The Good: Durable, Do what they claim to
The Bad: Not as environmentally sound as a reusable filter, Not the best pack (economically or environmentally).
The Basics: A product that does exactly what is promises, the 40-pack box of Melitta #4 Coffee Grounds is only brought down by there being more economical packs of the same.
My wife likes challenging me with my reviewing. In addition to coming home with innumerable products from the pet store she worked at (as if a backlog in Movies, Music, and Food wasn't enough, I now have a slew of Pets products awaiting review!), every now and then, she suggests my writing will remain sharp and get better by stretching myself in new directions. To this end, she occasionally pulls out an item and suggests I review it. Today's game of that ended when we found the Melitta #4 Coffee Filters. As it turns out, these are the precise coffee filters we use in our Hamilton Beach Brewmaster coffee maker (reviewed here!).
A coffee filter is a generally necessary component in brewing coffee as the filter is what keeps the coffee grounds out of the pot of coffee and allows water to pass through the basket of the coffee maker. It is exactly what its name suggests, a filter, a semi-permeable membrane which allows liquids to pass through, but prevents solid matter from following. This allows hot water to soak coffee beans (ground up, of course) and take the essence of those beans and carry them in liquid form into the carafe below the coffee maker. This is, of course, the beverage we all know as coffee. If it weren't for the coffee filter, coffee makers would either get backed up as the grounds resisted going down the drip hole in the coffeemaker's basket and formed a dam or the coffee one attempted to drink from the pot would have coffee grounds swimming in it.
Melitta #4 Coffee Filters are thick paper filters designed for coffee makers that brew eight to twelve cups of coffee. This is the only type of paper filter designed to fit into the basket of my coffee maker. The Melitta #4 Coffee Filters come in boxes of forty filters and my experience has been that that will last for about eighty pots of coffee. The white filters are appropriately colored white and they are composed of paper that has been bleached and then had the chlorine removed. This is generally regarded as a less environmentally friendly filter than the brown paper filters, but they serve the same function and I've noticed no difference in the quality of the coffee being produced.
The #4 coffee filters are two inches wide at their base and seven and a half inches wide at their curved top and they have an opening only at the top. The bottom and side is crimped in two lines to keep the filter sealed closed on those sides. This allows the water to enter through the open top and filter over coffee grounds placed in the filter without the grounds passing through the filter and into the basket of the coffee maker.
Melitta #4 Coffee Filters are very easy to use. Simply open the basket to your coffee maker, remove a filter from the package and open the filter at the top. The top separates easily as there is nothing holding the top together. Place the filter into the basket with the bottom over the drip hole and fill the filter with coffee grounds. The Melitta #4 Coffee Filters hold up to six Tablespoons of coffee grounds. Then close the basket and brew according to the directions of the coffee maker; the coffee filter does the rest.
Truth be told, I have only used Melitta #4 Coffee Filters in my coffee maker and the only differences I've noticed in coffee quality have come from different flavors of coffee I have brewed and how find the grounds have been. My ideal coffee grinder makes coffee beans into more of a powder than a sandy ground and the Melitta coffee filters flawlessly brews with that. By this, I mean that I have never had a coffee ground that has been too fine for the Melitta #4 coffee filters to actually retain. Solid coffee does not get through this filter, only the liquid we want!
It is worth noting, though, that I tend to reuse the coffee filters because I am cheap and these are exceptionally durable. Even wet, they do not tear very easily. As a result, I tend to scoop out a day's coffee grounds and compost them and reuse the filters for a second brewing, usually on a second day. The Melitta #4 Coffee Filters are so strong that I have never had a coffee ground get through on a second brewing, either.
When one is done with these coffee filters, they just have to remove it from their coffeemaker's basket. After that, they may be thrown away. Supposedly these may be composted, but I have not done that as I suspect they take quite a while to biodegrade. For real environmentalists, there are now reusable coffee filters and that offers a more environmental and economical way to brew coffee than these paper filters.
Still, the Melitta #4 coffee filters do exactly what they promise: they provide the means to make coffee while keeping the grounds from getting in the coffee. Honestly, who could ask for more?
For other coffee-related products, please visit my reviews of:
Cuisinart Supreme Grind Coffee Grinder
Proctor Silex E160 Coffee Grinder
Tim Horton’s Fine Grind Coffee
For other appliance reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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