Coffee-making stands to be one of the most popular topics of interest amongst casual coffee drinkers and coffee enthusiasts alike, and for good reason—almost everyone you know drinks coffee, and most of them are usually passionate about it, no matter the degree.
The art of coffee-making is shared by many, and there are many different ways to enjoy coffee, but do the different coffee brewing methods affect your cup of joe every morning? Read on to learn more about the differences between filtered coffee and unfiltered coffee.
What is filtered coffee?
Filtered coffee, also known as drip coffee or pour over coffee, is made using a type of coffee-brewing method that involves filters. This brewing method sends water through the coffee grind and the coffee grind is then subsequently filtered through the filter below it before it enters your cup.
When coffee is brewed using a filter, the filter prevents any fine coffee particles in the coffee grind from entering your cup. Coffee is also known to contain oils, certain ingredients, and certain compounds, and these components get released from the beans during the coffee-grinding process. A filter serves as a net that traps and sifts through these components in your coffee before your coffee is dripped into your cup.
What sets filtered coffee apart from unfiltered coffee is not just the taste of coffee but also the taste of water. The use of a paper filter changes the flavour of the water, thereby changing the flavour of the coffee. You can taste a similar difference when you compare plain, unfiltered water to plain, filtered water. The latter will taste lighter and “cleaner.”
Moreover, the taste of your coffee changes not just because the water is going through the filter, but also because the filter traps any fine particles in the coffee grind from getting into your cup. Because of this, the use of the filter makes all the difference in how the coffee turns out in terms of taste and feel. Just like a cup of filtered water, a cup of filtered coffee will feel lighter and taste “purer.”
Filters are an indispensable asset to this type of brewing method. There are three main types of filters: paper, metal, and cloth. The type of filter also plays a part in the way your coffee tastes, and depending on personal preference, one type of filter may suit your taste buds better than the other two.
As with taste and feel, paper filters trap oils and fine grounds to provide a clear, light cup of coffee without so much as a hint of silt in your cup. Similar to paper filters, cloth filters also keep fine particles from passing through and their fabric absorbs the oils to create a light, clear cup of coffee with complex flavours. Metal filters, on the other hand, allow oils to penetrate through and enter your cup, producing a cup of coffee with a lighter texture and a fuller body complete with its natural oils.
How does filtered coffee differ from unfiltered coffee?
Unfiltered coffee simply refers to coffee grounds that do not go through a filter during the coffee-brewing process. This brewing method involves steeping or boiling the coffee grounds directly in water.
With the lack of a filtering unit, your final cup of coffee will still contain the oils, fine particles, and other compounds that get extracted in the grinding process.
Because this type of brewing method allows the passage of these components into your cup, you get more “body” in an unfiltered cup of coffee. The grit that you see at the bottom of your cup as you’re nearing the end of your coffee when drinking it is what gives weight and body to your beverage. A cup of unfiltered coffee may feel more substantial in your mouth and you may get a heavier taste and feel of the coffee.
On top of that, you get a bolder flavour and aroma with a cup of unfiltered coffee because of the oils from the coffee beans. These coffee oils have an effect on the way your coffee tastes, the way it smells, and the way it feels in your mouth.
With the presence of these oils in your cup, you get a full-bodied cup of coffee with a bolder flavour and a stronger aroma. Unlike filtered coffee, unfiltered coffee will also have a creamier and richer consistency, as well as a thicker and heavier flavour. Unfiltered coffee is more commonly used for coffees such as cappuccinos, Americanos, lattes, and other types of specialty coffee drinks.
Unfiltered coffee may be brewed using a French press, Moka pot, percolator, or an espresso machine.
The use of French press is one of the most common and popular methods of brewing unfiltered coffee at home. Unfiltered coffee by way of espresso is more commonly seen in coffee shops but is no stranger to coffee enthusiasts and brewers at home, too.
Which type is better?
In terms of taste, it all comes down to preference. Those who prefer a lighter feel to their coffee will opt for filtered coffee, while those who are looking for a stronger flavour will usually go for unfiltered coffee.
While many people need not worry about the differences between unfiltered coffee and filtered coffee, it is advised that some people who suffer from increased cholesterol levels may want to consider limiting the consumption of unfiltered coffee for health reasons.
Some components found in coffee are shown to increase LDL cholesterol levels. For individuals who need to keep their cholesterol levels in check but still want to enjoy a good cup of coffee, they may want to consider filtered coffee as the healthier alternative.
If you want to try brewing filtered coffee at home, look for coffee beans that are roasted to order, like The Hub’s Colombia El Paraiso (Double Anaerobic), Panama Savage Geisha Parabolic (Anaerobic Natural), or Kenya Uklili Kiambu (Washed). These beans are only roasted and dispatched on the same day after the order is received to guarantee peak freshness when the beans arrive at your doorstep.
At The Hub Coffee Roasters, we source only top-quality beans from around the world, because everyone deserves to taste a good cup of coffee. To learn more about why we do what we do, visit us at thehuboug.com and let us remind you why you love coffee.