Sunday, October 4, 2009

Coffeemaker Filters

So far we have covered 2 elements of coffee brewing, water & automatic drip coffeemakers. Most people don't think much about filters but they are an important factor in brewing great coffee.

There are several types; paper, both white(bleached) and brown (natural), metal, sometimes called "Goldtone", cloth (vacuum pots) , and we could include the wire mesh in french press brewing & the metal porta filter used in espresso brewing. The vast majority of brewing is done with some form of automatic drip brewer. That method uses 2 types of filters; flat bottom or V shape. I prefer the V shape natural filter because I think you get the best extraction. Here is a tip no matter what kind of filter you use. About half way through the brewing stir the coffee in the filter to ensure all the grounds are being evenly saturated. Stirring will improve the extraction and give you a better more full body cup. Try it and let me know what you think.

No matter which type of paper filter you use rinse it with warm water before you put the ground coffee into it. Rinsing removes the sizing that all paper filters have and the slight paper taste. If you think that rinsing does not make a difference brew a pot of plain water using both methods and you will be able to see the difference in the clarity of the water. Metal flat or V shape filters trap coffee oils that are important to cup body so I never recommend a metal filter of any type for drip brewing.

One more tip; Give the brewed coffee a quick stir before serving. The first half of the brewed coffee is weaker than the last half and stirring evens the mix. If you are using a thermal carafe to brew into put the cap on and swirl the carafe to mix the coffee and then pour a little of the coffee into the sink clearing the pour spout of old coffee and water.

I started this Blog series by saying brewing coffee is part art and part science and as you can see it is a little both. If coffee is as important to you as it is to me the little extra effort put into brewing is well worth the end result.

The next Blog will be on grinding, a very important element in the process of brewing a great cup.

Well it is time for me to brew our morning pot. Have a great coffee day!!



Jeff Rochford said...

Our gold filter is going in the trash tomorrow!!

AL said...

I never knew that about my paper filters. It works!

Anonymous said...

Hey Arnold, I tried what you suggested about rinsing the paper filter prior to use. The coffee tastes so much better! The difference is actually so noticeable that it tastes like a different blend/batch/origin altogether. Thanks for the tip!