Friday, January 14, 2011


This morning, I went without my usual cup of coffee. Each morning, while waiting for my pancake pan to heat up, I start my coffee. I fill the water to three cups, grab the filter, and put one and a half scoops full of coffee grounds into the filter. While it brews, I make the pancakes.

My timing is impeccable.

Today, as I was going through the usual process, something happened. I reached into my vintage coffee tin, where my filters are kept, and... nothing. I checked the spot where I keep the overflow of filters and still, nothing. No big deal, I'd just go get some more at the store after I dropped my son off at school.

But by the time I got through running my errands, I'd completely forgotten to get the filters. Turns out, that was a good thing.

My favorite shop, Savannah Hope Vintage, carries vintage items and furniture, but she also carries cool handmade items, including home goods, purses, jewelry, and other things. Today, she posted that she is carrying reusable coffee filters. Whaaaat?

Well, I was just too excited. I had never heard of reusable coffee filters before, but I was very interested. I asked some questions, and it turns out that they are made out of unbleached cotton and you use them like you would a regular filter. When you are done, you just toss out the grinds, rinse the filter, and allow it to dry wherever you'd leave a dish to dry (like a dish drying rack). Eventually, the coffee stains the filter to a lovely coffee brown. The tag line that goes along with the filters is, "For those who love coffee, not trash."

I went to pick mine up, but by the time I got to the shop, it was closed. I plan on going back tomorrow morning before my root canal (something to look forward to). I will get two, just in case I want to make more than one pot of coffee in the same day.

I can't imagine how many coffee filters I go through in a year, but I know it's more than a few. Knowing that I am not wasting all that paper really makes me feel good. It may not make a big dent, but it's a start. The woman who makes the filters also makes reusable snack bags, "unpaper towels", and napkins. While the towels and napkins aren't new ideas to me, I do like that they are unbleached cotton, and that they are handmade by a mom right here in the United States. The snack bag idea is novel and worth looking into. Could these snack bags eliminate the need for little ziplocks? They seal with velcro, and are machine washable. If I do get them, which I am thinking I will, I promise to do a test run and blog about them. They will force me to be a bit more organized, but then again, that is one of my New Year's Wants.

Locals can go to Savannah Hope Vintage (418 Main Street, Boonton) to get theirs. For those living out of the area, shop online for them at


  1. how appropos, as I sit here sipping my first (of many) Costa-Rican coffees of the day. Once, in a complete panic/caffeine-deprived moment, I used a piece of (unbleached) cheesecloth as a coffee filter. I suppose some have resorted to way more desperate measures (underwear....?) gross.

  2. That's awesome. In a pinch, I've reused the one that had been sitting in the filter basket from the previous day, though it was all wet and had leftover grinds that wouldn't separate from the filter when I tried to dump them. I've thought about using paper towels, too, when I've gotten stuck. Once, when I was at home with a sick child and no coffee to brew, I called W and had him pick me up a pound. Coffee will always be a strong (pun intended) part of my life. Do you drink yours black? And have you tried La Colombe? (

    Oh, and regarding the undies, well, we've all been there :)

  3. Thanks so much Tiffany! The panic (for coffee lovers) that comes when there are no filters to be found or remembering that I forgot to pick up milk can really throw off the morning. You made me laugh thinking about how crazy things can get when it comes to coffee. Thanks again, Melissa

  4. Melissa, I used my filter tonight (I bought two for my house, and one for my boyfriend's) and it was fabulous. It is drying now. You can check it out on my facebook page, if you'd like. I also bought a couple reusable bags!