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The Importance of a Good Filter When Making Coffee

No suitor comes in my house

unless he has promised to me himself

and has it also inserted into the marriage contract

that I shall be permitted

to brew coffee whenever I want.

— Johann Sebastian Bach, Coffee Cantata

Coffee is a non-negotiable part of my day. Either as a cup to start my morning, a cappuccino before noon, a mid-day break or after-dinner expresso. Science and health experts including the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine seem to agree that the popularity of coffee is as strong as ever and as universal. Study after study indicates coffee contains antioxidants and other active substances that when taken in moderation may reduce internal inflammation and protect against a variety of diseases.

Don’t sabotage a good cup of coffee with a bad filter. Coffee filters are a key component in the brewing process highlighting the different elements of a coffee’s character. In simple terms, the finer the pores (holes in the filter) the more effective the filtration. The more effective the filtration, the lighter, cleaner, brighter and healthier cup of coffee

Filtering coffee is made through either immersion, pressure, or drip/pour over methods of brewing. Metal filters and paper filters are both practical choices as cloth filters are difficult to clean. There are debatable reasons for whether metal or paper filters are best and whether one is better than another. Espresso and filter coffee follow the same basics – hot water passing through the coffee grounds, filtering through some sort of device.An espresso machine works by filtering highly-pressurized hot water through packed coffee grounds via a portafilter. If you have a coffee maker, the portafilter is equivalent to the basket that holds the paper filters that you use to enjoy a tasty coffee cup.

There are various types of portafilters with filter baskets as well as coffee pod portafilters that use coffee beans that have been previously ground and tamped into ready-to-use packets. A Moka Pot is a stovetop coffee maker that pushes pressurized water through ground coffee and a filter screen. Paper filters can be added or adapted to both. 

The soil, the location, the climate, cultivation and harvesting methods, are all important for producing good quality coffee. But that’s just the beginning. Roasting and packaging preserve the character and freshness of the coffee bean. So look to artisan producers for your best source of quality coffee. Remember that proper brewing produces a cup of coffee at its very best. 

Time to open the bag, grind. . . filter and brew. 

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