In recent years, the specialty coffee scene has welcomed poured coffees with open arms and there has been much discussion about the best techniques and tools to use.
But it is the filter method that isn’t just for competitions and specialty coffee shops. At its core, it is a simple way to prepare a delicious cup of coffee. Whether you’re a newbie to home coffee brewing or an experienced barista, drip coffee can work for you. Take a look at this complete guide to coffee extraction by pouring method.
WHAT IS POURED COFFEES?
The pouring method involves pouring hot water through the coffee grind, which is in a filter. The water passes through the coffee and the filter into a carafe or cup. The pour-over is also known as filter coffee or drip coffee, although these terms also include coffee makers.
What distinguishes pouring is that it is prepared by manually pouring the water over the coffee. So, you might hear the term “manual removal.”
This technique has been commonly used in Europe since the early 20th century and long before elsewhere, but the specialty coffee movement has “rediscovered” it in recent years.
WHY USE THE POURING METHOD?
Compared to other extraction methods, pouring brings out complex flavors. This makes it a popular choice for single-origin coffees as it allows flavors and aromas to shine through.
Good filter coffee is clean, clear, and consistent. This is because the water can extract the fragrances and oils from the coffee at its own consistent rate and with its own pressure. The filter then traps in a lot of oils, which creates a clean cup.
And since this is a brewing method, it is slightly more effective than dipping techniques, such as the French press, at extracting soluble compounds from the coffee. Immersion methods cause the water to become saturated, while pouring uses a constant supply of freshwater.
Nara Lee,the 2017 New Zealand Brewers Cup Champion, said: “I don’t think the method we use changes the flavor, but [it can bring out] the nuances more. I don’t think equipment changes the whole flavor and aroma of the coffee, but some people do. “
But spilled coffee poses some challenges. Manual methods are victims of human error and poor pouring techniques.
For example, all brewing methods (including espresso ) run the risk of creating channels, that is when a stream of water finds an easy path around the grind. This occurs when there are clumps of coffee or the grind is not evenly distributed, and it means that some of the coffee is not extracted. So, it’s important for baristas to learn how to pour so that the grind is evenly submerged in the water.
Since it is difficult to accurately repeat a method every time, some coffee shop owners and some coffee makers prefer to use SCA-approved coffee makers. These machines automate the method and can give more consistent results than a manual pour.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU NEED?
It may seem like there is an endless number of pour equipment options, but you don’t have to invest in all of them. You can start with a simple device and some filters and then purchase more equipment of your choice.
Chad Wang is the 2017 World Brewers Cup Champion. He said that it was very important to understand that the quality of the final result cup was much more important than being technical with your recipe or choosing a V60 over a Clever.
Let’s take a look at the basic equipment you need to prepare a pour.
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An extraction device or drip cone is simply a piece of equipment that holds the coffee filter and grind. They are the V60, Kalita Wave, and Melitta that are popular choices. All three sit on top of the mug or jug ?? and might appear interchangeable. But there are design elements specific to each that aid flow and affect extraction. The Chemex is another popular choice, with its design features that affect the cup.
The advantage of using any of these devices is that they are easy to obtain and use and use filters designed specifically for them. Also, there are many guides and information online on how to use these devices, so it is easy to learn how to use them correctly and adapt them as needed.
If you’re not sure where to start, try extractions made with different devices at your local specialty coffee shop and ask the barista which one they prefer and why.
Paper or cloth? Bleached or unbleached? You might think that the filter is the least controversial part of the extraction, but there is some controversy, even on this subject. Specific filters are designed to fit various devices and allow efficient extraction. The Chemex uses paper filters that are 20-30% heavier than other filters. According to the manufacturers, this retains more suspended oils during the extraction process.
Some claim that paper filters create an unwanted paper flavor, particularly if they have been breached.You need to avoid this, rinse your filter before using it. Fabric filters have been around for a long time and some people prefer them because they do not affect the taste and have a less environmental impact than paper.
Choosing the specific filters is up to you, but make sure they fit your device correctly. A crumpled cloth or paper makes it difficult for the water to circulate and traps the coffee grounds. This will make your extraction less consistent.
You may not think that scales are essential, but if you want to produce good coffee every time, then they are. Invest in a digital scale and use it to weigh coffee and water. If you know exactly how much of each you used for a good (or bad) extraction, you can reproduce the recipe or modify it for even better results.
Have you seen specialty baristas pour water out of a small copper kettle and wonder why? Can’t you just use a regular electric kettle? Of course, you can. But you could choose not to.
