Pour over or drip is a coffee brewing method that is popular among coffee fans everywhere. It lets you control the brewing and flavor extraction process since you can monitor the saturation of the coffee grounds. Pour-over coffee has a flavorful and rich aroma and the goodness of coffee is accentuated further with the use of paper filters. However, due to the growing concern for the environment, coffee enthusiasts are encouraged to switch to homemade coffee filter cloth if using the pour-over brewing method.
Homemade coffee filter cloth: Steps on how to make it
These are the materials that you will need:
- 25 x 20 cm fabric
- Sewing thread
- Paper coffee filter
- Sewing pins
- Needle or sewing machine
Here are the steps on how to make your homemade coffee filter cloth:
1. First, you have to outline the filter.
Place and flatten the washed and ironed fabric on a table and position the paper filter somewhere on the fabric. It should have space twice next to each other with one side in common which will serve as the line for the fold. Mark the outline of the paper filter using a pen.
2. Next, fold and pin the fabric together.
Fold the fabric at the folding line and use paper clips or pins to hold it in place.
3. Cut the fabric and outline of the coffee filter.
4. Next, sew a line along the filter’s top.
Remove the pins that are holding the filter together and sew a line along the filter’s curved top. The line will prevent the filter from falling apart. Try to experiment with fun patterns on your sewing machine.
5. Pin the fabric again by using pins or paper clips.
6. Finally, sew the sides and bottom together.
Start sewing from the bottom next to the fold and when you arrive at the corner, lift the sewing foot, rotate the fabric and sew the rest.
Reusable or homemade coffee filter cloth can save countless plastic packaging and filters. It also saves the energy that goes with the production and transport of filters. It works similarly just like regular coffee filters and the taste and brewing method stay the same.
The ideal fabric to use for homemade coffee filters is medium-thick organic and unbleached linen, hemp or cotton. Make sure that it has the right thickness so the filter stays sturdy and for coffee to still run through it. If you opt for recycled fabric such as old clothes, ensure that the material is cotton or a linen mix.
A homemade coffee filter cloth yields a clean and sediment-free cup of joe with a rich aroma from the coffee oils. Always wash the cloth filters well between brews and do not let them dry too much or stay moist. The cleanup is more or less 30 to 60 seconds and there is very minimal waste.
Each time you are done with the brewing process, dump the used coffee grounds into the compost and rinse the cloth filters with mild dish soap. Rinse the filters thoroughly and you can also place them in a mesh bag and toss it in the washing machine or dishwasher.
Other types of coffee filters
Here are other types of coffee filters:
These are the common coffee filters used everywhere and the ones often found at supermarkets and homes. These filters are absorbent and tightly woven and they filter out most of the oils and micro coffee grounds. Without the oils, coffee is thinner and sediment-free but loses a lot of flavors and aroma. Coffee lovers prefer paper filters because it makes coffee light, crisp and clean.
Paper filters are easy to dispose of. You simply place them along with the coffee grounds into the trash bin or compost. However, it results in a lot of paper waste.
Metal filters work differently compared to paper filters. Microscopic coffee grounds and natural oils could end up in your cup because there is no finely weaved paper to absorb them.
Coffee’s natural oils contribute greatly to the overall flavor and many flavors like rose, blueberry and other lighter and sweeter ones are only possible with the presence of coffee oils. Similarly, micro-grounds thicken the mouthfeel and your coffee feels slightly heavier. The grounds do not reduce the coffee’s acidity but allow taste buds to not detect them as strong and intense.
Cleanup of metal filters is not the easiest but with proper care, they will last a lifetime and there is zero waste.
Pour-over brewing provides flavorful coffee with a rich aroma and this is made possible with the help of filters. Paper and metal filters are commonly used but for a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative, it is ideal to use a homemade coffee filter cloth. These reusable coffee filters save countless plastic packaging and energy that goes with the manufacture of filters and yield rich, aromatic and sediment-free coffee.
Image: istockphoto.com / Ibrahim Karadeniz