Making Coffee with Traditional Coffee Sock

Making traditional Hainanese styled coffee (Nanyang Coffee) is extremely popular in Southeast Asia and is commonly found in local coffee shops all across the region. In most cases, the local coffee shops use a large cloth filter (coffee sock) inserted into aluminium coffee pots to brew the coffee, and do not require the use of a coffee maker or coffee machine. Though seemingly troublesome, the technique is actually quite easy to manage, and can be applied to home coffee brewing as well. 

Things you will need:

  • Two pots to use as coffee pots. Any material can be used, but we will recommend stainless steel pots for use at home. The pots should have a round opening at the top for loading of coffee grounds and the cotton filter. The pot should be able to accommodate about 800ml to 1000ml of water, although a larger one will also work if you are serving more people.
  • One cloth filter. These can be purchased at most neighbourhood household shops or online. The cloth filter should be large enough to accommodate an appropriate amount of coffee, and should have a handle attached to the top of the cloth filter for easy handling. The metal ring of the cotton filter that is attached to the handle should be able to sit comfortable on the top of the coffee pot, but not so big that it hangs off the outside edge of the coffee pot. 
  • Coffee Grounds. There are many different different grades of traditional Hainanese style coffee available. Most of the time, Hainanese style coffee is roasted with either butter or margarine, and is sold in many local coffee supply shops across Southeast Asia.
  • A stirrer. Any receptacle that is long enough for you to hold comfortably and stir the coffee grounds inside the coffee pot will work for this brewing method. 
  • A cup. Depending on your preferred coffee serving size, you can set aside your favourite coffee mug or cup for this brewing method. 

How to brew traditional coffee with the coffee sock:

  1. Pour coffee grounds into the coffee pot that is lined with the cloth filter. 
  2. Add hot water (90 - 95 degrees celsius) into that same pot with a 6 parts water to 1 part coffee ground ratio. 
  3. Stir thoroughly for about 30 seconds, then let the coffee pot sit and steep for 1 minute. 
  4. After 1 minute, stir the coffee again, and swirl the pot to ensure coffee is well mixed. 
  5. Pour the coffee into the second coffee pot, in the process also filtering out the coffee grinds. Do this in intervals, swirling the pot with the filter in between intervals. 
  6. The filtered coffee in the second coffee pot is now ready. Pour it out into your preferred coffee cup and add hot water in a 4 parts coffee concentrate to 1 part hot water ratio. 
  7. Depending on your preference, you can adjust the coffee concentrate to hot water ratio for a stronger / lighter taste. 
  8. Add sugar as needed. 
  9. Add condensed milk as needed. 

Making coffee with coffee sock content (article and video) is provided by World Coffee Mart. If you are keen to learn more about coffee training or if you like us (OCM) to video and produce your coffee process, do drop us a message below. 


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OCM was started in 2007, focusing first on coffee machines, then marketing for coffee and food and beverage companies. Check out this restaurant marketing guide to learn more about the many campaigns and companies we have worked with. 

OCM has also created many marketing workshops and classes for the F&B industry. Many of the modules are running in the Singapore Skillsfuture Classes in tertiary institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic Skillsfuture Academy and also ITE College East COC classes. 

For the readers (coffee lovers), we continue to share coffee articles (and videos) and have also started a free coffee class section (with free online coffee training supported by coffee partners). 

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