Cafec Abaca vs Abaca Plus vs Sibarist Filters

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
bobR

#1: Post by bobR »

I thought I would post this early in my testing in case anyone already has some info to add. First, I am a big fan of Cafec filter papers. They have a ton of experience and make excellent products. I've been using the standard Abaca filter for a long time and I'm very happy with them. However, I'm not always a fan of the claims they make about their filters or brewing method. Anyway, the Abaca Plus is brand new and claims to give faster flow but retains many of the Abaca properties. I started with a great aromatic, juicy coffee, Ethiopian Geisha Estate, Oma Plot, natural. I optimized the cup with standard Abaca filters. 25 clicks on Comandante C40, 20 g coffee, 300 g water, 4 pulse pouring after bloom (letting water level drop to near grounds between pours). The result was a 3:15 total brew time including the 45 second bloom. Beautiful aroma and juicy flavors. I don't get a huge amount of clarity but very good. I then used the exact same conditions with the Abaca Plus fast filter. My brew time was 3:45 and tasted more flat and dry. I will increase grind size and try again (probably will post once more). I expect to get good cups in the end but the fast part confuses me. There could be reasons. Maybe my grinder produces more fines than what the manufacturer tested with and the new filter doesn't handle fines as well. The type of bean and roast level may be a factor but for me this does not appear to be a fast paper. In general, I think paper selection falls down the list a ways regarding importance but I thought this would be an interesting trial. If anyone has suggestions of a truly fast paper I might want to try, let me know. My next cup will be 27 clicks on the grinder.

bobR (original poster)

#2: Post by bobR (original poster) »

My follow up brew with the "fast" Abaca Plus filter at a coarser grind setting was much more balanced. The brew time also came back to within 5 seconds of the brew time for the Abaca (standard) filter. So both filters produced a nice cup. The fast Abaca Plus filter was actually slower than the Abaca standard filter for my set of conditions and required a coarser grind setting. Still looking for a faster filter to compare to my regular Abaca just to experiment and learn.

Jonk

#3: Post by Jonk »

Nice to read about your impressions. The Abaca filters are among the fastest I have used. Cafec T-90 "medium dark" are perhaps slightly faster, but I usually don't enjoy the resulting cups as much.

I guess Sibarist is the fastest around? Prohibitively expensive though..

bobR (original poster)

#4: Post by bobR (original poster) »

I'm going to try the Sibarist at least once as an experiment. I ordered 25 from Prima. I guess in general it will address the difference (if any) between coarser grind with slow filter on one side and finer grind and fast filter on the other. I seemed to notice a bit brighter cup with the regular Abaca filter so maybe that trend will continue with the Sibarist. Then you decide which flavor profile you like. Sibarist would have to be way better for me to switch from Abaca ($$$).

bobR (original poster)

#5: Post by bobR (original poster) »

Since the Abaca Plus filters gave longer drawdown times even though they are advertised as faster, I tried the Sibarist filters. Again, I was trying to see cup profile between slower drawdown/coarser grind vs faster drawdown/finer grind. Well, the Sibarist is fast. I could tell immediately when rinsing the filter that it was fast draining. The water drained as fast as I poured. With my go to regular Abaca I used 24 clicks on my Comandante C40 and got roughly a 3:15 brew time. I started at 22 clicks with the Sibarist and got roughly a 2:40 brew time and an under extracted cup. Eventually I wound up at 19 clicks and obtained some semblance of flavor. Going finer just got dry and lifeless. I THINK one of the issues as you go finer (which is necessary with Sibarist) is that the big permeability of the paper combined with the fine grind may make bypass more prominent. It may also require a grind where channeling could be a problem. My best cup was at the 19 clicks with an increased coffee dose of 1 gram. The brew time was roughly 2:55. It still was very one dimensional and not very pleasant. It makes me think there is an optimum range of paper permeability/grind size for pour overs. For sure of the 3 filters I tried, Cafec Abaca regular was my favorite. Someday I may try to find a filter that is between the Abaca regular and the Sibarist but for now I'm back to the Abaca where I get a very good cup. There was no huge reason to try other filters other than curiosity and maybe learning something.

Milligan

#6: Post by Milligan »

As someone who has stuck with the Hario filter papers, how do any of these compare? Thanks for your thoughts. I've been curious to try other papers.

Jonk

#7: Post by Jonk »

bobR wrote:I THINK one of the issues as you go finer (which is necessary with Sibarist) is that the big permeability of the paper combined with the fine grind may make bypass more prominent.
You could try dividing the brew water in more pours to lengthen the contact time without grinding too fine. Or a Hario Switch. What I've heard about the Sibarist filters is that they allow more fines to escape through the filter pores, resulting in a different texture.
Milligan wrote:As someone who has stuck with the Hario filter papers, how do any of these compare?
Cafec Abaca is quite similar to Hario's original, japanese v1 filters. There's a subtle flavor of yellow peas in the rinse water so I make sure to rinse liberally. Other than that they're pretty much interchangeable in my experience, but cheaper and probably better for the environment. My favourite filter. Still haven't tried Abaca Plus.

bobR (original poster)

#8: Post by bobR (original poster) »

Jonk wrote:You could try dividing the brew water in more pours to lengthen the contact time without grinding too fine. Or a Hario Switch. What I've heard about the Sibarist filters is that they allow more fines to escape through the filter pores, resulting in a different texture.

Cafec Abaca is quite similar to Hario's original, japanese v1 filters. There's a subtle flavor of yellow peas in the rinse water so I make sure to rinse liberally. Other than that they're pretty much interchangeable in my experience, but cheaper and probably better for the environment. My favourite filter. Still haven't tried Abaca Plus.
I already use a bloom plus 4 pulses as I mentioned in the first post. I think I'm at the point of diminishing returns. The Switch or another immersion method will probably work very well with the Sibarist but I was really just looking at a standard V60 pour over.

nameisjoey

#9: Post by nameisjoey »

I would imagine a fast draw down with a switch could definitely change things, but I'm too cheap to find out lol

zero610

#10: Post by zero610 »

Cafec filters are great but I can't understand why they release new filters without more information.

These Abaca Plus filters remind me of the Cafec Light Roast filter change several months/years ago. Original light roast filters had fast draw down (and were great) then, out of nowhere, they changed the formula to almost the opposite end, with a very slow drawdown. Now, they release an Abaca Plus filter that is advertised as faster than Abaca; however, in reality, they are slower, causing the user to have to figure this out by wasting coffee and time.

I use Abaca filters daily but they sure don't make it easy to try their other filters.