A few months after reviewing the Sowden coffee brewer, we got a note from experienced Australian coffee entrepreneur Mr. Ian Bersten. He mentioned he had been working on a single cup coffee filter for some time, that would allow quick brewing with very finely ground coffee.
Now he had a few preproduction samples ready, and would we like to try it? Needless to say, our answer was yes, we were very curious.
To compare the Chaicoffski filter with the Sowden SoftBrew, we followed the same procedure. The brewing process is simple. Just put the Chaicoffski filter in a cup, add ca. 14 grams of ground coffee, and 250ml of water, stir well, and leave to steep for ca. 3 to 4 minutes. After that, the filter can be removed from the cup, and the coffee is ready to enjoy.
The finer mesh of the Chaicoffski filter, only 60 micron, was certainly noticable. We saw significantly less sediment in the cup compared to either a Sowden SoftBrew, or a press pot.
According to Mr. Bersten, the Chaicoffski filter can even be used to brew coffee with espresso ground coffee. Although it should be possible to use a much finer grind than we did, we have not tested this yet, but a 2 minute steep should certainly be feasible.
Needless to say, the Chaicoffski filter can also be used for making tea. As an extension of the line, the Chaicoffski filter is now offered with a variety of cups. In addition, a larger version of the Chaicoffski filter with carafe is available for brewing 6 to 8 cups.
Looking at our experience with the Kinto Faro drip brewer, there seems to be an optimum between the fineness of the filter, the clarity of the brew, and the usability of the brewer.
Siphon coffee makers can handle finer grinds, because the pressure forces the water through the coffee grinds. The same holds for machines that employ mechanical methods, such as the Clover, Trifecta, and Steampunk machines.
In brewers that -at least partly- rely on the force of gravity, such as the Kinto Faro and the Chaicoffski filter, the filter is more critical.
A filter that is too coarse will leave too much sediment in the cup, but on the other hand, brewing is more prone to stall if the mesh is too fine. The Kinto Faro’s filter is close to the “too fine” side, and we initially experienced a few problems with it. After adjusting our methods and grinding range, we are quite happy now.
The Chaicoffski filter strikes a better balance. The filter is much easier to use, and has not given us any problem. Compared to the Sowden SoftBrew, the increased size of the filter relative to the amount of water might give a better extraction. Although there is some sediment in the cup, that is hardly noticably and does not interfere with the flavour. Using coffee ground for filter drip, the Chaicoffski filter makes an excellent cup of coffee with very little effort.
That sounds like a winning combination.