Filter coffee: blend or single origin? Here’s how to choose the perfect coffee!

I maestri della tostatura media
Foto con luci soffuse e atmosfera rilassata con un vassoio in legno sopra al quale appoggiano due tazzine da caffè ernani, un piccolo mazzo di fiori, dei cioccolatini e la protagonista Chemex con il caffè all'americano al suo interno.

More and more people prepare their filter coffee: whether it’s a paper or metal filter, with automatic or completely manual tools, following immersion, percolation or infusion methods, we can all define them as filter coffee.
In short, the tools suitable for its preparation are innumerable and the recipes as well.

But the question that unites all its patrons is: which coffee should I choose for an excellent result?

The answer is very simple: a single origin or a 100% Arabica blend, of great quality and toasted to a medium-light level.

Let’s see now theWhy!

Why choose a single origin or a 100% Arabica?

Let’s start by saying that filter coffee unlike espresso is a very diluted drink.

This undoubtedly offers a less creamy and full-bodied coffee, but more delicate and fragrant.

Also extraction times are much longer: if the espresso is prepared in about 25-30 seconds, filter coffee takes from one and a half to 6 minutes, and if we consider the Cold Brew we can even reach 24 hours.

These two characteristics both communicate important information to us: Robusta is not needed.

Robusta attributes the following characteristics to the extracted coffee: bitterness and body.
That’s why it is usually included in Italian blends, precisely to give body to the espresso.

But if in this different extraction the body is by definition light and cream is absent, then why use Robusta?

Its only effect would be making the cup more bitter, with hints of wood and sometimes grass.
Always following this argument and now also considering extended extraction times, the Robusta would express even more bitterness and accentuate the woody notes even more.

Why use it when we could instead get very fragrant cups with incredible aromatic scents?

On the contrary, Arabica coffees offer precisely these sought-after qualities: sweetness, freshness and ample and precious aromatic ranges.

We therefore understand well that Arabicas are the ones that are right for us.

Do you need high quality coffee?

We must now pay attention to another factor: the quality of the selected Arabica coffees.

In fact, they are not all the same, there are hundreds of varieties of different plants, which when grown in different geographical areas offer a myriad of different scents and aromas.

For example, Ethiopian coffees in general have a strong and citrus acidity, accompanied by more delicate hints of flowers and red fruits.

While Colombians are delicate, but pushed more on nuts, including almond that is the one that stands out the most.

Finally, Brazilian coffees are generally very sweet and with chocolate notes.

At the end of the article there is a table with a general description of some of the best-known coffees in the world, always remembering however that those mentioned are macro distinctions and that not all coffees of an origin country necessarily have to have the aromatic profile described above.

Furthermore, once the coffee of interest has been selected, we need to understand if it has defects.

Defects can be physical, such as malformed beans, broken or punctured by insects, rotten, unripe, moldy and so on. Or olfactory and gustatory, therefore beans that bring bad aromatic notes into the cup, such as oil, chemicals, earth, wet grass, mould, ash, tar, rubber etc.

These filter methods, for the reasons described above, enhance all the aromatic notes to the maximum, both positive and negative ones.

Since, for example, ash is already an aroma that we hope not to find in any coffee,let alone if he is even exalted.

Therefore, if you want to prepare an excellent filter coffee, you must necessarily aim high on quality.

To recognize it you can in first rely on expert roasters, being wary of coffees found at the supermarket.

Better to go to some point of sale of a roaster or the online site. Then read all diverse information who gives up his coffees and finally ask!

If a roaster has in fact selected a good coffee, even paying for it much more than other poor coffees, trust him that he will know all its characteristics and can’t wait to tell you about it.

If on the contrary he only knows that he is generally from “Brazil” and very little else if at all, he definitely didn’t base the selection on quality.

If you want to know more, subscribe to our newsletter below and download the free guide “How to recognize a quality coffee, before, during and after tasting”:

Why choose a medium-light roast coffee?

Finally we must consider the level of roasting.

As you already know by now, there are 3 macro roasting levels:

  • Clear – which manages to enhance all the aromatic notes of green beans in addition to acidity, but leaves some hints of herbaceous or extremely fresh;
  • Media – which enhances all the aromatic notes of the raw beans to the maximum, perfectly balancing acidity and sweetness;
  • Dark – which on the contrary makes the coffees rather bitter, as the burnt notes are so strong that they cover the other more delicate and positive notes.

Applying the same reasoning as before, for filter coffees we certainly immediately go to eliminate the dark roast, why we are not interested in obtaining an entire mug of bitter coffee with hints of burnt.

On the contrary, the ideal roast is a medium-light one, halfway between the first two, the only one truly capable of making us appreciate a very fragrant and amazing coffee.

That’s why all our single-origin Arabica coffees, as well as Blue Diamond, our 100% Arabica blend, are roasted at this level, suitable both for developing a broad, intense and surprising aromatic profile in espresso, and perfect for filter extractions!

If, on the other hand, you want to know how American coffee or filter coffee is prepared, read our articles on the subject, click the button below!

Foto del tavolo Ernani con sopra tutti gli strumenti a disposizione per poter preparare il caffè filtro o il caffè all'americana. Partendo da sinistra: V60, Cold brew Dripper, Aeropress, Chemex, Moka, Clever, French press, Syphon.
Tabella 1 dove mostro gli stati produttori di caffè, tra cui: Brasile, Colombia, Venezuela, Perù, Guatemala e Giamaica ed i gusti generale che si possono trovare del caffè.
Tabella 2 dove mostro gli stati produttori di caffè, tra cui: Hawaii, Etiopia, Kenya, India e Costa Rica ed i gusti generale che si possono trovare del caffè.

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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