Can a reusable filter make great tasting coffee?

Environmental Journal: Entry 5

Spending a huge amount of time at home over the last few months has focused my attention on how much waste my little family produce as a household.

So, seeing as it is zero waste week, I wanted to share one of the many little things I have started doing to reduce my impact. Yes, you guessed it, it involves coffee!

The idea of a reusable filter is great, but does it make good coffee?

I have always been a keen cafetière drinker at home, but I was noticing that the recipe I use to make a delicious brew was giving me too much coffee to drink myself. So, I decided to start making myself a 1 cup V60 each morning and I have to say – my tastebuds have thanked me for this. However, I just couldn’t get over the waste I was producing – not just the grounds but also the paper filter used with every brew. This got me thinking…

Surely there’s a way to brew with the V60 method without having to use and discard of the paper filter and still produce delicious coffee?
My thought process on this is:

If I only brew one cup per day, that’s 365 filter papers that need disposing of. They come neatly packaged in packs of 100 so I would need to buy 4 packs per year – more packaging to dispose of. There’s also the delivery cost and the emissions attached to this to consider. So, looking at the broader picture, if I could find an alternative reusable filter, I will not only reduce my waste and environmental impact but also save myself a few quid…

I’ve had a couple of brews from reusable filters on a few occasions, but I have never used one long enough to come to any significant conclusions. I wanted to try something reasonably priced. So, as you do, I jumped on Amazon and picked the first one that came up, paid my cash and waited for it to arrive.

A few things worth noting: being new, it was rather rigid at first to use in the V60 cone, so I decided to peg this in place for a few days (not recommended to leave pegs on whilst brewing). I tried and failed at this.

Also, there were no real instructions with this filter, only that it needed cleaning and that it was dishwasher safe. With that in mind, I decided to brew my first cup in the same way I would with a paper filter. Same grind, same water to coffee ratio and hoped for the best. I was not surprised to find that this first brew took too long to draw down, but as you do, you taste these things, and to my surprise, it wasn’t terrible. So, I made a few minor adjustments to the grind (slightly coarser) and I hit my desired draw-down time.

The resulting cup was remarkably sweet and juicy, it certainly helped that the coffee of the day was an excellent AA washed Kenyan and all the right notes were there: balanced sweet acidity, super juicy and the body was very heavy, just how I like my brews.

I’ve tried out the paper and reusable filter side by side (see YouTube video for more on this) and I have to say I am sold on the reusable. Maybe I have convinced myself the taste results are better than paper because I don’t need to throw it away at the end of my brew? I am also not suggesting that this is for everyone, but I’d recommend you give it go.

Are you interested in making the switch to a reusable filter? I’d love to know…

Burts

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