Reusing pour over filters

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
DamianWarS

#1: Post by DamianWarS »

during these desperate times l resorted to rinse and dry my last pour over filter with the intention of using it again. Has anyone tried this? does it have any negative effects like brew time? So far one has been used 2 times and I didn't notice a thing.

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civ

#2: Post by civ »

Hello:
DamianWarS wrote: ... resorted to rinse and dry my last pour over filter ...
Long ago, when I made my morning coffee with a Melitta type pour-over filter, more than once I had to resort to reusing it.

Being able to do it -successfully- was directly related to two factors: quality of the filter (paper, manufacture process, etc.) and care taken in emptying it, cleaning it up and setting it to dry.

I found out that quality was best assessed through experience as not all the more expensive brand name filters were actually better (YMMV) and that the right moment to empty and gently wash the filter was when it was cold, the grounds had settled and packed and most of the water/moisture was gone from the paper.

Eventually the filter will give up the ghost but with care you will be able to get up to three or four brews out of it.
One way to extend their life was to use a one of those fine wire/plastic mesh cones that come with many better quality brewers as a pre-filter inside the paper one.

But there is an alternate, age proven method I used by a great aunt of mine from whom I acquired my passion for coffee.

I'll refer you to my post on the subject. You'll be able to find more info on line.

Cheers,

CIV

DamianWarS

#3: Post by DamianWarS »

cloth filter coffee has indeed been around for a while and it's quite popular in Asia. Basically a long sock like cloth, grounds in it and hot water added, it will pass through slower (like any filter coffee) and some have a style of lifting it high above the cup, which agitates the coffee and makes it all bubbly like some sort of poor mans faux-crema. I've never considered it for pour over but a quick search shows I can buy some v60 cotton cloth filters locally... that's pretty interesting and I might consider doing that.

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Now that we are talking about alternative filters I just remembered I also can get a bamboo v60 cone for very cheap (something like $1). They don't last that well as the weave can get undone depending on how well you handle them, but the idea with this is you don't even need a filter, coffee is added then water poured directly into the bamboo cone with no filter. Since rationing may be a topic coming up I might go ahead and get one of these, if nothing else for fun.

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I'm not that desperate and I can just order filters online (or other alternatives) but reusing is just something that came to mind as I was running out. After use I leave it in the cone, rinse, swirl, pour out and repeat until clean. That alone seems to be fine but you can take it out and rinse it off too. I left it to dry over night in the cone and there was no change in the brew time. so far with one I have had 2 uses so I figure if it lasts even just 2 times the filters go twice as long but I'm thinking treated well it should last for a while.

baldheadracing
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#4: Post by baldheadracing »

DamianWarS wrote:during these desperate times l resorted to rinse and dry my last pour over filter with the intention of using it again. Has anyone tried this? does it have any negative effects like brew time? So far one has been used 2 times and I didn't notice a thing.
My experience with Hario filters is that re-use starts to affect draw-down time after 4-5 uses, and the filter falls apart or tears after about twice that many uses. I do not adjust the grind to compensate for the longer draw-down and use only fresh filters for dialing in. KONO filters last about the same, but Melitta and Aeropress filters can be reused many more times.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

DamianWarS

#5: Post by DamianWarS » replying to baldheadracing »

it's my 4th try and the brew time was double my typical. It has been going up a little but staying in the 2 min zone, so I didn't compensate with the grind, cups were getting stronger but not astringent. Today was 4 something brew time and the cup still wasn't astringent and still only increased strength. If I go for a 5th I'll adjust the grind.

I think I'll start doing some data on it... I'll be able to plot the brew time and the exponential growth with each use and determine the realistic life of one filter. I think I'll first plot the time of a pre-wet filter filled with hot water until drained. Then I'll plot the time with coffee and I should see both increase in time, and then maybe another to see how grind compensates. (In case you can't tell I have some extra free time on my hands thanks to covid)

myso

#6: Post by myso »

I've been known to reuse them from time to time for recreational purposes: :lol:

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baldheadracing
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#7: Post by baldheadracing »

DamianWarS wrote:it's my 4th try and the brew time was double my typical. It has been going up a little but staying in the 2 min zone, so I didn't compensate with the grind, cups were getting stronger but not astringent. Today was 4 something brew time and the cup still wasn't astringent and still only increased strength. If I go for a 5th I'll adjust the grind.

