6 Substitutes for Coffee Filter

Substitute For Coffee Filter

Kickstarting a day with a cup of coffee provides the much-needed energy. Coffee lovers can hardly imagine a day without gulping down a few cups. But what if you run out of coffee filter? If you have a supermarket nearby, then getting one is not a big deal. But what if your nearby store does not stock coffee filter? Do not worry as there are various substitutes for a coffee filter. 

What Are the Substitutes for a Coffee Filter?

  • Cloth napkin
  • Reusable tea bags
  • Butter muslin
  • Mesh sleeve
  • Coffee sock
  • French Press coffee maker. 

Why Should You Filter the Coffee?

The main benefit of filtering coffee is that it helps reduce the cholesterol in the blood. When the coffee is brewed and filtered, it traps an oily substance present in the coffee. If this oily substance gets mixed with the coffee, it blocks a cholesterol regulating receptor in the intestine. As a result of this, the intestine can no longer control the amount of cholesterol in the blood. 

When the coffee is filtered, the oily substance is automatically removed, thus reducing the risk of increased cholesterol. Moreover, it is difficult to drink a cup of coffee without filtering as the small coffee particles provide a bitter taste. 

6 Best Substitutes for Coffee Filter


  • Cloth Napkin


Take a cloth napkin and place it over the drip basket. You can even wash the napkin if you think that it needs more cleaning. You should place the napkin in such a  way that it droops slightly into the cup. If you feel that the cloth will fall inside the drip cup, you can even secure it with a rubber band.

Now put two spoons of coffee grinds on the cloth. Pour hot water over the grinds. The brewed coffee will automatically drip down to the cup. 

Pros: Cloth napkins are readily available in every home. If you do not have a cloth napkin, you can even use a dishcloth for this purpose. The fine weave of the cloth can contain even the minute particles in the ground coffee. 

Cons: This method of coffee filtering can sometimes stain the cloth. If the cloth has some inbuilt smell on it, especially detergent smell, it can alter the taste of the coffee. Moreover, if you do not place the cloth properly in the drip cup, then the coffee might spill over. 


  • Reusable tea bags


You can use teabags not just for filtering tea, but for filtering coffee as well. For this, you should first add 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee into the tea bag and seal it up. Now place the tea bag in a cup containing hot water. Let it sit for some time. The coffee will automatically get mixed with the water, just like tea, and you will get the required brew. 

Pros: A tea bag is a food-safe material. Thus, you need not worry about any dangerous chemical getting into your cup of coffee. Secondly, you do not mess up the area when you use a reusable tea bag as it is meant for filtration purposes. Thirdly, you can adjust the strength of the coffee by keeping the teabag dipped for long. Moreover, since you use the teabag, again and again, it is environmentally friendly. 

Cons: If you do not stock reusable tea bags, then you may not be able to use it in an emergency. Teabags can be expensive. 


  • Butter muslin


Butter muslin is a fine weave cloth that is used to drain soft cheese and butter. It makes a good substitute for a coffee filter as it can catch minute coffee particles. Place the butter muslin over the drip basket and put 1-2 tablespoons of coffee. Pour hot water above it. The coffee will automatically filter down to the basket. 

Pros: Since the butter muslin is meant for filtering purposes, it can catch very minute coffee grind particles. Moreover, since you use the butter muslin for filtering food items, there is no question of contamination. 

Cons: Unless you are into experimenting with food, you may not have a butter muslin at home. 


  • Mesh sieve


You can use a mesh sieve not just for sieving flour, but also for filtering coffee. First, put 1-2 tablespoons of coffee in a cup and pour hot water over it. Now, pass it through a mesh sieve. If you feel that the mesh is slightly bigger, then you can place a cheesecloth on it to catch minute coffee grinds. 

Pros: This method of coffee filtering is rather easy as most of you might have a mesh sieve in the house. Secondly, if you want to filter coffee in large quantities, this method is very effective. Thirdly, since you use the mesh sieve for sieving or filtering food items, there is no worry of contamination. Mesh sieve is also environmentally friendly as you will be resuing it again. 

Cons: Not all sieve catches fine coffee grinds. If your mesh is not tightly woven, then you might have to place a cloth in between to capture the minute particles. 


  • Coffee sock


A coffee sock is a tightly woven fabric that is attached to a metal wire. It works similarly to a muslin cloth. To use it, you should put 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee inside and pour hot water. The coffee will automatically drip down and you get a perfect brew.

Pros: Since the coffee socks are meant for coffee filtration, the brew that you get is just perfect and free of minute grains. 

Cons: You may not have coffee socks readily available. 


  • French Press coffee maker


This coffee maker comes with a cup and a plunger. First, you should put 1-2 tablespoons of grind coffee in the cup. Pour hot water over it and mix it well. Now slowly immerse the plunger into the cup. The plunger will settle the grinds at the bottom of the cup leaving you with a clearly filtered brew. 

Pros: You get a perfect brew from a French press coffee maker as it is meant for filtering the coffee. Moreover, it is easy to use. 

Cons: You may not have a french press coffee maker at home. 

How to Drink Coffee If You Do Not Have Filter Substitutes?

If you are not an avid coffee lover, the chances of having a coffee filter or any of the above substitutes are minimal. But what if you feel like drinking coffee one fine morning? Here are some ways to get that perfect cup without any filter. 


  • Instant coffee


If you do not drink coffee on a regular basis, it is a good idea to stock up on instant coffee. This way, if you feel like drinking coffee once in a while you can make it without much difficulty. Similarly, if you happen to have coffee-loving guests at home, having instant coffee lets you prepare a cup of coffee in a jiffy. 

All you have to do is to mix a teaspoon of coffee with a cup of boiling water. Your brew is ready. Various brands of the instant coffee mix are available for you to choose from. 


  • Mud coffee


But some people may not like the idea of using instant coffee. They want the coffee to be filtered. If you are one among them, then mud coffee is a good alternative. 

Mud coffee or Kopi Tobruk is an Indonesian technique of filtering coffee. In this technique, first, you should mix a tablespoon of fine or medium ground coffee with a cup of hot water. Cover it with a lid and let it rest for some time. The coffee grinds will slowly settle down at the bottom of the cup. You can take the clear brew from the top and prepare coffee. Remember to discard the mud at the bottom.

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