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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 19, 2013
Paper filters, #4 in this case, do one thing well for drip and pour-over coffee brewing methods: They keep the grounds separate from the brewed coffee very well. The downside is that the absorbency and density of the paper also filters out coffee oils and collagens that deliver prime flavors. A reduced amount of the true coffee bean flavor survives the filtering process.

How much is lost? I do notice it, but I have no verifiable data to support my reduced flavor claim other than my taste buds. Not only that, but everyone's tastes are different. Some people like the thinner, more delicate flavors produced by paper filters. Others say that an undesirable paper taste is detectable when using paper filters. To make things more complex, some brands of paper filter are much better at eliminating paper taste, or even almost entirely eliminating paper tastes. Moreover, it must be admitted that the ingestion of a small amount of paper fibers will not kill you. Nothing seems to be simple in life, does it? Unless things are unexamined.

For many coffee lovers, that loss of flavor caused by paper filters is unacceptable. A good solution is a metal mesh, or Screen Filter. Some are even electroplated gold such as the Frieling model under discussion, in order to prevent rust and off flavors from contaminating coffee flavor (a stainless steel model might be much more expensive to make). Such a device must have an extremely fine screen to reduce the amount of fine particles ("fines") from passing through the screen and into the cup. Avoiding the point of near solidity, regardless of mesh fineness, some ultra fine coffee grind particulates, "fines," inevitably and invariably WILL pass through any wire mesh screen if you finely grind your coffee beans. Setting your grinder to medium grind helps to drastically reduce the amount of fines passing through the filter.

There is a trade off similar to what occurs when brewing French press with its metal mesh filter screen on the plunger assembly: If the screen is too fine it can be difficult or even impossible for the coffee/water solution to pass through the filter, and if too porous then the amount of "fines" passing through the filter will increase, and end up in your cup. So all you can hope for is a good balance and grind to suit your brewing method and to your taste.

I chose the the Frieling Gold Filter #4 for my Technivorm Moccamaster drip brewer, as the quality of this filter matches that of my brewer (The costly Technivorm Moccamaster, BonaVita BV, and one or two others, are the ONLY drip-brewers accredited by the Specialty Coffee Association of America to brew at the correct 195-205 degree temperature during the entire brew cycle producing the best flavor available! See the SCAA website).

The mesh of the Frieling's screen works well, balancing the variables of coffee particle filtration versus flavor development. My experience is that only a few fines make it through to become silt in the cup, and they do ALWAYS appear when you grind finely for drip coffee. I usethe excellent Baratza Virtuoso burr grinder (The less expensive Encore model is also excellent for drip or pour-over brewing). The flavor allowed is remarkably good. A bit of silt at the bottom of your cup is the price you pay for grinding finely for a remarkable increase in drip coffee maker flavor intensity. Never take that last sip, grit haters, or grind on medium.

Summary: A metal mesh filter is very green compared to the destruction of the number of trees needed to produce the amount of paper coffee filters one would consume over a lifetime, times the number of people using them. As a conscionable alternative, and on its own merits, The Frieling Gold Filter #4 is highly recommended, not perfect, but as good as it gets based on my incomplete experience. It is very, very good at achieving excellent results in a game where it is almost impossible to win, not 100% anyway...just as in French press brewing. This is the best filter of its type I have used, as my first one was a cheap off-brand. The product is top rack dishwasher-safe...a big plus.

I have NOT tested the one or two other competing respectable brands of metal mesh filter so this review is flawed in that respect. A controlled, empirical test of such filters would establish which filter brand is better, and would do so better than this comparatively subjective review. Here is hoping that someone actually does so. Until then, for me, one can pay less for such a filter, yet the Frieling name and its performance are just superb. In my estimation, you will not go wrong with this Frieling Gold Filter #4.

For feedback or questions, please respond in the Comment section below.. If I have helped you please let me know.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
I had a Swiss Gold coffee filter a few years ago, and I used it several times w/ regular grind coffee. I always had grounds/sludge in the bottom of the pot.

