Best Coffee Filter Substitutes – When You Run Out of Filters

If you are looking for a way to make your coffee in the morning but don’t have any filters, you might be thinking about using paper towels and napkins or finer mesh sieves.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to have a perfect cup of coffee without a filter.

The Most Known Coffee Filter substitutes are:

  1. Paper Towels and Napkins,
  2. Fine Mesh Sieves,
  3. Cloth Napkin,
  4. Tea Filter
  5. Reusable Tea bags

1. Paper Towels

What are paper towels used for?
This is a most common substitute for coffee filters.

It is very easy to do it, just take a paper towel or napkin and Do as the following,

  • Place a paper towel or napkin on top of coffee pot.
  • Pour the hot water through to saturate it.
  • Wait for about ten seconds until water starts to drip through.
  • Pour your coffee by carefully lifting it off the filter itself and into the mug.

Paper towels can contain unhealthy (and not very nasty) chemicals, One of them is sodium percarbonate, which is used to make paper white.

This chemical reacts with acid (such as vinegar) to produce hydrogen peroxide and carbon dioxide. Healthy bacteria cannot live under such conditions and die out, which will produce a bad taste on the coffee.

Paper towels and napkins are not suitable for brewing coffee. The coffee will be bitter and over extracted. This is because the fiber in paper products doesn't hold up as long against the hot water as a filter would.

2. Fine Mesh Sieves:

Mesh Sieves

Fine mesh sieves are an acceptable substitution for coffee filters if you don’t have any on hand. However, the sieve will need to be cleaned right away since hot water can leave residue that may affect the flavor of your coffee.

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You will need to do the following to use a sieve as coffee filters.

  • After washing the mesh with hot water, place your sieve on top of coffee pot and pour in water.
  • Wait for about ten seconds until water starts to drip through. This is the time that you let the sieve drain water slowly while pouring out the last bit of water into your mug.
  • Pour your coffee by carefully lifting it off the filter itself and into the mug.
A fine mesh sieve is not as effective as a coffee filter because it lets some grains of coffee escape, so you may need to do a final filtering to get rid of these grains.

Also, you have to wait for about ten seconds to get the results, which makes this method too slow if you’re in a hurry.

3. Cloth Napkin:

Cloth Napkin

This is another common substitute for filters you don’t have on hand, which is quite alright because the cloth napkin can help you make a cup of coffee.

The cloth napkin should be cleaned with hot water, wrung out, and then used as a filter.

It traps even the finest grounds and keeps them out of your cup. These cloths are often used as a barista towel, which is why you can find them at coffee shops and other coffee shops.

There are two main problems with using a cloth napkin as a filter.

  • If you put the cloth into your hot water too early, it will not be able to absorb enough water to dry thoroughly. This means that some of the coffee grounds will get through onto your mug.
  • More coffee grounds get through than you would think. You need some additional filtering steps to get rid of the last grains of coffee in your cup.
A cloth napkin is usually used as a drying towel and not a coffee filter substitute.

However, if you are using the cloth napkin as a drying towel then it will absorb the flavor of your coffee and make it taste bitter.

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So, you can use paper towels instead of cloth napkin for drying off the soaked coffee filter.

4. Tea Filter:

Can I use coffee filter for tea?

Tea filters are more porous than coffee filters, meaning they let more of the coffee grains through while still keeping most grounds out.

These filters will also not leave any paper taste in your cup, but they will need an additional step or two to ensure you can use these to filter coffee, as opposed to tea.

To use a tea filter to filter coffee, you can leave it in the strainer as you brew your coffee. After brewing, simply pour the coffee through the strainer and into your cup, then discard the grounds.

5. Reusable Tea bags:

 Tea bags

It can be used as an alternative for coffee filter to strain your coffee. It is also reusable and can be used again and again. Put your coffee grounds into the teabag. Tie up the top and drop into the water.

You may want to experiment with the shape of the bag, using a funnel or something similar to help hold the bag open as it is dropped into the water.

Steeping produces strong flavor from each bean but doesn’t really affect the type of coffee because the same amount of coffee is made from the same beans.

Reusable Tea bags won’t leave grounds in your cup and can be used over and over again.

Final Words

What are the most common final words?

If you don’t have any filters, we suggest you continue using paper towels and napkins. To get the best results, use a finer variety of paper towel or napkin for your coffee filter.

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There are also re-usable cloth filters available for you to purchase.

Now that you have used your fine mesh sieve, paper towel or napkin and cloth napkin, we are sure you enjoyed your coffee with no filters.

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