Filtered versus unfiltered coffee brewing.

by Carole Lusser
(Driggs, Idaho)


Recently, I have heard discussion regarding filtered coffee is more desirable than unfiltered. Why is filtered coffee more desirable? Is it healthier or more flavourful? Is coffee made in an espresso machine less healthy? It certainly is flavourful, so what's up?


This isn't something I have heard about...unless people are referring to the water being filtered.

As for coffee, all coffee makers filter the coffee. Drip brewers use paper filters or permanent, metal filters.

The same is true for espresso machines. They also use permanent, metal filters. If they didn't, you would end up with coffee grinds in your espresso shot.

The only coffee making method that doesn't use a filter is when you make Turkish coffee. The coffee is ground very, very fine, to the consistency of talcum powder, and it settles to the bottom of your glass or mug when you pour it.

Comments for Filtered versus unfiltered coffee brewing.

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Apr 25, 2020
What about K cups
by: Anonymous

Are K cups filtered and by what method?

Apr 24, 2020
Instant coffee
by: Anonymous

As someone asked, instant coffee is considered as filtered coffee for cholesterol lowering purposes. Not sure how much difference it makes in real life.

Jan 07, 2020
READ People, don't be Sheeple.
by: Anonymous

world of caffeine /2011/06/20/filter-drip-coffee-paper-vs-metal-filters : article

Metal "filters" are basically just screens like you might have in your home windows. They minimize particulate matter only.

Paper filters remove additional oils which have been linked to higher cholesterol in some studies when ingested in large doses.

Both pros and cons can be found depending on what articles you read... LOL

but for me, I want flavor and will use my percolator unfiltered, Thanks!

Dec 24, 2019
Coffee vs tea
by: Anonymous

Moderation is key. Sometimes if you switch the coffee out for some tea, for example. Like coffee, tea has it's own problems in that the quality tends to vary from one batch/brand to the next however.

Aug 08, 2019
by: Anonymous

It absolutely does matter. If you have high cholesterol you need to drink filtered coffee. Speak with your doctor

May 08, 2019
by: Anonymous

Hi, what about instant coffee? Is that considered filtered or unfiltered?

Apr 19, 2016
by: Anonymous

The coffee detective doesn't know the difference between using a paper filter or a filterless method like french press/aeropress?


Oct 04, 2015
by: Anonymous

When the world of coffee and science talks about filtered coffee versus unfiltered coffee, they are referring to the use of paper filters.

Aug 02, 2015
latest research
by: Anonymous quotes New England Journal of Medicine study:
"It's also worth noting that coffee should be filtered rather than boiled because the process strips out compounds that raise the "bad" LDL cholesterol that increases risk of heart attacks from sudden blood clots in narrowed arteries." tho i'm not sure that was the quoters addition [or N.E.J.M.].
I've read elsewhere that consumers of Turkish/Greek [very UNfiltered] coffee live longer. So i'm thoroughly confused.

Oct 28, 2014
Instant Coffee?
by: Anonymous

What about Instant Coffee?

Is Instant Coffee considered Filtered or Unfiltered? :/

Aug 08, 2014
Toddy maker - filtered or not?
by: Anonymous

Is a toddy maker with the cotton pressed disc shaped filter considered "filtered"?" Is there something in the paper filters
That are better?

Editor's note: Yes, the Toddy uses a filter. It makes filtered coffee.

Jan 02, 2012
The French Press
by: Meg

Detective, you forgot about coffee made with a French press. That's not filtered at all. And many folks use that daily, so it's important to have accurate information regarding the health benefits/risks of filtering/not filtering.

Aug 24, 2010
Does Coffee Raise Cholesterol?
by: Jake V.

Check out this artical from MSNBC that asks the question "Does Coffee Raise Cholesterol?". It explaines a little more on filtered v unfiltered.

Jan 30, 2010
the coment
by: coffee lover

your answer was very detailed and you are doing a very good job i have never heard this web site.

May 04, 2009
A French Press is Definitely Unfiltered!
by: Anonymous

The screen at the bottom of the plunger on a french press is not a filter. It is merely a way to keep the grounds on the bottom of the pot from emptying into your cup when you pour. Coffee made in a french press is considered unfiltered due to the oils that seep from the grounds and remain in the pot during the steep time. This type of coffee, while smooth, delicious and unparalleled, most definitely has shown a significant spike in LDL cholesterol. Those with already high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease, or other risk factors are advised to drink their coffee filtered. Sad for coffee lovers with cholesterol issues.

Feb 21, 2009
Filters and Terpenes
by: Anonymous

Yes, paper filters remove terpenes, which are oils in coffee that have been found to increase both total blood cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

Nov 02, 2008
paper filter vs. metal
by: Anonymous

i've read a report(can't cite it here so take it or leave it) stating that the paper filters will filter out an oil that is in the coffee bean(and remains after roasting and brewing). thus the paper filter is not just to get rid of the coffee grounds.
this oil is supposedly bad in large quantities. the metal filters do not filter this out thus the difference in taste as well.

Jul 24, 2008
French Press
by: Anonymous

The French is considered unfilitered, at least in the world of science & health.

Apr 07, 2008
In answer to the first comment left here...
by: Nick (The Coffee Detective)

A French Press does have a filter...the metal screen at the base of the plunger. As for cholesterol, I don't believe it makes any difference whether you use a filter or not.

But as I said, the only coffee brewing method that doesn't use a filter - paper or metal - is when you make Turkish coffee...which not many of us do.

Apr 06, 2008
filtered vs non filtered coffee
by: Anonymous

You forgot french press. no filter is involved here either.

Using a filter experts say are better for those who are watching their cholestoral, but the taste I believe is better when unfiltered.

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