What's the difference between filter coffee and an Americano?
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What’s the difference between filter coffee and an Americano?

The main question we get asked is, what is the difference between filter coffee and an Americano? Well hold onto your hats because here is the big reveal!

An Americano is an espresso based drink, it is a double espresso with hot water then added to fill the cup. An espresso is basically ground coffee (we use 17.5g for each double espresso, hence the weighing scales beside our machine) compacted into the group handle with a tamper. It is then subjected to hot water being pushed through it at a pressure of about 8 – 10 bars. The espresso is brewed in the machine at about 94 degrees and is then topped up with water which is also at about 94 degrees. Espresso is brewed at a higher temperature than Filter coffee and also includes high pressure being applied.

Filter coffee on the other hand is ground more coarsely. Taking the Chemex as an example, a paper filter is placed on top of the chemex and the ground coffee is placed into the filter. Hot water at about 88 – 90 degrees is then poured over the coffee in a stages until you reach the desired weight of hot water. We use 26g of coffee and 400g of hot water. (Tip: 1ml = 1g) 

The general rule of thumb

The general rule of thumb for brewing filter coffee is 60g of coffee per litre of water.

Brewing filter coffee is a much more time consuming process but the end result rewards you with a cup of coffee that has much more subtle flavours and sweetness than an Americano. 

This becomes more apparent as your coffee cools down. Its advisable not to add milk to filter coffee as it is brewed at a lower temperature you may make it too cold and also lose the flavours.

We offer two brew methods for filter coffee

V60 which is suitable for one person or a Chemex which we use for two people.

Chemex kerry

The coffee we use for filter is always a different coffee bean than that which we use for espresso. We generally try and use coffee that is more distinctive and bolder in terms of flavours to give our customers a sense of just how different coffee can taste depending on the region it is grown and how it is processed. A very good example of this is Kenyan coffees. The best Kenyan coffees are grown at very high altitudes in difficult regions for farmers to harvest them. That is why you will commonly see a premium charged for Kenyan coffees than most others. The high altitudes and fertile grounds that these coffee varietals are exposed to lead to Kenyan coffees being very vibrant and fruity, mainly blackberry and blackcurrant flavours being extremely prominent and make them much sought after in the speciality coffee industry.If you are looking for the best filter coffee in Tralee or even the best filter coffee in Kerry, drop on to the Bookshelf Coffee House to taste some of the finest filter coffees on offer.

About the Author Paul O'Carroll

Paul O'Carroll is the owner of Bookshelf Cork and co-owner of The Bookshelf Kerry. As a barista he is in charge of all things coffee. When he isn't plotting new ways to create amazing new coffee, brunch or dessert ideas, he likes to explore the Wild Atlantic Way of Kerry and Cork. He also writes about what makes these amazing 2 counties special.

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