Made of gold-plated mesh, gold coffee filters are semipermanent filtration devices used in brewing coffee. Often included as standard with premium coffeemakers, gold filters do away with the hassle and untidiness of dealing with paper filters. The gold filters also have some positive health advantages over their paper counterparts.
Avoids Dioxin Contamination
Consumers use gold coffee filters to replace paper ones, the latter of which are available in two basic varieties: white paper filters and light brown filters made from unbleached paper. The chemical process used to bleach paper for the production of white filters produces a certain amount of dioxin, a highly toxic compound, according to Lois Marie Gibbs, author of "Dying from Dioxin." She points out that paper manufacturing processes also leave worrisome levels of dioxin in other white-colored paper products, such as paper plates, pizza boxes and even teabags. Using gold filters in the coffee-making process allows consumers to avoid possible dioxin contamination, although the same could be said for filters made with unbleached paper.
Allows Free Flow of Antioxidants
In August 2005, researchers from Pennsylvania's University of Scranton presented the results of their study on coffee's antioxidant properties before attendees at the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, or ACS, according to PhysOrg.com. Chemistry professor Joe Vinson, who led the study, told the ACS conference that Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than from any other dietary source. "Nothing else comes close," he said.
Unlike paper filters, gold coffee filters are chemically inert, a property highly prized by coffee fanciers who want nothing to interfere with the purity of their cup of java, according to Gourmet-Coffee-Zone.com. Because they are inert, gold filters not only allow the full flavor of coffee to come through but also do nothing to reduce or alter coffee's natural antioxidant properties, which have significant health benefits.
Blocks Cholesterol-Boosting Compounds
Coffee contains significant amounts of cafestol and kahweol, which are diterpenes that are known to elevate blood cholesterol levels. In a review of recent human research about coffee and its health effects, Jane V. Higdon and Balz Frei, scientists at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, say that the clear consensus of all recent studies on coffee's diterpenes is that filtration, whether by paper or gold media, removes most, if not all, diterpenes. In their review, published in the March 2006 issue of "Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition," Higdon and Frei cite multiple studies that show the effectiveness of filters in removing diterpenes, allowing an average of only 0.2mg to 0.6mg per cup. The same studies, they note, show that French press coffee, Scandinavian boiled coffee and Turkish coffee contain an average of 6mg to 12mg per cup.
- "Dying From Dioxin"; Lois Marie Gibbs; 1995
- PhysOrg: Coffee Is No. 1 Source of Antioxidants
- Gourmet Coffee Zone: Coffee Library: The Benefit of a Permanent Coffee Filter
- "Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition"; Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research; Jane V. Higdon and Balz Frei; March 2006