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I regularly make coffee using a ceramic #2 Melitta-style cone and natural brown filters. Most of the time it works great and consistently makes delicious coffee. But every now and then, the coffee takes a really long time to drip through the filter and out of the cone. More specifically, it normally takes a few minutes for it to fully drip out after pouring on the water, but in these cases it takes in excess of ten minutes. If I lift up the cone, I can see it's only letting out around one drip per second. I often have to apply gentle pressure to the filter to get it to actually drip out the coffee.

I haven't found any rhyme or reason as to why this is happening -- changing the size of the ground doesn't help nor does changing to a different coffee. The only thing I haven't changed is trying out a different brand of coffee filters. Could this just be inconsistencies in the production of the filters themselves?

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  • Welcome! Does the drip pick up speed when you lift the cone? (Thinking about water seal effects.) – Stephie Nov 7 '20 at 3:28
  • @Stephie No, it continued dripping at the same slow speed. The only thing I found that helped was applying some pressure to the filter. – GuyGizmo Nov 7 '20 at 5:34
  • Are you using a burr grinder or a blade grinder? – Stephie Nov 7 '20 at 5:49
  • I've been using a burr grinder. – GuyGizmo Nov 7 '20 at 5:51
  • Hm... dang, that were the more obvious causes... ;-) – Stephie Nov 7 '20 at 5:57
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The problem could very well be what Stephie was touching on; very fine coffee dust restricting the flow.

I was having the same issue with my setup and was just going to live with it. That is, until I took off the hopper off of my grinder and saw really finely ground coffee stuck between the splines of the burrs. After brushing out the powder and a couple firm taps it was back to normal.

Depending on the different beans along with their level of oil, grinds can build up on the the burrs and internals of the grinder rather quickly. After a bit of time the caked on and powdered grounds give way and fall down into the stuff you just grounded. When you try to brew a cup, the smaller lighter coffee grinds/dust flow down to the surface of the filter restricting the flow by blocking all of it's pores.

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  • Ah, yes. Cleaning the grinder. The perpetual “I should probably do that soon” task. – Stephie Nov 11 '20 at 20:29
  • Sorry for taking forever to reply to this great answer. I've tried giving my grinder a fairly thorough cleaning, but it hasn't solved the issue, at least not so far. I have still yet to give it a very, very thorough cleaning though. If I discover that helps I'll report back. – GuyGizmo Dec 14 '20 at 17:21
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This is a bit underwhelming, but it turns out the particular batch of coffee filters I had bought were no good. As soon as I replaced them with a new batch, my pour over coffee was dripping through just like it should.

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I was gonna try to answer your query by saying there’s lots of different types & makes of filter papers. Bleached-white ( no they definitely do not taste of bleach!) & un-bleached paper-brown. As with anything some are better than others. Also you can get cloth & nylon filters even fine metal mesh. I prefer filter papers as they are easy to use & dicard. I then saw your post & realised you had just had a dodgy batch of filters. Glad you resolved your problem!

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