-stocking filters is a habitual problem, you might as well invest in a cloth filter. It's a great backup and it will trap almost as many grounds and oils as its paper counterpart.

Not only that, but they are reusable so you don't have to sweat it when you run out of paper coffee filters.

Modified Cupping

Jessica Easto, author of Craft Coffee: A Manual has a great idea. Borrow a technique from the coffee professionals. It's called cupping, and it's generally used for coffee tasters. Here's the emergency version.

Add very coarsely ground coffee to a Mason jar, then add hot water. Let it sit for 4 minutes before you "break" the film of coffee grinds on top of the water (using a spoon.) Let the coffee sit for another 4-5 minutes so that the solids will fall to the bottom of the jar. Then pour the liquid through a sieve. That will help collect any particles the jar lid missed. Enjoy!

Loose Leaf Tea Strainer

Coarsely ground coffee doesn't permeate the fine holes in a tea strainer. That makes it a solid back-up option to paper filters. The downside is they can be small so you may only be able to brew 4 ounces at a time. Still, that's enough to hold you until you get to a gourmet coffee shop.

What Not To Do

Thinking about using a paper towel or napkin for your emergency filter? We urge you to resist that idea. It's hard to tell what kind of chemicals were used on them. So avoid!

One more tip. If you're thinking that white coffee filters are bleached with chemicals, so what difference does it make if I use a paper towel? Au contraire.

Today, most white coffee filters are NOT bleached with chemicals. Instead, they are whitened using oxygen. Even coffee pros say white filters let more of coffee's natural flavors through than brown filters.

So feel free to safely use them.

The best way to keep from having to use an alternate form of coffee filters is to keep and extra box or two on hand!

If you do find you're out of filters and out of time, stop by The Coffee Cave. We'll get you fixed up right away. You won't even be late for work!


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