Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big filter coffee test 2021. Here we present all the filter coffees we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best filter coffee for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy filter coffee.




Summary

  • Filter coffee is one of the best known and most popular ways of making coffee. The coffee filter was brought to life at the beginning of the 20th century by a woman named Melitta Bentz.
  • Filter coffee allows you to have no more annoying coffee grounds in your coffee. It also offers many health benefits.
  • Filter coffee is a way of preparing coffee. There are six different ways to make filter coffee: hand filter, Chemex, AeroPress, French Press, Hario Syphon and Karlsbaden pot.

The Best Filter Coffee: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying filter coffee

What is filter coffee?

Filter coffee is a form of coffee preparation in which hot water is poured onto ground coffee, which is placed in a filter. The filter prevents you from ending up with coffee grounds in your coffee. It also filters out coffee oils and fats. There are different ways of preparing filter coffee, which will be discussed in more detail in a later paragraph.

One way of preparing filter coffee is the Chemex glass carafe. The Chemex filters have finer pores and are thicker than paper filters. (Image source: unsplash.com / Di Bella Coffee)

Who invented filter coffee?

The filter coffee process was invented by Melitta Bentz at the beginning of the 20th century. Mellita Bentz was the daughter of a publishing bookseller from Dresden. She was bothered by the fact that her coffee contained coffee grounds, which clouded the enjoyment of the coffee. So she took an old tin can and poked holes in the bottom.

In the tin she put a blotter cut to size from her son's exercise book. She put the tin on a pot and added ground coffee. She then poured hot water over the coffee powder and the coffee dripped into the pot without any coffee grounds - filter coffee was discovered.

In 1908, she registered the coffee filter at the patent office in Berlin. In the same year, she founded a family business together with her husband and children.

How healthy is filter coffee?

As the saying goes? The dose makes the poison. Coffee or filter coffee is healthy, but only in moderation. If you drink too much coffee, you risk side effects such as restlessness, insomnia, nausea and palpitations.

Filter coffee is particularly healthy because the ingredients cafestol and kahweol predominantly remain in the paper filter. On the one hand, these substances drive up blood lipids and are a risk for heart attack. On the other hand, they have an anti-cancer effect.

The catering trade now also offers filter coffee. (Image source: unsplash.com /Jannis Brandt)

Coffee, or rather the caffeine it contains, offers many advantages:

  • Coffee protects the heart and reduces the risk of death by 15%.
  • Coffee protects against cardiovascular disease as well as cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.
  • Coffee stimulates your metabolism and boosts fat burning. It can also curb your appetite and is therefore a great aid to dieting.
  • The caffeine it contains boosts your ability to concentrate.
  • Caffeine relieves pain and can be helpful for headaches and migraines.
  • Caffeine reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease.
  • Coffee protects the liver cells and has positive effects on liver values.

How much does filter coffee cost?

There is a wide price range for filter coffee. First of all, you can distinguish between ground coffee and whole coffee beans that you grind yourself. Ground coffee is significantly cheaper than whole beans. You can buy ground coffee from around €7.50 per kilogram. For coffee beans, you have to reckon with more than 10 € per kilogram. If you value organic quality, you should spend a little more.

Type Price per kg classic Price per kg organic
ground coffee circa 7,50-13 € circa 13-40 €
coffee beans circa 12-20 € circa 35-45 €

What are the different ways of making filter coffee?

There are six different ways of making filter coffee:

  • Hand filter
  • Chemex
  • AeroPress
  • French Press
  • Hario Syphon
  • Karlsbaden pot

Preparation with a hand filter is uncomplicated and quick. You place a paper filter in a hand filter that stands on a pot. Then all you have to do is add ground coffee and hot water.

Another coffee-making method is the Chemex, a brewing and serving vessel in one. It is a glass flask in the shape of an hourglass. You place the filter in the glass, fill it with coffee powder and top it up with hot water.

The AeroPress is a filter coffee preparation method that consists of a brewing cylinder, a filter holder and a press plunger. You put the filter in the filter holder, screw the brewing cylinder and the filter holder together and put it on a cup. You need to add coffee powder and hot water. After stirring once, slowly press down the press plunger.

The nutritionist Bas Kast recommends consuming a maximum of 5 cups of filter coffee per day.

The French press, also called a press pot, is a coffee pot in which coffee is brewed. The coffee grounds are pressed down by means of a plunger containing a sieve.

An alternative way of preparing filter coffee is the Hario Syphon, which uses steam pressure.

