Steel Trap

A new coffee tool to improve your brew

In the world of coffee, evolution occurs quickly. We've seen endless tweaks and variations, from beans to brewing techniques, all in the name of a better cup.

The latest entrant into this innovative climate is the Kone, a sleek and simple stainless steel filter made for pour-over drip devices like the Chemex or the Hario V60.

Its creator–Keith Gehrke of Coava Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon–invented the Kone with a simple goal in mind: Do away with eco-unfriendly single-use paper filters. But the Kone also has a marked effect on the final product.

While paper filters absorb many of the beans' essential oils (creating a bright and less tannic cup), the Kone lets these oils pass through. The result: a fuller, more intense character that still allows the floral acidic notes that are characteristic of a Chemex brew to shine. And the amount of grounds we found in our cup was miniscule, much less than other devices like a French press.

At $50, the Kone is a pricey accessory (part of the high cost stems from keeping all of the production within the United States). Still, while the Kone isn't a requisite kitchen purchase, it's a worthwhile addition to those on an ultimate coffee quest.