www.bayawe.com Mindful Living with Coffee

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FILTER VS. ESPRESSO

Filter coffee
Filter coffee

VS

Espresso
Espressos

Price

What is the big benefit of filter made coffee? The price of the equipment.

 If you want to prepare good Espresso drinks, you should invest money in the following equipment:

  • Espresso machine
  • Electric Coffee grinder
  • Tamper
  • Good filter pot
  • Nano filter basket
  • Softener

For the filter method you need the following brewing equipment:

  • Dripper
  • Paper filters
  • Kettle
  • Scale
  • Manual grinder
  • Thermometer 

Compared to the filter method, the final price of Espresso equipment can be up to 10x higher. Filter coffee equipment won’t take up a ton of space. It’s small and easily stored.

You can take it along on your travels without a problem.  

Time

A good benefit of Espresso preparation is that it takes less time to prepare than filter coffee. Time is money. If you consider to prepare coffee in a café, Espresso coffee drinks will make better profit than the filter preparation. 

But if you want to prepare coffee at home and if you are not a fan coffee cocktails, like cappuccino, latte.., the filter brewing method will bring you far more joy for much less money. 

Coffee flavours

Taste

Another benefit of filter made coffee drinks is that their aftertaste sensations can last for a long time, if done correctly. 

A coffee’s body (texture) and mouthfeel are mainly created by essential oils, but also sugars and plant fibers. 

An Espresso machine enables us to extract a great amount of essential oils. However, compared to filter made coffee drinks, the final drink has less flavour compounds over all. The Espresso machine gets out more oils because of the stronger pressure and heat. Since the contact between water and coffee ground is longer for the filter method, we can extract out more flavour compounds. Water always extracts the different flavour compounds in this order: fats and acids, then sugars, and finally the plant fibers. Because of the longer brewing time, the filter method enables us to extract more sugars as well. 

Ground coffee
Bayawe coffee dripper

Amount of grinded coffee

The current trend for Espresso drinks is between 18 and 20g of coffee grinds while using a coffee:water ratio of 1:2.  It’s called a Double Ristretto and it is also used as the basis for other coffee drinks. 

For filter coffee drinks, we can also use 18g of coffee grinds. However, in doing so the standard coffee:water ratio is 1:16. This means the same amount of coffee grinds will provide much more coffee. 

Water

When we work with an Espresso machine, we should use distilled water to lengthen the life of the machine. Distilled water has almost no mineral content and compared to natural water, more pricy. The lower the mineral content of the water is, the more available space for flavour compounds the water has. If water with a low mineral content is used for coffee preparation, the final drink is often over-extracted and bitter.  Water with a higher mineral content, on the other hand, has less available space for flavour contents. The final cup tends to be under-extracted. 

With the filter coffee method we usually use regular water which contains minerals. The flavour compounds of the coffee grind will complete the minerals of the water. 

Preparation

With a high-quality Espresso machine we can set up the pressure of the water coming out of the pump. We can set up the temperature as well. The set up can only be done before the brewing process starts.  Usually it takes a couple of (lost) coffee shots before the changes are implemented. 

With the filter method, we can change the pressure and water temperature also during the brewing process. 

Black coffee
Use your senses maximum

Result

In my point of view, filter made coffee drinks have a higher quality than Espresso drinks. Filter coffee drinks have more complex flavours and a longer aftertaste. 

The main benefits of Espresso drinks is the fast preparation time, but also the fact that we can use them as a base for other coffee drinks. 

Espresso drinks can be compared to cognac:  It’s a small amount of liquid made with pressure. The aromas and flavours are intense and the aftertaste is long. We drink Espresso shots faster than cups of filter coffee. We enjoy the aftertaste of the Espresso more than the taste and body.  

Filter coffees can be compared with wine. We usually fully enjoy the flavours in our mouth. We relax and meditate. The aftertaste of filter coffee can be also long, but not as intensive as the Espresso made after tastes.

I like to say that during the morning I sit and relax with a mug of coffee and during the evening I enjoy a glass of wine. 

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