What is a Coffee Sock and How do You Use it?

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Everyone has a particular brewing style that makes a cup of coffee theirs and theirs alone. Some of us like to use little disposable, pre-filled pods, or disposable filters while others would prefer to use socks. Huh?

You read that right. Socks. Have you ever heard of using a sock to brew your coffee? Well, funnily enough, there is such a thing and they are called coffee socks. They don’t necessarily require a pair to make the perfect cup of coffee, but if you want to purchase a second sock for brewing purposes, that’s totally fine.

But, wait. We’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

What exactly is a coffee sock?

A coffee sock is a tightly woven piece of fabric attached to a metal wire. It’s used to hold coffee beans or grounds to brew a cup of coffee. For a long time now, coffee cultures in Venezuela and Costa Rica have employed this method of filtration in order to create delicious cups of coffee. Much like a French press or pour-over method, the ability to allow water to pass through the fine weaving of the coffee sock means that the water picks up all the flavor tucked away inside the sock, and imbues that essence into the liquid.

What’s more, they’re not just inexpensive (with a price tag of between $5 and $20), they’re ergonomic too as they are made from organic cotton. Composed largely of cellulose, as cotton coffee socks usually are, the flavor of a coffee sock brewed coffee, stays pretty much true to form, as cellulose mixes extremely well with water; without lending its own flavor to the whole shebang. On top of that, they’re environmentally friendly too. Win-win all around!

So, which methods use a coffee sock for brewing?

Chemex – Using 20 grams of coffee to 300 grams of water (per person), the Chemex coffee maker can make up to 8 cups of brewed coffee at a time. Boil the water first and then place the coffee sock on the top of the coffee maker. Next, fill the sock with coffee grounds and pour the boiling water over them, slowly and evenly; within a 2-minute time frame so that the grounds are adequately brewed.

V60 – using this maker, a coffee sock will be placed on the crater and about 17 grams of coffee grounds into the center of the sock. Add about 35 ml of boiling water over the grounds and continue until a 250 ml total volume has been poured over in 30-second intervals, to brew the perfect cup.

Aeropress – first, you’ll have to assemble the maker with the plunger in the brew chamber. Add one to two tablespoons of coffee grounds into it and slowly pour hot water over the grounds, stirring with a spoon so that brewing can finish in about a minute. At this point, you’ll add the filter section of the brewer with a coffee sock placed in it. Situate your coffee mug on the brew chamber, and push the plunger and wait for the coffee sock brewed coffee to drip away into your mug.

Cold Brew – while the previous methods all utilize hot water, this one requires cold water to brew coffee. You will need to let the grounds soak for several hours, and depending on the strength you’d like your coffee to have, it can take up to a day. Yes, 24 whole hours! The result, though, is phenomenal.

This amazing invention has received little if any recognition for its pros. What are those, you ask? Here are a few:

  1. They can replace up to 500 disposable coffee filters, which is super environmentally friendly, but not just that. They save you money in the long run too.

  2. They are compostable. Again, with that eco-warrior ante being upped all the time with this brewing apparatus, it’s a game-changer in the coffee world.

  3. There are so many different kinds of coffee sock, with a wealth of different designs to suit all the coffee machines we have available to us nowadays, so you really can’t go wrong.

  4. The flavor of coffee brewed using a coffee sock, tends to be richer and sweeter.

Look, folks, these are great traits for a coffee filter, especially the part about saving the environment and money simultaneously. It’s like a superhero cape, only, it’s a sock.

There are, of course, some cons to a coffee sock and they are:

  1. They are not as sanitary as single-use disposable filters, so washing and drying them properly to keep them hygienic and sanitary can be really inconvenient and time-consuming.

  2. The initial expense of a coffee sock, or a set of them, tends to be a little pricier than if disposable filters were being used.

The coffee sock has proven that it is worth its weight in coffee – which, for coffee lovers, is a big deal. Coffee socks are one of the most eco-friendly, cost-effective ways to brew your cup of joe, without compromising the health and wellbeing of our planet. Its price tag might be a little high when you’re starting, however, it pays off in the long run by sparing you from parting with your cash, and the environment from making another long-term acquaintance with yet another coffee filter.

Coffee socks are a fun way to experiment with flavors. While they might take a little longer to brew, you’ll get to know your coffee and, dare we say, yourself, on an entirely new level.

By pushing you out of your comfort zone, a coffee sock takes a novice and affords them the ability to hone their coffee making and drinking skills exponentially.

Why not ditch the disposable stuff and give a sock a try? Who knows, you might like your coffee brewed straight from a sock!

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