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From my research so far into making cold brew coffee in a Nalgene while backpacking, I have found there to be two types of filters, cotton ones called "coffee socks" and mesh ones that screw onto the top of the bottle.

I like the idea of cold brewing because I fairly often don't bring a stove, and I prefer the taste.

What would the pros and cons of a cotton coffee sock vs a screw on top mesh filter for making cold brew coffee while backpacking?

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From left to right, Nalgene 1 liter bottle, mesh filter, cotton sock filter.

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Cotton coffee sock,

  • Lighter
  • Folds up really small
  • Harder to clean as the grounds will stick to it and get stuck inside.
  • Can be used with fine coffee grounds.

Metal mesh filter

  • Heavier
  • Takes up more room, the easiest way to carry it would be to leave it screwed into the bottle.
  • Easier to clean the grounds out of as you can dump them all out. The Nalgene lid needs to be cleaned as well unless you like grounds in your water.
  • Works best with coarse grounds.

I had the coffee sock for a while, it folds up nice and small and is really light, but the grounds stick to the cotton and its a pain to clean. I just got the metal filter that screws into the top of the bottle and its much easier to clean. It's heavy enough that I might not take it by myself, but on a group trip, it would probably work pretty well.

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