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Old 05-06-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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Drip coffee maker filters: Melitta vs. Mr. Coffee styles

My coffee maker broke, one that uses Melitta style coffee filters. A relative had an extra Mr. Coffee coffee maker not being used and gave it to me. I've been using it a while since it came with a 250-pack of filters but I don't like it and I'll replace it when the time is right.

Melitta style filters are conic shaped after you push them into the filter basket, and come flat in the package. Mr. Coffee style filters are circular with a flat bottom and pleated edges, and come stacked. (This is just to get us all on the same page--most people understand the difference between the two styles.)

The main reason I don't like the Mr. Coffee style is that the pleats are sometimes not quite uniform in their folding (generic brand, not made by MC, name brand could be different). Usually this makes no difference but every now and then (perhaps a few or several weeks between incidents) the side folds down and gets wet and the coffee grounds and some of the hot water flow over the edge of the filter and flow directly into the pot. The result is an imperfect pot of coffee, and often with me taking a last sip and getting a mouth full of grounds.

I suppose I could monitor the process, peek in the filter basket and make sure everything is going okay, maybe I could look at the carafe and check for no grounds after brewing. But heck I'm drinking the coffee to wake up! If I were already awake to do these intellectual tasks I wouldn't need the coffee. I prepare the filter, ground coffee and water the night before. All I want to do is wake up in the morning and hit the switch, and I expect a perfect cup of coffee in about 3 minutes.

I know I could get a different type of coffee maker--Keurig comes to mind but I don't like all those different flavors. I buy bean Colombian and grind fresh every few days. It's what I like to drink, and anyway I'm sure a lot cheaper than the Keurig single servings... I could get a wire basket insert, they work fine for coarse grinds but I grind my coffee pretty fine and some sediment always passes through the wire and ends up in the pot.

Plain and simple, I liked my Melitta just fine and it always made a perfect pot of coffee. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it was broke! I'll probably buy another Melitta whenever I get around to it.

The Melitta filter makes more sense to me. It doesn't matter how much coffee you're making, the coffee always centers itself in the filter because of gravity. The water trickles down on top of it and presume it makes a kind of coffee-water slurry that rises up a bit as hot water flows in and brewed coffee trickles out. When coffee is finished brewing the grounds in the filter are slightly lower in the middle, higher around the edge, but more or less evenly spread out--indicating to me that the brewing process was uniform. With the Mr. Coffee filters I almost always see bare spots across the base of the filter where I presume water dripped out more quickly rather than mixing uniformly with the coffee. And then there's the problem with the occasional dropped edge and imperfect coffee result.

So the question is: Melitta style filters look better than every way to me. I can't think of one single thing that Mr. Coffee style filters do better than Melitta, other than fit in the coffee maker it was designed for.

I'm curious what other folks think about the relative advantages and disadvantages of the different style filters used for Melitta and Mr. Coffee coffee makers.

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Old 05-06-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
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We have a Cuisinart with a conical basket of "gold plated" mesh. No paper filter required. Works great.

We are stuck with the Mr. Coffee style at our timeshare. I find if I moisten the edges of the filter it sticks to the filter bowl and works fine.

If I needed a new coffee maker, I'd buy the same one again.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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I've had to use a Miletta filter, it was purely out of desperation for that morning jolt. Never liked them. Filling them they always wanted to close up.

Maybe it's not so much the filters. Could it be how the coffee is brewed? I won't part with my Bunn. Our old Mr Coffee had a dreadful deliberate accident one day.. May it rest in peace.

Munky.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
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I haven't ever had Melitta filters close up. I've been using them for dec... er... years! (Yeah, 'years' is the right word.)

Well your Melittas close up and my Mr. Coffees close up...
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:39 PM   #5
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Take the Mr. Coffee filters and fold them inside out. Just flip the sides down on the entire stack, this serves two purposes. They come apart easier and they don't fold up.

Then when you are ready get a Melitta, again.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:44 PM   #6
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The basic problem with auto drip coffee makers is that with very few exceptions, the temperature of the water is too low to get proper extraction.

I also think that conical shaped filters produce superior results. Due to their shape water gets exposed to the grounds for the longest possible time.

Technovorm is an example of an auto-drip maker that brews at the proper 200 degree temperature.

Other methods that allow you to control the brew using higher temperature water include Chemex and Clever pour over brew systems in the $30 dollar range.

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Old 05-06-2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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@PF: Interesting idea. I'll try that tonight (inside out) for tomorrow's coffee.

@4o: I haven't noticed any deficiency in the heat of the water but it's immediately obvious that the hotter the water the better the extraction, the better the coffee.

With the conical filters it's all about the water feed rate, the porosity of the filter, and the size of the exit hole. It's a matter of physics. You and I agree that the physics is against Mr. Coffee, that bad boy!

I'll have a look at your link before I buy a new coffee maker. I have no desire for a brew over system, although I always have my old camping standby, a Melitta filter holder that fits over any carafe or large cup size. I've used it a zillion times camping; it always makes great coffee, except of course you have to stand there and boil water and then pour it bit by bit over the coffee filter.

On the other hand everything always tastes better camping, even the coffee. Although it's a bit bracing to get up before dawn, boil water, pour the coffee and wait for the brew. But worth it!
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Interesting idea. I'll try that tonight (inside out) for tomorrow's coffee.
It always worked in the restaurant! And at home...
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:56 PM   #9
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Just FYI I tried it right now (gotta prepare coffee sometime tonight) and I can't see any real difference, but it's worth the experiment. I'll report tomorrow.

And I always have my old Melitta fits-on-anything filter basket and a supply of Melitta filters. If I run out of Mr. Coffee filters I can always go back to boiling water in a pan. Might even try it before, just to check my memory that camping coffee was really that good.

Gotta be something accelerating and exhilarating about waking up in the middle of nowhere surrounded by splendid scenery and magnificent solitude, at dawn, and having a good cup of coffee! I'm not so sure it would work in the big bad city.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I haven't ever had Melitta filters close up. I've been using them for dec... er... years! (Yeah, 'years' is the right word.)

Well your Melittas close up and my Mr. Coffees close up...
I fold the seam on my Melitta filters and then they never close up. Basket type filters can be a nuisance with edges folding over. I also think the Melitta cones make better tasting coffee. I learned to make decent coffee with just the Melitta cone, filter, coffee pot, and a kettle. I have that as backup.
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