That first sip of coffee in the morning is the best part of the day for many people. So, when the coffee filter breaks and you get a taste of coffee grounds, it can leave you feeling disappointed and with a bad taste in your mouth. So, why does this keep happening?
Your coffee filters keep breaking because they’ve been overfilled or they get caught on something sharp. However, they can also break if they’re exposed to high acidity, if they’re the wrong size, or if they’re made poorly.
The rest of this article will get into the various reasons why your coffee filter keeps breaking and what you can do to stop it from happening. I’ll also explain the difference between a filter breaking and collapsing. Let’s get started!
Reasons Why Your Coffee Filters Keep Breaking
Although coffee filters are made of thin material, they’re built to withstand the pressure of the water and coffee grounds as the coffee filters through. So, why do they end up breaking sometimes? Let’s look into all of the possible reasons why your coffee filters keep breaking.
Your Coffee Filter Is Breaking Because of Too Much Pressure
If you regularly make large batches of coffee, you may find that your filter is breaking because of too much pressure being put on the filter. This may happen even more often if you’re regularly using your coffee filters to brew cold brew coffee.
Additionally, if the filter is poorly made (or sometimes if it’s made of recycled materials), it will break if water goes through it too quickly or if the grounds don’t allow the water to filter through fast enough.
If you think that your filters are breaking because of too much pressure the best thing to do is try pouring the water over slowly. There’s not much you can do about this if you’re making the coffee in a coffee pot, but if you’re using a drip machine, it will be much easier.
You can also try putting fewer grounds in the filter, or changing the type of filter you’re using, as not all filters are the same.
Your Coffee Filter Is Breaking Because It’s the Wrong Size
If you’re experiencing frequent breakages with your coffee filters, it might be time to look at getting a different brand or type of filter.
Different filters are built for various tasks. Coffee filters are not one size fits all. If you’ve ever looked at filters in your local shop, you may have noticed that there are smaller filters for smaller coffee machines, larger filters for larger ones, cone filters, recycled filters, and so forth.
If you’re using the wrong type of filter for your coffee maker (for example, using a cone filter in a normal coffee machine), you may find the filter breaking frequently. This is because it isn’t made to hold the same volume. You can check your size and purchase the correct coffee filters at Amazon.
Additionally, some filters aren’t well-made and are prone to breaking frequently. It seems like pour-over filters are some of the most common ones to break regularly.
Your Coffee Filter Is Breaking Because It’s Coming in Contact With Something Sharp
If your filter is running against something sharp, you should be able to tell by examining the filter and your coffee maker. It may not be obvious at first, but after a few minutes, you should see the hole and be able to locate the source on the machine itself.
You may wonder why the coffee filter doesn’t rip as soon as you put it in the machine if it’s because of something sharp. Before water comes in contact with the filter, it’s significantly stronger. It’s like wetting a paper towel. Once you dampen it, it’ll rip a lot easier.
If you’re having trouble finding possible sharp points in your coffee machine, try running your hand lightly across the inside. Sometimes even things that don’t seem sharp upfront can cause cuts in your filter.
Additionally, the filter baskets that hold the filter often develop sharp parts if run through the dishwasher frequently. The heat can sometimes melt them slightly. As the plastic cools back down, it can form sharp peaks in the filter basket.
Your Coffee Filter Is Breaking Because of the Acidity of the Coffee
While coffee filters are built to withstand breakage, if you have highly acidic coffee, it can cause the filter to burst. This is more likely if you use a drip coffee maker because it takes more time to process through the filter.
Various coffees have differing levels of acidity. Blonde roast coffees are the most acidic, while dark roast coffees are the least acidic. The medium roast coffees are somewhere in between these two extremes.
If you happen to be a blonde roast drinker and your filters are regularly breaking, this may be why.
To fix this issue, you can try changing the filter brand to a higher quality filter or changing your roast type.
The Difference Between Coffee Filters Breaking and Collapsing
Many people think that their coffee filters are breaking when the reality is that they’re just collapsing. If a filter breaks, it means that it has developed a rip or hole of some sort in the filter. Conversely, collapsing happens when the edges of the filter fold into the middle of the filter as the water is coming through.
This is a really common occurrence, particularly if the filter isn’t the right size for the coffee maker. Filters come in four sizes:
- Size 1: This is for 1 cup coffee makers.
- Size 2: This is for 2 to 6 cup coffee makers.
- Size 4: This is for 8 to 10 cup coffee makers.
- Size 6: This is for 10+ cup coffee makers.
The filter will certainly collapse if you’re using a size 2 for your large coffee maker.
Filters often collapse because gravity pulls everything towards the center once you begin pouring water through the filter. If the edges aren’t already secured to the coffee maker, they’ll often just flop into the middle. You can help remedy this situation by dampening the filter ahead of time and allowing the sides of the filter to get a firm grip on the edges.
It’s important to note that conical filters are especially prone to collapse. You can help avoid this by folding the filter along the bottom and creating a strong crease before placing it in the brew basket.
How To Keep Your Coffee Filter From Breaking
There are a couple of ways that you can encourage your filter to stay intact and not break or collapse, including inserting your filter properly and measuring out your coffee.
Ensure You’re Inserting the Filter Properly
First of all, ensure that you’re inserting the filter properly. If you need the caffeine to wake up in the early morning hours, chances are high that you’re just throwing the coffee filter in the machine in a half-asleep state. I know it can be hard to focus in the mornings, but this just might be the solution to your problem!
To properly insert a filter, fold the filter along both of the seams before insertion. This will take care of a lot of the collapsing issues at a minimum, and it’s not as likely to break.
Take the Time To Measure Out Your Coffee
Another thing you can do is measure out your coffee. This might take some getting used to if you’re one of the people who just flings the coffee in the filter and moves on. However, if you can get into the habit, measuring your coffee can make a world of difference and not just prevent breaking. It will also help you keep a closer eye on how much caffeine you’re taking in!
The Last Resort – Purchasing a Reusable Filter
If you’re consistently having issues with paper filters breaking or collapsing, one of the best things you can do is break down and purchase a reusable filter.
Sure, they’re a little more expensive, but isn’t it better than having grounds in your coffee all the time? Stainless steel filters are a fantastic option for drip coffee makers. I recommend the GLADICER Pour Over Coffee Dripper from Amazon.com, which features a double filter for maximum coffee extraction and uses a strong steel mesh.
You can also check out these FIFOKICHO Reusable Cup Basket Filters (also from Amazon.com) if you have a normal coffee machine. These are made of fine mesh and are super easy to clean.
Ending up with coffee grounds in your morning brew is never fun. The good news is that it can be prevented entirely with reusable filters.
Here’s a quick review of what I’ve discussed today:
- Filters may break because of poor manufacturing, high acidity levels, too much pressure on the filter, or because they’re encountering something sharp.
- Sometimes you may think the filter is breaking when it’s only collapsing. To fix this, simply ensure you have the correct size and insert the filter properly.
- Try switching filters or purchasing a reusable filter if you’re having continual problems.