If you like brewing coffee at home but are concerned about the waste and recurring costs that come with paper filters, you should consider an alternative filter. In this case, a cloth strainer would be your best alternative.
Cloth strainers or coffee socks are reusable coffee filters. Thus, they are more economical and environmentally friendly than paper filters. Besides, they are easy to clean and easy to use. In this article, we will show you how to make coffee with a cloth strainer.
Introduction to Cloth Strainers
Cloth filters or strainers work like paper filters, only that they are reusable. If you prefer brewing coffee using pour-over methods, you can use a piece of cloth in place of a paper filter. One of the main benefits of a cloth strainer is its flexibility. You can easily use the same cloth strainer in pour-over brewers of different sizes without adjusting the filter as it molds easily to fit any shape.
Cloth filters are typically made from nylon or cotton. Thus, it is easy to clean them. You can wash them by hand after brewing. You just need to dump the used coffee grounds and rinse the strainer. Then lay it on a clean surface such as a utensils rack to dry. Cleaning it is just a matter of minutes. It will save you money unlike throwing away paper filters every time you brew coffee. Thus, you cut down on waste and save the environment from further degradation.
Also, it is possible to use cloth strainers with immersion-style coffee brewers. You can make a cloth strainer in a way that it has a drawstring or closing mechanism for use in a cold brew setup or French press. You just put enough ground coffee in the cloth filter, then tie it to avoid the grounds from leaking when immersed in the brewer.
How to Make Coffee with a Cloth Strainer
Here are the ingredients and equipment you need to make tasty coffee with a simple cloth strainer:
- Ground coffee or coffee beans and coffee grinder
- Filtered water
- Kitchen scale
- Cloth filter
- Stopwatch or timer
- Coffee mug
Preferably, use 20 grams of ground coffee and 300 grams of water when brewing with a cloth strainer. However, you can experiment with different coffee-to-water ratios depending on your taste preferences. You will find it easier to brew consistently tasty coffee when you know the exact amount of coffee and water to use.
Step 1- Place the filter over a coffee mug. If you are using a homemade cloth filter, you can hold it in place with a rubber band. The best thing about a cloth filter is that you can brew coffee directly into the mug you will drink from. Thus, it reduces the amount of cleaning you will do after brewing.
Step 2- Boil filtered water in a kettle.
Step 3- Use a measuring scale to measure 20 grams of ground coffee. Preferably, use medium or medium-coarse grind size for this method. You can grind coffee beans with a grinder to get the freshest cup of coffee.
Step 4- Pour 100 grams of hot water over the coffee grounds evenly. Start your timer. Allow the coffee to sit for exactly 1 minute, a brewing stage known as the bloom phase.
Step 5- After a minute, pour 200 grams of water to get a total of 300 grams. You can stir the mixture quickly with the help of a spoon after finishing the pour.
Step 6- Once the water drains completely, remove the cloth strainer from the mug.
Step 7- Dump out the used grounds, rinse the filter, and enjoy your hot cup of coffee.
How to Take Care of a Cloth Strainer
You can use a cloth strainer for several months before demanding a replacement. You just need to take good care of it. A cloth strainer will start looking worn and stressed over time. That is when it is time to replace it. Also, if it still looks like new but your coffee flavor starts changing, it is time to replace it.
It is important to clean a cloth filter after every use. You only need to rinse it with clean water and allow it to dry before storing it. If you store it while still wet, it may become moldy and require replacement sooner than necessary.
Never wash a cloth strainer with soap. The soap will introduce foreign smells and taste to your coffee. You can clean the cloth with salt a few times every month. Just put a handful amount of salt on a wet cloth filter. Rub the filter with your hands. Rinse it thoroughly to remove the salt. If you fail to rinse it properly, your next cup of coffee may taste salty.