I love clam and mussel broth, but they're always replete with grit and sand! I've been pouring it over a Stainless Steel Coffee Filter, but this takes way too slow if I'm cooking for many people and have much broth to filter! Don't recommend anything with a pore size > 10 micrometers.

There must be bigger versions of these Stainless Steel Coffee Filters? This isn't my direct question, but what do coffee shops and breweries use? They can't be using these teeny filters, because customers can't wait that long. Can I use what cafes use to filter mussel broth?

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  • 3
    Do you purge your shellfish?
    – GdD
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 8:37
  • what about couple layers of cheesecloths ?
    – Max
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 11:18
  • 1
    As for the waiting, my understanding is that pour-over is usually made fresh, so they'd have many individual filters - but I haven't paid much attention to commercial pour-over and can hardly remember what a coffee shop is like inside
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 14:51

5 Answers 5


They can't be using these teeny filters, because customers can't wait that long.

Specialty coffee shops that offer 'pour-over' (drip) coffee definitely make coffee to order using small filters like the one you show (although in my area, they usually use paper filters). Customers are fine waiting the 2-4 minutes this takes.

For larger quantities, what a coffee shop might call 'batch brewing', larger filters such as these are commonly used:

Basket-type coffee filter; from Wikipedia

These come in sizes ranging up to 12 cups, but might be tricky to find. Alternatively, you could experiment using one or more layers of cheesecloth, which is perhaps more easily available and scalable, although it might not filter as well as you'd like.

As a final note, I think your demand for pore sizes <10 micrometers might be a little too stringent. The filter you link to lists a .2mm mesh (i.e., 200 micrometers). I found this page with an analysis of the pore sizes in various coffee filtering products, if you're interested.


The key is probably prefiltering, combined with sedimentation. It's worth experimenting; you may not need all the steps. I've used a similar approach with a few different kitchen filtering needs (stock, brewing, jelly-making)

  • You might even want to start with a colander with holes of several mm, but you're probably already doing this.

  • Pass the broth through a very coarse sieve.

  • Then through a finer sieve, or the coarse sieve lined with cheesecloth

  • Allow it to settle for a couple of hours if possible (bearing in mind food safety, so probably in the fridge.

  • Then pour as gently as possible* through your filter, leaving the sediment. To maximise yield, when most of the broth has passed through the filter, tip in the sediment and leave to drip slowly.

*In brewing you'd actually siphon the wine/beer off the lees (dead yeast) to avoid disturbing it by pouring.

  • You can also get filter sets that nicely nest together. It's not particularly large, but I have the Chef's Planet #130 Multipurpose Filter Funnel Set which also acts as a funnel + canning funnel.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 15:27
  • @Joe that is rather nice, if you're up for buying a set (though the funnel looks too big for my jam jars as it's clearly meant for canning big things). I tend more towards combining multipurpose utensils; even so I've got more kitchen gadgets than available space!
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 17:01
  • it’s a standard sized canning funnel (it could screw onto your typical pint or quart jars, as that’s how the funnel part would attach, rather than fitting inside the jar fully). I bought it as I didn’t already have a canning funnel
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 20:08
  • @Joe yes, too big for jam jars this side of the Atlantic; the canning jars that are common is the US are available here but not easily or cheaply
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 21:33

You can try looking for a 10 micron sieve, which is definitely larger than a coffee filter, but may be a bit messier to work with. I did a quick Google search and came up with a bunch of relevant results.


Black pepper will make the clams purge the sand in mildly stirred ice cold water for about 20 mins. That's how we did it and was almost always more efficient.

  • 1
    hi! thanks! i never heard of black pepper for cleaning bivalves. why's it better than water mixed with salt or cornmeal?
    – user91594
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 0:44

Instead of what coffee shops use, i think you should be looking at what restaurants use. After all, the finest restaurants serve mussels, and can't afford them to be gritty.

The name for fine sieves/filters in restaurants is chinois. They are available in different fineness, you might have to hunt around restaurant stores and possibly also start lining with cheesecloth. Also, do look into the stepwise method suggested by ChrisH, with or without a chinois.

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