Are you surprised to hear this?
Although “unfiltered” Extra Virgin Olive Oil sounds very special – and makes for a great marketing catch phrase – there is another, very important, side to it.
Don't get us wrong, during production there is nothing better than tasting our freshly extracted Extra Virgin Olive Oil at the mill. Its robust flavors and cloudy green color are the best accompaniment to a slice of warm, freshly made bread!
However, if an Extra Virgin Olive Oil stays unfiltered past this point, its shelf life as an Extra Virgin Olive Oil is greatly reduced. According to our experience (and official studies), even after just a couple months, an unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil starts developing tasting defects, one of those being a “muddy” sediment. And if oil has even a small tasting defect it is no longer considered fit to be in the Extra Virgin category. It is then demoted to the Virgin Olive Oil category. Additionally, if an olive oil is unfiltered its smoke point is greatly reduced compared to if the same oil were filtered.
Another very important fact is that, if olive oil remains unfiltered, then the chances increase for something unwanted to pass into the bottle which the consumer will purchase. We won’t mention what these "something’s" might be!
So, by filtering olive oil, a very small fraction of its taste and aromas might be lost at the very beginning (these aren’t noticeable to most, in a blind taste-test), but the quality gains are much more substantial.
It is actually much easier and cheaper for us to leave the oil unfiltered. Unfiltered means that there’s no further work involved, not to mention the fact that production quantities would increase since we wouldn’t be losing quite a bit of olive oil during filtration.
But we are not looking for the easy or cheap way. Our utmost concern is to achieve the highest possible quality for the maximum amount of time. Everything we do at PJ KABOS has this sole goal.
By the way, the filters we use are simple, paper filters. There are absolutely no chemicals involved and we always use fresh, new filters for each batch of olive oil.