Coffee Filter Alternative: Makeshift Coffee Filter Explained

It may be your birthday or just a regular day, but coffee has always been there to get us through our day. And I’m sure just like we do, you would agree that nothing beats a freshly brewed coffee that is why most of us took it upon ourselves to learn the “art” of brewing coffee, or if you’re like us, you’d have your trusted coffee maker. But there are times that we run out of coffee filters.

Can you imagine not being able to have a cuppa just because you ran out of filters? What a nightmare! But worry not, in this article we’ll help you to learn about coffee filter alternatives.

coffee no filter

First and foremost, check your inventory. Do you still have coffee beans? If you’re out, what we’ll recommend is to just cry yourself in a corner and get someone to run to the nearest store or coffee shop to calm you down.

No Coffee Filter? – Substitute For Coffee Filter Explained

  1. A Clean Dish Towel
  2. Fine Mesh Sieves
  3. Paper Towel Or Tissue Paper

DIY Coffee Filter – A Clean Dish Towel

The best thing about this is that, most likely, you have a dish towel lying around somewhere. Also, you have the assurance that the thing you are using as your coffee filter alternative is sturdy and that it would do its job perfectly. It’s also sustainable for mother Earth, so that’s a plus. It also does not require special tools for it to work, so don’t worry if you don’t have a dripping basket.

But of course, you would want to take into consideration that this towel might be stained for life, so choose accordingly. Just make sure it’s clean, and you’re good to go. You might also want to expect a mess because usually, with dish towels as a coffee filter, even when secured with a rubber band, puddles might gather at the side of the cup.

Also, we have noticed that the coffee filtered with a dishcloth is not as yummy as the one with the coffee filter. You might also taste some hint of detergent with your coffee.

So would we recommend it? We’re so sorry, but even with all those good points and it being sustainable, we have to say not to use dish towels as a coffee filter replacement. The taste is just not worth it.

This is a great way to make coffee without filter, and if you were wondering what can I use in place of a coffee filter, a great improvised coffee filter is actually a clean dish towel!

alternatives to coffee filters

How to Do It 

Select a clean; we repeat, a clean dish towel! Then consider yourself first, are you okay losing this dish towel to get your coffee fix? If your answer is yes, then put your dishtowel where you would normally put your coffee filter.

To avoid the dishtowel from sliding here and there, secure it using a piece of a string or a rubber band on your cup. Put your coffee grounds in and pour your hot water like how you usually do it.

Once you’re done, carefully remove the dish towel and rinse it right away, because who knows? You might save this towel from being stained for life (pun intended). Easy, right?

Emergency Coffee Filter – Fine Mesh Sieves

If you have mastered brewing your cup of coffee, then there’s a chance that you are also into baking and cooking. Coffee and baked goods are a match made in heaven, after all. A fine-mesh sieve, which is usually used in baking and cooking, is a great replacement for a coffee filter.

Unlike towels, a mesh sieve will produce a well-tasting coffee. It’s also very easy to use and environmentally friendly, which is a very big plus on our book. It is also very handy since it is possible to make a whole pot of coffee using mesh sieves. And it is also very easy to control how strong the coffee taste will be since you decide on how long to steep your coffee.

One of the only downsides of using a fine-mesh sieve is that, though the coffee itself will taste amazing, it will not do a good job of filtering the coffee grounds. At the most, it will only catch those bigger particles. So if ever you will use this particular alternative for coffee filters, don’t be surprised if you will see a little bit bottom of the mug mud.

Also, you might want to take into consideration that cleaning a fine-mesh sieve with coffee grounds stuck in it is a bit tedious.

So would we recommend it? A thousand percent yes, we would even suggest getting yourself those fine mesh sieves that were made exclusively for coffee to avoid those coffee residues at the bottom of your cup. You will never have to worry about running out of coffee filters again.

homemade coffee filter

How to Do It

On a container, preferably a glass one, mix your favorite coffee grounds and hot water together (we would recommend two tablespoons of coffee for every cup of hot water). Stir it a little bit and wait for a couple of minutes so just that we are sure that the coffee grounds and the water are thoroughly incorporated, then transfer your coffee mixture to your favorite coffee mug through the fine-mesh sieve you have on hand to filter your coffee.

And there you have it, a great-tasting cup of coffee (with a little bit of coffee grounds residue at the bottom of your cup).

Paper Towel For Coffee Filter – Paper Towel or Tissue Paper

You might be one of those people who have tried already to use a paper towel and tissue paper as your coffee filter alternative since you’re here. It is the most common and the easiest material to procure if you are at home after all. 

So paper towels or tissue papers were not designed to be used as a filter, but if you’ve tried this, then most definitely, we can say that it works just as perfectly as a store-bought coffee filter. Even the smallest particle of coffee grounds will be filtered; you don’t have to worry about that. It is also very easy to use.     

There are a lot of advantages in using tissue paper or a paper towel as a coffee filter alternative, but also, you might want to think twice about using it because tissue papers are cured. The chemicals that are found with these are most definitely harmful to our health. It is also not guaranteed that the ending result will taste good because of the chemicals used on these tissue papers and paper towels.

Your coffee might taste more on the acidic side and a little bit papery. 
Also, make sure that you don’t put too many coffee grounds to avoid another mishap of the paper towel breaking and getting your grounds where you don’t want them.

It is also not guaranteed that the ending result will taste good because of the chemicals used on these tissue papers and paper towels. Your coffee might taste more on the acidic side and a little bit papery. If you have ran out of coffee filters and are out of coffee filters, this makeshift coffee filter is great!

So would we recommend it? We would say no, but if it’s your last option, then we’d say go for it. 

How to Do It

Place the tissue paper or the paper towel where you would normally place your coffee filter. You can fold it in a certain way to make it easier for you to use. Then scoop a little bit less than your usual amount of coffee grounds and pour in your desired amount of hot water.

Though grocery stores and coffee shops are all over the place, there are just some times that are going out, and waiting in line is not just an option. Try these when you’re in a pinch, and you enjoy that cup of coffee.

About David Dewitt

Hi, my name is David and I come from Columbus, Ohio. I am a amateur photographer, and a coffee lover. I love to write, and don't mind me a cup of joe!