Can You Use A Napkin As A Coffee Filter?

This article answers, “Can you use a napkin as a coffee filter?” and provides instructions on how to do so.

Can you use a napkin as a coffee filter?
Napkins can be used as a coffee filter

Most coffee lovers make at least one cup of coffee at home. If you are among this crowd and use a standard coffee machine, you will need a filter to make your cup of joe. If you run out of filters, it can be a ruinous start to your day.

However, you need not let this happen. There are other ways of filtering your coffee. The first thing you should do is take stock of what is in your home.

If you have any level of domestication, you will have napkins. These are an adequate substitute for your morning brew.

Can You Use A Napkin As A Coffee Filter? The Advantages And Disadvantages

A brown paper napkin on a wooden surface
Using a napkin as a coffee filter is easy and straightforward

A napkin or a paper towel should be your first backup option for a coffee filter. The process of using this product is straightforward and requires little knowledge or skill. Perhaps the most significant advantage of using a napkin as a coffee filter is that you will have to change very little in your coffee-making process.

Using a napkin is similar to using a standard coffee filter. The only difference is that you will need to substitute the former for the latter.

The other great thing about a napkin is that it is composed of refined weaves, which will enable you to find some of the finest coffee grounds with ease. In addition, it will leave no coffee mud at the bottom of your mug.

There are, however, disadvantages of using napkins as coffee filters. Perhaps the biggest downside is the risk you take of destroying the napkin and your coffee when you pour water through the former.

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03/08/2024 01:55 am GMT

A napkin is made to absorb tiny bits of liquid. It is not designed to withstand a deluge of water poured through it. Therefore, there is a possibility that the napkin may come apart when used as a filter and that pieces of it will end up in your cup of coffee. You should use the highest quality napkin if you plan to substitute it for a proper coffee filter.

How To Use A Napkin As A Coffee Filter

Here is how to turn your napkin into a coffee filter:

1. Take the napkin and lay it flat.

2. Fold it vertically in half.

3. Fold it in another half until it is square.

4. Line your drip basked with the napkin and put it into your mug.

5. Put two tablespoons of coffee inside.

6. Pour, slowly and gradually, a cup of lukewarm water over the coffee grounds.

7. Once the water seeps through, remove the drip basket from the mug and discard the napkin and the coffee grounds.

Know The Differences

microns in a coffee filter
Coffee filters and napkins differ in what they’re made of

Before you proceed with this substitution, you should know the differences between a napkin and a proper coffee filter. Coffee filters are made out of woven mesh cloth. This cloth is stretched across a perforated circular metal frame in the coffee machine.

On the other hand, a napkin is made from a sheet of absorbent cellulose pulp that is dried on sheets of paper. It is made to wipe down surfaces. It is not shaped or designed to stretch across the metal frame of the coffee maker.

You should also be warned that a napkin that has been bleached in any way may alter the taste of your coffee. If your napkins are embroidered or contain glitter or other types of particulate, you should not use them. In this instance, it is better to use a paper towel.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.