Single Cup Pour Over
Hario V60 02 dripper-plastic, Hario Filters
Baratza Virtuoso Grinder (Good burr grinder: single greatest factor toward good coffee)
Pour Over Kettle: S.S Gooseneck Drip Kettle 1.2 liter (Amazon-The Triumphant Chef)$27.50
Scale is Sartorius BL1500, but it is just what is on hand, and I do prefer measuring in grains.
All measurements in Grains:
For Example: 4500/254 = 17.7 : 1 water to coffee ratio
Grains to Grams conversion: divide grains by 15.4 (15.4324)
-"Starbucks House Blend" It can be had with a 6 month expiration date, but may not be requisite (e.g. 10-10-18 purchase exp in 04-14-19 exp). Fresher and closer to roast date-has a bit more bloom, and has more flavor. It seems to keep well until the bag is opened. I chose this coffee because it is hopefully roasted with a controlled process in large batches to afford consistency in testing. I do hope to reach out, since process finally seems stable at this point. Beans at bottom of bag(some fines) are as good as at the top.
-"Spring Water" adds nice spring water, sweet taste. Due to lake water (vs ground water) being source of local water(brita filtered) several factors in my local water analysis are not conducive to best brewing. It also lacks the minerals found in ground water. Not sure of the analysis of the NC mountain spring water, but it comes from the ground and it does taste better. The analysis of your local water and optimum water analysis factors for brewing are available on the internet.
See USCA Water for Brewing Standards:
-Small stream long,even pours work best for me. I pour in concentric circles. If water does not drain in time you may not be pouring quite fast enough.
-Rinse Filter 3x to avoid filter taste of "hay" or "grasses". Also do not pour near edges
along filter for same reason.
-"Tetsu Kasuya 4-6" process got me pointed in the right direction. Kasuya is winner of World Brewer Cup 2016 and is a delight to see in action.
Above recipe is what I currently use. I am certain it will be updated in the quest for continuous improvement. I have had some real challenges finding a good process with good Water to Coffee ratios, so I share the info to hopefully help others find that "perfect cup". It never ceases to amaze me how changing one little factor in process can have a dramatic impact on flavor. Roughly, it seems there are 800++ different compounds in coffee vs 400 in wine that can influence flavor.
-Under extracted = Sour (think sour green grapes, Jolly Rancher candy or green bananas). 1st sip can be bitey/weird. It can also have great aroma, tho. Aroma: Medium herbal flowery to me. A little different from acidic, a little acidic is usually good. In above recipe, 1st pour 765 to 800 , and second pour of 1800 makes more acidic.
1st pour of 700, 2nd pour of 1900 is sweeter.
-Over Extracted = Bitter and distasteful compounds (that should have been left in the beans). Astringent , Dry, acids can leave tongue feeling like sandpaper. Aroma: darker sometimes even chemical, tar or rubber. Remember Strong and Over Extracted are different. Aroma: dark, heavy herbal flowery
-Good Extraction has delightful aroma (Medium-dark Herbal, earthy flowery) and is sweet with a looooong pleasant aftertaste. It IS good to the last drop.... from beginning of cup to end. You know it when you hit it.
-Very complex and wild, intense flavors are fun, but not always the sign of a well extracted cup.
-Given constant water volume, More beans = Less extraction, Less Beans = More extraction. Think of pouring a cup of water into a dump truck of ground coffee, it will not extract much. If you put a cup of water over a thimble full of coffee it will extract the daylights out of every ground [way over a nice 20%(18-22) optimum].
-Flavors of barnyard hay-straw and grass in my testing turned out to be mostly solved by rinsing filter 2 or preferably 3 times. Just run water through the filter 3 times(or 4) and try not to pour at the edges. "Hay-like" can be natural part of beans, see SCAA Flavor wheel or similar.
-Baggy Flavor: Baggy as in burlap bag too long and has straw-like flavor.
-Do not judge taste for several minutes after brewing, if you can help it, one cannot taste 150 degree anything.
-Like life itself, never be too quick to judge.
-Using a stopwatch in seconds is easier to control "Time off of boil" than a precision fast response thermometer. (45 sec is about 203F). After pulling water off of stove, gas on Med High(8 of 10). I do not turn gas on high due to possible cosmetic scorching on sides of pot. Stop watch can even time laps, or time-length of each pour if you need to get into even more detail and process control.
-Slower Pour times (e.g. taking full 45 sec pour cycle) extracts more. Faster pour times (e.g. taking 30sec or less for pour cycle) extract less.
-Holding pot ½ or 1 inch higher than normal gives more agitation and more and different extraction. Can be used to add a little extraction, but be careful of too many variables. It does not take much agitation to get more extraction.
