Can I pour brewed coffee though a paper filter?

by Kara

A paper coffee filter absorbs the cafestol in coffee.

A paper coffee filter absorbs the cafestol in coffee.


Hi, I have wanted an alternative to drip coffee makers because I don't like the idea of drinking anything hot that sat in plastic. I searched and searched, found a couple very expensive drip makers that said they didn't use plastic only the used, good grief.

I also don't want to be raising the cholesterol of my family so simply french press methods were out.

That led me to the pour over method. But here's the thing, I'm sure I'm not good at it, but it sure is tedious standing there all that time. I can't seem to get it to go through faster than a drip. Yes, I'm probably pouring too much too fast....Anyway...

What I wondered was, if I brew the coffee just on the stove in a pot (coffee grounds in boiling water for a couple minutes) or by french press and then use the finished coffee and pour it through a filter, will this actually remove the oils that are responsible for the cholesterol spike? Or does the paper on grab those oils during the brewing process. It seems to me it would work, but I thought I would ask someone with more knowledge.

I think liquid coffee would pour through those pointy pour-over filters faster than with grounds in them. I could be wrong.

Let me know what you think.


Kara, hi

Great question.

For those who don’t get Kara’s refence to cholesterol, it’s about a substance called cafestol.

Cafestol is found in the oily part of coffee, and is a strong stimulator of LDL cholesterol levels.

So if you have concerns about your cholesterol levels, you may want to brew your coffee with paper filters. The cafestol is almost entirely absorbed by the paper, and doesn't make it as far as your coffee cup.

That’s the backstory.

As for whether you can make coffee with something like a French press, and then pour the brewed coffee through a paper filter cone, to get rid of the cafestol... yes you can.

BTW – Kara, I understand your reference to feeling impatient when making pourover coffee. I sometimes feel the same myself! : )

Anyway, using a filter paper after you brew in your French press sounds like the perfect solution to everything you’re trying to achieve.

Go for it!

Best wishes,


Comments for Can I pour brewed coffee though a paper filter?

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Does this work!???
by: Jennifer

Really so very interested in this I have been struggling with my LDL for years and I can never seem to get it under 100 and the one thing I have not changed since I’ve changed. My entire lifestyle is the way that I drink my coffee I have been using a French press almost 20 years And this is something that I just began understanding and reading about. Can someone tell me if using a French press and then pouring the brew coffee directly over a paper filter cone mechanism into your cup will strain out these oils. I’m going to try this method and get my blood checked in six months and if I see a difference, I will come back and post my results .

Filtering brewed coffee
by: Simon

I’ve just started to pass my brewed ground coffee from a moka pot through a paper filter afterward, in a hope my LDL levels come down (as my diet is very low in bad cholesterol). Fingers

Pouring French Press thru a filter
by: Anonymous

I have the same question as Kara which is how I found this post. I pour my French Press thru a Finum brewing basket (German made) which is actually a tea steeper. Maybe that thick mesh also absorbs some cafestol? It's hard to know since how can you even measure the amounts. But somewhere on this thread a reader posted that it's ridiculous in theory, or that cafestol in coffee nowhere near a slice of bacon, or that non MDs cannot comment on that. MDs don't always have a firm grasp of nutritional issues, but some do. A layperson or health enthusiast can be just as informed if they read the right sources and interpret them correctly. Not that difficult. Anyway the idea of pouring thru a filter to somewhat decrease amounts seems logical too me if the cafestol molecules aren't so huge they slip thru.

by: Anonymous

i buy the #4 if you care unbleached paper filters and the cone shaped holder I bought on amazon. From italy, stainless steel. Helped bring my triglycerides down.

by: The Truth

Nick you think if I avoid the "Cafestol" and start using a paper filter in my Percolator I'll live another 2 day's?

The Truth:-)Just killing time till I die!

Time With coffee grinds and water inc cafestol
by: Don

I read that time is a factor of coffee grinds with the water. So if you have a French press and it sits for 5 minutes more cafestol will end up on the brewed coffee. Any thoughts on this. I have a French press and my cholesterol did go up. Now thinking about getting a pour over. So am I better off just using the pour over than doing the French press then pouring it into the pour over without the grinds. Thanks

how to reduce diterpenes in press-brewed coffee
by: Peter

My lipid profile has been stable for years. My ldl increased after switching from bialetti (stovetop) espresso to French press, possibly from cafestol in the fines that get through the press. I estimate about a gram per pot. I remove oil with foam from the coffee before pressing it. I think there's not much free oil in my final coffee. I had been trying out various ways to remove the fines from the French press coffee. Putting a filter on the plunger helps. Pouring it through a present day melitta type filter didn't work for me because the filter clogged almost immediately. I was thinking a more porous melitta filter (old style) would work better, but I don't know where to find one online. Or, I could buy a fine screen to back up my coarse French press screen.

