In today's article we will help you choose the kitchen accessory that is essential for making fresh coffee: the coffee strainer. Practical and easy to use, the coffee strainer is a constant in most Brazilian homes. Whether the root model - made of cloth - or the modern disposable or reusable ones, the coffee strainer makes all the difference in the final result of the beverage, which makes it one of the darlings of lovers of good coffee. Follow us in this reading and check out the best options of the product, as well as the features you should pay attention to in order to make the best choice for the coffee strainer.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 First of all, the most important things
- 3 Best Coffee Strainer: Our Picks
- 4 Buying Guide
- 5 Buying criteria: Factors to compare the different models of coffee strainer
First of all, the most important things
- To choose the ideal strainer, rely on quality and efficiency. Take into account the indications for use of each model, as well as the size and design suitable for your needs.
- Some of the variables that should be taken into account when buying are: type, material and capacity, among other features.
- A very popular product, the coffee strainer can be purchased for less than R$ 5 in the simpler versions, costing up to R$ 500 in the "gourmet" versions.
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Best Coffee Strainer: Our Picks
Our Ranking made you imagine the smell of coffee being brewed? It makes you want to order one of each, doesn't it? But wait a minute! Before clicking to buy, check our Buying Guide. In this section we will give you more information about the coffee strainers: forms of use, advantages, disadvantages, where to buy, values, and much more, for you to choose the product without fear of making a mistake!
What is the coffee strainer?
The coffee strainer, also called coffee filter by many, is a kitchen utensil that has the function of filtering the hot water through the powder from the ground coffee beans to make the drink. Made of paper, cloth or other variations of materials, it arose from the need to reduce the excessive bitterness produced by the primitive process of coffee brewing, where powder and water were boiled together and consumed that way.
What are the advantages of the coffee strainer?
Besides the great nostalgic, affective and "olfactory" appeal, there are other factors that make coffee strainers so popular. Easy and practical to use, the strainer is an accessible product, cheap and without many mysteries. Although the cloth versions have a reputation for being unhygienic, if cared for properly they are as safe and clean as the paper versions. Both models have the disadvantage of offering the possibility of transmitting the taste of the material - either paper or cloth - to the coffee. This inconvenience, however, can be circumvented with a trick that we will present later in the section "How to use the coffee strainer". Although all models have advantages and disadvantages, all are capable of fulfilling their main objective: to prepare a great coffee by extracting and highlighting the aromatic notes of the processed bean.
Coffee filters: Which one to choose?
This question may be controversial. Like the imbroglio of "is it a biscuit or a cracker?", there are staunch defenders of each one of the coffee strainer models, and discussions on the subject may be heated. But to avoid polemics, let's stick to answering the question "which coffee strainer is better?" with an evasive answer: it depends! This is because, as with most products, what is good for one consumer profile may not be ideal for another. Therefore, before choosing your favorite type of filter, pay attention to details. Disposable strainers may gain in practicality, but they are not as environmentally friendly as the manufacturers would have us believe.
If you prefer an ecofriendly
strainer, go for the fabric or reusable versions, as long as the material is 100% recyclable. Now, if the issue is practicality, the disposable models really come out ahead. Regarding taste, the controversy continues: some claim that the cloth filter brews fuller-bodied coffees, while the paper filter brews coffees that are a little less thick. Again, it is a matter of perspective. It's worth experimenting and comparing the two methods to choose your favourite.
How to use the coffee percolator?
Regardless of whether you choose a cloth or paper filter, the process for preparing the drip coffee is basically the same. Begin by choosing a quality powder. To make the perfect drip coffee, the water must heat to the point of forming small bubbles, but not boiling. Here are the steps:
- Start by wetting the strainer with hot water to avoid temperature loss in the process. This also prevents the taste of the strainer from interfering with the drink.
- With the strainer warmed, add the powder without squeezing, and pour the hot water slowly: first enough to wet all the powder, and then the rest in circular movements.
- Do not stir! Let the coffee drain naturally, which may take two to three minutes, but ensures that the maximum flavour and aroma are extracted.
- To preserve your cloth filter and keep it free of bacteria, just wash it after use with water.
- Keep it in the refrigerator, in a closed container and with water. This way, it may last up to one month.
Buying criteria: Factors to compare the different models of coffee strainer
With so much cool information, you are now surely almost an expert on drip coffee. But before you run off to get a freshly brewed coffee, here are a few more tips on coffee strainer features that will help you compare the options and choose the best version for you:
Below we will detail each of the topics so that no doubts remain:
The most popular types of coffee strainer, as we have already mentioned, are the cloth and paper ones. However, the most recent models, the strainers made with extra fine mesh, which do not require the use of filters, and those known as reusable paper filters, are becoming more popular.
As already mentioned, the coffee strainer itself can be made of paper, fabric, or a mixture of polypropylene and plastic fibers in the case of reusable "paper" filters. However, the base of the strainer - the part that supports the filter - can be made of a multitude of materials.
The most common for fabric coffee filters is a wire base with a wooden handle. However, it is possible to find cloth strainer support versions in stainless steel, wood, acrylic, among other variants.
For paper filters, the most common version is the plastic holder. However, versions in aluminum, ceramic, acrylic and glass are becoming more and more popular, which promise to influence the temperature and final quality of the beverage.
The strainer capacity is proportional to its size, and is informed by the manufacturer in cups. A strainer with capacity for 4 cups, for example, will accommodate enough powder to strain 4 cups of water, resulting in a homogeneous content. Using a strainer with a greater or lesser capacity than indicated by the manufacturer interferes with the quality of the final product, which may be stronger or weaker than expected.
Although it seems merely aesthetic, this characteristic of the coffee strainer influences the final result of the beverage. Models with internal grooves, for example, reduce the contact area of the water with the strainer, ensuring that the beverage is strained without significant temperature loss. On the other hand, models which strain directly into the cup, besides being super charming, guarantee the homogeneity and purity of the portion to be tasted. Research the differentials of the chosen model to decide which best fits your expectations. (Source of the image: Foundry / Pixabay)