-The -Kasuya Bounce- is the way Tetsu Kasuya pulses his pours, once per sec(see his videos). It is a good way to hit that final scale number and may get a hair more agitation.
-Decaf is a very different animal. Above recipe seems a bit sour/under extracted. It does not seem to grind as finely. Adjust accordingly, and good luck.
-One bean weighs about 2 grains...
-"Hold Bin" on Baratza, pinch bin against frame(front and back) to keep bin from spinning (changing grind) while grinding. (01-17-19 No longer Hold Bin as modification below does well, even though it still twists a bit to make finer grind.) Increased Vlier type pin (spring loaded pin) spring rate with 2-56 screw placed under spring in white nylon part. It still rarely grind a bit finer by spinning if not held when a couple beans get caught in burr at the same time. Would like to see solid positive locking pin design, for all grind numbers. Note: grind may vary a bit between Virtuoso Grinders, and burr wear over years can be a factor. I do like using white(gaffers) tape/stickers lined up(on base and hopper) to see if hopper moves during grinding. The extra precision of the Baratza-Vario would be fun, but going to Flat burrs(not conical) and a big price jump, may not be the change in process I need right now. Expresso (or Americano Cup of coffee) is not in my immediate future, perhaps one day. Baratza Virtuoso is an excellent burr grinder, which is the single greatest factor toward good coffee.
-Yep, it takes some time and attention, but is well worth it every morning to make coffee that pops. Tip your Baristas accordingly! When deciding to go with Pour Over I decided 2 cups of delicious coffee is better than 6 fair cups from a pot. I hope you might
learn a new factor on this page that might help you in your endeavors.
I have been working on single cup pour over, mornings since May 2018, love it. The 2 yr before that was Technivorm Moccamaster CDT. Daily logging of process parameters for every cup is helpful. I do not own a TDS meter, maybe someday.
Some Final Tweaks:
10-08-18 Coffee weight at 266 hinted sour today, 264 has looonger finish. 2 grains is only one silly bean difference. Less coffee allows more extraction.
10-09-18 Coffee weight at 254 hinted over extraction (distasteful compounds). Nominal seems to be about 260 grains +-5 grains.
10-18-18 Coffee Weight of 256 plus or minus (+-) 2 grains seems best. One might keep process the same and go to 250 or less(more extracted-bitter hints) and then 262 or more (less extracted-sour hints), just to examine flavors.
10-21-18 256 grains coffee, quick pours(roughly 30 sec cycles) is preferred.
11-17-18 256 is great. 1/2 higher pours gets a hair more good extraction, as does Kasuya Bounce 3 sec off pour times helps hit a better extraction balance.
12-01-18 #17, #16 grind and 260 grain nominal on coffee does better. Played w/ other factors.
Note: Ambient kitchen in AM is 5-10 degrees colder, not a large factor in processing.
12-18-18 #16 grind is doing better/great, 260/262 grains nominal coffee to 4500grains water.
12-25-18 #16 grind is on design freeze. 260 grains coffee to 4500 grains of water is on design freeze. Longer drain times on pours #2,3,4,5 have had excellent results last few days. Much sweeter, with dramatic looong very sweet finish, some nutty flavors.
01-19-19 Flavor Notes of Beans and Process: Coffee 254, 44 sec off boil. Just yummy. Cinnamon, honey, nutty and chocolatey. Long sweet, nice acidic aftertaste.
01-21-19 slower pour, 43sec off boil made slight astringent, dry(over ext).
01-21-19b normal easy pour, 44sec off boil, 254 coffee. Hit sweet spot again. New Standard.
If you tend to extract more with slower pours, try 250 to 260 with coffee to hit sweet spot. (more coffee=less extraction, ie more water =more extraction)
Remember #1 765 and #2 1900 pours can be easily varied. USing 700/1900 is sweeter.
765/1800 is more acidic. #3,4,5 pours mostly determine extraction.
01-30-19 Went to #14 Grind with very good results. New Standard.
02-15-19 Been going back and forth betweem #14 #15 grind and adjusting extraction tother ways. #14 seems to give more depth and full flavors for the way I pour.
03-15-19 Upon Reviewing some Matt Perger Methods(Barista Hustle) it seems clear
I need to extract just a hair less than "Over extracted" to hit the best sweet spot. When hitting that edge of over extraction Wild flavors occur...while not real sweet
they are fun and crazy...but a hair less and nirvana happens. It is best to over extract a bit and then back off till you hit the "Sweet spot-perfect cup". Note there seems to be a 2nd bump of much sweetness if changing process to go from "sour up to perfect cup" that is well below perfect extraction. It then gets sour again until you hit the perfect cup and then finally hit over extraction.
If you have some constructive (hopefully positive) input, I would love to hear from you. Coffee, like anything, can be controversial...take it easy on me.