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Filter Coffee & Single Origins

When I moved to New Zealand in 1971 the coffee here was really bad. It was called coffee but that is as close as it got.Over the past 20 years things have changed. New Zealand roasts and prepares some of the best coffee in the world. The trend up to now has been to Italian style espresso and all its milk based variations.

Recently however there has been great interest in filter style brewing as opposed to espresso machine. Along with this is a growing interest in single origin brews.

As each countryís coffee crop and indeed each plantationís coffee has its own unique flavour and character it is interesting and delicious to try origins o their own rather than in a multi bean blend.

  • Filter brewing produces a clearer cup that doesnít alter the nature of the roast as much as the high pressure of espresso machines does.
  • Single origins are usually roasted very lightly to preserve all the natural sugars and flavours of the crop. The result can be a surprisingly light , fruity, tea like coffee drink that is well worth experiencing.

People are beginning to use drip filter coffees and machines that more or less just let the coffee brew rather than being expressed by a pump through pressure. The difference is, filter styled coffees are much clearer tasting, and they have a thinner more refreshing taste. When you have super light roasts for single origin drip coffees you can notice a big difference between every countries coffee; thatís becoming interesting to many.

Another trend, is cold drip coffee, which is opening up new drink styles like coffee on ice and with honey.

An ancient brewing method and still my favourite is Turkish style. You start with a very fine grind, then slowly cook it with sugar over a tiny flame in a purpose shaped Ibex pot, avoiding letting it boil and allowing it to thicken and sweeten .. Yummm.

Each brewing method requires a specific grind. The finest ground is Turkish coffee, slightly coarser is expresso. Filter coffees is slightly courser again and Plunger is the coarsest.†Each grind must fit the mechanics of the extraction method.

  1. Turkish is left in the cup so it must be so fine that it settles to the bottom.
  2. Espresso must be fine enough to hold back the strong pressure of the machineís pump.
  3. Filter coffees must be ground to allow water to filter through but not run straight through the grind, leaving the flavour behind .You donít want it too fine either because then the water just sits there and never gets through the coffee.
  4. Plunger is the coarsest as it must allow you to push the filter screen down through it without too much resistance.

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