Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Sep 16, 2012 02:31 PM

White vs. natural brown coffee filters?

I always use white Melitta coffee filters which are bleached. I don't taste any hint of bleach in my coffee. Is there any reason to switch to brown? BTW I personally don't like gold filters because they don't remove any of the oils, and I find that better for my stomach, and they always let some sediment through. So...white or brown...any difference?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. White. Some brands may use a chlorine bleach, but Melitta does not. Only oxygen, according to their website. The quality of the filter paper is what matters most. Avoid the cheapest filters, whether white or brown.

    1. Unbleached. Not for any discernible taste difference, but not bleaching is easier on the environment, and I tend to shy away from thing that have been treated with a bunch of chemicals. I'm not militant about it, and I break my own rule from time to time, but I figure if my skin is very sensitive to harsh chemicals, it's probably not a good idea to eat a load of them, either.

      I'm guessing Melitta's filters are treated with peroxide...still not something I care to drink much of.

      1. Brown is theoretically more environmentally friendly,not true for all brands.

        We are hand brew in a CHEMEX pot.I buy whatever oversize,folded square is on the shelf,brown or white.

        1. Yep, a lot of people gravitate to brown because of the bleach factor. I can't imagine that such a miniscule amount is enough to hurt anybody, but there are also environmental issues to consider. I gravitate towards the Melitta white filters, but have used the brown. I don't buy the cheapest, but I'm not brand-obsessive.

          1. I buy the brown #2 cone filters from Trader Joe's, as they seem to regularly have them in stock. Buy 2-3 boxes, and I'm set for a year. Plus the price is right.

            21 Replies
            1. re: LindaWhit

              I never even thought to look at TJ's. I usually blow through there as fast as possible, and pretty much concentrate on the foodstuffs I buy from there. Now I know to look. Thanks.

              1. re: mamachef

                I forget how much I pay for them, but a couple of years ago, they were only $1.69 / box of 100 filters.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Oh, that's IT. Off to TJ's, as I happen to be in need filters. As I wrote in another post, I simply must speak to the girl who does my shopping, because she is way far off her game.

                  1. re: mamachef

                    Keep in mind these are the smaller #2 cone filters, not the #4s for the 12-cup coffeemakers. So the price is guaranteed to be more if you're going to buy the #4s.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Yep, I need the #4's, since I swill coffee all the livelong day, much to my chagrin at bedtime. :) And then I bitch bitch bitch about insomnia.

                      1. re: mamachef

                        Find a brand of decaf that you can drink, and switch to that after lunch.

                        I used to only half-jokingly say that if someone did a blood test on me, they'd find me highly caffeinated. Seriously -- from 5:30 am until I went to bed, I was never far from a cup of coffee. When that whole "lady of a certain age" crap started, I was up half the night (while working on a master's degree, working full time, and raising a family...I NEEDED every spare minute of sleep!) and finally had to start taking some drastic steps or risk falling over sound asleep in the middle of my day.

                        Cutting out caffeine after lunch was one of the unfortunate side effects -- but I've found Lavazza decaf espresso is darned good coffee, even if it is unleaded.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Do you make the Lavazza in a drip coffee maker or a genuine espresso machine,,,which one?

                          1. re: josephnl

                            a regular Melitta-style cone-filter drip machine.

                            On occasion, I'll use the moka or a French press - depends on my mood and how much coffee I'm making.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              I've never tried making espresso with a Melitta filter. I rarely make it at home, but when I do I use an ancient classic stovetop espresso pot. I usually have my espresso's out, and have generally assumed you need a fancy espresso machine to make a good espresso at home. I'm gonna give it a try! Which coffee is best...Lavazza or Illy? Do you grind it yourself? Is the stuff out of a can ground properly for either a Melitta or a French press?

                              1. re: josephnl

                                I don't make it as espresso in the drip maker-- I prefer a bold brew, so I use the same amount of coffee and water as when I make "regular" coffee... It makes "damned fine coffee".

                                As mentioned, I also occasionally use it in a French press (somewhere between drip and true espresso) and I make it in the Italian moka machine if I happen to have that one out at the time.

                                (I also have a Nespresso capsule machine and a stock of instant granules -- I make sure I have access in all its forms.) ;)

                                I buy the Lavazza pre-ground at the grocery store, as I can't buy decent beans here, and I've never tried Illy at home.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  ILLY is great in the MOKA EXPRESS pot

                                  1. re: lcool

                                    It's just so bluddy expensive that I can't justify it -- there's a 60-foot aisle of coffee, and Illy is the highest on the entire shelf, even over all the fair trade and organic and all the other imported Italian stuff.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      I do agree about the price.Worse than bloody with your first born tossed in.

                                      I have a price connection here,US and in Italy,still pricey.

                          2. re: sunshine842

                            I adore the medium roast decaf TJ introduced a couple of years ago (orange lid, canister). I had been using Eight-o-clock decaf, which is a lighter roast, but I brewed it strongly. So I thought the medium roast might not be right for me, but it tastes better than the E-o-C.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              Thanks for the decaf tip.
                              Is the TJ product whole-bean?

                              The nearest TJ's is over 45 min. from my location...but it might be worth the drive.

                              1. re: pedalfaster

                                Yes, whole bean. It's $5.99 for the canister, which lasts me 2 weeks, using two heaping scoops of beans per day.

                          3. re: mamachef

                            The #4s have consistently been $1.99/box of 100 at the North Center Trader Joe's in Chicago over the last year.

                            1. re: Eldon Kreider

                              Well, there you go. Maybe the #2s have remained close to the $1.69 price I noted above.

                      2. re: LindaWhit

                        I must be shopping at all the wrong places -- #6 - $3.49 for 40, either color.

                        1. re: Sarah

                          Yeah, when I first noticed the cone filters @ TJs, I realized their price was *way* less than regular stupidmarkets. When my mother still had a cone-filter coffeemaker, I used to give her one of my boxes instead of her buying them.

                      3. re: mamachef

                        I used to do that but then I realized I never saw the plethora of new items which keep appearing.