Phin Filter vs. Pour Over
Do you want to make your own coffee without using any complicated technology? Do you want an old-school coffee brewing experience that will simply give you a delicious cup of joe? Then you'll probably want to look into Phin filter or pour over coffee. Let's see what makes them great options and why each deserves to be your next coffee brewer.
Head to Head: Phin Filter vs. Pour Over
Both the Phin filter and the pour over method are preferred among coffee aficionados because of the rich flavor and the unique, completely manual brewing method. We tested and scored them according to 8 main categories. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
How long the brewing process takes can be crucial when choosing a coffee maker if you're usually in a hurry in the morning. The good news is that a round of pour over coffee only takes around 3-4 minutes once you have hot water. Add 2-3 more minutes to get the water to boil, and you end up with 5-7 minutes of brewing time.
To ensure you get the brew right, you'll want to buy a pour over kettle. That's the only way you can pour the water precisely without the risk of ruining your coffee.
The filter of your coffee maker is crucial when it comes to the brew's taste. Pour over coffee is made by running the water through the ground coffee and then through a paper filter. It will catch most of the coffee oils, which will make it healthier and a little drier. Nevertheless, this will give your coffee a more intense flavor.
How well your coffee maker is built is always very important. If it's of poor quality, it can be dangerous for your health. If you buy a gooseneck kettle made of low-quality stainless steel or aluminum, you risk having metal particles get into your coffee. Additionally, you'll want a kettle equipped with a thermometer to know when the water has reached the right temperature for your pour over coffee.
You'll need more than hot water to make a good pour over coffee, though. Even though most glass carafes are very similar, you'll still want to get one specifically for your needs. It needs to fit just the right amount of coffee grounds and have the water go through them slowly enough to achieve an even extraction. Additionally, it's a good idea to get a carafe with a permanent filter. This way, you'll know you're taking care of the environment, and in the long run, you'll end up saving money on paper filters.
Every coffee lover has their preferred coffee beans, and there's no perfect bean. Nevertheless, there are a few blends of beans will give you a better cup of coffee than others. Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee Beans are among the blends specifically put together for pour over coffee.
The grind size is the single thing where you won’t have much freedom to experiment. As pour over is a very simple brewing process and there's no pressure generated while making it, you'll want to use medium to coarse coffee grounds.
Making pour over coffee may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s actually a straightforward process. The hardest part to get right is pouring the water into the coffee. You'll need to be precise with your movement and pour the water at the right speed. Here's the whole step-by-step process:
- Put the filter and the coffee in the carafe.
- Heat some water. The perfect temperature is 190-200°F (87-93°C).
- Pour the water in a circular motion at a constant flow. To achieve the best extraction, you'll want to soak the coffee evenly and pour the entire amount for around 30 seconds.
- Wait 3-5 minutes. At this time, the water is going through the coffee and the coffee filter and into the carafe.
- Voilà. You can now enjoy your pour over coffee.
A pour over coffee brewing set will cost you around $50. A good glass carafe costs $20-25 on Amazon, and a high-quality gooseneck kettle will set you back around $25-30.
Washing your pour over set is very simple, as there are no gaps where coffee grounds can get stuck. It is even easier to use paper filters as you won't need to wash them but simply throw them out.
Making Phin coffee is a little slower than making one using the pour over method and will take around 5-10 minutes.
The Phin coffee maker uses a metal filter. While it's supposedly more robust than the multi-use filters that come with some glass carafes, it's made of low-quality steel. That's why you'll need to be careful when washing it.
The part of the Phin filter is solidly built, and you won't have any issues while using it. As mentioned, the only issue we had was the metal filter, which feels like it'll eventually break with prolonged use.
When it comes to beans, the story is very similar. You can use any beans you want, but if you use Robusta Vietnamese coffee beans (and grind them yourself), you're more likely to achieve the best flavor your Vietnamese coffee filter can give you.
As the brewing method here is very similar to pour over, you'll want to grind your coffee beans at the same setting - medium to coarse.
The ease of brew is where the Vietnamese coffee filter has the edge. Here you won't have to be as precise when pouring the water. Here's a full recipe:
- Add 2 tablespoons of ground in the filter.
- Put the gravity press on top of the coffee. Leave it there until you're done brewing.
- Heat some water. The perfect temperature is 195-200°F (90-93°C).
- Pour 1 oz of water and let it soak for around 45 seconds. Then continue pouring until the filter fills up.
- Wait 5-7 minutes. This is how long it usually takes for the water to go through the coffee and into the cup below.
- You're done. Now you can add some condensed milk to the brew for a real Vietnamese coffee
A Phin coffee filter is one of the cheapest ways to start making your coffee at home as they usually go for around $10-20.
Washing a Phin filter is just as easy as washing your pour over coffee-making set. Usually, all it takes is a quick rinse under running water. If you want to clean it more thoroughly, you can even throw it in the dishwasher. Just make sure that you take the filter out first, as the strong detergents and high temperatures may ruin it.
So, which coffee maker will you go for? It depends on your needs, but generally speaking, if you're a newbie in the coffee brewing world, a Phin filter would probably be the best option as it's easier to grasp. You'll enjoy pour over coffee more if you're a hardened coffee enthusiast. Just don't forget to get a high-quality gooseneck kettle for the best results.