Coffee Filter vs Cheesecloth – Know What is the Best Option to Filter Your Brewed Coffee

Cheesecloth is basically made from a cotton cloth and is primarily used to prepare a cheese.

It is also a great medium that can be used to strain water from various liquid items.

So, I often wonder whether cheesecloth can be used to filter coffee efficiently.

Does it work better than your regular coffee filter papers when it comes to filtering our hot or cold brewed coffee?

Today, I am going to compare properties of coffee filters vs cheesecloth.

In the end, we will know which is the better option to filter our daily coffee.

Table of Contents

7 Key Differences Between Paper Coffee Filter vs Cheesecloth

Paper Coffee FilterCheesecloth
1. Coffee filters are primarily made up of disposable papers, nylon mesh or metal.1. Cheesecloth is made from gauze like cotton cloth that is loosely woven.
2. It is mainly used to filter out coffee grounds or coffee granules to allow the liquid coffee to pass through.2. Cheesecloth is primarily used for preparing cheese but can also be used to strain water and catch solid particles from various kinds of liquids.
3. Coffee filters are usually made from 20 micrometer wide filaments which allows particles of 10-15 micrometers in width to easily pass through.3. It is available in 6 different grades and they are determined by the number of threads per inch in every direction.
4. They come in mainly two varieties: disposable and reusuable filters. They are mainly made from disposable paper, nylon mesh and metal material.4. Cheesecloth are made from either 100% cotton or nylon material and comes in 6 different varieties such as Grade 10, Grade 40, Grade 50, Grade 60, Grade 80 and Grade 90 cheesecloth.
5. The unbleached paper filters does not contain Dioxin and therefore it is safe for your health.5. It leaves a little more sludge at the bottom while filtering out cold brew coffee. Since it is made from 100% cotton material, it is safe for your health.
6. Coffee filters made from paper are best to filter out Cafestol from coffee which increases your cholesterol levels.6. Cheesecloth is not able to filter Cafestol from coffee efficiently and so, in that sense, paper filters are superior in comparison to cheesecloth.
7. Coffee paper filters are pretty cheap and metal filters though bit expensive, can be economical over a period.7. Cheesecloth is a bit expensive product as compared to paper filters but they can be reused efficiently over a long period.

Is Coffee Filter Same as Cheesecloth?

The answer is “No”.

As already mentioned above, cheesecloth is made form 100% pure cotton material and coffee filter is made from either disposable paper, nylon or metal material.

The main purpose of using cheesecloth is to make cheese. But it can also be used for straining water and other liquids.

On the other side, coffee filter is mainly used to filter cold brew coffee grounds.

It is very cheaply priced as compared to cheesecloth.

So, the material wise, function wise, design wise, there are lot of differences between the two.

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Can I Use Cheesecloth instead of Coffee Filter?

Yes, you can use cheesecloth on behalf of coffee filters in certain cases.

A cheesecloth made up of 100% natural cotton fine mesh is ideal for filtering out cold brew coffee granules faster and more efficiently.

These types of cheesecloth filters are also highly beneficial for making nut milk, hot or cold tea, soup spices, yogurt, and certain Chinese medicines.

If you are looking for such high quality cheesecloth bags then I strongly recommend you to get this Auxin Cotton Fine Mesh Cheesecloth.

This specific cheesecloth is made from food grade cotton material which is easily squeezable and washable.

You can effortlessly use it more than once and clean it quickly at home.

I love the fact that it comes in unbleached form and it is completely environment friendly product.

Click Here to Use Auxin Cotton Fine Mesh Cheesecloth to Filter Your Daily Coffee.

How to Filter Coffee without a Coffee Filter at Home?

If you are bored and tired of using your paper coffee filters at home, then don’t worry.

You can still filter out your daily coffee using other exciting options.

5 substitute options for coffee filters are provided as follows.

1. Make Cowboy Coffee: Yep, this is also the option you can use when you don’t want to use any filter for your coffee. It is called as a Cowboy Coffee.

You can just boil the water, let the temperature drop by few degrees so that it becomes suitable to add your coffee grounds.

Once you mix the coffee grounds in the hot water, stir it well and allow some time for coffee to brew.

After some time, coffee grounds sit at the bottom and then you have to pour the final coffee slowly in the coffee mug.

This type of cowboy coffee is fast and efficient where you don’t need any coffee filter at all.

The only issue is it tastes somewhat bitter and feels very strong due to lack of cafestol filtration.

2. Use Cheesecloth or Muslin Cloth: As mentioned in the beginning of this article, cheesecloth and muslin both can be a great alternative to your regular paper filters.

Both of these can efficiently filter out smaller coffee granules and can also be reused multiple times.

3. Make use of Paper Towels: Paper towel can be another good substitute for paper coffee filters.

But using them have several disadvantages too. They are flimsy and thin which is why they break or tear apart pretty easily when filtering coffee.

Plus, you always need to use a drip basket or pour over container to efficiently use paper towels to filter your coffee.

4. Use CoffeeSock: Yes, you can make use of this unconventional method to filter out your coffee easily at home.

CoffeeSock is a reusable cold brew coffee filter which is made from 100% organic cotton material.

They are great to filter medium to coarsely ground coffee. And the best thing is you can wash them after filtering your coffee and reuse them next time without any issues.

Click Here to Check out CoffeeSock Cold Bre Coffee Filter.

5. Use Thin Cotton Cloth: Yeah, if you don’t have anything in your kitchen currently to filter your coffee, then a simple cotton cloth is the last option for you.

But you will also need a better pour over container or a drip basket for this method to work effectively.  

Can You use Paper Towel Instead of Cheesecloth as a Filter?

Yes, if you are looking for viable and good substitutes for a cheesecloth filter then you can definitely use a paper filter for it.

Along with paper filters, you can even use other alternatives such as muslin cloth, linen dishcloths, flour sack cloths, and fine mesh bags.

Can You Wash and Reuse Cheesecloth as a Filter?

Yes, a good quality cheesecloth made from 100% organic cotton material can be easily washed and reused as a coffee filter.

One of the best organically made cheesecloths that I have found online is Auxin Cotton Fine Mesh Cheesecloth.

The cotton used in this cheesecloth is made from food grade and environment friendly organic cotton material.

It is also non-bleached which prevents the chemicals to enter into your coffee during the filtration of your cold brew coffee.

Final Thoughts

If you compare cheesecloth with your regular paper coffee filters then you will find some pros and some cons for both of them.

Paper coffee filters are disposable in nature and you usually can not reuse or repurpose them.

On the other side, cheesecloth filters are washable and reusable by design.

They are made from organic cotton material which is environment friendly too.

On the other side, paper filters are best in filtering out Cafestol from your coffee grounds which increases your cholesterol levels. This is not possible with your cheesecloth filter.

So, both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages.

However, my vote goes to cheesecloth filter because you can easily wash it, reuse it and the best thing is it is completely an eco-friendly option.


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