Filter test: Cafec Abaca and Abaca+
Few years after Cafec launched their world-famous Abaca filter, they have released a new version of it called “Abaca+” earlier this year. I got my hands on it and want to share some initial thoughts with comparing to the original Abaca.
Texture and thickness: Both Abaca+ and original Abaca made from Manila hemp. With the new manufacturing technology, Cafec has narrowed the distance between each crepe and made the texture more even for Abaca+, in other word, the density of Abaca+ is higher, the surface touched smoother, and the filter itself is a little thicker and harder compares to the original Abaca. You can easily find the difference on below picture.
(Left is Abaca+, right is original Abaca)
(The texture of Abaca+ (left) is similar to another filter, make a guess and see the answer at last)
Flow rate and flavour: I compared Abaca+ with original Abaca under same condition for few times, sometimes Abaca+ is 2 to 3 seconds faster and sometimes original Abaca is 2 seconds faster. So the overall flow rate is very similar on both. One thing worth to mention is, the initial speed of Abaca+ is always faster, then slow down gradually on late stage. I personally think the reason behind is Abaca+ is harder, so it doesn’t stick tightly with the dripper’s wall and have a strong side flow at the beginning. Then to the late stage, due to the density of paper, the fines can’t be attached on Abaca+ so they left on the side or fell into the coffee bed, which leads to a slower flow. Of course, that’s just my thoughts, not official explanation. Flavourwise, no big difference, just Abaca+ will shows more aroma and acidity, while original Abaca shows heavier body and stronger aftertaste.
Personal tips: Based on the points that I mentioned above and my actual tasting experience. I would recommend using Abaca+ on coffees that shows great aroma and acidity, or use it for a short time brew. When using Abaca+ to brew dark roast coffee I feel the bitterness is a little too strong maybe due to over extraction, while under the same condition the original Abaca shows nice flavours and body.
P.S. On the second picture, the filter on right side is Cafec Light Roast Filter. The texture on outside surface for both filter touched similar, but for inside, Light Roast Filter is smoother and denser than Abaca+ since there is no crepe on inside of Light Roast Filter.