Here at Basic Barista we are always on the hunt for new innovative coffee gear, from dripper to grinders, kettles and even filters.
When we decided we wanted to stock a reusable filter we were frankly disappointed on what was on offer, yes there were some cheap options available and frankly the materials used were a reflection of this.
With this in mind and having some past experience sewing we started playing around with different materials, designs and came up with the Aji Filter.
Visit Aji Coffee Tools here.
What is an Aji Filter?
Aji Filters are handmade reusable cotton coffee filters, they are made from hand woven cotton ethically sourced via a social enterprise in Bihar, india and are hand sewn here in Melbourne, Australia.
At time of writing Aji Filters are the only Cotton Coffee filters hand made in Australia. Aji Filters have 2ply thickness and are sewn in a way that has no raw edges, because of this Aji Filters last much longer than other cotton coffee filters.
Aji filters taste just like paper filters with the biggest difference being the creamy texture and heavy body, read on to find out more about the difference in taste and why.
Why use reusable filters?
Using any reusable product comes with its own set of challenges. After brewing with your Aji Filter you will need to pop out the coffee grounds (these can be composted / used for fertiliser) and then give your filter a rinse.
Not a huge amount of work but a similar amount to using a keep cup 😊 When stored correctly Aji Filters last up to 3 years, and because cotton is a natural plant derivative textiles at the end of life the cotton will degrade and is compostable.
Why brew with cotton?
Cotton filters are similar to paper filters in the sense that they interact with the dripper very similarly, the brewing experience is very similar and the main differences between paper filters and cotton filters is the maintenance / work required after your brew.
Aji filters taste great, are reusable and are compatible with most conical coffee drippers available on the market.
How does coffee taste when brewed with cotton filters?
Brewing with a cotton coffee filter should taste thick, creamy and full bodied and with Aji Filters fast flow rate and shorter brew times your cup shines through with Acidity.
Aji Filter Recipe:
Use your Aji Fitler just like you would a paper filter, first you will need to fold over the edge (edge with stitching) this is the same as the 'mountain fold' on the paper filters.
Keep this edge folded by pinching together and then placing your Aji Filter into the cone, this sits in place just like how a paper filter would.
At this stage we highly recommend pre-wetting your filter, this can be done with hot or cold water but hot water is preferred as it helps to pre-heat your coffee dripper as well.
Traditionally pre-wetting paper filters helps to remove any of the residual papery taste, for our cotton filters pre-wetting plays a different purpose. Pre-wetting cotton filters actually helps to set your filter, this is because the water loosens up the cotton material and pushes it against the walls of the dripper and creating a seal. This seal between the coffee dripper and the filter helps increase the contact time of your coffee and brew water.
Weigh out 20 grams of coffee, for this recipe we are using a Washed Ethiopian, Yirgacheffe. Grind your coffee to a 'finer than usual' grind size. On the Comandante we ground at 20 clicks.
Add your coffee to your filter and tap the sides to level out the bed of coffee.
Pour the first 60g of water (95ºc) over your coffee grounds this is called the bloom because it bubbles up and releases all of the trapped gasses inside. Wait for 30-45 seconds for your next pour of an additional 60g.
Because this is a five stage brew method we are going to use 5x pours of 60grams of coffee, proceed to pour the rest of your coffee after your water completely drains down from the bed of coffee grounds.
Repeat this until you reach 300g total brew water and then let your water draw down completely. Once all the water is drawn down a flat bed of coffee should be revealed, if you see a dome shape or an uneven surface this could be that you are pouring too rough and causing higher agitation during the brew, pour slow and get as close as you can with your kettle.
Remove your coffee dripper and serve ☕️
To store your Aji Filter first you will have to discard the coffee grounds, these are perfect for coffee scrubs, plant food or compost. Then flip the Aji Filter inside out and run some water over to remove any leftover coffee grinds. Store submerged in water if you will brew soon or wring it out and let it dry out.
To learn more about Aji filters Check out Aji Coffee Tools👇
Thank you for reading our blog post I hope you found this useful.
If you brewed using this recipe share with us your experience over on Instagram.