| Sophia Weimer |
BERLIN (dpa) – Filter coffee, long sneered at by self-styled coffee experts, is making a comeback after the years when espresso and its myriad derivatives such as cappuccino and latte held sway.
Some see it as a trend back to traditional values, since the drip-brew method was common round the globe before espresso machines spread. But fans, from the United States to Asia, argue that a brew without pressure brings out coffee’s subtler flavours.
Klaus Langen is the president of the German Coffee Roasters Guild and knows all the trends in sophisticated coffee drinking.
Langen says a new generation of coffee roasters is on the rise in Germany with a love for very lightly roasted coffee beans.
“Light roasted coffee has more fruity flavours as well as other aromas. This type of coffee is a matter of taste,” says Langen.
Filter coffee is making a comeback in Germany after years of being looked down upon. Fifteen years ago almost every German home had a coffee filter machine in the kitchen. That was replaced by single-portion coffee machines with coffee pads or capsules.
These low-pressure machines, eventually fully automated, became very popular and then high-pressure espresso machines advanced into German kitchens. But now low-tech quick-filter machines are appearing again.
Langen says coffee from a paper filter has a greater range of aromas.
“At over a minute, the water is a relatively long time in contact with the ground coffee,” he says. With espresso coffee on the other hand, the water is pushed through in a matter of seconds.
Another trend in coffee drinking is awareness of origin. Langen believes coffee drinkers are much more conscious about the beans.
Time was when almost all German coffee was sold blended and pre-packed with customers having no idea whether it was the robusta or arabica species or where in the world it had been grown.
Now, consumers want to know if a coffee brand is ecologically friendly and if it’s been grown in a sustainable manner. Many of Germany’s small coffee roasting companies are seeing strong growth thanks to this.
The number of independent coffee roasting companies has multiplied in recent years in Germany. Hand roasted coffee beans are sought after by drinkers. Langen says his beans are roasted at 220 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 12 minutes.
“Our goal is not to get the coffee through the roasting machine as quickly as possible,” he sniffs.