Best Chemex Filters (Paper, Metal, Reusable)

what do you think of when you think of chemex coffee? probably a light body, crisp flavors and a clean cup. What if I told you that it has more to do with the filter than with the coffee maker? It is true! you can change the style of your chemex preparation simply by changing the filter.

So when it comes to filters and chemex alternatives, it’s not about which is objectively better. it’s all about which one makes the coffee you enjoy. You’ll want to see our top pick for that classic clean mug, but we think it’s worth keeping a few alternatives on hand, too. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. learn about them all in this roundup of the best chemex filters.

Reading: Best metal coffee filter

7 best filters for chemex in 2022

Whether you like the crisp cup of a paper filter or the full body of a metal filtered brew, there’s a chemex-compatible option. we’ve rounded up seven of the best in all styles and materials. Regardless of your choice, our team of experts is testing something.

Before you start, make sure you know how to use a chemex.

if you have a chemex, it’s worth having a set of classic chemex filters (1). These double bonded paper coffee filters are 20 to 30 percent thicker than traditional paper filters, giving Chemex coffee its recognizable light body and complex flavors. The thicker paper absorbs more coffee oils and locks in all the coffee grounds, for a remarkably smooth and clean cup, according to Chemex.

The classic chemex filter is available in bleached white or natural brown. It has been noted that natural brown filters can hint at a papery or woody taste in brewed coffee. so if you want to go that route, we recommend giving them a good pre-rinsing in hot water before adding ground coffee, especially if you’re making a lighter coffee with subtle flavors.

Chemex coffee filters are generally more expensive than standard melitta or hario style paper filters, up to two to three times the price per filter paper. this is a direct result of thicker chemex filters and the use of a different fiber blend. they have a premium feel and are priced accordingly.

In addition to brewing a different style of coffee, metal coffee filters are cheaper and create less waste than paper filters. If you’re a fan of metal coffee filters, we love the capable Kone. able brewing is a renowned american coffee company that specializes in reusable metal filters, and the kone for chemex is their flagship product (2). because the wire mesh does not retain the oils of the coffee, it produces a heavy-bodied cup with a rich mouthfeel.

Unlike many metal coffee filters made from a simple metal mesh, the kone is made from a single piece of stainless steel that has been photochemically etched with a pattern of holes. and that pattern is no coincidence. engineering models were used to determine that its specific pattern of square and round holes is the best way to promote even flow of water through the coffee grounds. a polymer ring at the top of the cone allows it to sit comfortably in your coffee maker.

the capable kone is impressively versatile. Not only does it fit all sizes of Chemex carafes, but you can use it in many of the best drip coffee machines, including the 8 ratio, Technivorm Moccamaster, and Bonavita coffee makers. read home grounds’s review of the kone metal filter for more information.

the aace living metal pour-over strainer is an economical alternative to the able kone. Even if you don’t have the engineering background, you can still make a fantastic, full-bodied cup for about half the price. It can be a bit more expensive than the paper or cloth options, but we think it’s the best deal because it will outlast all of them.

Interestingly, apace has considered not only water flow but also style in the design of this coffee filter. it’s available in copper or gold (both are stainless steel with a coating) and in one of two patterns: a geometric diamond design or a more floral look. Whichever option you choose, Aace’s coffee filters look remarkably beautiful on your coffee bar. and for such a cheap price you might as well buy two, one for your chemex and one for your hario v60 as it is compatible with both!

Cloth filters are not as popular in North America, but are widespread in other parts of the world (3). Many connoisseurs, including legendary coffee professional James Hoffmann, enjoy coffee produced using a cloth filter (4).

what it describes is that they produce a cup that is a cross between what you get from a reusable stainless steel filter and a paper filter, with a medium body and smooth mouthfeel. Unlike metal mesh coffee filters, you never have to worry about fines in your cup, but you’ll still get delicious, mouthwatering natural coffee bean oils in your brew.

