As people began pushing the boundaries of ingredients, processes, and offerings, many are still using the same old equipment. All of this innovation around cold brew inspired us to ask one important question: Is cotton, metal, or paper really still the best way to prepare cold brew coffee?
Paper is delicate and effects the taste of cold brew. These two key weaknesses of paper can be addressed in specialty coffee by using the proper equipment (to support the paper) and processes (rinse the paper filters before use), but these weaknesses are magnified when cold brewing. The paper filters are large and hard to rinse, exaggerating both their weakness and the negative effect on taste.
Cotton has an even bigger impact on taste and is impossible to fully clean between uses. Many people are finding that the taste and sanitary concerns of cold brewing with cotton outweigh the benefits of durability and reusability.
Metal filters are difficult to clean and do not absorb bitter oils. Both paper and cotton have the ability to absorb some of the bitter oils generated during cold brewing, but metal does not. It also takes an enormous amount of water and chemicals to fully clean and sanitize the fine metal screens.
It was because of the limitations of existing cold brewing equipment that we developed our patent-pending cold brew filters. Utilizing a proprietary blend of biodegradable natural and synthetic materials, we created a filter that is stronger than paper, more sanitary than cotton, has no negative impacts on taste, and is easier to clean than all three.
Alto Commercial Filters work to retrofit any existing cold brewing system, and we offer sample packs to anyone interested in experimenting with the equipment of cold brewing. One thing we have noticed about cold brewers is the creativity and innovation that they consistently show. Because cold brew (particularly specialty cold brew) is still developing, it is not bound by any single set of rules or procedures.
Why not see what works best for your shop? What brings about the highest quality cold brew? Alto Cold Brew offers sample packs to any shop interested in breaking out of their rut and willing to try something new. Even if you never try our filters, we encourage you to innovate and experiment with your ingredients, processes, offerings and equipment!