What Is Unfiltered Coffee? And Why You Should Care

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 26th, 2023

The definition

Unfiltered coffee is a coffee drink that doesn’t use a paper filter in the brewing process. It may use non-paper types of coffee filters, or it may not use coffee filters at all.

The most popular belief is that permanent filters or other reusable filters (like gold-tone filters) can brew filtered coffee. It’s not so. Non-paper forms of coffee filters can produce a cup of unfiltered coffee.


Coffee comprises oils, particulates, and other ingredients and particles. These are extracted during the brewing process. Because unfiltered coffee does not require the use of paper filters, there is nothing to prevent these ingredients from entering a cup of coffee, and thus our bodies.

What is the difference between unfiltered and filtered coffee?

There are several kinds of coffee, but they are made in two major ways: unfiltered and filtered. Filtered coffees are the most common form of processing in the United States and require a filter to brew coffee. Unfiltered coffees, also regarded as “boiled” coffees, do not use filters and include espresso, French press coffees, and Turkish coffees.

Coffee contains several ingredients, especially caffeine, diterpenes, and chlorogenic acid. Many studies have looked at the health benefits of coffee, paying special attention to caffeine.

Unfiltered coffee and cholesterol: should I care?

While many people do not need to think about the difference between unfiltered coffee and filtered coffee, others may want to pay attention. Some people may have to minimize the intake of unfiltered coffee for medical reasons.

Some ingredients of coffee include kahweol and cafestol. In the medical (and chemical) setting, diterpenes or chemical compounds have been proven to raise LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). The 2011 research from Singapore and India also confirmed this.

We even wrote an indepth article about how French Press might be bad for you. I know! It’s my favorite method of making coffee!

Unfiltered coffee ends in a beverage filled with coffee components that can affect the human body in a harmful way. People suffering from elevated levels of cholesterol can need to reduce the intake of unfiltered coffee.

Some physicians prescribe that unfiltered coffee be absolutely removed from the diet. Individuals who are concerned about their cholesterol may wish to consider filtered coffee. Paper filters can restrict most harmful ingredients, such as kahweol and cafestol, from entering the body.

How do I brew unfiltered coffee?

  • The French press is the most prominent and common example of the unfiltered coffee brewing process.
  • Pour over coffee drippers that do not use paper filters and instead use metal filters.
  • Coffee machines: indeed, coffee machines brew unfiltered forms of coffee.
  • Percolators

Examples of unfiltered coffee drinks

Unfiltered coffee can have a much better taste and flavor than filtered coffee. It’s all going to be creamier with a richer quality. Long story short, unfiltered coffee makes great cappuccino, latte, American and other varieties of tasty coffee drinks.

Here are a few additional examples of the most popular unfiltered coffee beverages:

  • Espresso;
  • Turkish cup of coffee
  • Lattes 
  • Arab coffee
  • Cappuccino
  • Americano 
  • Other espresso-drinks and gourmet coffee 

Is unfiltered coffee bad for you?

According to Dutch researchers, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, heavy consumption of unfiltered coffee can increase stroke and heart disease risk by up to 10%. Unfiltered coffee can increase the chemical compound homocysteine’s blood levels.

Many people depend on a hot coffee cup to get them through early in the morning. But read about this report before you go to the coffee pot for the second cup.

High levels of homocysteine, in turn, tend to increase blood cholesterol levels, raising the risk of stroke and heart disease.

However, it is not clear if diterpenes triggered elevated homocysteine by chemicals present in coffee known to increase cholesterol and are eliminated by filtering or other variables that may also be present in filtered coffee.

The research team randomly allocated 64 volunteers with typical homocysteine levels to one of two groups.

In one group, 30 people drank six big cups (1 liter in total) of unfiltered coffee per day for two weeks.

The study subjects prepared coffee using a coffee pot (cafetiere), which uses a plunger to isolate the brew from the coffee grounds.

The second group comprised 34 people who consumed unknown quantities of water, broth, milk, tea, and chocolate beverages instead of coffee.

After eight weeks, participants were asked to turn to the other group’s regimen so that they would all drink unfiltered coffee for two weeks. Blood tests were then carried out to assess cholesterol and homocysteine levels.

The findings showed that consuming significant quantities of unfiltered coffee contributed to a 10% rise in homocysteine, resulting in a 10% increase in the risk of heart disease.

The documented effect of unfiltered coffee on serum homocysteine in the current study shows that persons at risk of cardiovascular diseases shouldn’t drink large quantities of unfiltered coffee,” wrote Dr. Marina J. Grubben and associates from Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, the impact of filtered coffee on homocysteine levels remains uncertain, they noted.

Researchers also said that most people drink fewer than six big cups of strong coffee a day used in the study.

Researchers have suggested that the reduction of high blood homocysteine levels has not yet been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, but ongoing research “may answer this question.”

Is instant coffee unfiltered or filtered?

Many coffee lovers question if instant coffee is filtered or not.

In truth, instant coffee is classified in its category. Instant coffee is a quick coffee fix that goes through the hydration process. Coffee crystals begin to emerge as soon as the water evaporates from the coffee solution.

That being said, anyone who has ever had a cup of instant coffee knows that this drink’s taste and quality are different from that of regular coffee. After passing through various processing phases, coffee comes out to be what we know to be instant coffee.

A lot of the components of coffee and oils are lost on the way. So, essentially, instant coffee is more like filtered coffee.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.