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Paper Coffee Filter?


Top professionals from the coffee scene worldwide also praise the taste of our x-tract-brew and SoftBrew® systems. We have met coffee world champions, coffee book author Thomas Leeb, jurors of the SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) and many top roasters worldwide who brew their coffee just as we do on a daily basis. "I want my coffee to taste honestly right" is the argument. "I have been enjoying my self-roasted Kenya coffee every morning in the SoftBrew since I bought the pot many years ago. However, I have found that it works best at a brewing temperature of 84°" says Thomas Leeb. A coffee world champion tells me during the Intergastra trade fair in Stuttgart: "I gave these pots to my whole family. It's simple and uncomplicated. Anyone can make a good cup of coffee with the x-tract-brew system. My job at home is providing the family with good coffee.”

The best cup of coffee is the one you like best.

One thing in advance, making coffee with filter paper is highly recommended for some types of coffee and makes a very clear coffee. Which we also find important to mention: The best cup of coffee is the one you like best.

What is the difference? The oils and suspended matter are filtered out more strongly with the paper than with the x-tract-brew method. This is also the reason why the taste is reduced by important flavours. At professional tastings the coffee is compared by means of "cupping". This classic preparation by coffee specialists is practically the same as x-tract-brew and is prepared in a cup without filter. Connoisseurs want to taste the coffee in all its complexity. Not too clearly filtered, easily digestible and with a full aroma...just as we like it so much...

As always the tastes are different, this is what is fun in the worldwide #coffeecommunity. You taste and compare. The openness and togetherness are great. There is not one perfect way to prepare coffee or espresso. There are many different preferences for preparing coffee in the morning at home, in the office or in the hotel. At first it is also a matter of getting used to it. We have always drunk French Press coffee and nobody here likes coffee filtered by paper. It is too "thin" for us. There may also be arguments in favour of paper filters if you like very fruity coffees, for example. In any case you will get used to the x-tract-brew method very quickly. We are convinced that you will not want to change your brewing method after you have embraced it.

If the taste component has been so convincingly clarified, there are two parameters left that are decisive. It’s to compare the costs and the ecological effects of paper filter and x-tract-brew. We start with the more important part. Why is x-tract-brew more eco-friendly than using paper filter?

What are the ecological effects?

Every year about 1.5 million trees are felled, processed, packed, transported and used as filter paper for coffee preparation! That is approximately 750,000,000 paper filters per day worldwide! Not to forget the damage caused by the packaging waste, the long transport routes and finally the footprint left by customers, restaurateurs and traders through the long distances.

Coffee lovers: "Think about our environment! There is a much easier way to get good coffee with a better ecological balance! What is all this filter paper for? It does not improve the coffee – the opposite is true. The paper extracts the valuable oils from the coffee, which give it an incomparable taste and character. So if you do without filter paper, not only will you get better coffee and save money, your waste production will be reduced and your CO2 balance will improve.

How often have you run out of filter papers and had to give up coffee? Your way to the supermarket or petrol station on Sunday is also eliminated. This is not only ecologically sensible, but also more convenient.

The costs

Now things are getting tricky. Such a comparison will always limp, as prices vary extremely, as I found out during my online research. I will try anyway, please note the basic trend. Surely the paper filters and machines will always appear in special offers. We simply compared the prices at Amazon in Germany on one day to give a short calculation example.

An ARCA for about € 49.50 can be used for a lifetime - surely you will change the filter or the lid will fall down and have to be replaced etc. (LINK TO SPARE PARTS). For comparison we assume a good 5 years durability. Five years is 1825 days with good coffee, without the cost of filter paper or other consumables. This means that the ARCA costs by daily usage are €0.027 per day over a period of five years. There is no reason why the ARCA shouldn’t work like on the first day after the 1825 days….

We now compare systems and categories at the same coffee quality level. Pods, pads and most electric machines are out of the race. We also don't compare espresso with coffee; we looked at the Moccamaster as a good quality electric machine, the paper filter systems from Hario (paper from Japan and Holland) and Chemex (paper from USA).

A comparison of the costs (prices from Amazon.de October 2020):

Brand / Product

Purchase cost of filter & carafe

Cost of consumables

Costs for 5 years daily use

ARCA x-tract-brew




Hario V60

Approx. €49.90 (porcelain filter with glass jug)

Approx. €7.50

100 pieces consumption 19 boxes




Approx. €9.90

100 pieces consumption 19 boxes



Approx. €200,-

Different models available

Approx. €6.50

100 pieces consumption 19 boxes



The result speaks for itself: Coffee with the hand filter is 3-4 times more expensive than with the ARCA x-tract-brew! The electric version is 6 times more expensive per jug / day for 5 years and you can assume that the machine will end up on the scrap heap if it calcifies...

We would like to express this very clearly: To the waste of ecological resources another “waste” is added. Paper filter are a “waste” of money.

There is another point: All comparison devices, filters, paper filters etc. are fully packed in plastic or are made in plastic. An ARCA does completely without plastic in the packaging. This is a marginal note, but it makes us proud and was not easy.

Another method I would not like to leave unmentioned: the French Press. I am biased in history, as I have worked for Bodum for over 18 years and was one of the people in a wonderful team of people who made the French Press famous. I was there from the beginning (1988) as a salesman in the field, later as export manager and then for a few years as managing director. What can I say now? I still like French press coffee very much and much more than paper filter coffee. Yes, there are problems at the French Press with people not doing the cleaning of the filters and the effect on the safety of the system....

Let's take it easy... 

Here you can buy our Coffee Brewers

Enjoying coffee! Wherever you are. Even if the space is tight.

References: Price comparison at Amazon.de on 9 October 2020