How Many Coffee Filters Should I Use

How Many Coffee Filters Should I Use?

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 19:27

I hear this question often, how many coffee filters should I use, when coffee enthusiasts want to experiment with their drip or pour over coffee brewing and get a stronger and bolder tasting cup of coffee.

It is absolutely 100% true that using two coffee filters will make a stronger and bolder tasting brew, but should you use two filters?

The answers is no and you should only brew with one coffee filter at a time. There are better ways of making stronger coffee than using two filter.

Keep reading to find out why you should only use one filter and for a better way of brewing stronger coffee.

How Many Coffee Filters Should I Use?

The manufacturers of coffee makers recommend that you use only one coffee filter regardless of the type, be it a paper filter, or permanent filter regardless of the material that the filter is made of.

There are two reasons for this:

  • The flavor of coffee: The makers of drip coffee machines found through rigorous testing that the most delicious coffee is brewed using only one coffee filter, be it a cloth coffee filter, paper filters, or aluminum filter or whatever it may be.
  • Overflow: When you use more than one filter is used in your coffee machine it is very probable that it will overflow and flood your machine leaving you with a mess to clean and may even destroy your coffee maker. You also risk electrocution due to water and electricity being a very bad mix!

Use only one coffee filter at a time.

How Many Coffee Filters Should You Use
Use Only One Coffee Filter

Read: Coffee filter 2 Vs 4

Does Using Two Filters Make Coffee Stronger?

Yes, it is true that using two coffee filters will make your coffee taste much stronger and every coffee lover knows why – 2 coffee filters increase the amount of time that water is in contact with water and thus increases the brew time which results in a stronger coffee.

Unfortunately, using 2 filters when brewing coffee results in a cup of coffee that is bitter and over extracted.

This is not the only reason why you shouldn’t use two filters in an automatic coffee maker: you risk damaging your automatic coffee maker.

It is unquestionable that 2 coffee filters yields a bolder coffee and a stronger coffee. Let’s talk about the coffee brewing process and the role that a filter plays.

The coffee filter filters out some coffee elements and plays an important role in slowing down the water flow. This means that a coffee filter plays an important role in the extraction of coffee grounds as it directly affects the amount of time that your water is in contact with the coffee grounds.

Getting more granular, your coffee filter influences the extraction of flavors from coffee grounds.

When you use two filters either of the same type or different types, you will increase the contact of coffee grounds with your water, and thus they will become stronger and bolder.

Why It Is A Bad Idea To Use Two Coffee Filters

Even if you are a coffee lover that loves a stronger and bolder tasting coffee, it is a bad idea to use 2 filters in brewing coffee when you use your machine due to having very little to no control over the extraction which will inevitably result in a bitter coffee, a very bitter coffee.

You end up extending the extraction time too long, way too long, and you will end up clogging your drip coffee machine and possibly even flooding your machine and short-circuiting the machine. If you are lucky, all you will have is a horrid mess to clean up.

The double filter coffee that you have seen and heard of is brewed using the pour over coffee brewing method. Brewing a double filter coffee with the pour over method is certainly possible, more than possible as you have full control over the flow of water which mitigates the problem of overflowing and flooding your device. You can also manage the problem of over extraction.

Notably with double filter coffee using the pour over method you don’t have the problem of shorting your drip coffee machine or electrocution.

Use Only One Coffee Filter
Use Only One Coffee Filter

Read: What to use for coffee filter

Double Brewed Coffee

Double brewed coffee is a much better way of brewing a stronger and bolder cup of coffee and a viable method to use with drip coffee makers.

The first round of brewing, brew as you normally would. Naturally, taste test your coffee or keep a little for comparing taste. Then discard your coffee grounds and use fresh coffee grounds and get ready to double brew your coffee.

Empty your water reservoir of water and instead of adding water to the water tank, add the contents of your first round of brewing from your carafe. This time your drip coffee maker is going to brew with coffee and not water.

The result is coffee and not water will spray from your machine and out the coffee ground, and what will drip into your carafe below will be double brewed coffee. The result will be a stronger and bolder tasting cup of coffee.

If you are unsure, you can compare the tase with the sample amount that you saved earlier, the single brewed sample.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Many Coffee Filters Should I Use?

Coffee lovers use 2 coffee filters while brewing coffee to increase the extraction time. Increasing the contact time that your hot water has with the coffee grounds results in a stronger and bolder cup of coffee. Using two filters may result in a brew that is overtly bitter and over extracted.

The majority of coffee filters can be used four to five times before they stop filtering coffee effectively. If you are a bona fide coffee enthusiast and coffee connoisseur and using premium coffee beans I strongly suggest using your filter only once. Old coffee that is stuck to the filter will spoil your brew.

Should You Clean Coffee Filter After Every Use?

Yes, if you are using a metal reusable coffee filter it is good practice to clean it after every use. Pay attention to coffee grounds and coffee particles that may be stuck in the tiny holes. Clean with warm water and soap to remove all coffee oils. Rinse well.

Every once in a while, typically every month, clean the filter with distilled white vinegar to give it a good clean. 

Read: Coffee filter sizes

Yes, pre-wetting paper coffee filters with hot water is good practice as it helps to wash away any papery taste and any chemicals, bleaching agents (if any) and other flavors from the filter away and stops them from being imparted into your brew.

No, if you have a permanent metal reusable filter you don’t need to use a paper filter. The use of a metal filter is an environmentally friendly option as it saves the use of paper and the discarding of them.

Also, if you use a paper filter with a reusable filter, you may cause your coffee machine to overflow.

If you assume an average of 100 mg of caffeine per 8 ounce (240 ml) cup of coffee, 4 cups will put you straight on the 400 milligrams of caffeine maximum limit as recommended by the FDA. For pregnant women, the maximum suggested limit is 200 mg per day.

Final Thoughts – How Many Coffee Filters Should I Use?

If you get curious or your friends ask you, “how many coffee filters should I use?” just remember that you can only and really should only use one filter at a time and what the effect will have on your machine – I’m sure you don’t want to risk breaking it – just for a crazy experiment that will result in an over extracted and bitter coffee.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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