Can You Reuse Chemex Filters? The Answer Is “Yes, But”

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Can you reuse Chemex filters?”

Has this question ever crossed your mind? 

In fact, there is much controversy about whether to reuse the Chemex filter for the coffee-making process or not. Many people don’t find any problem in doing so because it still works stably, while others advise using it strictly as a disposable filter.

There are many different opinions, so that’s why this article is here to synthesize the information about the reusing Chemex filter. After reading it, you can understand the reason that many people recommend using it once per brewing.

Can You Reuse Chemex Filters?

You can surely reuse the Chemex filter. Many people try to reuse paper filters by throwing the old coffee ground, cleaning the surface, and rinsing it with water. Then, they think that they have a new one that they can use for the new brew.

Rinsing the Chemex filter with water won’t lose the Chemex filter’s ability, but there are problems you’ll face when reusing it. Let’s check the part below to figure it out, and it will help you better understand the paper filter in terms of its structure, price, and use.

Read more: Can you reuse coffee grounds?

What Is A Chemex Filter?

Coffee lovers are no strangers to the Chemex filter because it is one of the coffee filters that bring great convenience to the brewing process. Like its name, this filter is manufactured by Chemex, a famous brand with a long history of establishment in the US.

This filter meets the filtering coffee grounds process requirements and supports making excellent coffee quality.

The Chemex filter provides the best convenience for many people for cutting down the cleaning time in half compared to the traditional counterparts. As this product is disposable, the only remaining appliance to clean is your carafe.

How Is Chemex Filter Structure/Materials?

The Chemex filter is made of thick laboratory-grade paper with a 20 to 30% thickness than normal paper. 

It allows you to prevent harmful elements in the coffee beans from seeping down and settling in your cup. Your beverage is free of unhealthy bitter elements and other impurities, thanks to Chemex’s product.

With smart design, you will have filter sides with different layers when using a Chemex filter.

In particular, the most important is the 3-layer side because it helps stabilize the filter when getting wet. That minimizes the risk of filter collapse, and you can safely pour hot water into your carafe.

How Much Does Chemex Filter Cost?

Chemex filter price is higher than its counterparts. There is a simple reason for that if you look at its structure. The manufacturer has used many layers to form a Chemex filter, causing a higher production cost than conventional filter papers.

Moreover, that thickness is a big advantage of the Chemex filter, making it comfortable to fold and firm to store coffee ground during the brewing process.

Why Is It Not Advisable To Reuse Chemex Filters?

You can reuse a Chemex filter, but the result the second time around will not be efficient. Let’s examine why reusing the Chemex filter does not bring the desired coffee filter effect.

First, when releasing the Chemex filter, the manufacturer has designed it to have the highest efficiency for only one time. Chemex filters aren’t meant to be rinsed. That is also why a box of Chemex filters has up to 100 pieces corresponding to 100 uses.

The second reason is its practical effectiveness. After one use, the tiny particles from the coffee powder will stick in the Chemex filter. They can be coffee oil, coffee grounds, or impurities.

Even if you try to empty the used coffee powder and clean the surface of the Chemex filter, these particles remain. 

And worse, as you use it for the second time, the remnants will settle more, causing over-extraction. It will slow down the filtering process and not be able to perform at its best.

All coffee lovers recommend not to reuse Chemex filters, for they want the best cup of coffee. Poor-quality coffee will not bring you a great experience. Meanwhile, using a new Chemex filter for each brew is the best way to ensure quality.

Above are all the reasons not to reuse the Chemex filter. It is advisable to use a new Chemex filter in every new brewing for the best performance and efficiency.

What Are The Reusable Alternatives For Chemex Filters?

Reusable alternatives are filters that you can use many times. You will not throw it away after one use, and all you need is to clean and let it dry. 

The CoffeeSock Reusable Filter

There are many ways to filter coffee, and one of them is to use a coffee sock. You can reuse Coffee socks many times. The maintenance is straightforward: wash it with water and detergent, then let it dry to ensure it is always in the best condition as starting the second filtration.

For extra cleaning, it is necessary to soak the filter in boiling water for a few minutes. The advice is to buy two for use in turn while waiting to dry.

Normally, CoffeeSock is made from organic fabric to ensure safety when using. Its design is quite diverse with 6/8/10/13-cup types, but the best-selling option is 3-cup.

You won’t have to worry about CoffeeSock affecting the flavor of your coffee. With 90% cellulose, it is guaranteed to be odorless and tasteless, while the paper is 40-50% cellulose. Therefore, reusing CoffeeSock is undoubtedly better than reusing Chemex filters.

Metal Reusable Filter

The special feature of this filter is that it always has stainless steel meshes. Some special editions even use titanium-plated gold for its great appearance. 

However, because of the characteristics of metal, this filter type cannot completely refine the oil and impurities in the coffee. It means the filtering efficiency of the metal model is not as high as paper or coffee socks. 

Although filtration efficiency is not high, it can produce acidity or bitterness, a taste that many people love.

Metal filters are quite difficult to clean because the coffee ground will stick to the holes in the mesh. So, when washing, you will need an extra brush.

However, people still love to use a metal filter as it is more durable than others. They can use the metal one for years without changing the new one. 

Frequently Asked Questions Related Chemex Filter

Therefore, let’s check these questions and answers below to get more useful information. 

What Are The Differences Between Reusable Filters And The Chemex Filter?

The biggest difference between using reusable filters and Chemex filters is the number of uses. Metal filters have the longest lifespan and can stay with you for years of brewing.

Next is CoffeeSock. Although you can reuse it many times, its effectiveness will also decrease over time. It is recommended to replace the sock after 3-6 months of use with high frequency.

For the Chemex filter, you should only use it once. It is advisable to throw it after a single-use, so you should filter with a new one next time you make coffee. 

Which One Is Better Between Paper Filter And Reusable Filter?

It is impossible to say which is the best product for you; it depends entirely on your preferences. Reusable filters are ideal if you want to save money. You will not need to change them frequently. 

However, these filters will not save time because you need to wash them after use.

Although Chemex paper filters don’t belong to the most cost-effective range, you won’t have to wash them after every brew. If you do not have too much time for making coffee, its highest time efficiency might be beneficial for you.

Are Paper Filters Healthy To Use?

Yes, they are. When a manufacturer releases products on the market, they must ensure healthy safety. Chemex produces paper filters with great safety standards for users. There will be no pulp or any other impurities that will affect the quality of your coffee cup.

However, the manufacturer will not commit to reusing the product. As it is a disposable product, you may risk consuming harmful factors for your health, reusing a paper filter.

Final Thoughts

It is not difficult to answer the question “Can you reuse Chemex filters?” because it depends primarily on your decision.

You can reuse them, but you won’t have the perfect cup of coffee. Therefore, if possible, use paper filters only once and replace them for the next time.

We trust that after this article, you can have a better understanding of how to use the Chemex filter and experience the best cup of coffee.

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Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California, Berkeley. And then, I finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). ugvermont.com is a website that I dedicate my whole heart to sharing all knowledge related to coffee. Read more