Which Filter Should I Use?

Different Coffee = Different Filter

I have had a lot of conversation about which filter to use for brewing. The answer is simple, ALL OF THEM. Different coffees have characteristics that are better pronounced with different brewing methods and further still with different filters. 

Make the cup that brings you joy! The great thing about coffee is you can keep trying things until you find something you like. Then keep trying things til you find something you also like. Some general rules to point you in the right direction can help you get to that desired cup of coffee faster. 

Many times the way the coffee is roasted is determined by the type of coffee. a general rule is to use the roast level to determine the brewing and filter preference. We are going to look at paper and metal filters.

Light Roast - Paper Filter. Lighter roasts tend to carry more acid, brighter flavor notes, and lighter body. To bring out those flavors pick a paper filter that retains some of the oils in the brewing process. 

Medium Roast - Paper filter or metal filter. Medium roasts can go either way. On this one the brew time and grind size can carry more weight in the final cup. Start with a paper filter and medium grind. For more complexity go to a metal filter or a finer grind. If a more classic mellow flavor is desired use a larger grind size and keep the paper filter. 

Dark Roast - Metal Filter. To get the best BOLD flavors from a dark roast you want to almost steap the grounds in the hot water to dissolve the tasty bits. For this  French Press or Aeropress is the best brew method. Additionally you can use a Chemex reusable filter and medium grind level.

Again these are general guidelines I use when I brew at home. THERE WILL BE EXCEPTIONS! One of my favorite exceptions is the Ethiopia Basecamp. It is a light roast that has a good pop of flavor without an overly tart acdid when prepared in the french press!


Ben Massung