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White vs Brown Filter Papers - Which is best?

White vs Brown Filter Papers - Which is best?

Chris Foulkes |

We often get asked the difference between white and brown filter papers; the contrast in flavour, quality and the production processes. As we are expanding our range of filter papers we thought we’d take the opportunity to take a look at the differences between them.

The terms ‘bleached’ and ‘unbleached’ or white and brown filters come with a whole host of associated concerns and preferences. You shouldn’t always let these sway you when choosing the right filter paper for you and the type of coffee that you like to drink. The main priority should always be quality – using a trusted brand ensures the filter papers have been produced using superb quality fibres and processed in a way that won’t affect the flavour of your final cup!

In the early 1900s the original filter paper was founded and produced by Melitta Bentz, since then thousands of variations of the filter paper have been produced worldwide, which can often make choosing the right one a hard task – however the good news is it’s all down to your personal preference.

Coffee brewing in general is largely debated and the use of different coffee filters is no different. Surrounded in myth and by varying methods, what one coffee lover enjoys another may not, making coffee a real labour of love.

The only main difference we point out to everyone that asks about filter papers is their environmental impact…

White filter papers have been bleached to produce their nice white appearance, this additional process can be an off-putting thought for many people, however the bleaches used are perfectly safe and there is no scientific evidence of the difference in taste using a bleached paper filter. They have been produced to aesthetically appeal to a wider audience, much like the other paper products we use every day! This does however mean that brown filter papers won’t necessarily produce a better cup of coffee, although it is worth noting that they are more environmentally friendly! With reduced processing comes less environmental impact, so if you’re conscious of this issues, using an unbleached filter paper may be more suited to your lifestyle.

It is far more important to choose the right sized filter paper for your brewing equipment and also choosing a good quality paper – cheaper filters have been known to leave a paper type taste in your coffee due to their poorer quality, so it’s worth paying a few more pounds! A quick look through any coffee forum will return an incredible amount of personal experiences of different filter papers, all claiming different results. This is why we stock a wide range of filter papers and brands to give you the freedom to experiment with filter papers.

Check out our filter papers here and start exploring which paper filter suits you best!

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