Putting a modern paper filter on the plunger doesn't work well because coffee with grounds escapes around the gasket of the press. It does reduce the fines somewhat.

I would like a reference on the relationship between cafestol consumption and cholesterol and any comments or suggestions this brings to mind. Thanks in advance.


Never beat the Admin!
by: THe Truth

No Nick,
I would never beat up on u! As a matter of fact I think your site is great! One of my Fav's!

As far as pouring a French Pressed Pot thru a paper filter,wouldn't that kind of defeat the purpose of using a french press? May as well just do a Pour over. Btw for anyone who cares Cuisinart makes an Automatic Pour Over Machine.It's pricey though, and I can't vouch for the taste! But from what I understand it uses a Gold Tone Filter, but it also comes with a Paper filter for Options.KitchenAid also makes a automatic pour over but I hear it's terrible! Oh well I hope no one really thinks I'm beating up on them.I just have studied Coffee for many yrs and try and share some knowledge! I enjoy all the posts!

The Truth!

by: The Truth

Kara, I'm sorry your correct I misread the name on the answer! All my posts besides the Suggestion of using a Presto Percolator on July 25th is directed towards NICK's response! Call me non-chilled but I thought it a bit ridiculous in theory! Nick Sez

"As for whether you can make coffee with something like a French press, and then pour the brewed coffee through a paper filter cone, to get rid of the Cafestol... yes you can."

(Total Insanity) And no I can't and won't!

I guess it bothers me when people(Non Md's) try and tell other people what will raise their LDL, and how to remove Cafestol! How to alter their brew! As far as my taste I hate paper filters!

Oh and I'm chill! Once again sorry for directing my post aft July 25th towards you.Please accept my apology!

The Truth!

Editor's Note: LOL... so it's ME you're beating up on! I'd better do some more research on this... : )

by: Anonymous

I'm not trying to get you or anyone to do anything. I'm not trying to convince you of anything.

I had a simple question about brewing coffee without the oil from the beans.

Chill out

Know it All, Nope!
by: The Truth

First of all I can't find anything substantial to back up your claims besides a couple old articles done by non-medical writers! The best I can't tell for the truth is Coffee itself contains little or no Cholesterol. I have read like you prob have that Black Coffee unfiltered effects how cholesterol is metabolized in the liver! Bottom line I DONT CARE! It's not gonna stop me from drinking my daily Coffee! Everyone has to decide for themselves.If every time I read something I consume causes this disease or effects my cholesterol I would become a vegan! I choose to enjoy my life and my Coffee Filtered or Unfiltered! This mayo clinic article is the only thing I can find that makes some sense to me! Once again it's not gonna effect my food and drink intake one way or another!

The Truth!

dear person responding July 25,'17
by: Kara

Many many people have noticed significant rises in their bad cholesterol after switching to French Press. It is not less than a slice of bacon after consumption.

It is an actual concern.

Kara from Santa Clara?
by: The Truth

Ok I heard that on the radio as a DJ's name was Kara! Anyway I thought since U were concerned with Caffeine this New Study may interest u! Now u know what I mean when I say YOLO! You only live once!

The Truth

Very Simple and it makes Great Coffee! Presto!
by: The Truth

Your solution(Cafestol)aside, and I'll comment on that at end.Is the # Percolator on the Market, with over 3000 5 Star reviews on Amzon, The Presto Percolator. Nothing on this Machine that comes in contact with the Coffee is Plastic.Only Stainless Steel.The Handle and Base are Plastic to avoid Burning both your hand and your counter top.U do not,and I can't stress enuf,DO NOT use a paper filter.The Machine comes with it's own built in Stainless Steel Filter basket. I know naysayers and neophytes complain about grounds in their Coffee.Simple solution is u must pack the grounds down just like tampering and espresso except not as packed.Just a light pack with the edge of your Scooper! I buy Specialty Coffee only and use the Presto Daily and everyone who tries my Coffee is amazed at the flavor! Oh and my sis who is Super Green Friendly likes the no paper filter idea to boot!
Now for Cafestol.Do u realize that an Avg person drinks maybe 2 max 3 cups a day! Get real, thats not gonna raise your LDL as much as eating 1 slice of Bacon! Oops I love Bacon also! YOLO! Here's your link for the Machine w/ reviews!

The Truth!

Percolator filters
by: AnonymousEllen

I too used the pre filled ones in the 70's I loved them and now I can't find them There was no mess with theses

by: Anonymous

Thank you, Nick,

I really appreciate you answering my question.

I'll try it.


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