Rinsing pour-over filters

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by bobR »

I read over an old thread regarding people rinsing filters or not. It was too old a thread to continue so I'm posting on a new thread. I discovered something strange by accident.

I use Cafec Abaca papers in a V60. I always rinse the filter with just off boil water. With my current coffee and method, I consistently get a total brew time of 3:30 plus or minus about 5 seconds or so. I got distracted by my wife at the start of my pour-over yesterday (same batch of coffee beans) and did not rinse the filter prior to adding the coffee so I just proceeded. The total brew time was 4:35. Maybe the bed was a few degrees cooler with no rinsing but I doubt it could have this large an effect. I tried just pouring 8 oz. of hot water through a new filter unrinsed and then again after the rinsing. This had very little effect on drain time. I was guessing that coffee fines mix with loose fibers in or on the filter and clog the filter partially. I'm not sure if this is more prevalent with the Abaca filter or not. The coffee made with the unrinsed filter was over extracted as expected. I'm sure you could compensate for this with grind size but it sure speaks to being consistent. Either rinse or don't but you can't go back and forth.

I was wondering if anyone had a better insight into this and whether this is an extreme result not typically observed. Anyway, I'm rinsing from now on and telling my wife to leave me alone in the middle of a pour-over!

bobR (original poster)

#2: Post by bobR (original poster) »

Having thought about this further, it seems reasonable that it would be easier for coffee fines to get into the dry paper right at the very start of the pour-over and possibly slow the flow rate down. Once the paper has been rinsed there is likely some swelling of the fibers and less penetration of solids into the paper matrix. It's just a guess but it has made up my mind once and for all that rinsing is a good idea and for more than just heating up the dripper and removing paper flavor.

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#3: Post by TomC »

I bought the whole range of Cafec filters recently and will be working thru the whole range. I do find the light roast filters to have a stubbornly slow draw down time that has to be taken into account, i don't always want to grind coarser to get the more "normal" draw down time.

I have a subjective opinion that cheaper, low quality paper filters are the bane of pour-over brewing. Better quality, slightly thicker, more textured paper filters are likely better for small batch pour-over brewing, but it's not an easy transition from one to the other and arrive at better results. I brewed a batch of a rare and expensive Geisha from Apollon's Gold (La Cumbre Geisha from El Salvador) and as the 20g batch was rounding past 4 minutes, I decided to move the V-60 off the carafe and let it drain out with about 20ml left to drain in a separate container.

It still tasted over-extracted, slightly and will need further tuning. I did rinse the filter before brewing. There's a lot of commentary about the swelling of the fibers of these filters before brewing and their affect on drawdown times, but I need to play with it more. Honestly, 20g is IMO the farthest edge of dose level on these filters, and could probably benefit from a decrease.

I'd be interested in anyone else's opinions.
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#4: Post by RapidCoffee »

TomC wrote:I'd be interested in anyone else's opinions.
I've had the opposite experience. The light roast CAFEC filters extract well (and draw down nicely) in my V60 pourovers; IMHO better than the (much thicker) Hario V60 filters. I especially dislike the brown Hario filters.

BTW I always rinse my filters, although that's purely based on recommendations from others.

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#5: Post by mkane »

We have 4 different Cafec filters. Some I like and some I don't. If you folks are getting 3:30 drawdowns I need to grind finer. I use light roast paper for my 410° roasts and dark roast paper for my wife's darker roasts. I don't much care for the Support Forest filters but I'll get used to them. We don't rinse.


#6: Post by radioradio »

My V60 came with the Hario brown-tabbed filters so that is the only filter known to me until recently. I'm now trying the Hario white no-tab filters in the box. They seem to be thinner and generate shorter drawdown times than the brown ones. I'm grinding a little finer as a result.
I didn't mind the brown ones, seemed to work fine for me and I got some wonderful cups.
I'm thinking of going back to the brown. They're cheap and available.
I always rinse, based upon the Hoffman advice.
Lately I've been using hot water from the tap to do the rinse since my kettle is filled with 3rd wave water and I don't want to waste it on rinsing. I find I can get a better "fit" with the filter adhering to the side of the V60 better when using hot tap water.

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#7: Post by mkane »

Our waters are special also and while in short supply I'll keep not rinsing.

For this morning's coffee, I cranked a bit on the dial to get a finer grind. drawdown is now 2:30 and that includes bloom. As a result, coffee has more of everything. Should I go finer? Suppose I'll find out if my Virtuoso will get me there. I may have to resort to HG-1.


#8: Post by Mbb »

I've never noticed a difference between rinsing and not rinsing as far as taste goes.

But I rinse anyway because.... why not?

I do notice that when I rinse, the coffee doesn't rise up the filter paper. I don't rinse, the coffee does rise up the filter paper and the paper is brown at the top. I like my filter paper to be clean and not brown at top. That's my reason. Possibly pre-wetting with clean water resists wicking the oils in the coffee somewhat.


#9: Post by jdrobison »

Jonathan Gagne did a great blog post on filters but I didn't see that he covered the effects of rising WRT clogging - only to taste https://coffeeadastra.com/2019/08/04/an ... filters-2/

I'd theorize that rinsing expands the fibers, thus making the pores much smaller. So when you make your first pour into the bed of an unrinsed filter with larger pours, more clogging occurs early on, before the fibers have a chance to expand.

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#10: Post by LBIespresso »

A while back I did a blind taste test of the water used to rinse the filter. 1 cup was from just the water, another was the rinse water, and one more was the water from a second rinse.

There were 3 of us and 2 of the 3 could taste a very slight paper taste in the 2x rinse. The water from the first rinse had a relatively strong smell and taste noticed by all.

I will say I think there is a good chance that only with the lightest of light roasts would the paper taste be noticeable but I didn't test brewed coffee.

So I rinse and if I am having something "special" I will rinse 2x.

I encourage others to try the same and report back.

I was using Kalita 185 wave filters.
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