We designed our filters to be stronger and more reliable than the alternatives, but we found a few unexpected benefits! The cold brew tasted better because it was not steeping in wet paper and there was no clean-up because the entire thing is disposable.
It is true that there are great benefits to the system, there are also some things that we recommend to get the most out of your filters:
- Use bigger brew buckets: each filter can hold up to 10 pounds of ground coffee allowing for much larger batches. Whether you use Alto Cold Brew Buckets or not, larger batches mean increased consistency and using/cleaning less filters.
- Be careful with your grounds: because this system utilizes one filter instead of 2 or 3, we recommend being especially careful with your grounds as you go to fill the filter bag. Loose grounds or chaff can escape if you're not careful and add grit to an otherwise great batch.
- Secure the cable tie loose: Don't compress the grounds by securing the cable tie too close. Consider attaching to the cable tie near the top of the bag allowing more water in and around the grounds for a more even extraction.
- Shorten your extraction time: considering tip #2 and #3, Alto Filters mean more water flow and a more even extraction. Therefore, we recommend trying out shorter batch times to avoid over-extraction and a brighter cold brew.
- Try new things: We have had feedback that the filters work great for cold brewing tea because they o not impart any flavor whatsoever. We have also successfully made almond milk with them, but do not recommend adding dates like some recipes call for (it's a long story...). If anyone has tried them for flavored waters, kombucha or anything else let us know. We'd love to share it!
Update 10/9/2017: Bonus tips from our community!
- Filter fits over bucket: If you're using the Alto Cold Brew Bucket, you can open up the filter all the way and roll the opening over the top of the bucket. This allows for easy filling with grounds, hot blooming and stirring.
- Stir all you want: Not everyone is looking for more agitation in their recipe, but the strength of the Alto Filters allow for stirring in a way that paper simply cannot.
- Don't hot bloom: This tip may not be for everybody, but many testers found the cold brew to be too bright compared to their current offerings when prepared with the same recipe. Consider revising your hot bloom as one of the variables that you play with.
We would love to continue adding to this list so please keep the suggestions coming!