Cone Vs. Flat Bottom Coffee Filters: Learn The Differences

June 07 2022 – Alex Melen

Coffee lovers take their coffee seriously. Especially when it comes to brewing their coffee. They consider many factors such as the type of beans and roast, the filter type, the size of the grinder, the temperature of the water, and more; anything that affects brewing that perfect cup of coffee. But does it really make a difference? The answer is Yes. The shape of filters, cone vs. flat bottom coffee filters, does make a difference to the flavor and taste of coffee.

The shape of the filter affects the way and time taken for water to flow through the coffee grounds. This influences the form and time in which coffee molecules are immersed in the brew. Coffee molecules give coffee its flavor and aroma. When water runs rapidly through the coffee grounds, the resulting coffee will have a weaker taste. However, if water takes too much time to run through the coffee grounds, it will leave you with bitter-tasting coffee. The shape of the filter, together with the spray head, should work to ensure that the coffee grounds are soaked evenly and are soaked long enough to give you the perfect brew. So what filters to use? Choose them depending on how you like your coffee.

Cone Shaped Filter

As the name says, cone-shaped filters have a wide opening, tapering down to the bottom. It is the preferred filter for pour-over coffee brews. When water is poured, it will flow through the grounds and end up in a central position, thoroughly soaked. Water usually passes through evenly in a cone-shaped filter. The water stays in the filter for a longer time. Grounds are evenly saturated, so you don’t have to use more grounds for a stronger-tasting coffee. Brewing dark roasted coffee with a cone-shaped filter can intensify the bitterness. To avoid brewing brews that are too bitter, you can opt for lighter roasts with berry and citrus undertones. A medium-fine grind works best with the cone-shaped filter. So if you prefer a full-bodied and intense brew, this is the filter of choice.

Flat Bottom Filter

Some drip machines and flat bottom drippers commonly use flat bottom filters. They are also known as “basket filters” because of their wider surface area and how they look. When using darker roasts, flat-bottom filters can sometimes produce a more balanced brew than cone-shaped filters. However, because water takes a shorter time to pass through the grounds, the resulting brew may be on the bitter side. Depending on the brewer, the coffee grounds may not be saturated evenly. The brewer needs to adjust their pour to ensure a balanced saturation. For flat bottom filters, use medium grind for best results. Flat bottom filters generally produce milder coffee than cone-shaped filters. They also enhance the sweet floral tones in lighter roasted coffees and the chocolate woody flavors in dark roasted coffee. If you prefer milder brews, the flat bottom filter is your choice. You can either use it with a flat bottom coffee dripper or a coffee maker.