I gave away the Swiss Gold and went back to paper filters, but I'm trying to economize and "go green," so I thought I would try one of these again and just learn to live with the grounds in the pot, or maybe strain them out with a tea strainer when I poured from the carafe or something.

So, I ordered this Frieling Gold Coffee Filter last week, and the holes in it are smaller than on the Swiss Gold. Guess what: NO GROUNDS IN THE POT! NO SLUDGE!

If you use a fine grind, I would guess you MIGHT have some grounds get through, but with a regular, commercial grind, no problems. In the morning, I just want my coffee quick, and I either use commercially prepared regular grind coffee or grind my own on medium.

I have a Krups coffee / espresso "combo" machine.

Submitted by "Mrs. Neighbor John"
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2012
I ordered this to pair with a Bonavita BV1800 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe, Brushed Aluminum after I got tired of messing with paper filters' cost and waste.

The filter fits perfectly in the Bonavita (and presumably other #4 filter holders), and seems to be reasonably sturdy. I alternate washing it by hand and dishwashing (top rack), and it looks as good after three months as it did when new.

As for the grind, I use freshly ground beans, ground on a medium fine setting with a Jura-Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, Brushed Silver, 8.5-Ounce grinder.

I have not had issues with sludge or coffee that is weak: it has been well brewed every time, perhaps a bit on the strong side. You can easily tell that it's not a paper filter, too: the coffee oils are (slightly) visible in the brewed coffee. If you worry about those, then you should stick with paper.

For the price and quality of the coffee so far, I can recommend it. Cheers!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2011
To be fair, this is the first one I've had, so I don't know how this compares to other metal/reusable coffee filters.

About 50% of the time, Coffee drains through too fast unless you preform some sort of voodoo ritual and have the grind and water temperature at just the right size-maybe, still not sure what size that should be. Even with a perfect paper filteresque drain, You get a fair amount of sludge in the bottom of the pot.

HOWEVER, its worth it to know we'll never have to worry about running out of or buying filters again, and it makes perfectly drinkable coffee. Though I've got into the British habit of leaving the last 1/4" of liquid at the bottom to avoid the sludge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2013
I use my Frieling Gold filter every day and am VERY happy with it. The mesh is very fine - much finer than the mesh I had with my old Braun machine. A very fine mesh makes for less sediment while still allowing some of the coffee oils to pass through. So if you are wondering if you should pay $20 instead of $5 for your gold filter my answer is a definite YES.

That said, it is not a paper filter. Some oils will come through to your coffee - if you like a bit of oil/flavor/bitterness in your coffee that is a good thing. If not, you should stick with paper filters. Also, even with the Frieling there will be some fine dust/sediment in the bottom of your mug. I prefer the flavor a gold filter allows to pass into the coffee so I am willing to not drink the bottom 1/4" of my cup. Again if not, you should stick with paper filters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2014
Yes, it works great, but it didn't look new and was supposed to be. The screen was dented and some of the finish had worn off.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2013
Seems to be a higher quality than comparable gold filters. Smaller mesh also aids in brewing. Solid construction. May not fit all coffee makers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2013
Great price and the filter works fine. Does not have the indents as the Braun filter has so doesn't fit perfectly in the basket but fits good enough to make this more than sufficient. Only had it a few weeks so need to see how long before it tears but remain optimistic
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2013
I was hoping that this product would obviate the need for paper filters in my Technivorm Moccamster coffee maker. Unfortunately, the water pours thru too quickly and the coffee is weak with little flavor. So for my intended purpose, this was a complete failure.

Back to paper filters for me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2013
I got this filter because it was recommended by others who bought the Bonavita coffee pot I also purchased. I'm really glad I got this filter because it's a finer filter than other baskets I have tried in the past. It allows me to use home ground coffee, which is very finely ground, and leaves minimum residue in the bottom of the pot. There is so little residue, that I don't notice any until I pour the last cup. And even then, it's so minimal as to not be significant. Mainly, I like most that I don't have to use paper filters, as that makes this feel environmentally friendly, and really wallet friendly, as it pays for itself in less than a year.
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