Brewing at home is a calm routine for some and art for others. For some, they have their recipes and routines noted and perfected over the years.
And for others, the fun lies in the experimentations.
You could be either of them and yet there is something for you in brewing with cloth filters.
In our brief journey of brewing specialty coffee, the cloth filter doesn’t take out anything from the experience, but rather adds a whole lot of dimension to the brewing sessions.
These are time and experience tested tips for cloth filters.
Some tips are for longer and better care of filters. And some are for elevating the brewing experience.
1. Brewing Tips
Prewetting your filter.
Prewetting of your cloth filter before the brewing session helps it
- Stay in Place
- Even flow of water through the coffee grounds
- Better extraction of flavors.
Finer Grinds work better with cloth filters.
Start at the center, and pour in spirals moving outwards. Try to make it an even bed, this leads to an even extraction and good flavor profile. Uneven coffee grind bed means the water didn’t flow evenly through it.
If you want to read and know more about brewing techniques.
2. Tweaking Variables
There are a lot of variables when brewing - Grind Size, water temperature, ratio, type of roast, and the type of filter to name a few.
And if you find yourself with a brew you don't enjoy, next time change one variable. So that you can have better control over the changes.
Here are some additional tips
- If you find the brew was bitter, chances are the temperature of the water is slightly high.
- If you find the brew was weak or sour, chances are the temperature of the water is slightly low.
Also, the roast of coffee will prefer a certain temperature.
- A darker roast will prefer lower temp
- Lighter Roast will prefer higher temp
3. Cloth filters work for all types of coffee - Washed, Naturals & Sun-Dried
The cloth filter is designed to bring out both rich and clean flavors. The middle spot of paper and metal filters. Be it in bringing out the bold and mouthful flavors of sun-dried coffee. Or the fruiter, richer, and heavier flavors of natural processed coffee. Or the intrinsic and minimal flavor of washed coffee.
So whichever coffee you choose, your filter will not disappoint with filtering out the desired flavors.
Your cloth filter is made to last for at least 100 cups - but with proper maintenance of it in between the sessions. We cannot stress it enough, proper cleaning will prolong your filter’s lifespan. And will prevent any flavor built up from coffee oils. It will keep it pristine clean for the next brew session.
Get rid of all coffee grinds, wash and boil within 30 mins of brewing, and store. Plus deep clean once in a while. You can choose commercial coffee cleaner or baking soda once in a while. Never use detergent or soap. You’ll find an in-depth cleaning guide on our website.
5. Cloth Filter and Types Of Equipment
There’s a cloth filter for each piece of brewing equipment. Be it Chemex, Hario V60, Aeropress, Kalita, or even cold brew bags. Perfectly suited to whatever brewing method you prefer, you get - clog-free, richer brew.
Make sure your filter is fitted perfectly to your instrument to avoid uneven filtration.
6. Recipes To Explore
Technically a cloth filter would work in any recipe, But You could make a really good cold brew. There are literally so many recipes you can try out apart from the traditional pour-over coffee.
Here’s a very distinct and quirky one- coconut water cold brew coffee!
And here’s a traditional Costa Rican coffee recipe.
Have fun exploring :)
7. Having Two Filters
If you are someone who brews a lot, having two filters makes it so much easier. You can use the other one when the first filter is drying from deep cleaning.
8. Coffee Beans Quality
Invest in good quality beans, at the end of the day, your filter can only do so much. The quality and how the coffee was processed plays a major role here. Your cloth filter will filter out all the good and right flavors, provided there is any in your coffee beans. Invest in good coffee. Wanted things in and unwanted out.
Quality coffee = Quality brew.
And finding and tweaking the variables to your perfection will do 75% of the work. The filter does rest.
If all the tips overwhelm you at first, start slow. Tweak and perfect one variable/ tip over time. If you have just switched over to a cloth filter from paper, expect the brew to be different. Paper is known to brew a “Cleaner” cup. Cloth is known for its heavier and richer mouthfeel.
If you don't know what grind size to choose, choose as you would with paper and tweak it eventually.
Also there’s a huge community that brews with cloth filters, that's a good place to get involved and ask questions.
Anyway, get brewing and we hope you end up with a cup that you’ll love to drink.