- Posted by fincawhd
- Thu, 05/24/2012 - 23:25
American Coffee Trader Cloth Filters
There are passionate folks who believe in re-capturing old-school production methods. Often, these folks work in clothing. Raw denim sewn on ancient looms, articles stained with obscure dyes, hefty cotton enlisted in the service of the perfect T-shirt. American Coffee Trader consciously aligns himself with these artisanal values. He makes reusable cotton filters from organic American cotton, and the filters are hand-sewn right here. The cotton itself is clean and thick; other filters, even those by Hario, sometimes have a funny fibrous odor. These filters are so nice that, if they fit, I'd wear them as T-shirts, coffee stains and all.
I've used both his cloth v60 and his #2 flat-bottom, which works in both a small and large Beehouse dripper. I only used the v60 cloth a few times, and it's meant to come into its own after it has been fully seasoned. After about 10 uses, the flow-rate should mimic paper's. A lot of people like the slow flow-rate of paper, which allows for good immersion while using a coarser grind. I didn't fully season my v60, only using it a handful of times. I find the v60 tricky, and I don't believe the good cups are worth all the failed cups, or that the good cups are any better than cups brewed using less finicky drippers. Enter the Beehouse.
Sidenote: these filters make for amazing cheesecloths. My v60 and cloth helped me make an amazing veal stock, perfectly clean with a clearly structured acidity. Just kidding, no I'm not.
Beehouse. I brewed back-to-back cups with the cloth filter this morning, and both were stunning. The first used a clean Sumatra, and it was so juicy and foresty fresh. A later cup using a paper filter was more earthy, too earthy I think. I also used the cloth filter for a natural Ethiopian, and the dry berry quality was truly stunning. It was like drinking a fantastic wild blackberry juice, with a touch of coffee flavor.
The filters are around $7-$8 each. Considering the number and quality of brews that they produce, this seems like a fair trade.
Steve Rhinehart | Sun, 05/27/2012 - 21:53
I've been seeing more and more mention of these filters, and while I'll be getting my hands on a few in the future I'm sure, one of my summer goals is to meet the man behind them as well. I'm staying in Newton, MA for the summer, so Cafe Fixe - where Dylan is a barista - is right down the road. It'll be cool to get the inside scoop, and tips for best usage of the filters (including cleaning, which is my biggest concern with any cloth filter). I'll update if I manage to catch him on bar one day.
intrepid510 | Fri, 05/25/2012 - 12:53
I believe these are sold at Prima-coffee or at least they have some there for sale I think. I am tempted to try out the cloth filters, seems a little hard have to wash them out and keep them in water in the frig, but the cost of admission on these is pretty low.