coffee fail

image of a plastic reusable coffee filterAs loyal readers of this blog may have noticed, I have employed many, many different gadgets in many ways as I’ve tried to figure out how to make the perfect cup of home-brewed coffee.

(If you’re my brother, the perfect cup of coffee is made this way: Heap the filter basket of a Mr. Coffee with all the freshly-ground coffee beans it will hold. Drink the rocket fuel that is produced. Here’s a video of Pete’s coffee maker turning out a batch of the stuff he calls coffee. Yes, it really makes that warning noise. Actually, all coffee makers have that warning siren on them but you never hear it because you don’t make coffee the way my brother does.)

As much as I like gadgets, the making of coffee doesn’t seem to lend itself to gadgetry. The simple method of pouring boiled water over a heap of freshly-ground beans in a paper filter has produced the best cup of home-brewed coffee I’ve made to date. But I’m always open to new ideas.

One I came across recently was a reusable filter. It seemed like a good idea because it had a rigid plastic frame and four tabs around the top that would suspend it so it would not press up against the walls of the drip cone. If hot water could pass through the coffee grounds and out the sides of the filter, instead of being forced to pass through the one teeny-tiny spot in the bottom of a paper filter that’s right over the exit hole in the drip cone, that would perhaps bring more of the flavor out of the bean. Also, maybe I wouldn’t have to wait so long for a cup of coffee.

I got to try it out this morning and I was right about the second part. I didn’t have to wait nearly as long. The coffee flowed through the grounds, out the filter and drained through the drip cone into the carafe almost as fast as I could pour it. I was pretty happy about that, but my pleasure lasted only up to the point when I took a sip from my coffee mug. Weirdly, the coffee that was made without the use of a paper filter tasted an awful lot like wet newspaper, very weak and with none of the chocolaty goodness that marks the flavor of a really tasty cuppa joe. My guess is that the tiny little hole in the bottom of the drip cone gives the hot water just enough time to extract all those yummy flavors from the grounds.

Whatever the reason, the reusable coffee filter flunks out and I won’t be using it again, good news for My Darling B, who uses these same filters when straining infusions.

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