You can also make filter coffee with the so-called Karlsbaden pot, which is made of porcelain parts. The filter is a porcelain sieve.

Preparation of filter coffee Preparation
Hand filter You put a paper filter into a hand filter, which is usually made of porcelain. Place this hand filter on a pot. Put the coffee powder into the paper filter. Then pour the hot water over the coffee powder.
Chemex The Chemex, a manual filter coffee machine made of glass, was invented by the chemist Peter Schlumbohm in 1941. It is a glass flask in the shape of an hourglass. It uses certain filters that are finer-pored and thicker than conventional filters. First you put the special paper filter into the glass. Then you fill it with ground coffee powder and pour hot water over it.
AeroPress The AeroPress is made of plastic and has a brewing cylinder, a filter holder and a press plunger. First you put the filter in the filter holder. Screw the filter holder into the brewing cylinder and place it on a cup. Then add coffee powder to the brewing cylinder and add hot water. After you have stirred it briefly, slowly press down the press plunger until the filter holder almost reaches the coffee powder. You can top up the coffee with water as required until it reaches your desired strength.
French Press The French Press, also called a press pot, is a coffee pot in which the coffee is brewed and the coffee grounds are pressed down with the help of a plunger containing a sieve. First put coffee powder into the pot, pour hot water over it and then stir vigorously once. Press the plunger down slowly and evenly.
Hario Syphon The coffee syphon works with steam pressure. The syphon consists of two vessels lying on top of each other and connected by a tube. First fill water into the lower vessel. This water is heated over the burner and rises into the upper vessel. There you put the coffee powder into the hot water and stir it. As soon as you remove the burner from the siphon, the water cools down and develops a vacuum in the lower vessel. This negative pressure sucks the coffee through the filter into the lower vessel.
Karlsbaden pot it is made of porcelain parts. The coffee is filtered through a fine porcelain sieve. Put the coffee powder into the filter and then add hot water. You can remove the porcelain filter when the desired amount of water has passed through.

Before you pour all the hot water over the coffee powder, moisten the coffee powder with a small amount of water first so that it "blooms".

Which coffee beans are suitable for filter coffee?

Which coffee beans you use for filter coffee is purely a matter of taste. You can choose between Arabica and Robusta coffee. Below we have listed the main differences between the two types of coffee.

Weiße Tasse mit Bohnen

Which type of coffee is right for you is ultimately a matter of taste. (Image source: pixabay.com/ Couleur)

The Arabica variety was discovered in Ethiopia in the 7th century, while the Robusta variety was discovered in Uganda a few centuries later. The coffee beans differ in appearance as well as in taste. The Arabica bean has an oval shape with an S-shaped cut. The Robusta bean has a round shape with a straight wide central cut. While the Arabica variety tastes aromatic and mild, the Robusta variety has an earthy and bitter taste.

Coffee variety Arabica Robusta
Origin Discovered in Ethiopia. Discovered in Uganda.
Cultivation Takes up 60-70% of the world's coffee cultivation. Takes up 30-40% of the world's coffee cultivation.
Appearance Oval shape with an S-shaped cut. Round shape with a straight wide central cut.
Taste Aromatic and mild. Earthy and bitter.
Caffeine content 1.1-1.7% 2-4.5%

Which grind is the right one?

The grind of coffee powder is an essential factor for a good taste. An incorrect grind can result in a watery or bitter taste. The grind differs depending on how filter coffee is prepared.

Type of preparation of filter coffee Grinding degree
Hand filter medium
Chemex medium
AeroPress fine-medium
French Press medium-coarse
Hario Syphon coarse
Karlsbadener Kanne coarse

What are the alternatives to filter coffee?

There are the following alternatives to filter coffee:

  • instant coffee
  • Coffee pods
  • Coffee capsules

One alternative to filter coffee is instant coffee. This is the quickest and easiest way to prepare coffee, where it only needs to be infused with hot water. Soluble coffee is made from coffee beans.

We recommend that you grind the coffee beans just before using them so that no valuable aromas are lost.

In addition to filter coffee, you can also use coffee pods. A coffee pod consists of ground coffee that is already pre-portioned. They are used in a coffee pod machine.

You can also use coffee capsules, which can be prepared in a capsule machine. These are also pre-portioned.

Decision: What types of filter coffee are there and which is right for you?

If you want to buy filter coffee, there are two alternatives you can choose between:

  • ground coffee
  • Coffee beans

In the following section, we would like to help you make your decision easier so that you buy the best type of filter coffee for you.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ground coffee?

