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Roast-Specific Coffee Filters? A Cool Coffee Innovation!

Coffee filter substitutes

Paper coffee filters are crucial for pour-over coffee brewing. But how often do you think about the design of that filter? Many of us buy the filters designed for our brewers without giving it a second thought.

But what if your coffee filters were designed to enhance the roast-specific flavors of your coffee beans? Japanese coffee company Cafec is doing just that: designing paper coffee filters specifically for light, medium, and dark roast coffee. Here’s what you should know about this fascinating addition to the wonderful world of coffee brewing!

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Why does the roast level matter?

coffee beans roasting
Image Credit: Gregory Hayes, Unsplash

The roasting process fundamentally alters the coffee bean. A green coffee bean has a grassy, plant-like flavor. When you roast it, that flavor disappears in favor of other tasting notes like caramel, chocolate, and nuts. The longer you roast coffee, the more the original flavor changes, until the floral, fruity notes of a light roast bean become the chocolatey notes of a dark roast bean.

What’s the theory behind these filters?

pour over coffee water

The idea behind Cafec’s new filters is that the different flavors brought out by roast levels require slightly different brewing methods. Adjusting the thickness or shape of a filter can change how balanced or complex the coffee tastes. If you are particular about your coffee, why wouldn’t you want filters that enhance the unique flavors of your gourmet beans?

How are Cafec’s filters designed?

Cafec’s paper filters are all made with finely woven paper fibers. The company uses a patented “crepe” process to shape the paper as it is drying. By blasting one or both sides of the filter with hot air, Cafec creates a waved shape (called the crepe) that holds onto the finest coffee grounds. When you pour hot water through the grounds and filter, the fine grounds stay in the filter — resulting in a clear, tasty cup of coffee. The different filter textures control the water flow, keeping it at the right speed for each type of coffee. Pretty cool, right?

1. Light Roast Filters

The light roast filters are very dense but not very thick, and they only have crepe on the outside. This produces a clean cup because fine coffee grounds get caught in dense paper. The flat, dense inside slows water flow, producing a strong aroma, and the outside crepe lets water flow freely. The combination emphasizes the delicate, complex flavors and aromas that light roast coffee is famous for.

2. Medium-Dark Roast Filters

The medium-dark roast filters are essentially the opposite of the light version: low-density, high-thickness, and double-sided crepe. This design produces a balanced, rich cup — certainly something we look for in medium roast coffee.

3. Dark Roast Filters

And what about the dark roast version? These filters are between the other two: medium thickness, medium density, and thinner double-sided crepe. The goal here is to produce a full-bodied, sweet cup of coffee. The water flows quickly at first (ensuring a good body) and then slows as it hits the second side of the crepe (keeping the flavor sweet).

What brewers do these filters work with?

pour over coffee

Cafec sells two cone-shaped pour-over brewers, the Flower Dripper and the Deep Dripper, and these filters work with them. But they seem like they would work with other cone pour-overs, like the Hario V60 or the Kalita Wave. You may need to make a small fold or two to get them to work, though!

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The Bottom Line

If you’ve ever dreamed of coffee filters that enhance your favorite coffee roast level, Cafec is the company for you! These innovative new filters could take pour-over coffee brewing to the next level. Who doesn’t enjoy a clean, aromatic cup of light roast coffee or a balanced, rich medium roast?


Featured Image Credit: Devin Avery, Unsplash


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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