See also: Best Places For Coffee On Hilton Head Island

coffeesock is one of the best known brands of cloth coffee filters in the usa. uu. They’ve been singing the praises of fabric filters and making products to fit all coffee makers for over ten years. its large chemex filters brew up to 13 cups at a time.

coffeeock filters are made in the usa with 100% organic cotton from sustainable sources. so they are a good choice for the environment and your coffee. Plus, the cloth filters are reusable, making them a good fit for your wallet, too. That being said, they do require more care and attention when it comes to cleaning than metal filters, and even with proper care, don’t expect them to last as long as stainless steel.

Barista Warrior is a budget coffee brand that grew out of Amazon and developed an impressive little line of coffee products that even connoisseurs appreciate. They offer French presses, gooseneck kettles, and pour-over coffee filters, and each item is thoughtfully designed and affordably priced.

Your pour-over strainer is as beautiful as it is functional, especially if you opt for our favorite copper-coated version, which you could also pair with your equally beautiful copper gooseneck kettle to complete the ensemble. It is compatible with Chemex and most other cone-shaped drippers. The double layer of fine metal mesh and laser-cut stainless steel cone deliver a wonderfully balanced coffee with full body and strong flavor.

suppose you’re not sure you’ll like the taste of coffee brewed with a double-layer stainless steel filter. In that case, the Barista Warrior is great to try risk-free because it offers a lifetime warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. try it out and return it if it’s not for you.

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your coffee habit, a simple way to make a change is to switch to these organic hemp coffee filters. Like cotton filters, they craft a delicious cup with a medium body, robust aroma, and clean flavors. but compared to cotton, they are twice as strong and require half the water to grow (5). that means hemp filters are even better for the planet and will last longer, saving you money in the long run.

Don’t worry about the hemp material imparting off-flavors to your beer. Hemp processing has come a long way since its days as a material for bracelets and rough clothing, and is now as refined as cotton. you do not believe me? bolio offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. so you can try a hemp filter risk-free.

If you want to use one coffee filter with all your drippers, opt for this versatile ovalware model. Its simple design is compatible with all Chemex sizes, the Hario V60 02 and 03 sizes, and most other cone-shaped drippers. it uses a silicone grip on top to fit securely into most coffee pots, but you also have the option to remove it to accommodate different shapes and sizes of drippers.

Like the barista warrior and apace designs, the ovalware filter uses “double filter technology”, a double layer of filters that keeps finer ones out of the cup and allows all the coffee oils to pass through. the inner layer is a fine mesh, while the outer layer is a laser-cut design. the resulting coffee is slightly lighter on the body than a typical reusable metal filter, approaching what you might expect from a cloth coffee filter.

how to choose the best filter for chemex

choosing the best filter for a chemex has surprising nuances. There are significant advantages and disadvantages to paper, cloth, and metal filters, not to mention that each produces a slightly different brew.

but don’t be overwhelmed. This buyer’s guide will walk you through choosing the best filter for your taste and coffee lifestyle, or the best filters, plural. We think it pays to have more than one style of Chemex filter. neither are expensive, and you can swap them out to suit your mood, the guests you may be serving, or different types of coffee beans.

chemex vs alternative brands

There are two options when buying chemex filters, and you can stick with the chemex brand or explore chemex filter alternatives.

chemex sells only the classic paper filters, and they are available bleached or unbleached and can be round or square. The main benefit of buying Chemex brand filters is that they produce the crisp, clean cup of coffee that coffee makers are known for. so if you visited a local coffee shop and fell in love with a complex, light-bodied brew of a chemex, double bond chemex paper filters are the only way to replicate that at home.

However, if you enjoy a slightly heavier bodied coffee, you have many more filter options. Many reusable cloth and metal filters on the market are designed to be compatible with the Chemex coffee maker. Just keep in mind that not all Chemex filter alternatives are created equal, and you can’t trust every brand in the same way that you can trust the Chemex brand. some coffee lovers run some companies while others are just cheap amazon imitations. we avoid the latter on this list and only suggest the best chemex filter alternatives.

See also: How many ounces in a 12 cup coffee pot

A nice benefit of alternative filters is that many have the versatility to be used with other drippers as well. some coffee filters are a great option if you also have a hario v60 or other coffee maker with a conical filter.

why filter material matters

You may be surprised that your choice of filter can significantly affect the outcome of your coffee and have implications for the environment, your wallet, and the ease of preparation. this section will cover the pros and cons of paper, cloth, and metal chemex filters.

how filters affect flavor

A coffee filter affects the flavor of a coffee by dictating how many oils and coffee fines (fine ground coffee) it lets into the cup (6). the oils and fines in the coffee affect both the flavor and the body of the resulting cup of coffee (7).

