The hand filter method
There are two main coffee making methods: those with pressure and those without. The final quality of the result in the cup is not just a matter of taste – for the perfect flavour, the chosen coffee should always harmonise with the way it is prepared. Preparation without pressure means that the brewing process occurs without any artificially generated water pressure. This includes brewing directly in the cup, Turkish mocha, the various filter methods with or without a machine, such as manual filters, ceramic filters, paper filters, filtering into a vacuum flask, the Neapolitan coffee maker, or flip coffee pot as well as various special types of filtering. For preparation with pressure, hot water is filtered through the ground coffee with additional pressure. This preparation method includes the use of steam pressure pots, such as the percolator, the glass piston coffee machine, and the espresso or mocha pot, press pots, portafilter machines, semiautomatic machines, hand lever machines, fully automatic machines with piston technology, pod or capsule machines, and vending machines.
If you do not want the coffee grounds in your cup, you have to filter the coffee. The coffee filter separates the beverage from the coffee grounds. This can be done manually or using a machine. The flavour is determined largely by the grind size and the water temperature. The so-called hand-filter or manual drip method is making a true comeback. For this preparation method to be a success, a little hot water is poured over the coffee of medium-fine grind size first, to cause the coffee to swell, in order to extract all flavours. Then, more hot water is poured over it gradually.
The most important aspects of coffee preparation by hand filtering are:
1. The grind size of the beans: medium-fine grind size allows the water to flow through the filter slowly and evenly. This ensures optimum extraction of the flavours from the coffee.
2. The temperature of the brewing water: 92-96 °C is ideal.
3. The ratio of coffee grinds and water quantity: for 100 to 125 ml water, you need 6 to 8g of coffee. The grind size and the water temperature determine the flavour.
4. The brewing time: the optimum brewing process takes 3 to 4 minutes.
What you need to know about the right process:
The paper filter is placed in the funnelshaped opening of the porcelain filter holder and moistened by pouring boiled water into it. The pores in the paper open upon contact with the water, allowing the flavour to filter through better.
Then the coffee grinds are evenly distributed in the filter. This is important for the extraction.
Part of the boiled water is poured into the filter, so that the coffee grinds are only just covered. After several seconds the remaining water is poured in a circular movement, to ensure that all the coffee grinds are used.
[The water should flow through in about 3 to 4 minutes.