Ground coffee is much cheaper than coffee beans. You also save time because you don't have to grind the coffee beans first. So you don't have to buy an additional grinder. One disadvantage is that ground coffee can only be stored for 2 weeks and the coffee aroma dissipates relatively quickly.

Advantages
  • Cheaper than coffee beans
  • No need to spend a lot of time grinding
Disadvantages
  • The coffee aroma dissipates quickly
  • Short shelf life (approx. 2 weeks)

You should always close the coffee packaging tightly and store it in a cool, dry place to preserve the coffee's intensity for as long as possible.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of grinding your own coffee beans?

Fragrant coffee lovers are impressed by the flavour that comes from coffee beans ground directly before brewing. However, you have to dig deeper into your pocket for coffee beans.

Advantages
  • Coffee aroma is preserved longer
  • Longer shelf life (about 8 weeks)
Disadvantages
  • More time-consuming
  • More expensive than ground coffee

You can store coffee beans for up to 8 weeks because the aromas and ingredients escape more slowly than with already ground coffee beans.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate filter coffee based on these factors

Do you want to buy coffee? In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible types of coffee.

The criteria you can use to compare coffee with each other:

  • Shelf life
  • Origin
  • Quality
  • Seal
  • Packaging

Shelf life

The two types of filter coffee have different shelf lives. Coffee that has already been ground can be stored for about 2 weeks if it has already been opened. To preserve the aroma of the coffee as long as possible, store it in a cool, dry and airtight place. If you are looking for coffee that will keep longer because you can't use it up so quickly, go for whole coffee beans. These have a shelf life of about 8 weeks. Coffee beans retain their aroma for longer.

Origin

The coffee bean comes from the coffee plant, a plant that only thrives under optimal climatic conditions. Predominantly tropical and humid growing regions are particularly suitable for coffee cultivation. Countries that lie close to the equator are suitable for coffee cultivation. For example, coffee is grown in Brazil, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Sumatra.

Quality

There are, of course, differences in quality between the various types of coffee. If you value organic quality, you should prefer coffee from organic cultivation. We recommend that you buy organic coffee, despite the higher price compared to classic coffee, because it is not genetically modified. You can also buy fair trade coffee. In this case, you are also supporting the fair working and living conditions of the farmers in the coffee-growing regions.

Seal

You can tell the difference in quality at a glance by looking at the seals. The seals identify the products as organic quality and/or Fairtrade products.

Packaging

The appearance of the packaging of coffee may not be that important to many people, but you may want coffee that not only tastes good but also has good-looking packaging. To add some value to the packaging, manufacturers try to design exclusive and appealing packaging.

Facts worth knowing about filter coffee

Which water is suitable for filter coffee?

Filter coffee consists of 99% water. The quality of the water therefore has a significant influence on the taste of your coffee. You can use mineral water, tap water, distilled water or special coffee water.

Mineral water is rich in trace elements and minerals and provides your body with important substances that you need to live. You should definitely choose mineral water with an acidic pH value, as acid is bad for your coffee machine.

To avoid an unwanted aftertaste, rinse the filter paper briefly under running water before use.

You can also use tap water. Tap water is a cheaper alternative to mineral water. It also saves you the hassle of carrying water bottles. Generally speaking, you can drink tap water in Germany without hesitation. However, the quality of tap water depends on where you live.

As an alternative to mineral and tap water, you can use distilled water. However, distilled water does not contain all minerals and trace elements.

You can also use special coffee water. Both the pH value and the water strength are adjusted to coffee.

Why should I add salt to my coffee?

A pinch of salt counteracts bitter coffee. The sodium it contains removes the bitter substances from the coffee and enhances its natural taste. You can add the salt to the coffee powder before brewing or simply add it to your finished coffee afterwards.

Why is filter coffee healthier than espresso?

As mentioned above, filter coffee is particularly healthy because the ingredients cafestol and kahweol are predominantly trapped in the paper filter. These substances increase the harmful LDL cholesterol level. Since a comparatively coarse sieve is used in the preparation of espresso, it is precisely these substances that get into the espresso. This is why people with bad cholesterol levels should reach for filter coffee.

On the other hand, due to its lower acidity, espresso has the advantage that it is more digestible for sensitive stomachs than filter coffee. The espresso beans are roasted longer, which accounts for the lower acidity in the end.

Picture source: pixabay.com/ StockSnap

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