  • A metal filter allows all of the coffee oils and some of the finer ones to pass through, producing a coffee with a creamy mouthfeel, bold flavor, and heavy body. the coffee style will be similar to a French press but not as robust as the chemex coffee maker is a brew method.
  • a cloth filter lets through a lot of the coffee oils but none of the fine ones, so you get a clean, aromatic cup with medium body and bright acidity. it’s an excellent middle ground between paper and metal filters.
  • a paper filter (and especially coarse chemex filters) traps most coffee oils and all fine ones. Produces a mild-tasting coffee with no sediment and a light body. paper filter coffee is described as crisp, clean and accessible and is often recommended for lighter roasts.
  • bleached or unbleached

    If you are purchasing chemex paper filters, you can choose the bleached (white) or unbleached (brown) option. Coffee lovers prefer bleached paper filters because natural alternatives can add a woody or papery flavor to coffee. And when it comes to the subtle-flavored light roasts that are often made with a chemex, this can be off-putting. on the other hand, bleached filters carry the stigma of the word “bleach”, which is of concern to consumers from the point of view of health and the environment.

    In both cases, the concerns are somewhat unfounded. You’ll be relieved to know that Chemex does not use chlorine bleach when it comes to bleached coffee filters. instead, they use a greener oxidation process that involves hydrogen peroxide to bleach the paper, followed by multiple hot water baths to remove all traces of the chemical (8). instead, natural filters are only treated with hot water baths to remove the papery taste.

    We can attest that unbleached filters do have a noticeable taste, but this can be largely eliminated by pre-soaking them with hot water, which you should be doing anyway. we recommend the bleached filters for very subtle and complex light roasts, but in any other case, the flavor of the coffee will far outweigh the taste of the filter.

    durability and environmental concerns

    Paper, cloth, and metal chemex filters have very different life expectancies, which you need to consider in the context of expense and the environment.

    As long as you have compost and don’t throw used filters in the trash, there’s no reason to worry about the environmental implications. however, from a cost standpoint, they are the more expensive option on an annual basis, assuming you make coffee regularly. chemex paper filters cost 15-20 cents per filter, which works out to about $60 a year if you brew coffee every day.

    cloth coffee filters are the next most durable, but their longevity depends on your palate and cleaning protocol. If you thoroughly clean your cloth filter after each use and store it properly, it should last for 100 cooks. but many sensitive coffee drinkers find that it can start to impart flavors closer to 50 uses, especially when brewing lighter, more delicate coffees. Assuming 75 uses for a cloth filter, you’re considering a budget of less than $40 per year for cloth filters.

    finally, stainless steel chemex filters are built to last. They cost more up front, but there’s no reason a well-cared for metal cone coffee filter couldn’t last a lifetime. many come with lifetime warranties. even buying the most expensive metal filter, the able kone, will only cost about $4 a year, assuming you use it for the next ten years, and you won’t create any waste in those years.

    cleanup considerations

    How much do you hate cleaning up after making chemex coffee? While this probably shouldn’t dictate how you make your coffee, it’s hard to avoid considering it, especially if you have busy mornings filled with work and family.

    paper filters are the easiest to clean. grab them, throw them in the compost bin and that’s it. you don’t even need to dispose of the land separately. metal chemex filters are only slightly more complex. Pound the coffee grounds into the compost, then rinse the filter. They’re also dishwasher safe for the occasional deeper clean. cloth filters, however, are a bit tricky. you have to rinse them well to remove all the coffee and then store them in cold water or in the freezer.

    the verdict

    When choosing the best chemex filters, it’s not about which one is objectively the best; it’s all about how you want to enjoy your coffee. the best choice is one that balances the style of coffee you enjoy with your budget and environmental concerns.

    of course our top pick has to be the classic chemex filter. It may not be the cheapest option, but it’s the only one that produces the kind of crisp, clean coffee that has made chemex coffee makers icons around the world.

    See also: Effortless English. Cafe Puccini story

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