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Thread: Do you ever reuse paper coffee filters?

  1. #1
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    Default Do you ever reuse paper coffee filters?

    For those that make multiple batches of coffee each day using some type of pourover, aeropress, or drip machine, do you ever try to reuse the paper filter from one brewing to the next? Seems like a smart approach if you want to minimize paper taste, save a few pennies, or be green.

    I never gave that a second thought before trying the aeropress, where the instructions encourage trying that approach. Still, for the longest time I never tried doing that with any other brewing method until a few months ago. At first I thought rather than heat so much water to rinse the filter, why not first rinse it out with cold water, which then led to the thought of rinsing out the prior grounds and starting over. I have gotten good results reusing the hario branded filter a 2nd and 3rd time, by scooping out most of the grounds for the compost bin, then rinsing the remainder out. I haven't tried this with my v-shaped dripper, as the filters I have are not as sturdy.

    Some pics of a rinsed out filter, after a single use:


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    Thumbs up

    In our house, the Mrs. and I don't reuse the paper filters because there'll pretty cheap and besides...we think the coffee tastes fresher when using our "Mr. Coffee" Automatic Drip Coffee Machine with Yauco's Selecto Gourmet Ground Coffee from Puerto Rico.

    "I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon". President Ronald Reagan

    Chris ~ Order of Pinaud, Head & Face Latherers Club United, Alliance of Merkur, League of Extraordinary Mild Shavers, Voskhod Comrades Club, Brotherhood of the Boar, Foxhole Shavers Club & The VDH Society!

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    No disrespect, but if you're using pre-ground coffee, I don't think it makes much difference. It's already stale.

    As for re-using paper filters, the biggest problem I see is durability. You may very well damage the filter rinsing it, and the repeated use may degrade the filter and change how it filters (fibers may move/swell/shrink/what-have-you). All for the cost of a few cents.

    Perhaps it could be done, but if you're trying to get ahead of a cost-curve, buy a cloth filter for the price of a box of paper filters and re-use it for 6 months to a year, no problem.
    -Josh

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    For the Aeropress, I reuse one of the little round guys 3-4 times. Average about 2 cups a day for 2 days, then toss it. They feel pretty durable when I'm rinsing them, as long as you're not rough on em. Pourover, I don't reuse. Filters are cheap, and I find it easier to just chuck the whole filter and grounds in the compost.
    Everett

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    Reuse is not about the savings, as the filter is such as small part of the cost. Its more of a waste not want not philosophy. I get the most reuse out of an Aeropress filter, they are sturdy enough to survive multiple days but I only use with a single day. With a shower head water spray, the hario filter cleans up quickly. Since I already remove the spent coffee grinds for the compost pile and I don't like including the filters, it is only one more cleanup step. I haven't tried to push limits of the hairo filter but I find it works well for back-to-back pour overs.
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    My wife will rinse out my #4 cone filter if she is feeling energetic. She used to toss filter and spent grinds into the flower beds, but the paper would dry out and fly around every where. They are actually pretty burly paper products.

    -jim
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillShaving View Post
    Reuse is not about the savings, as the filter is such as small part of the cost. Its more of a waste not want not philosophy. I get the most reuse out of an Aeropress filter, they are sturdy enough to survive multiple days but I only use with a single day. With a shower head water spray, the hario filter cleans up quickly. Since I already remove the spent coffee grinds for the compost pile and I don't like including the filters, it is only one more cleanup step. I haven't tried to push limits of the hairo filter but I find it works well for back-to-back pour overs.
    Sounds more and more like a cloth filter would be right up your alley.
    -Josh

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    Quote Originally Posted by gearchow View Post
    My wife will rinse out my #4 cone filter if she is feeling energetic. She used to toss filter and spent grinds into the flower beds, but the paper would dry out and fly around every where. They are actually pretty burly paper products.

    -jim
    Perhaps the all-paper filters are so; I haven't tried to re-use them, obviously. However, I've had the partial-bamboo filters burst on me more readily during clean-up. In any case, they're all biodegradable and should be free from any undesirables. Compost it!
    -Josh

  9. #9

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    I reuse Aeropress filters, at least 5 times each. Rinsing one is much quicker than cleaning a cone filter.

