Extract your passion…that is the tagline used by Sibarist and it is great. Coffee is my passion and extraction is a word that revolves inside my cranium every morning. That is why I was super excited to try these coned-filter papers from Sibarist which are known to produce a faster flow rate. But are they the best filter papers on the market?
Sibarist’s FAST speciality filter papers are specifically designed for for faster flow rate for pour-over brewing. Faster extraction means more possibility exploring finer grinds and obtaining higher extraction. Furthermore, FAST papers lead to clog-free brews, no choking and consistent drawdown due to the paper’s permeability. Ultimately this leads to more control over your brew and the chance to explore finer grinds.
Now before we get into this review I want to say that I was very kindly gifted these filter papers by Sibarist to try out and review. I was not paid for this review and all opinions expressed are my own.
The fastest filter paper in the market
So as you may or may not know the biggest selling point for these FAST Sibarist papers is they produce a quicker flow rate. From using this on the V60 and Origami I have been getting fast and consistent flow rates. These papers are much quicker then any of the Hario papers. The only other papers that can challenge for fast flow rate is the Origami coned papers. However, I find the Origami papers are not as consistent in the flow rate. The brews also slow down towards the end. But with the Sibarist papers everything works well and with that you feel you have more control over the whole brew.
I tried using different ratios and variety of coffees to see how these papers reacted. What I found was that the Sibarist papers were quicker by around 30 seconds even with finer grind sizes. If you get the right grind size the faster flow rate will result in higher extraction. When I hit the sweet spot, the brews were probably the cleanest coffee I have ever tasted. The cups were also juicy with plenty of clarity. Again, compared to other coned papers the actual taste of the coffee was really impressive.
A ‘fine’ piece of brewing
Sibarist provided a nice little booklet with plenty of information about the papers. They say with the greater speed there are possibilities to explore finer grinds. This is where my interest really peaked because I wanted to brew with finer coffee. So the question comes how fine can you go? So using the Wilfa Svart, the finest I went was halfway between the Aeropress and Moka grind setting. Now it is hard to talk grind size language but lets say this is 4 to 5 notches finer then what I normally select for a grind size. Which is a fine grind size in itself. At some point the brews do slow down slightly but you still don’t get any clogging. At this point, the water is filtering through thick coffee mud but the brew times are still reasonable.
So we can confirm Sibrarist papers can handle brewing very fine coffee. I can also say that the coffee it produces from finer grinds is really good too. I tried a variety of Origins including Kenyan and Ethiopian and I was happy with the results. The ratio that I ended up finding the best was a very fine 12 to 13 grams of coffee and 200 grams water using the Origami Dripper. Brewing a washed Kenyan coffee was easily a highlight as I got some really flavourful and juicy brews.
Premium quality filter papers
I have done a whole article on clogging and slow drawdown problems (read that article here). One of the solutions I gave was to use faster papers including Sibarist. Now with these papers you will not not experience any clogging or slow drawdown. But another thing stood out to me is the premium quality of the FAST papers themselves. Firstly you will notice the quality of the material just by the feel of papers. Whereas the Hario or Origami papers feel a bit rougher, the Sibarist papers are a lot smoother and softer. However, they also feel a lot more durable and stronger then any other papers.
Sibarist papers are made from Abaca fibre, cellulose fibre, polylasctiv acid as well as being 100% organic. Now you wouldn’t really know what these materials are meant to mean until you feel the papers. As I said it felt really strong and not just simple paper quality. They even added the filter papers into the promotional booklet so you can examine it. I actually ripped a little bit (sorry Sibarist) and you can see the string of fibre within. Comparing it to other papers you can see the difference in quality.
Re-evaluating your methods
Faster filter papers have many benefits including lot more control and avoiding things like clogging. But there is a downside to it especially when you first start using them. That is trying to find the correct grind size. When I first used these papers I was not sure how quick it was going to perform and I ground too fine for the recipe. Similarly, for another method I ended up with a weak brew. So just be aware that it will take time before you get the grind setting.
The other thing is that your method that you have been using might need tweaking or changing all together. There are more things to consider for faster flow rate including ratio, pouring technique and what brewer you are using. For example, on the Origami, I was prolonging my pouring as the water was filtering very quick. One recipe on the V60, I had to bump up coffee ratio to ensure more coffee is extracted.
These things are not criticism but something you need to be aware of beforehand. Sibarist state themselves that faster papers means trying new methods with finer grind size. So I did exactly that and created a new method. This is for me and anyone else who wants to explore the finer grind size using the FAST papers.
13G Coffee (Fine) / 200G Water – 92c
- Rinse out Sibarist Filter Paper. Pre-heat the dripper and server
- 0.00 30G bloom – swirl dripper
- 0.45 – Pour 120G water
- 1.15 – Very slow 50G centre pour by 1.40
- Brew should finish between 2.30 – 2.40
Just to add, you can go with 12 grams of coffee too. It just depends on the coffee. The grind size on the Wilfa Svart Aroma Black was 1 and half marks to the right from the Aeropress grind size, towards Moka Pot.
The best papers?
I have only been using these papers for the past 3 weeks but I feel confident in saying these are one of the best paper filters on the market. The 3 big points that make it stand out is the fast flow rate, consistent drawdown and clean final finish. These things are what I have had issues with coned filter in the past and the FAST Sibrarist papers take care of it. This is feels premium quality and does everything right. There is not much you can ask apart from that.
The only downside to these papers is its own strength of being very quick. I am going to confidently guess some people do not want the quick flow rate. Especially if you have a method with another filter paper that works and you don’t like change. Then it’s hard to recommend to use faster papers instead. It is likely some people will struggle to adjust to the faster brew. This is very similar to when some people transition from the V60 to the Origami. The faster flow rate will catch you off guard if you are not prepared.
Availability and Price
To be completely honest these FAST Sibarist papers are expensive. A pack of 25 costs around £12.50, whilst 100 pack costs £29 in the UK. That is a lot more then any other coned filter papers on the market. I have highlighted the difference in quality so you are getting something different to what is currently out there. But I would go and say I would buy these papers again but I would use it sparingly. I am not sure about there availability in other countries but you can contact Sibarist to find out.
I have really enjoyed brewing pour-over with these Sibarist FAST papers. It has definitely enhanced my brewing experience and overall taste. I have enjoyed some of the cleanest and juiciest tasting V60 and Origami coffees using these papers. Some may not consider something as niche as trying different brand filter papers. However, if you are passionate about pour-over brewing then it is something that would appeal to you because you definitely won’t get this experience with any other papers.
*This product was gifted but all opinions here are completely my own.