Brewing coffee is an art, not a science, but science is involved! Experiment with these basic parameters to find the brewing method that works best for you.
Unless you have an automatic brewing system you like, we recommend manual brewing when you’re getting to know a new coffee. Manual brewing methods include pourover, immersion and hybrid. Our favorite is the pourover, and popular systems are Chemex, Hario v60, Kalita Wave, and the Fellow Stagg. Here are basic instructions for any of these pourover systems.
- Kettle for heating water (preferably an electric, temperature-controlled gooseneck)
- Grinder (preferably a burr grinder)
- Dripper, filters for your chosen pourover method
- Scale (preferably with a timer)
The Golden Ratio: The “golden ratio” of coffee to water is between 1:15 and 1:18, depending on who you ask. Once you get to know your own preferences, you can adjust for each new coffee.
Water Temperature: Ideal water temperature for brewing most coffees is around 204 degrees Fahrenheit (96 degrees Celsius). The SCA manual says the ideal range is 195-205, but we find that 204 is optimal for most coffees. If you’re brewing a darker-roasted coffee, try 202-degree water.
Grinding: Don’t grind your coffee until you’re ready to brew it, as the grounds will begin to oxidize immediately. Every grinder is different, and some provide suggested starting points, but the important thing to remember is to aim for a medium-coarse grind for pourover methods. This can be visualized as something akin to white sugar. (We like to start with the 18 setting on the Baratza Virtuoso.)
Rinse your coffee filter. This will allow for the most even extraction. Simply put the filter in the dripper and wet it with a bit of hot water.
Place your mug or carafe on the scale and zero it out.
Put your dripper on top and add your (pre-weighed) ground coffee.
Once your kettle reaches 204 degrees, pour out about 50ml of water in a circular motion onto the grounds. Let it “bloom” for about 20 seconds. Then, add water in 50 ml increments until you reached the ratio you’re going for.
There’s no need to precisely time your brew, but the whole process should take 2-4 minutes, depending on how much coffee you’re brewing.