  10. #10
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    I have a resuable filter - $5 at Walmart. Lasts for years.
    Jp - Horse power is how hard you hit the wall. Torque is how far you drag it behind you

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    My Mother in Law who is the most "thrifty" person I've ever met, not only reuses the filters, but will brew coffee with the same Maxwell House grounds multiple times a day. Thank God the FIL bought a Keurig a couple years ago.
    -Derrick
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    Keurig is the anti "waste not want not"

    You should go with the Coava Kone (it fits a chemex), a flannel filter or the able disk (for Aeropress) if you want to not waste
    The Kone and Disk will lead to cuts with a little more body, but a tad less clarity

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarageBoy View Post
    Keurig is the anti "waste not want not"

    You should go with the Coava Kone (it fits a chemex), a flannel filter or the able disk (for Aeropress) if you want to not waste
    The Kone and Disk will lead to cuts with a little more body, but a tad less clarity
    I disagree with the bit about clarity; that depends on the grind and in the case of the KONE, technique.
    -Josh

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    I woke up this morning to a freshly washed out #4 coffee filter sitting in my CCD. A penny saved is a penny spent on vintage bling is my wife's motto.

    -jim
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPDyson View Post
    Sounds more and more like a cloth filter would be right up your alley.
    Insightful comment. I think this does naturally fit my philosophy or taste. I have a couple of new coffee socks that I have been meaning to try with the Hario and report the results back here. But my problem with the coffee sock is with the cleanup. Regardless of whether using a special fit Hario flannel filter or the long generic coffee sock which I have, the sock needs some place to sit and dry, which is its biggest drawback. Leaving a sock/flannel out over night to dry creates its own issues. In contrast, one can throw out the paper filter at the end of the day without any concern of storage or cleanliness for the next day.

    Quote Originally Posted by GarageBoy View Post
    ...deleted...
    You should go with the Coava Kone (it fits a chemex), a flannel filter or the able disk (for Aeropress) if you want to not waste
    The Kone and Disk will lead to cuts with a little more body, but a tad less clarity
    Another good comment. I have considered getting a KONE as in theory it suits my needs and philosophy but it is relatively expensive and requires dedicated storage space. I am willing to give it the storage space in my kitchen, but is the average consumer (& partner) willing to do the same.
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    If you saw ny coffee filter after using it..nothing but my trash can wants it!...

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    Quote Originally Posted by StillShaving View Post
    ...my problem with the coffee sock is with the cleanup. Regardless of whether using a special fit Hario flannel filter or the long generic coffee sock which I have, the sock needs some place to sit and dry, which is its biggest drawback. Leaving a sock/flannel out over night to dry creates its own issues...
    I might suggest a different storage means, which was suggested to be for cloth vac-pot filters, and that I've used for any cloth filter - store it wet, in the fridge. After you rinse it out thoroughly, leave it wet and put it in a zip-lock bag, and put it in the fridge. This keeps them clean and pliable. Periodically, a more thorough washing would be called for. I used a diluted oxy-clean solution (particularly, the oxy-clean "Free" with no dyes or scents) and found it quite effective.

    More variations on the theme could be easily found by searching for cloth filter storage, particularly vacuum pot/siphon filter storage.
    -Josh

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarageBoy View Post
    Keurig is the anti "waste not want not"
    I disagree. By design, yes, it is an extremely wasteful brewer - but it doesn't have to be. I have one and purchased a reusable k-cup which I can fill with whatever coffee I want. Once it's done, I just dump out the grounds & rinse the filter.

    If I brew more than 1 cup at a time, I have a Bodum french press that I use.
    - Shane

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPDyson View Post
    I might suggest a different storage means, which was suggested to be for cloth vac-pot filters, and that I've used for any cloth filter - store it wet, in the fridge. After you rinse it out thoroughly, leave it wet and put it in a zip-lock bag, and put it in the fridge. This keeps them clean and pliable. Periodically, a more thorough washing would be called for. I used a diluted oxy-clean solution (particularly, the oxy-clean "Free" with no dyes or scents) and found it quite effective.

    More variations on the theme could be easily found by searching for cloth filter storage, particularly vacuum pot/siphon filter storage.
    I have been prejudiced against trying the wet storage method ever since leaving behind a T-shirt in my Phys Ed locker (Yuck). But I should give it a try rather than dismiss it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillShaving View Post
    I have been prejudiced against trying the wet storage method ever since leaving behind a T-shirt in my Phys Ed locker (Yuck). But I should give it a try rather than dismiss it.
    Hah! I bet that created some powerful aromas...

    In all serious, it's nothing like that. We're talking about safe storage temperatures and clean cloth goods soaked in clean water. Quite a bit removed from the locker analogy... but I'm sure you figured that.
    -Josh

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