While the (sock) cloth filter has been around for a long time, the paper filter didn’t appear until the turn of the twentieth century. In Dresden, Germany, Melitta Bentz was tired of finding grounds in her coffee.
She experimented with various filter materials, including a piece of her son’s blotting paper. She cut out a piece to shape and used it to make a cup of coffee. It worked better than her other experiments and she applied for a patent.
And so on July 8, 1908, the paper coffee filter was patented as a “Filter Top Device lined with Filter Paper.” That same December, Mrs. Bentz founded the Melitta Bentz Company, and the rest is history.
Today, coffee lovers drink a wide range of pour over methods, all of which require a filter. And while some people use use a coffee sock or a gold filter, most of us opt for paper ones.
When we started to buy equipment and filter paper from Hario Japan, as the first company in Belgium, we thought it was normal to buy the Misarashi version - meaning unbleached in Japanese. That was 2010, if i'm not missing.
Read here the field comparison test i did, back then:
"We did a small comparison between a Hario and Melitta filter brew.
For Hario we took the V60 1 filter and Melitta the 1X2. You can see which one this is on the photo.
We tested it with 20 grams of the same coffee (have to admit I forgot which one it was, probably a washed Yirgacheffe). The water was the same. The brewing was equal; a 3 minute extraction for 30 cl of coffee.
The Melitta was good. Even better than expected.
The Hario V60 was more tasteful though.
More detailed, sweeter and cleaner.
You could already notice differences on the top of the coffee itself. With the Melitta we had some oil segments. With the Hario it was dead clean and shiny - as always.
Of course I was a bit pre programmed, being a big Hario fan, but we also did a blind taste and gave the cups to a couple of clients and every time the Hario came out first."
The complaints about our misarashi/brown/unbleached filters were not difficult to misunderstand though. Even after a double wash we noticed left or right a little bit of extra papery flavors.
So we quickly ordered a box of white (bleached) ones, with a lot of remaining old brown filters on the shelf.
A couple of years ago Yannick and me were picking from time to time in 'home brewing sessions' a misarashi filter out of the closet for a one-to-one test with the white filter paper and did find it surprisingly good. Sometimes it even won the (blind) battle and the once doomed misarashi filters came back in the picture.
But the sales of the white/bleached version was very popular and so we kept on going white, till this week.
Because of corona troubles the stock of bleached ones is troublesome and we ordered, 10 years after our very first Hario order, again V60 Misarashi coffee filters.
Mixed feelings probably, but since V60 filter paper is selling 'as cheap bread' we maybe need to stock both in the future.... let us know your thoughts.