As we all know, everything comes back eventually. It is one of the fundamental cultural truths that things become more and more popular before quite suddenly falling out of fashion only to be resurrected at a later time. That’s why we are currently seeing low-rise trousers and other curiosities from the turn of the millennium again, which we really hadn’t planned to ever lay eyes on again.
The same goes for filter coffee. It was one of the most widely drunk beverages ever until it suffered a serious image problem at the end of the nineties. This was the fault of the emergence of the fully automatic machine, the espresso machine and capsule coffee. Suddenly people drank cappuccino and latte macchiato, which sounded modern and Italian.
American coffee chains perfected the coffee to-go, and that can even include syrup if you like. The simple brewed coffee suddenly seemed old-fashioned. It reminded us of coffee and cake at grandma’s and of government offices, where the coffee was made early in the morning and became more and more acidic as the evening approached.
Now filter coffee is back. But not as we know it. Making coffee has now become something of a science. Filter coffee has become the drink of purists who consider the milky coffee drinks of recent years too rich. It started in the US, where they had never stopped loving filter coffee anyway. But now it is no longer prepared in an electric coffee machine, but rather mostly by hand, which perfectly aligns with trends such as slow food and all things homemade.
The Chemex, for example, a glass flask developed in 1939 by the inventor Peter Schlumbohm and now a design classic in the MoMA in New York, is now used to make coffee. Others swear by hand filters made of porcelain or glass. But no matter what’s used to make the coffee, the beans must be freshly ground. According to connoisseurs, buying them ready ground is a big no-no. Filters have also become a science.