I consider using paper bags for tea as a substitute for paper coffee filters and I wonder: do they filter out as much solid material as coffee filters? The matter of fact is that not all paper filters for coffee are identical: some have smaller pores, others have larger ones. Larger pores allow more oils to leak into a cup, it makes a beverage of richer flavor, but does it not make it cloudy as well? And if all paper tea filters are identical, do I have to expect cloudy coffee strained through them?

P. S. What I was going to do with tea bags is either fill them with ground beans and submerge in water or filter brewed coffee through them leaving the grounds on the bottom of the vessel used for brewing. I wasn't going to use tea bags with a pour-over device.

2 Answers 2


As you've mentioned coffee and tea paper filters tend to vary in size and in pore size. You can use them for both, but I would expect different results. When I used to camp I would use individual paper tea bags that are intended to be filled with loose tea and filled them with coffee grinds. The result was better than using packages of instant coffee but it was definitely a weaker tasting coffee after steeping in hot water than I experience running coffee through a machine or French Press at home.


They will function ok for your intended use. Some fines may get through and produce a bit of sludge in your cup.

Your bigger problem is that you won't be able to fit enough coffee into a standard size teabag to get good dosing. French press dosing is between 1:10 and 1:16 coffee to water ratio, which is 16-25g per 235mL or freedom 8oz cup. For the same size cup, you only need about 2g of tea. Teabags are sized for the latter. You may have to use up to ten per cuppa to fit the desired amount of coffee.

  • Fortunately, there are not only teabags of standard volume, but also ones large enough to hold tea leaves for a teapot.
    – Noir
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 13:04

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