Why It Pays To Wet Your Coffee Filter

Coffee is one of the most extensively consumed beverages worldwide and for aficionados, this beverage is more than just a mere drink. It represents a comforting ritual and an essential start to the day. There are several brewing techniques and hacks you can use for a perfect cup of joe, but if you'd like an expertly brewed pour-over or drip-brewed java, consider the simple act of pre-wetting your coffee filter. Beyond its role in separating the grounds from the brew, the filter can impact the quality of your coffee by merely dampening it before brewing. 

One of the reasons wetting the filter makes a difference is that it removes any potential residual taste from the paper. Rinsing with hot water will eliminate any loose paper fibers and residual chemicals that might interfere with the taste of your coffee. This step ensures that the only flavor in your cup is that of your chosen coffee beans. However, more than preventing unwanted foul taste, prewetting your filter also affects the extraction process.

Why wetting your coffee filter improves the coffee extraction process

A perfect brew using techniques that involve passing your ground coffee through a filter is significantly influenced by the efficiency of the filter itself. For this reason, wetting the filter serves an important function as it helps regulate water flow during brewing. The dampened paper also allows water to interact with the grounds more evenly, resulting in optimal flavor extraction. But even at a more basic level, the damp filter will perform its function more efficiently than a dry one since it adheres better to your coffee machine preventing slips or displacement when you begin brewing.

Now that you understand why it pays to wet your java filter, the next time you want to brew a cup, first place the filter on the machine, then pour hot water over it and let it sit for a few seconds. Remember, the goal is not to drench the filter — a quick rinse will suffice. After rinsing, discard that water before adding your coffee grounds and starting your brew. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the improvement in taste.