As you all should know by now, we seriously love coffee here at KNIFE. If you've visited us in shop odds are you've seen multiple coffees being consumed at all hours of the day. Seriously, we love coffee.
That being said, it should be no surprise that we have absolutely fallen in love with the Loca Ceramic Coffee Filters.
Like most pour over coffee, using a Loca filter is not going to be your fastest brewing method. Pour over takes patience, care, and a bit more time, but we have found it is absolutely worth it.
When I (Liv) use my Loca it generally takes me about ten minutes from start to finish. I start by setting everything up, measuring the amount of grounds I need depending on how many cups I'm making, and of course boiling water. It's very important that you pour boiling water through the filter without grounds in it first to warm it up and open up the pours of the ceramic. I have actually started doing this twice to be sure it's ready to go, but that's just me!
Next step is adding your grounds to the filter. Make sure you are using very course ground beans! If your grounds are too fine they will actually clog the ceramic and slow down the process significantly, if not stopping the water to go through completely. If you buy beans from a cafe I suggest asking them to grind them course for you so you don't have to worry about this later. Determining the correct amount of grounds to use varies on how many cups you plan on brewing. Loca's suggestion is 10-15 grams of coffee for 200-250ml of water (one cup), and 20-45 grams of coffee for 400-450ml of water (two cups). I like my coffee on the stronger side so I generally measure out my coffee at the higher suggested amount. I have also played around with this a bit, doing less water one time, more coffee the next, to see how it turns out and I encourage you to do the same.
Freshly ground coffee always smells the best.
This is the approximate amount of grounds I use for one cup of coffee.
Once you have your grounds in the filter and ready to go, next step is pouring just enough hot water to saturate the beans to the top and waiting for that water to pour through. I find this is usually 50-100ml of water, depending on the amount of grounds. It usually takes about 30-60 seconds for this amount of water to filter through. Over the next 3-4 minutes I pour small amounts of water over at one minute intervals. I have also found that reboiling the water once or twice during this process helps to extract the most flavour out of the beans and keeps the coffee hot at the end. I also like to use a timer/stopwatch when I'm at this step but it's not super necessary.
The initial pour of boiling water to warm up the grounds.
At this point you should be ready to drink your very nice cup of coffee!
I've found that these filters make an incredibly mellow cup of coffee, even with a very dark roast. Loca says that the ceramic should cut about 70% of that bitter, astringent taste right out. So far I've only tried one roast, the Rufino Miscela Classica from one of my local cafe's, but I am looking forward to trying out different beans over the next few months.
Cleaning the Loca filter is fairly simple. Toss your grounds and just rinse the filter with hot water, inside and out. No need for soap or heavy scrubbing. Sometimes after I do this I'll pour through a bit more boiling water, but again that's just me and is not necessary!
Loca suggests that you unclog the filter every 10 or so uses. By about the 8th time I was brewing coffee I could tell that the drip was moving a bit slower, and by the time I was drinking said coffee I could also tell that it was tasting a bit stronger and more bitter. This was a great indicator that it was time to unclog!
As I don't have access to an open flame, I opted for the boiling method to unclog the ceramic filter. First comes a big pot of water. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda, your Loca filter, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, continue to do so for about 20 minutes. I think I left mine in for about 25 when I did it the first time (as usual I got distracted by my cats). Make sure you use tongs and are very careful when taking the filter out as it will be extremely hot! I set the filter down on the dish rack to cool down and dry out. The water in the pot was quite brown at the end of all that boiling so I felt pretty confident that the filter had been unclogged.
Only a few seconds in the pot and the filter is already unclogging.
Near the end of our boiling method and the water is super discoloured!
At the shop we have a simple butane burner (shoutout Chinatown), it works great for cleaning the LOCA too. Just put the filter directly over the flame and wait till all smoke disappears, and thats that.
The flame method - you can see the white smoke rising from the filter.
We're obviously huge fans of the Loca Ceramic filter here and we hope you are, too!
Feel free to refer to our other blog post all about Loca care here.
Thanks for reading!