It’s a ripe sunny morning, you’ve just woken up from a blissful night’s sleep and you’re ready to kick-off the day with a fresh cup of coffee. You head over to your brew bar, weight out your go-to dose, put the kettle on the boil and start churning away at the beans. Your home begins to blossom like a bouquet of flowers as the fuzzy fragrance of freshly ground coffee permeates the air. You reach for your favourite flat-bottom dripper and you’re just about ready to run through that meadow. But suddenly you find yourself in a bit of a pickle—you’re out of flat-bottom paper filters. You’ve searched everywhere and they’re nowhere to be seen.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. After a momentary face-palm, a bald idea dawns upon you as you recall seeing a box of trapezoid paper filters in the cupboard. But there’s just one problem, how on Earth do you fit a trapezoid filter in a flat-bottom dripper? Well, today’s your lucky day, because not only am I going to show you how, I’m also going to outline a few advantages of why doing so can actually be a good thing.
Trapezoid paper filters have been around for decades and therefore are available from many retailers, cafes, and even supermarkets around the world.
Trapezoid paper filters are relatively inexpensive and are produced by a number of different manufacturers around the world. From generic no-brands to premium labels, you’re bound to find something suitable near you.
Who doesn’t love a flat-pack? Trapezoid paper filters are packaged flat, so they easily store away in your favourite container or cupboard space without risk of deformation.
Being flat in shape, there’s very little inconsistency from filter to filter—they’re all produced the same. Whereas flat-bottom wave filters often vary in shape as the top of the pack have a narrower bed than the bottom.
One of my favourite things about this hack is that it can help reduce bypassing. Unlike flat-bottom wave filters which leave small gaps between the dripper’s wall, the trapezoid paper filter sits flush. This helps keep the brew water inside the slurry and contribute to extraction rather than running down the side.
Now that you know the advantages, it’s time to show you how to hack your own trapezoid paper filter to fit inside a flat-bottom dripper!
Just one thing to keep in mind; due to the flush fit of the paper filter, there will be a slight change to your usual flow rate in comparison to a flat-bottom wave filter. Adjusting parameters such as grind size, pouring technique, etc, is a given.
Well, now that you know how-and-why, there’s just one thing left to do—it’s time to brew! Enjoy.
This step-by-step guide was written and photographed by our good friend Alvin Cheng. If you enjoyed it, we highly recommend you follow him on Instagram and check out some of his content. Alvin a.k.a ‘Señor Geisha’ is a home-brewing veteran with years of experience in the coffee industry. He’s super approachable and loves to help, so don’t be shy to ask if you have any questions.
And of course, don’t forget to share this article so everyone can enjoy better coffee.
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