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Bleached vs Unbleached Coffee Paper Filters

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Some of you may have wondered ; which paper filter should you buy? Bleached? or Unbleached? Which one is safer for use? Which one makes coffee taste better? Read on to find out!

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The Origin of Paper Filters

While the cloth filter (the “sock”) has been around for a long time, the paper filter didn’t appear until the turn of the twentieth century.  Melitta Bentz, a housewife and avid coffee drinker in Dresden, East Germany, was tired of finding grounds in her coffee. After experimenting with different materials and methods, Melitta Bentz created the first paper coffee filter in 1908, which later becomes patented as “Filter Top Device lined with Filter Paper.”

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Bleached Coffee Filters: The Basics

The main difference between bleached and unbleached coffee filters is that bleached ones have been whitened. This can be done through a tiny amount of chlorine or something called oxygen-bleaching.

Although there was concern in the ‘80s that chlorine-bleached filters might be dangerous, it’s now widely accepted that they’re safe to use for brewing coffee. What’s more, the bleaching process won’t add any flavors to your drink.

However, there are still concerns over their environmental impact. In fact, a 2012 study published in Environmental Engineering and Management Journal found that discharge from chlorine-bleaching was “the most significant environmental issues” in pulp and paper mills. In contrast, oxygen-bleaching requires less manufacturing and is better for the environment. All major filter brands make clear which bleaching method they use on their packaging.

 

Unbleached Coffee Filters: The Basics

Unbleached filters don’t have that bright white color like their bleached equivalents do, but they are slightly better for the environment. This is because they don’t require as much processing.

Most of the everyday paper you see and use is bleached. Paper is naturally brown (it does, after all, come from trees). Yet unfortunately, if you use an unbleached filter in your pour over or coffee machine without rinsing, there’s a chance that you might taste papery notes.

That being said, you may also get papery notes from bleached coffee filters, depending on the quality. No matter the brand or manufacturing methods, it’s always a good idea to rinse paper filters before use.

 

So, which one is better?

In the great bleached vs unbleached paper coffee filter debate, it really comes down to your preferences: taste or environmental impact.

If you want to be more eco-friendly, buy high-quality unbleached filters and rinse well before use. On the other hand, if you’re concerned that your coffee might end up with a papery taste, even with double rinsing, opt for bleached – ideally oxygen-bleached – filters.

Oh, and remember that quality matters! A cheap bleached filter may add just as much of a papery taste to your coffee, if not more, as a high-quality unbleached filter.

 

Read on to find out how to get rid of papery notes : https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2017/08/great-paper-coffee-filters-debate-bleached-vs-unbleached/

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