This month we’re celebrating Filter February and all things filter coffee. We’re big fans of filter coffee and it’s our go-to every morning here at the roastery. We tend to make up a batch brew of whatever is tasting delicious for the whole roastery team to start the day. Why do we dig it so much? Well, brewing through a filter creates a super clean, bright and balanced cup of coffee, whilst helping the coffee’s intrinsic flavour notes to really sing.
What is filter coffee?
Filter coffee is the broad term given for when coffee is dripped through a filter of some kind. Filter coffee can be brewed using a variety of both manual, and automatic equipment and is often referred to as different things such as Hario V60, Kalita Wave, Chemex, Aeropress (controversial, I know) and batch brew machines. Even your nan’s old gargling filter machine qualifies!
Pour-over is the term used to describe coffee which is brewed by pouring hot water over coffee grounds, where the brewed coffee drips into a cup or server below. When coffee is brewed in this way there are three variables that can affect the coffee in the cup: coffee grind degree, brew ratio (coffee/water quantity) and and contact time. Changing one of these variables will change the coffee in the cup, so understanding how the grind degree, time spent pouring water over coffee and coffee/water quantity affects the end result will really help you on your path to brewing better filter coffee.
Here is a handy V60 brew guide:
Stuff you’ll need:
• A kettle (ideally a temperature controlled one)
• A filter cone and filter papers (white ones are better than brown ones)
• A carafe, or mug to brew into
• Scales (just normal digital kitchen scales will do)
• A grinder (…if you’re using beans. Don’t use a spice or blade grinder)
• A timer (the one on your phone is fine)
- Get your water on. Place the filter paper in the cone and boil your kettle. Aim for 94 degrees Celsius. On a conventional kettle turn it off when you first see bubbles rising from the bottom. Rinse the filter paper out with approx. 100ml of hot water. This washes any papery taste away and heats the brewing cone and server.
Add the coffee. You want to aim for a medium grind ñ like granulated sugar. Remember, the finer the grind the slower the extraction. Equally, a coarser grind will speed up extraction. Start with a 60g of coffee to 1 litre of water brew ratio. We’re going to use 18g of coffee to 300ml of water. You can adjust this to suit your coffee. Tear your scales.
Pre-infuse the coffee. Start a timer and slowly pour 10% of the water over the grounds in a circular motion, in our case 30g. Wait 30 seconds for the coffee to “bloom”. This begins releasing the CO2 from the coffee and starts the extraction process. You can stir the grounds if you want to make sure they’re all wet.
Begin the main pour. Add a third of the water to start with, in our case so that the total weight is now 100g. Work in a circular motion while you pour. At 1:30 mins add the second third, so that the total weight is 200g. At 2:30 mins add the final third. You’re aiming for a total brew time of around 3:30 mins.
Tips and tricks. Water temperature is super important. The hotter the water the quicker the flow. Also, the coffee will taste sweeter at cooler temperatures, although you might end up with thin tasting coffee. Darker roasts will be more soluble than light roasts, so adjust your brew ratio and grind accordingly. Filtered water is always better.
Our favourite filter coffees
Rwanda Huye Mountain
A wonderfully sweet coffee with a distinctive raisin character complemented by notes of red berries with black tea on the finish.
Guatemala El Libano
An outstanding coffee that’s characterful yet approachable. Think caramel tuile, milk chocolate and hints of pear and baked apple.
Ethiopia Kayon Mountain
Thanks to the natural processing method this coffee is bursting with notes of blueberry, apricot jam and florals. A real game-changer.
Brazil Pe De Cedro
This is a classic Brazil with notes of white chocolate, macadamia nut and peanut butter, complemented by a low acidity, fantastic sweetness and a creamy finish.
For February only, we’ve launched a limited edition Filter February Coffee Set which features four of our favourite coffees to brew through a filter, plus a Hario V60 coffee dripper and filter papers to get you on your way. Complete with printed drip filter brew recipe to pop on your fridge, this kit will have you nailing filter coffee in no time.
A side note on coffee filters
Coffee filters can be made from paper, metal mesh or cloth, however paper filters are the most common and, in our opinion, produce the cleanest cup of coffee due to their ability to strain all suspended material as well any oils that may be present in the brewed coffee. We always recommend using the white bleached filter papers as the brown unbleached type tend to taste quite papery. Yuck. Shop Hario V60 filters here.