Best Coffee Filter Alternatives: Available In Your Kitchen

Did you forget to get coffee filters from the store?

It’s Saturday morning and you probably don’t feel like stepping outside.

Whatever the reason might be, don’t be disappointed. Some of the substitutes for coffee filters are just lying around in your kitchen. 

If you are an environmentalist, some of these coffee filter replacement hacks will amaze you. And you might even avoid using coffee filters altogether. Few of these eco-friendly alternatives have been around for a long time now.

Coffee Filter Alternatives

A Metal mesh, Cheesecloth, Muslin cloth, a Fresh sock, Reusable cotton tea bag are some of the inexpensive Coffee filter alternates that are readily available in your kitchen. Also, you can try making Cowboy coffee or using a French press or Moka Pot.

Out of all the coffee filter alternatives, Metal Mesh is my favorite as it is reusable and it’s readily available in most homes.

Let’s get into the details of how to use all of these Coffee filters;

Coffee Filter Alternatives
List of the best Coffee Filter Alternatives

1.Metal Mesh

Metal mesh filters are effortlessly found, reusable and a great substitute for paper filters. For people who prefer a strong coffee and full-body flavor, mesh filters are a wonderful solution.

Metal filters are made using stainless steel or aluminum. They do not filter the oils in coffee or remove fines in it as a regular paper filter. However, if you love your coffee with oils, using metal mesh helps make a coffee taste the way you like it. 

This might take a couple of more seconds to clean. Yet saves you a lot of money buying and wasting paper filters.

A cloth coffee filter also will do the job just as well as metal mesh, next time at the store try picking up one for long-term use.


Cheesecloth is a cloth material used to strain liquids and to filter liquids whilst cooking. It will be really helpful to use cheesecloth to strain your coffee too. 

Simply fold the cloth a couple of times and cut it to fit in your filter basket. 

Depending on availability, muslin cloth or cloth napkin would also be helpful too. just follow the same process as cheesecloth.

Works like magic!

3.The Coffee Sock

I guarantee this isn’t as bad as it sounds. Using a clean sock is an absolutely easy process and trust me, this will not let you down. 

Just put your coffee beans in a sock/stocking or a reusable tea bag and let it sit in hot water for brewing. When you suppose coffee is brewed as per your preference, just remove the sock and relish your beverage. Or you can use it as a pour-over coffee, but make sure you try coarse grind coffee for this particular method. 

Instead of a sock, a washable cotton tea bag also will do the same job here. Although it is tough to clean the cotton tea bag, as a coffee filter substitute it does a fantastic job.

4.Make A Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy coffee is a very old process of heating coarse ground coffee with water over an open fire. It’s like making a French press coffee without a filter. Keeping aside the usual brewing process that we are accustomed to, this is something worth trying.

How To Make Cowboy Coffee?

  • Boil the water in a pot
  • Remove the pot & let it sit for 30sec
  • Add 1 tablespoon of ground coffee for 1 cup of water. (considering the pot size, measure accordingly)
  • Let it sit for 4 minutes, stir twice in this period
  • Check if the coffee grounds are settled at the bottom
  • Carefully pour coffee in a cup
  • Enjoy the drink!

This American tradition of making coffee is popular in camps. But we all know boiling coffee makes it bitter and highly acidic, so to reduce acidity in coffee add eggshells or salt while boiling water. 

Eggshells also help coffee grounds to settle at the bottom, making it easier to drink.

That’s it! The filter is not required. 

5.A Paper Towel

A paper towel is an easy substitute for coffee filters that are quite handily available at home. 

Fold the paper towel according to the size of your filter basket, add a couple of layers of the towel to get a clear liquid. 

Paper towel manages to remove fine coffee grounds too but gives a chemical taste to coffee. Might even tear because of hot water, making this a least preferred option amongst all. 

Along with these, a few DIY coffee filters will help you filter your coffee.

There are a few other ways you can enjoy drinking coffee without using a paper filter. 

Changing the way you brew coffee is an amazing way to relish the drink without using a filter too. French press and Mokapot are the two best brewing methods to follow. 

French press

A French press is a simple and manual brewing process invented in France in the 18th century. This world-famous brewing technique has many names like Plunger pot, Press pot. French press and Coffee machine piston.

A French press is an immersion brewing method. Which needs coffee grounds to be directly soaked in hot water for a few minutes, with no need for a paper filter. 

How To Make French Press Coffee?

  • Select coarse ground coffee beans
  • Measure coffee grounds to water ratio

For every 1 cup water (8 oz) – 2 tbsp (14gm) of coffee

  • Preheat the French press ( rinse it with boiling water)
  • Check water temperature 
  • Add coffee grounds and water to French press (stir them actively)
  • Time the brewing (4 min is ideal)
  • Press the plunger down
  • Serve and enjoy the drink!

The French press is the best coffee filter alternative with a great tasting coffee! 

Moka Pot

Moka pot is an Italian invented 19th-century coffee maker on a stovetop. 

The bottom section of the Moka pot contains water. When heated, the steam pushes the water through the basket which is filled with ground coffee to the upper section. 

How To Make Moka Pot Coffee?

  • Select espresso grind coffee 
  • Fill the bottom part of Moka pot with hot water
  • Fill the basket with coffee grounds and let it settle loosely 
  • Place the basket in the bottom compartment 
  • Screw both upper and the lower part of Moka pot
  • Place the container on stove at medium heat
  • Coffee is collected on the upper chamber

To avoid the metallic taste, remove the container from the stovetop if you see bubbles or hissing sounds. 

  • Pour it in mug, dilute according to your taste

Moka pot is an easy way to drink delicious espresso coffee not just when you run out of coffee filters, but for everyday purposes. 

These coffee filter alternatives are feasible and easy to find. Which can be used without electricity even.


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