Using a sock is one of the easiest ways to make coffee, and one that has long been used in countries like Cuba, Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Costa Rica.
It’s hard to say where the method came from, but it’s easy to imagine that the idea came to a lot of people separately in different places. After all, it is a very simple and inexpensive idea.
The brewing gear includes a cotton sock attached to a wire hoop with a handle.
In Cuba, the coffee sock method is the basis for making a traditional Café Carretero. In Thailand, the method of preparing coffee socks has been used by street coffee vendors for decades.
There are actually two ways to make coffee with a sock filter. The traditional method is to put the coffee grounds in the sock, place the sock in a cup or saucepan, depending on the size of the sock, then pour in hot water and let sit for a few minutes. Then you take off the sock with the wire handle and you have your coffee.
More recently, companies like Hario have introduced sock filters as a replacement for paper filters. With this method, you don’t immerse the sock and the coffee in hot water. The sock is held in place over the pot, and you pour the water through the ground coffee using the pour method.
Using a coffee sock to brew your coffee is definitely one of the easiest and most eco-friendly ways to make coffee. After each use, you just need to rinse or wash the cotton sock and then use it again.
Which brings us to the question of whether you should rinse the sock or wash it.
Here in the west, I imagine most people would like to wash the sock thoroughly between uses.
But the photo below shows coffee socks used by a coffee vendor in Thailand. As you can see, it doesn’t look like the sock has been washed for very long!
The argument for not washing the sock is that the coffee oils build up in the cotton wool and you get a deeper, richer brew as a result.
If you want to try, you can buy a traditional coffee sock through Amazon.
You can also buy the Hario Drip Pot with a cotton sock.
About the Author: Nick Usborne aka Coffee Detective is a lifelong writer and coffee enthusiast. Find out more …