Gear Review: Kyuemon Ceramic Filter

ceramic filter

When choosing a filter, there’s always a sacrifice made. Paper filters provide the best clarity, but remove many of the oils. Metal or cloth filters improve the body, but leave sediment at the bottom of the cup. Here at the the Coffee Compass we’re unapologetically biased towards clean coffees, so we’ve always chosen paper as the lesser of two evils. But recently we encountered a type of filtration that seems to offer the best of both worlds: The Kyuemon Ceramic Filter.  This porous, reusable filter comes with a white ceramic shell. Although it looks something like a spherical Hario V60, the resulting brew couldn’t be more different. 

Kyuemon ceramic

Our first brews with the Kyuemon ceramic filter demonstrated remarkable potential. Although our brew times were on the long side (five minutes plus) we found a wonderful combination of clarity and body. More so, we found it easy to reach high extractions without the dry mouthfeel or astringency we associate with over-extracted brews. When brewing this El Vendavel, Costa Rica from London’s Square Mile Coffee Roasters we encountered the a sweetness and nectarine tasting note that was noticeably absent with other brew methods.

DSCF3195 But just when we were about to order two more and start planning our 2016 Brewers Cup routine, things got really weird. The instructions indicated that coffee fines can build up within the filter over time. With each resulting brew we watched seconds being added to our brew time. Soon, it was impossible to make 300 ml. in anything less than eight minutes. Even sifting the fines did little reduce the brew time.

DSCF3308The instructions recommended baking the filter under high heat to burn any residue away. We were immensely skeptical, but after numerous hot water soaks we were willing to try it. Unfortunately, the oven bake seemed to have the opposite effect and now even water won’t drip through the filter.

Ultimately, these problems keep us from being able to recommend the Kyuemon ceramic filter. We will, however, continue to experiment with it, chasing that complex clarity and body of its first few brews.

12 thoughts on “Gear Review: Kyuemon Ceramic Filter

  1. Great review!
    This dripper was one of the next on my wish list, but I began to wonder about the fact that it is a porous ceramic filter.
    It seems logical that the porosity would be a double-edged sword, but that was just an assumption on my part.

    As always, thank you for your transparency with your opinions and results of your experiments.

  2. I saw a similar filter…can’t remember where…they burned the residue out of the ceramic by roasting it with ss tongs over a micro butane burner. That’ll do the trick!

  3. Hello! Thank you very much for reviewing our filter!! We do not deny that the filter clogs after repeated use. However, as long as you do maintenance in proper way, it will work again. I am sorry that we have not had enough instructions for maintenance in English till now because we just have started working in the states. We are currently looking for a distributor.
    For maintenance, please leave the filter in the water after use. Wet condition is always good. Once you feel that filter clogs, please put the filter in boiling water for 10-15mins. Oil and residue clogging in the filter will go away(Please be careful with burn injury).
    We have customers using the filter for years in Japan.

    Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
    [email protected]
    Thank you,
    Shu Hayashi
    Fun projects / Kyuemon sales rep Japan

    1. I would like to try this filter using your cleaning instructions. Where can it be purchased in the USA?

    2. Hi had the very same problem with my filter which I bought at Tokyo Hands Shinjuku. I boiled it as you suggested it for 15mknutes and the flow is much better.
      Thank you for this advice.

  4. Hi, we use these in China.
    To unclog it, roast it on clean, open flame for up to 20 minutes… once it has cooled half way, douse it with hot water…

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