The underrated cloth filter may not have made huge noise in the coffee world yet, but it's here to stay. Really. It’ll brew you a minimum of 100 cups before even retiring. Unlike the paper filter which leaves you after each use. But why isn’t it a big hit yet? It could be because it has been shrouded in many myths. From the most common one being the ‘difficult cleaning process" and the popular "not as cost-effective as paper"
This post is specifically to demystify that. You could be a hardcore metal filter fan or an OG paper filter lover, cloth filters have something for both of those people. Do read along.
If your first brew with a cloth filter didn't turn out to your liking, there could be a variety of reasons why other than the filter. As it is for any brewing method or filters used, there is a particular way for even the cloth filter. And most often, it's personal. The way we brew might be slightly different from yours. And your brewing process may take a few hits and misses before you find your perfect recipe. Do read up on brewing with cloth filters, but most of it comes down to grind size. A coarser grind for some, and a relatively finer grind for others. Depends on the brewing method used, of course.
Getting back to the myths. Scroll down to read the truth. A little debunking is always good.
Myth 1 - Cloth Filters don't give you a ‘clean’ cup of coffee.
This is the part where it is surprisingly close to its cousin, the paper filter. It does get out all the grounds. All that sits behind and what you have, is the clean cup as promised. No sediments in cup. That too, without the waste. A greener choice and a cleaner cup.
Myth 2 - It is not the cheapest option or the unavailability in market.
Again a myth. Cloth filters have existed before paper ones. They were what people grew up with, in countries like Costa Rica and Japan. It was the economical choice both back then and even today. Our cloth filters are 50% cheaper than paper filters in the long haul. Also, each filter brews you at least 100 cups. Do compare the longer manufacturing process for the paper filters. And the higher carbon footprint.
Then comes availability. No, you don't have to order it from Japan or Costa Rica, you can easily find cloth filters on our website. And what's better is that ours is made by local artisans.
Myth 3 - Compatibility with brewing Instruments.
We get it. You have a favorite. One that you spend both time and money to find. Be it Chemex or V60. Maybe Kalita or AeroPress. And there exists a particular paper filter for it. What’s the point if it is not compatible with your favorite brew method? Here’s the (not so) secret part, there exists a cloth alternative to your preferred instrument. Be it AeroPress, Be it Chemex, or the Kalita. We have a cloth filter to all of those. There’s even a cold brew one. And even a dip coffee bag. No compromise of choices here. Brew away.
Myth 4 - The cloth taste
Cotton is made of cellulose, which has no inherent taste to it. Hence, once rinsed well, cloth filters don't add any flavour to your cup. You don’t have to blindly believe us. Our reviews do testify no aftertaste found whatsoever. If you are up to date on the cleaning part after you brew, there should not be any further built up too. Don’t let this myth deprive you of a beautiful and flavour packed cup of coffee.
Myth 5 - Finer notes/nuanced flavors would be missing.
Big big myth. Cloth filters traditionally drip faster than paper filters, because of their built structure. Plus they don't clog as easily as paper. This means you can go a lot finer with cloth filters.
The combination of a faster draw-down and finer grinding, reveals a completely different side of your coffee. You'll be surprised with the results.
Myth 6 - The process is hard to learn, harder to implement.
What’s simple is instant coffee. Everything else is not simple. The particular brand of coffee beans you like, where it was grown, how it was processed, how much finer or coarser grind you prefer, the brewing method used, the coffee to water ratio, etc.. After, all this, learning to use cloth filters should be relatively easy. No rocket science, just a different filtration method. You just have to find what process gives you the best results. Once you cross that bridge, a whole different coffee flavor profile awaits you.
Myth 7 - Cloth filters won’t match the sturdiness of metal filters and the quality of paper filters.
It might not look sturdy like the metal filter or expensive like paper, it gets the job done. And beautifully so. It will last you long like a metal one and yet give a clean cup of coffee like paper. The word better would not be fair here, each filtration has its own pros and cons. But cloth does give you strikingly similar results to both.
Myth 8 - Cleaning is hard. Aftercare is harder.
The most popular one. And for a good reason. With paper, you just have to dump the used coffee grounds into a trash can. Super convenient. And with metal, one more step gets added, washing it. Not that hard. Cloth filter does require you to do a few more steps. Aftercare is important to both the quality of your brew and the longevity of the filter. It’s not the hardest thing ever, but a few more steps from the other two. But it’s worth it because the brew is your end result. And metal and paper cannot get you that sediment-free, rich coffee. You have your coffee brewing routine, the cloth filter has an aftercare routine. The Good news is, the learning curve is short. Bonus brownie points for you if you compost your coffee grounds too.
Don’t let myths stop you from exploring a whole brewing world of cloth filters. There might be a question on why we need another filter option when we already have metal and paper ones. Is it only a hippie choice?
Cloth filters existed much before metal or paper. They have been here for a long time. And a greener choice too. Imagine the number of paper filter waste that won’t be generated because of one cloth filter. About 3 months of paper filter waste. That's a lot of waste. Add to it the huge raw materials needed for them. The deforestation of huge scales of forest. The humble cloth filter does provide a much more sustainable option.
It is truly a kinder brew.