What you’ll need
- Fresh-roasted coffee
- Filtered water
- Grinder – Baratza Encore ($139)
- Pour over brewer – Kalita Wave 185 ($25)
- Filters – Kalita Wave 185 paper filters / 2 X 100 ct. ($15)
- Gooseneck kettle – Bonavita 1L Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle ($53)
- Carafe, decanter, or another vessel– Hario Glass Server ($15.50)
- Scale – Cozy Blue digital coffee scale ($16)
- Use your scale to weigh out your desired amount of brewing water in your kettle. (For this tutorial, we’ll use 500 grams of water as an example). Set the kettle to its highest setting to bring the water to a boil.
- While the water is heating, weigh out the coffee. To arrive at our coffee amount, we’ll use a 16.5 to 1 water to coffee ratio. Since we are using 500 grams of water, we can divide by 16.5 to get the desired 30 grams of coffee. Use your scale to weigh out the appropriate amount of coffee.
- Using your grinder, select a medium grind setting and grind all of the coffee you have weighed out. The coffee should be roughly the size of sea salt.
- Once your water reaches a boil remove from heat and allow to cool for one minute. The goal is to use water for brewing with a temperature between 200 – 205 degrees F. Place the decanting vessel on your scale and then place the brewer on top of the vessel.
- Place one filter into the brewer. Using your kettle rinse the entirety of the paper filter, starting down in the middle and moving outward with a gentle pour until the paper has all been saturated. Once the water has filtered through, make sure you dump the rinse water from your vessel.
- Carefully pour all of the coffee grounds into the center of the paper filter. Lift the brewer and very gently shake in order to settle the grounds so they are evenly distributed. Place the brewer back on the vessel and press tare on your scale.
- Set your timer to count up from zero and get ready to start brewing. We’ll be using a pulse pouring technique to introduce some controlled agitation throughout the entire brewing cycle with the goal of achieving a more even extraction.
- First, we will pour a bit of water in order to fully saturate the grounds, allowing the coffee to off-gas then wait for it to settle. This step is called the bloom. We will aim to pour about 3 times by weight the amount of coffee you are using for your brew. For this example, you will pour about 90 grams of water to begin.
- Start your timer as you start pouring with a thin and slow but continuous flow of water in small concentric circles in the middle of the ground coffee bed. Do your best to saturate all of the coffee grounds. Keep an eye on the scale and stop pouring as the weight approaches 90 grams.
- Use a spoon to give three full stirs of the brewing coffee grounds being careful not to puncture the paper filter on the bottom. When your timer reaches 45 seconds you will start your 2nd pour.
- Using the same slow pouring technique focused on the middle of the coffee bed, pour an additional 110 grams of water. Keep an eye on the scale and stop when your scale displays close to a total of 200 grams. Pause to allow some of the water to drain through the brewing coffee. Your next pour will begin when your timer reaches 1:10.
- We will now pour 100 grams of water in evenly timed 25-second intervals between the beginning of each pour until we reach 500 grams*. Follow the time and water total as follows:
*It’s less important to hit each pouring step exactly at that target, except for your last pour. Focus on trying to hit your final water weight in order to achieve the target concentration for your brew. It’s recommended that with your last pour, pouring starts around the outside edges of the coffee brew bed in order to rinse the coffee grounds that have collected on the sides of the filter. A couple of passes is sufficient and you can resume with small concentric circles in the middle to finish the rest of your pour up to 500 grams.
- Allow all of the added water from your last pour to filter through the coffee in your brewer until the wet grounds in the brewer become fully exposed and the drips flowing out of your brewer slow down, becoming irregular. The total time at this point should be around 3:30 – 3:45. Remove the brewer and empty filter the spent grounds.
- Using a clean spoon, stir the brewed coffee in your decanting vessel vigorously in order to homogenize the concentration of coffee solubles.
- Pour and ENJOY!
Tips & Troubleshooting
With a brewer this size, you can brew using as little as 22 grams of coffee or as much as 36 grams. You can alter the volume of each pour and add/subtract additional pours in proportion to your recipe batch size. You should aim for no less than 2:45 total time for your smallest batches and no more than 4:00 total time for your largest batches. Experiment with grind size (smaller batch = finer grind / larger batch = coarser grind) as it will affect extraction and total brewing time.
- My coffee tastes bitter – grind coarser and/or use slightly cooler water.
- My coffee is sour – grind finer and/or use slightly hotter water.
- My coffee is thin and flat – use a slightly lower ratio of water to coffee (ie 15.5:1).
- Brewing time was too long – grind coarser or use smaller/gentler pours
- Brewing time was too short – grind finer