The Japanese Ceramic Coffee Filter – An Overview

Are you sick of running out of paper coffee filters and needing to buy more? What about protecting Mother Earth?

Paper and cloth filters lead to more waste, might have chemicals that are bad for the environment, AND can make your coffee taste worse.

So how about we learn about high quality Japanese ceramic filters?

Origin Story

You might be surprised that Japanese ceramic coffee filters have been around for more than 30 years! Kyuemon is a Japanese company that invented ceramic coffee filters in 1986.

10 years later Kyuemon received an award from the Japan Science and Technology Agency for their brilliant invention. Other companies have since developed their own models. And slowly other companies developed their own versions of the ceramic filter.

Why You Should Use a Japanese Ceramic Coffee Filter

A Reusable Ceramic Coffee Filter

Clearly a reusable ceramic filter is more eco friendly than a paper filter. Disposable coffee filters fill up trash landfills AND can have bleaching agents that hurt ecosystems in nature.

The Japanese ceramic filter is designed to be used many times. (We’ve had one for over 2 years! And it still works like it’s new – with regular cleaning.)

clean and carefully place for best results

Japanese Ceramic Filter Causes Smooth Taste

Japanese companies like Kyuemon design their ceramic filter to enhance coffee flavor – leading to a clear and smooth taste. A Japanese ceramic filter differs from a normal coffee maker since it filters more unneeded acids and oils. It also helps with better extraction leading to a full-bodied cup of coffee.

And when making coffee with a metal or cloth filter, those could affect coffee taste. Which will cause worse tasting coffee.

Downsides of a Japanese Ceramic Filter

Paper Disposable Coffee Filters Are Cheaper

With 5 to 10 US dollars, you might have enough paper filters to last you for years. You’ll need more money upfront to buy a Japanese ceramic coffee filter.

Though we urge you to consider 2 things:

  1. Saving the planet and the environment is worth a little extra cash
  2. You have to take out the trash and keep buying new paper filters, instead of just cleaning the same ceramic filter

Longer Coffee Brewing Time

This depends on which Japanese brand and model you buy. But usually it’s slower to brew coffee with a ceramic filter than other filters.

On average you should expect a brewing cycle to take several minutes or longer.

Coffee Grounds Can Clog the Filter

Clogging occurs more often with a Japanese ceramic filter than other types of coffee filters. This could mean even slower brewing time. And you might get stronger and more bitter coffee than expected.

You can prevent a clogged filter by rinsing with warm water after each use. Don’t use dishwashing soap. Discard used coffee grounds as soon as you can after brewing before they clog the filter’s micro holes.

rinse with hot water often to unclog

How to Use Japanese Ceramic Coffee Filters

Using these ceramic products isn’t much different from other pour over systems:

Recipe

  1. Gently rinse filter with hot water to preheat it and remove impurities
  2. Put the filter on top of a coffee mug
  3. Add ground coffee to the filter (we like 1 tablespoon for every 6 ounces of water)
  4. Pour boiled water in a circle over the grounds then wait 30 seconds for coffee to bloom
  5. Pour the remaining water slowly (don’t overfill) until you have enough coffee. Enjoy!
bloom and brew coffee for several minutes

Other Tips and Tricks

  • Use a coarser grind similar to brewing with a French press (sea salt texture)
  • Use extremely hot but NOT boiling water
  • Try stirring the coffee grounds before blooming to get more even extraction
  • Throw away the ceramic filter if it has cracks or large holes

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a ceramic filter safe?

Yes! Japan is well known for having high quality products and strict consumer protection + safety laws.

Their ceramic filters are made from more expensive, eco friendly materials. Which means they don’t have harmful chemicals or bleach.

Compare this to some paper filters, where the bleach additives can be harmful for the environment (though they’re safe for humans of course).

My Japanese ceramic filter is still clogged, how do I fix that?

Check your filter’s instruction manual and company website for more instructions. We’ve heard of instructions like these:

  • Place the filter on your gas stove and sear/burn the filter until the clogs are removed
try using gas stove burner to keep the filter’s whole surface unclogged
  • Place the filter in a boiling pot with baking soda, hopefully you’ll see coffee grounds and sediment at the bottom after you’re done!

Which is the best type of coffee filter?

We don’t think there’s one right answer. You can see above for our pros versus cons for the ceramic filter.

Let’s quickly go over the other types of filters:

  • Paper filters:
    • Pros: cheapest and easier to clean
    • Cons: add more waste and might harm the environment
  • Metal filters:
    • Pros: Also very eco friendly
    • Cons: Don’t filter as much as other filter types + might cause metal taste
  • Cloth filters:
    • Pros: Reusable and eco friendly + filters coffee better than metal filters
    • Cons: Hardest to clean, risk of bacteria and mold

So we think the ceramic filter is a good compromise of all these options!

Summary

Check out a ceramic coffee filter from Japan as a cool AND eco friendly addition to brewing coffee. Our taste analysis shows that the coffee’s resulting taste is smoother + with less acid than other filters.

Just remember that you’ll need proper periodic maintenance. The countless micro pores can get clogged after frequent use. So make sure to rinse and remove coffee grounds after each brew.

Though a ceramic coffee filter might mean slower brewing time, we think it might be the ideal pour over system. It’s a special ceramic system meaning better tasting coffee and you doing your part for the Earth.

Lexi Han

Lexi is happily married to Bryan and works as an internet marketing consultant. As a lifelong believer of frugal living, she constantly strives to satisfy Bryan’s high-quality food and drink cravings while on a budget. Her favorites include (discounted) pumpkin spice lattes and Costco polish dogs.

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