This paperless Japanese kit ruined all other cafes for me
My coffee brewing routine is so precise that I hesitate to introduce any changes in the process. Using a manual grinder, I brew 24 grams of coffee with beans almost always from the same roaster.
Before pouring properly, I wet the filter with hot water and heat both the Hario V60 I use for the brew and the cup it will flow into. 350 grams of water then pass over the coffee grounds in a gooseneck kettle chosen for its regular flow. First 60 grams for flowering, then successive flows bringing the total to 150, 250 and the final count.
Day after day, I repeat the same process and savor what I consider to be an always perfect cup of coffee. Neither routine nor tools have changed for several years, that is, until I came across a paperless set on the Instagram page of a Kyoto cafe called Kurasu with nearly 100,000 subscribers.
The Cera filter is the only product manufactured by 39 Arita, a company based in a small town in Kyushu from which it takes its name. All filters, holder and saucer included are made from Arita-yaki, a locally made Japanese porcelain. The filter itself is distinct, however, as it’s made of a porous ceramic with plenty of holes a few microns in diameter to allow coffee, and nothing else, to pass through.
Appearing on Karusu’s highly stylized page, the Cera filter stands out above all as an object of beauty. Through my work as a style writer, I fell in love especially with Japanese fashion because of its attention to detail, emphasis on quality and utility. This filter, unlike anything I’ve ever seen, strikes all the same notes, and it reminds me of a molcajete – one of the most attractive items one can own in your kitchen.
Of course, all that really matters is the cup of coffee produced at the end. And after using the Cera filter in my morning ritual, I can report that the quality is on par with the V60 I ââhave been using so far. Neither better nor worse, but the same taste. For the same final product, what the advice favors for the coarse touch filter is the fact that I will no longer have to use paper filters.
I will not be fooled by the capitalist message that gives consumers the impression that their actions, not companies, are what reduces the hospitality of our environment. But even though it’s the large-scale waste and pollution generation of corporate giants that is the real problem, I still try to do my part to reduce my impact on the planet. Cutting out a paper filter per day might be a small measure, but it’s one of the many that I can now add to my attempts at sustainability.
Have to to buy a new pack of filters every 50 or so days is a pain.
Garbage aside, having to buy a new pack of filters every 50 days or so is painful. I’m not industrious enough to order them online in advance, and the only local cafe I can rely on for stock is a train ride. It’s a small inconvenience, of course, but as with my consumption, I try to shave where I can.
Cleaning the Cera filter is a snap – just throw out the floor, rinse it without scrubbing and soak it in hot water. Because it is advertised as “semi-permanent”, you will need to take care of it to ensure its cleanliness and durability. And while I don’t intend to, you can also use it to make tea, purify water, or even filter alcohol.
It could very well take several years before I change anything to my brewing process, but now that I have it, the Cera filter is here to stay. TO $ 43 plus shipping, which is available in the US, it will take a few months for me to see any net savings, and I’m excited to see how long this tasteful tool will continue to hold me back.
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