Filter coffee is like putting your coffee in the spotlight: it’s the brew method that lets natural flavours shine bright!
Super quick introduction to filter coffee
So, filter fans and soon-to-be aficionados, let’s find out more about this on-trend way of brewing coffee. Firstly, filter and pour over: what’s the difference? Errrm, nothing. ‘Pour over’ is just another way of saying ‘filter’. Because if something is good, it deserves two names, right?
Filter coffee brews by gravity rather than pressure. Espresso machines and stovetops are examples of pressure devices that use high pressures to speed up the extraction time and give a bolder brew. Filtering takes a few more minutes because the coffee extracts without any external forces. But it’s time well spent, because filter coffee is head-turningly delicious! And uber-trendy, too. It’s fast becoming the most fashionable way to brew good coffee.
How to make fabulous filter coffee
Hmmm, but does a bucket load of work come with all this style? No, siree! This method is simple to grasp, and with a bit of equipment and some freshly roasted grounds, you can learn how to brew filter coffee in minutes!
Considering that we’re chatting filter coffee, it would make sense to start with the filters. Grab your filter and nestle this inside the spout of your chosen pour over device. Then, measure out your ground coffee and put it in the filter. If you’re brewing for one, try a starting ratio of 20g (3 heaped tablespoons) of coffee and 320ml of water.
Pouring with love comes next. Show your coffee you care by using a swan neck kettle to be more precise and ensure all the grounds get wet. Trust us, go for a swan neck kettle, and your coffee will love you forever. But back to filters. The filter paper (or cloth) separates the grounds from the brewed coffee. Wait a few moments after that love-infused pour, and you’ll see a beautiful, bronze-brown extraction trickle into your cup. See, we told you – your coffee loves you.
History of filter coffee
Filtering coffee might be à la mode, but the basic idea is nothing new. Tried, tested and tasty, we say!
The basic idea of filtering has been used since the genesis of coffee itself – right back to the early coffee drinkers in Turkey and Saudia Arabia. It wasn’t until much later, though, that filtering really came to the fore. Cloth was the material of choice for early filters (socks were a popular option, apparently!) before Melitta Bentz invented the user-friendly paper filter in 1908.
Filter coffee methods are popular right now. Why? Because most coffee boffins agree that filtering is the best way to enjoy single origin coffee to the max. The method draws out all the natural tastes and complexities in your lovely coffee to give a brew that’s doing cartwheels of flavour.
V60 Coffee Maker
You can use several devices to make filter coffee at home, but the Chemex and V60 Coffee Dripper are the most popular. Let’s take a peek at both!
Tsuruoka san created the first cone-shaped coffee filter in the 1980s. Filter fans had to wait a little longer, however, because it wasn’t until 2004 that Hario released their classic V60 Coffee Dripper. The spaceship-sounding name comes from the shape of the device. ‘V’ because it’s V-shaped and ’60’ because it creates a 60-degree angle with its cone. Hario first introduced ceramic and glass models before branching out to plastic and metal. We love this plastic V60 device because it’s efficient and user-friendly. Less breakable than glass, too. ?
Chemex Coffee Maker
Unlike the V60, which acts as the best kind of top hat for your mug, the Chemex is an elegant, all-in-one device. A kooky chemist named Dr. Peter Schlumbohm invented the Chemex in 1941. He wanted a quality coffee brewer that scored top marks for science but still looked like art. And arty it is; we love our Chemex and think it looks a bit like an abstract goldfish bowl.
Chemex coffee makers work in a similar way to V60s. You pop your ground in the filter paper and place it in the spout before pouring over hot water. Rather than brewing over your cup, however, the Chemex collects your brewed coffee in its chamber. It’s a pool of coffee so good we think even the goldfish might fancy a dip…
I need coffee to make filter coffee! What type do I use?
As with all coffee brewing methods, the type of roast you choose is up to you. We would say, though, that lighter roasts are particularly smashing for filter coffee. Light roast coffees are more porous than dark roasts, which means they take a little longer to extract. This makes them perfectly suited to filter devices, which don’t have that turbo-charge speed boost of pressure. Lighter roasts are also marvellously complex, with some notes of the original green bean still tinkling beneath. Filtering puts the sparkle on every little complexity, making it a top choice for light roast coffees!
Fancy something light and luscious for your filter? Try Oodles of Ongles or How Many Llamas did you say were in the Phonebox?. Or, if you like something smoother, try Have Faith in the Fairies. It’s a medium roast coffee that is creamy like milk chocolate…
And how should you grind these beautiful beans? You’re on course if the grounds look coarse. Aim for grinds that resemble rough sugar and then adapt to suit your tastes. If your first cup tasted a tad too bitter, try a slightly coarser grind. If you found it too weak or sour, grind a little finer. Baby steps are the way to go; when it comes to coffee, small tweaks are all you need to get that game-changing brew!
Flavour of filter
Speciality coffee shops LOVE their filter devices. This is the method to choose for a 360-degree experience of your coffee. As well as being bright, clean-tasting and less acidic, filter devices help to draw out every prize flavour note in a good coffee. It’s like watching the best sort of firework display. Oooh, cherry notes… ahh, a little dazzle of citrus unfolding on your tongue. Delicious!
You will also experience a slightly different flavour depending on your choice of device. Chemex filters are 20% thicker than V60 filters and so soak up more of the natural coffee oils during the extraction. As such, Chemex brews a lighter-bodied coffee, while V60s give you a cup with a bit more mouthfeel. We don’t know whether we’re Camp Chemex or Camp V60 – brew both and let us know which gets your vote!
Get brewing filter coffee at home and join the filter fan club! Password = filter fanatic