What are the Advantages of a Gold Coffee Filter?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A number of coffee enthusiasts have made the switch from disposable paper coffee filters to the permanent gold coffee filter. A majority of those who use one regularly say there is a definite difference in the flavor of their brews. Many filter reviews use words such as "brighter," "livelier" or "more complex" to describe this difference. So, what are some of the advantages of using a gold coffee filter?

A gold coffee filter.
A gold coffee filter.

One major advantage is longevity. Paper coffee filters are designed to be disposable, so eventually users need to purchase a new box or two. For a relatively small investment, coffee drinkers can purchase a gold-toned or 23-karat gold filter designed to last for years.

Some people say that coffee made using a gold coffee filter is more flavorful.
Some people say that coffee made using a gold coffee filter is more flavorful.

A gold-toned filter is constructed from stainless steel that has been enhanced with gold plating. A Swiss Gold coffee filter is made from real 23-karat gold, which gives it even more longevity. Both types eliminate the need for paper filter replacement.

Another advantage of a gold coffee filter is flavor enhancement. Paper filters are designed to absorb much of the oil surrounding the ground and roasted coffee beans. While some oil absorption may eliminate bitterness, paper filters often remove too much of the coffee's complex flavors contained in that oil. A gold coffee filter allows more oils to remain in the finished coffee, giving it a richer and more intense flavor. The mesh holds back unwanted coffee grounds like a paper filter, but some smaller grinds may be present in the finished product. The gold in the filter does not impart any metallic taste to the brew.

A final advantage is easier clean-up and maintenance. Paper coffee filters can be very messy to remove and discard, being filled with hot coffee grounds and oils. To empty a gold coffee filter, all one must do is pour out the contents and rinse thoroughly. It can even be put in a standard dishwasher for a more thorough cleaning. Unlike a traditional paper filter, a gold filter holds all of the grounds securely during the brewing process. If a paper filter is not aligned precisely, the water and grounds may spill out of the top and into the holding well and carafe.

A gold coffee filter may not suit every coffee drinker's budget, but an initial investment can reduce the possibility of running out of paper filters at an inopportune moment. Just knowing that the boss will always get the morning coffee on time should be incentive enough to consider a permanent filter for the office coffee station.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments


I thought the "boss" was referring to one's wife. I have to give her a 4 ounce sample of my gourmet coffee every morning, and she gets pretty peeved if I forget to pour hers before leaving the house.


For those worried about lipids: I suggest you stick to water and grass for the rest of your life. Hypochondria is also a form of illness.


Re: Post 2 Can we just leave the boss out completely?


Look up Kahweol Cafestol paper filter. You will find many scholarly papers concluding that metal filters allow the harmful lipids to pass through. I am a victim of this, and I have a gold coffee filter.

My blood tests showed exactly that everything was fine but my triglycerides, which is strange because I have a very balanced diet and never eat sweets. My doctor was shocked.


can you sell the gold once you are done with the filter?


I have used a Swiss Gold filter (supposed to be top of the line), as well as other permanent filters and just about every brand of paper filter you can imagine. They all leave a distinct and damaging taste in the coffee. I've given up on filters. it's a french press for me. that is the gold standard of brewing, as far as I am concerned.


Does the 23k gold filter tend to deal with impact poorly? I'm opening a coffee shop and want to use these in a bunn brewer but am concerned about the softness of gold and the likely hood of accidentally widening or narrowing the filter holes.

By the way, don't feel bad about the so-called "sexism." Having had a male boss, you would naturally tend to say "his." I had a female boss for a good while and during that time and for a while after I naturally said "her" when referring to any kind of boss.

You really have no reason to be ashamed; in fact you should be insulted by anon3360's "reverse sexism."


The biggest consideration for these gold filters, in my opinion, is not so much with taste as it is with lowering environmental impact through eliminating use of paper filters.

However, on a purely practical level I have found that a gold filter is actually more difficult to clean up than a paper filter - a paper filter can simply be removed and placed in your compost. With a gold filter, after you dump grounds out there will always be residue and grounds left clinging to the side of the filter. You don't want to just rinse this out in the sink since the grounds tend to accumulate in the drain and clog it. Even small amounts will tend to rest in the trap and accumulate rather than wash through the pipes.

So, do you wipe the remaining residue out of the gold filter with a paper towel? Defeats the purpose of having a non-paper filter.


oh a gold coffee filter? i would like to have one. -- samatha


I did find this article helpful and the comments when they were talking about the coffee filter! anon3360, you need to find something better to do with your time then ponder why the default pronoun is masculine.


Here's a relevant study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1995. Note the chart at the top of p. 151. --JF


Another point for these type of filters, they have multipurpose uses in the kitchen as fine filters for whatever you need them. I use my old one to filter fry oil for storage and later reuse.


How does 23K gold increase longevity? Isn't stainless steel harder and more durable than gold, especially gold that is pure?


You failed to mention the primary reason for going gold with coffee filters. They avoid the bad taste from chemicals in the paper filters. These unpleasant flavors get worse the longer you keep your paper filters in the cupboard after opening. Try it... pour hot water through a paper coffee filter and then drink it. Give it the nose test too. Not too appealing, I'd say.


Is there any advantage to using 23K gold filter? I have been using gold tone filters for several years and are happy with them. The gold tone filters last about a year or so. Will the 23K gold filter last longer?


Good article. Informative. People need to stop freaking out about sexism. The reality is that there is gender inequality in the workplace and that's the way the world is at the moment. You can get annoyed and complain about it in places like this or you could actually do something more meaningful to change it. What that is, I don't know, but it's not complaining here.


Good article, and we love the flavor of our bought-whole and ground-ourselves, fair-traded Arabica, gold-filtered coffee, but actually we've recently had the devil of a time with our latest gold-toned filter letting grounds sift into the coffee maker basket, clog up the drain hole, and overflow all over the counter. We didn't have this trouble with our first filter (they do eventually wear out). Wish I could figure out why it was happening.


Now the article is sexist the other way. Just because a woman complained doesn't mean you should change the pronoun in her favor.


Gold filters:

'Anonymous' doesn't read very carefully - the article doesn't specify the gender of the office assistant. I am a female, I am a 'boss' and I live in a part of the world where those who serve tea and coffee are, by tradition, male. (The part of the world in which this is the case is larger than that in which it is not).

However, I buy my morning espresso to avoid reinforcing an unproductive office hierarchy.

I found the article very useful. I may be wrong, but I think that the volatile oils removed by paper filters include not only various flavors, but the stimulant for which we all drink our morning 'java' (or arabica) - caffeine.


"Just knowing the boss will always get his morning cup of coffee on time should be incentive enough to consider a permanent gold coffee filter for the office coffee station."

Nice! Thanks for letting us ladies know our place!


You accurately point out the advantages of a gold coffee filter vs a paper filter. However, I am concerned that you failed to discuss the potential disadvantages of the gold filter. The enhanced flavor is most likely due to lipids which are filtered out by paper and not by the gold. Two of these lipids, cafestol and kahweol, have been shown to have an adverse impact on serum lipids. This should be a part of this discussion as increased consumption of Arabica bean coffees could result in increased cardiovascular risks.

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