I think I'll start doing some data on it... I'll be able to plot the brew time and the exponential growth with each use and determine the realistic life of one filter. I think I'll first plot the time of a pre-wet filter filled with hot water until drained. Then I'll plot the time with coffee and I should see both increase in time, and then maybe another to see how grind compensates. (In case you can't tell I have some extra free time on my hands thanks to covid)
I don't see that much difference in draw-down times. For example, this morning's cup was 2:16 on a KONO filter on its fourth use; IIRC first use was 2:08. I found that backflushing the filter makes a big difference; I guess by un-clogging the filter of some fines.

IIRC, Alan Adler reused one of his filters over 50x on the Aeropress.

I have to admit that I feel a bit ridiculous re-using a 10 cent paper filter. I suspect that having parents who grew up in the Great Depression has had an impact.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

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civ

#8: Post by civ »

Hello:
baldheadracing wrote: ... feel a bit ridiculous re-using a 10 cent paper filter.
Nah!
I'd feel much worse if I could not have my morning coffee because I did not have a filter. =-)

But look at it this way:
If you use say, one filter a day every year it's 365 filters.
Now, what if we multiply it by the number of people in the US who would use 365 paper filters a year?

Let's see:
The estimated population in the US for 2019/20 is ~ 330 million and assuming an estimated 3.2 people per household, we're looking at ~ 103 million households.

Just to convey the idea, would it be acceptable to assume that at least one person in each household in the US drinks coffee and in doing so uses just one filter a day?

That would be 365 filters x 103 million in a year.
And at $0.10/filter ...

You get the idea.

Just playing with the numbers while under quarantine to try to put things into perspective.
Nothing more than that. =-)

Cheers,

CIV

DamianWarS

#9: Post by DamianWarS »

baldheadracing wrote:I don't see that much difference in draw-down times. For example, this morning's cup was 2:16 on a KONO filter on its fourth use; IIRC first use was 2:08. I found that backflushing the filter makes a big difference; I guess by un-clogging the filter of some fines.

IIRC, Alan Adler reused one of his filters over 50x on the Aeropress.

I have to admit that I feel a bit ridiculous re-using a 10 cent paper filter. I suspect that having parents who grew up in the Great Depression has had an impact.
I'm going to have to start back flushing mine then, I'm getting 4:30 draw downs and there comes a point where it's silly to keep trying. I agree it starts to get a little crazy saving these things but I'm just to planning for the worse given the current situation.

I don't reuse my aeropress filters because of the intense satisfying "popping the puck into the garbage" feeling you get that I feel would be lost when you have to peel the filter off. More power to Alan Adler and he seems like the kind of guy to do that sort of thing. I'll bet he has a closest full of used ones. I don't drink a lot of aeropress and I also have the prismo in case things start getting really desperate. To I actually dusted it off and used it, I went to the inverted method and forgot that not much water be used in the inverted method, so I capped it and flipped it over... a bit of a hybrid method but it worked out in the end. (I like a 300ml going through, so I depend a bit on the small amount of coffee that drips through to fit that in the aeropress)
civ wrote:That would be 365 filters x 103 million in a year.
And at $0.10/filter ...

You get the idea.

Just playing with the numbers while under quarantine to try to put things into perspective.
Nothing more than tha
I think you bring up a good point. "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial" -type thing, just because the filters are pennies and we can afford to waste them doesn't mean we should. If we can reuse them with out compromising on quality (or repurpose them into cat hats) then we should be encouraging the community to do this and share tips on how to do it well.

I'm also on quarantine and I'm in a country where things may start to digress quickly, not as much in the spread of the virus but more with loss of freedoms to control people... I want to make sure I have my priorities in check when the time comes.

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civ

#10: Post by civ »

Hello:
DamianWarS wrote: ... you bring up a good point.
... afford to waste them doesn't mean we should.
Indeed ...
DamianWarS wrote: If we can reuse them ...
... repurpose them into cat hats ...
Lovely cats ... =-)

If you use one of those fine mesh filter cones inside the paper cone, the paper cone will be much easier to clean up and then last longer.
Haven't done that in years as I have a small collection of moka pots to rely on if my usual espresso tools can't be used for some reason or other.

Then the filter's final destination could be a small compost bin along with the grounds and some selected organic matter.
And a few worms if you can get them. =-)
DamianWarS wrote: ... in a country where things may start to digress quickly ...
OT
Sort of a not if but when thing.
Don't think it will be limited to any specific country.
/OT

Cheers,

CIV