- Ratio – One of the most important aspects of brewing filter coffee is getting the ratio of dry coffee to water right. Too little and you will not extract enough of the flavours, and it will be sour; and too much will result in a brown bitter drink. A great starting ratio for brewing most filter coffee is 1:16, meaning for every gram of coffee you use, you want 16 times that in final weight. So, for 15 grams of coffee, you should have a final brew weighing 240 grams.
- Grind size – How fine or coarse your coffee is ground will make a massive impact on your final brew. Too coarse and your brew will be too fast and be very weak whilst too fine and the water will choke, not even making it through the coffee bed. Here at Wogan Coffee, we like our V60’s brews to drip through between 3 to 3 and a half minutes, giving a lovely extraction with a nice body and sweetness and lots of delicate florals. Have a play with your grind size and see where in that run time you enjoy the taste.
- Pour control – There are two facets to pour control, the amount of water you add to your V60 at a time and how fast you pour. Adding to much water to your coffee bed at a time will add too much weight, causing the water to run through the coffee too fast. Controlling how much water you add gives you a much more even extraction. Based on our example above, a good starter pouring recipe is a 30g bloom to wet the grounds, then pour up to 150g, once it is half drained pour again to 220g, with a final small pour of 20g to bring us to our final weight. The other facet to pouring is how fast you are pouring the water. If you are pouring too fast into your V60, you will be agitating your coffee grounds too much, easily causing the brew to over extract. The trick to getting an even brew is to have a very slow trickly pour, allowing the water to gently extract through the coffee bed evenly. Always remember, poor control with your pour control will ruin your coffee!
- Heat – How hot your water is when you are brewing coffee can have a huge impact on the taste of your final brew. Too cool and you won’t activate enough of the acidity present to give you a pleasant zing, and too hot and you will burn your coffee. Within Specialty coffee we have found that brewing between 88-96 degrees is optimum for extraction, with most coffee’s coming through beautifully at 93 degrees. Best practice for home is to boil your kettle and wait at least 30 seconds before pouring.
- Scales – If you don’t know how much you are brewing, how can you know what’s going on in cup? Scales are a very important part of brewing specialty coffee, ensuring that you hit your metrics to make a lovely brew every time. Getting scales that measure to at least .1 decimal places, will allow you to take more control of how much coffee you are brewing; and if the coffee doesn’t taste right, at least you know it’s not because of your yield. It also allows you to experiment with different yields and variables, to see if you can make a tasty brew that no one else has thought of yet! Without them and just brewing by time and eye, you will probably find that maybe one in every 10 cups will be good, but you will not know what caused it to be great, or what caused the others to be poor.
So, you’ve bought a V60 and some lovely coffee… now what? Making a V60 is an incredible way to experience a light and balanced coffee, profiling all the sweetness and highlighting the more delicate notes within. Whilst getting to grips with it can take a little while to get used to, once mastered it is a versatile brewer. The most important thing is that you are able use it in a way that you enjoy the taste! To help you get started and really maximise your brewing without wasting your body weight in coffee, here are some tips and tricks: