Cone vs flat-bottom filter. Which is better?

by John
(Denver, CO)

Flat bottom coffee filter

Flat bottom coffee filter


What are the pros and cons of a cone vs a flat-bottom filter?


That's an interesting question. I don't think either drip cone filter shape is necessarily better than the other.

The thing to keep in mind is that the drip brewing process depends on the hot water coming into contact with all the coffee grinds and then dripping through to the carafe or the mug.

If the water rushes through without staying in contact with the ground coffee for long enough, the coffee will taste weak. If the water stays in contact for too long, the coffee starts to taste bitter.

I think different cone shape designs are chosen in conjunction with the design of the hot water spraying head. In other words, the combination of spray head and cone shape is optimized to soak the coffee thoroughly and for long enough to create a good brew of coffee.

Comments for Cone vs flat-bottom filter. Which is better?

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Jan 18, 2020
mr coffee flat basket filter
by: Anonymous

Sure, all the comments here deal more with your PERSONAL taste and NOT THE FILTER. The filter is the point of this topic. I use a mr coffee flat basket and it takes TOO MUCH WORK to get extraction of flavor. I have to personally make sure the grounds get wet early. If I dont, half the water is thru before the grounds are even wet. Poor design mr. c. the sprinkler head does not spray water EVENLY. the water favors one side or another and the rest of the grounds remain dry. I will get a cone coffee maker next time. my mother in law has an old cone coffee maker and her coffee is GREAT!!!!! thnx

Jan 16, 2020
cone better for stronger coffee
by: Anonymous

I find the coffee is much stronger in a cone filter, hence I use less coffee

Nov 13, 2019
These guys tested and their results clearly show...
by: Anonymous

This is an industry paper so caveat emptor

Nov 10, 2019
My preference is CONE!
by: CE

I have trouble finding a cone shaped coffee maker now :( With the cone shaped I used half as much coffee grounds but I purchased my coffee from the local coffee shop. But they had two grinds for flat/cone shaped drip coffee. The cone shaped drip maker needed a finer grind to the coffee. That made the water take longer to get through the grounds so I thought the coffee tasted great. The used grounds were easier to take out and throw away, only needed two fingers.

Jul 21, 2019
Cone vs fly filter
by: Anonymous

I have had both types of coffee makers. In the end if the spray head is properly matched to soak all coffee grounds it should not matter. I would say from the physical design the cone should be better at soaking all the grounds as it focuses water flow but a good spray head in a flat basket style would still work. It’s probably more about design of maker then anything else.

Nov 18, 2017
As a barista.
by: Hawkeye Johnson

As a barista I’m noticing a lot of people saying how they prefer cone or flat bottom. Now those are well and good but they are using newer machines as their arguing point. From my experience in coffee both cones do the same thing.
Or bamboo
Filters are really good and all do just about the same thing depending on the coffee, the freshness, and the grind date. But a different machine will most definitely produce a different coffee than the previous.
Downsides to both
sides CAN fall down which make for a uneven extraction
Depending on coffee brewer the spout can in some cases not saturate all the coffee evenly.

water can be prone to leaving the filter faster due to the shape but counter this with grind size and bloom can fix it.

Personally I’m leaning more to the cone filter due to that being a standard among many professional coffee company’s and coffee makers. BOTH WORK ALMOST THE SAME but it al depends on YOUR personal preference.


Aug 10, 2016
Cone filters better
by: Long-time coffee drinker

I have had makers with both shapes and I prefer cone filters, hands down. Not only does all the water pass through the coffee on a cone filter, but I have had basket filters' sides fall down into the grinds - not good. Never happens with a cone filter.

Dec 20, 2015
They definitely taste different
by: Anonymous

I had a Mr. Coffee cone drip maker for several years and was very unhappy with how bitter the coffee was. The problem was that the drip was sooooo slow and the heating element extraordinarily hot that it just leached all the bitterness of the bean into the pot.

The heating element finally gave out and I replaced it with a Mr. Coffee flat-bottom filter and voila! wonderful smooth and nutty taste. Same coffee beans, different coffee maker. So good!

Oct 21, 2012
Flat vs cone...
by: John G

My wife purchased a Mr Coffee flat bottom. Our older Bunn was starting to act up. I didn't especially care for the esthetics of it. Looked like a chevrolet (cheap). I was relieved when she accidentally broke the glass carafe. I seized the moment & purchased a cone bottom Cuisinart Extreme, 12 cup type. To my surprise, it was immediately apparent the Mr Coffee made a much more flavorful cup. I really love my coffee strong. Typically an Italian or French blend. The prior was my favorite. Trying to recapture that M C flavor. I kept adding more & more coffee grounds. Eventually making a huge m:ess in the coffee maker. I ended up with a grind between cone & flat. That seemed to cure the mess I was making. Recently my son in law introduced me to the Willow blend. I've experimented with combinations of bold & the Willow. I've ended up with 3 heaping Willow on the bottom & 2 heaping of bold. Sometimes French, K Dragon, but especially love the Italian. I've tried putting the Willow on top as well. Not as flavorful, try it I think you'll agree.

Aug 06, 2010
Cone Filters
by: Anonymous

More hot water comes in contact wiyh the coffee in cone filters so I prefer them. I have used both and like the cone filters much more.

Oct 26, 2009
I go for the cone...
by: Gman

Mom just got a Mr. Coffee (flat filter) and my girlfriend has a Black and Decker cone style maker. I swear the latter makes a better cup of coffee. (well. Stronger, at least; and that's how we like it). We only brew 3 or 4 cups, so maybe that makes a difference. Seems like the cone would "concentrate" the coffee drip better.


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