If you’re using a brewing method that requires a filter, such as the popular pour-over method, you’ve probably wondered which way to go when it comes to paper vs. gold coffee filters. This is because coffee filters don’t just keep the grounds out of your coffee.
Different filters also allow different amounts of coffee oils to end up in your brew, which influences the flavor of your coffee. The more oils, the more flavor. However, coffee oils also contain diterpene compounds, linked to an increase in LDL cholesterol.
So, when it comes to paper vs. gold coffee filters, which do you choose? The answer is that your choice will depend on your priorities. Gold filters last for multiple years and prevent unwanted flavors from landing up in your coffee.
On the other hand, paper filters are cheap and soak up most of the coffee oils and sediment. Here’s some more information if you’re still not sure which filter to go with.
A Short Overview Of Paper And Gold Coffee Filters
Paper filters are available in bleached and unbleached versions, and they also come in different shapes. These include V-shaped for automatic brewers, square-shaped for the Chemex, and basket-shaped for flat-bottom pour overs and some automatic brewers. In addition, they also come in different sizes.
Gold coffee filters are made from stainless steel that is covered by gold plating. Swiss gold coffee filters, for instance, are made from 23/24-karat gold, which makes them more durable.
Real gold plating is also used in these filters since gold doesn’t react with coffee and creates undesirable additional flavors. These filters are produced through an electroforming process and contain a very fine mesh that holds back most of the sediment of the coffee while allowing coffee oils through.
The Health Question
There’s a lot of controversy concerning the health risks vs. health benefits of consuming coffee oils. Coffee contains many different compounds, such as diterpenes, hydrocinnamic acids, and polyphenols.
Diterpenes have been linked to an increase in bad cholesterol. At the same time, the latter two compounds are antioxidants that have many health benefits, including offering protection against type 2 diabetes, cancer, liver diseases, and Alzheimer’s.
Paper filters are far more absorbent than gold filters, which means they prevent a lot of the coffee oils from filtering through into the coffee. Gold filters, on the other hand, allow many of the oils through, including diterpenes.
However, research shows that if you don’t drink excessive coffee daily, raised cholesterol levels should not be a problem. The increased coffee oils that you consume when brewing coffee through gold filters will increase the antioxidants in your diet.
Comparison Between Paper Vs. Gold Coffee Filters
|Paper Filters||Gold Filters|
|Diterpene compounds and other oils are almost entirely absorbed by paper filters.||More diterpene compounds and other oils drip through into the brew.|
|Paper filters are discarded after one use.||You can use gold filters repeatedly.|
|Both unbleached and bleached paper filters produced through chlorine gas-based processing can release unwanted flavors into the coffee brew.||Gold filters are chemically neutral, which means no unwanted flavors enter the coffee.|
|Although paper coffee filters are the least expensive filters, the cost of using these filters adds up over time.||The initial investment in buying a gold filter is much more than with paper filters. However, you can keep a gold filter for many years.|
|Coffee brewed with paper filters has a milder flavor since they absorb a lot of the coffee oils.||Coffee brews made with gold filters have a richer and more intense flavor since they allow more oils through.|
|No cleaning is required. Simply throw the paper filter away.||A gold filter needs to be washed after use.|
What’s Better About Paper Coffee Filters?
Paper filters are the most popular coffee filters because they are cheap to buy and also convenient. No washing is required since you simply throw them away after one use. Also, if you invest in oxygen-bleached or, even better, unbleached coffee filters, the impact on the environment is much reduced.
What’s Better About Gold Coffee Filters?
Since one typically uses a gold filter for many years, they are better for the environment than paper filters. Also, because these filters are chemically neutral, they leave no unwanted flavors behind.
In addition, due to the bleaching process that white paper filters undergo, they may leave behind unwanted chemicals in your brew. With gold filters, you can be assured that no chemicals land up in your coffee.
Who Should Go For Paper Coffee Filters?
If you do not drink coffee regularly or would not like to invest a lot of money in something like a gold coffee filter, paper filters are probably the way to go. If you have cholesterol problems or drink many cups of coffee a day, paper filters may also be advisable. Lastly, paper filters are a good fit for people who prefer a milder cup of coffee.
Who Should Go For Gold Coffee Filters?
Those who prepare coffee daily through a drip method may find it good to invest in a gold coffee filter. Besides the fact that you won’t have to keep buying and throwing away paper filters, gold coffee filters also won’t impart any unwanted flavors into your brews. Gold coffee filters will also suit you well if you prefer a strong and more boldly flavored cup of coffee.