Brew Coffee in a Sock? Here’s How

Known by several names - Sock Pot, Woodneck Dripper, or Nel Pot – this attractive glass and wood coffee maker appeals to the aesthetic taste as well as the taste buds. For those who like to make coffee to drink fresh, in small lots, rather than keeping a pot on a burner, this is a great choice. The sock pot makes use of a flannel or cotton filter that is used over and over and therefore eliminates the waste of paper filters. In fact, the Nel Pot was named after the flannel used by the Hario model. Yama uses a cotton filter and lacks a wood neck.

Liz Clayton’s article on how to brew with the sock pots used the Hario model, but even though the materials differ, the brewing technique is similar. The fans of the Hario sock pot type brewers claim that the fabric filters are the best for creating clarity in the cup. The biggest drawback to the pot is keeping the sock clean and moist. Clayton recommends thorough rinsing and then storing the sock in a cup of water or a zip-lock bag in the fridge. She lists eight brewing steps, including the grinding.

Here’s the basic list:

  • Boil filtered water.
  • Rinse the flannel filter in hot water over the carafe, so the glass is preheated, and throw out this water afterward.
  • Measure drip grind coffee - a cup-sized filter requires about 18 grams (2/3 ounce; 1 1/3 Tbsp) of coffee – and pour it into the filter.
  • Shake the filter basket to distribute the grounds and eliminate air pockets.
  • Pre-infuse the coffee with one ounce of hot water that had been brought to a boil, letting it bloom for 20-30 seconds.
  • Pour in seven more ounces water. This is where the technique becomes important; pour slowly in a circular motion for about one and a half minutes.

Enjoy the aroma, appreciate the clarity and savor the body and taste of the cup. Rinse out the sock and put it away. It will need to be replaced after a few months when the cup’s taste tells you. Each person might want to adjust the ratios of coffee to water, and amount of pouring time, to personal taste. Most drip type brewers call for two tbsp. of coffee per six ounce cup. Clayton’s ratio is higher on the water side, so the first time you try this, it might be good to use the higher amount of coffee and adjust the water. Brew on, aromatically.

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