As with many things in specialty coffee, the important factor is consistency. Teapots made especially for pouring are designed to keep the water temperature stable. This helps you create a consistent extraction. And that long, slim gooseneck is designed to control the flow of water. The water tends to gush out of the kettle with shorter jets.
You decide whether to use an electrical appliance, a kitchen appliance, or a coffee maker to heat the water, but check reviews for specific kettles and keep a thermometer handy to monitor the temperature.
WHAT COFFEE SHOULD YOU USE?
So you have your gear ready, but now what? What coffee should you use with a pour? When you will choose your beans, you consider a few factors.
The Roasting Profile
Since the pour-over method is great for bringing out mild flavor notes and aromas, you may want to use a light roast. Beans that were roasted with this profile are the brightest and have the most acidic flavors.
Chad said that Light roasts showed the most authentic quality of the coffee.
Of course, you can choose medium or even dark roasts if you prefer, but this extraction method complements the mild flavors.
The size of the grind affects the speed of extraction. Pouring is an infusion method, which means that coffee and water are in contact for less time than in an immersion method, but for longer than in espresso. Ideally, then, the coffee should have enough surface area to be extracted before it passes completely through the filter and ends up in the cup. But, at the same time, it should not have too large a surface, as it would lead to under-extraction and the preparation would be sour.
This means that you should start with medium grind size and then analyze your cup and modify it as necessary.It’s a little watery or sour by trying a finer grind. If it’s bitter and lacks sweet notes, try a thicker one.
And invest in a quality grinder to make sure all the coffee particles are the same size. Lower quality mills could produce an inconsistent grind and many “fine” ones. These tiny coffee fragments are extracted very quickly and can throw your cup out of balance.
Stathis Koremtas is the 2018 National Brewer’s Cup champion in Greece. He is also a barista in Taf and he told me how he makes a V60 there.
“We use a fine grind, not a coarse grind,” he said. “We play with the temperature of the water. So we have water at 92ºC [198ºF] and we try to do a quick extraction, to finish the whole process in 2 minutes or less, 10 seconds ”.
WHAT PROPORTION OF COFFEE AND WATER SHOULD YOU USE?
You’ll see a lot of different suggested ratios, but 1:17 (1g of coffee per 17g of water) is generally accepted as a good starting point. Make a few preparations with this ratio, but modify factors that affect extraction, such as grind size and water temperature, one at a time, until you find a recipe that is good for you.
Then try changing the relationship between coffee and water. If the extraction is watery or weak, add more coffee without changing the other factors and determine if it tastes better. If you find that your cup is too strong, consider reducing the amount of coffee. But remember to keep track of what you change so you can reproduce your perfect extraction when you find it.
And don’t forget the water. Tap water can contain minerals and contaminants that affect the taste, so use filtered water
WHAT IS THE BEST POURING TECHNIQUE?
Don’t watch too many videos on the technique when you first start extracting with the pour method. Quickly, it can get overwhelming. Instead, start with something simple. Be consistent in how you pour and learn to master pre-brewing, pulse pouring, and stirring for consistent extraction. Many people pour in concentric circles, which help the barista maintain a consistent flow of water.
You can move on to more detailed methods or break all the rules once you have the basics.
The Preinfusion (Bloom)
Pre-infusion is the rapid bubbling of the water that occurs when you first pour. This is due to the degassing of the carbon dioxide that accumulates during the roasting process. Light roasts and fresh coffee are likely to produce considerable pre-infusion, as they generally contain more gases.
Carbon dioxide can even prevent extraction because it resists water and the disturbed grind can be positioned at different heights. So, let the gases release and increase your chances of getting a consistent extraction.
Carefully pour an amount of water equal to twice the measure of coffee over the grind. So if you have a 15g dose of coffee, pour in 30ml of water. Then wait 30-45 seconds for the pre-infusion to finish and let the grind settle.
Pulse Pouring and Continuous Pouring
Pulse pouring means pouring multiple times using a specified amount of water. You can experiment with the volume of the water and the number of spills. This technique helps prevent channels from being created in the grind or grains rising up the side of the filter. In addition, it gently alters the grind and this causes it to circulate, thus creating a more uniform contact with the water.
It is an alternative to continuous pouring, which is when the barista pours the water at the most constant flow rate possible without stopping. The goal of continuous pouring is to keep flow and saturation as uniform as possible, while pulse pouring is deliberately varied.
You can use the pouring technique as another variable to consider when adapting your recipe. Different pour types will have different effects on extraction and therefore will impact your brew differently.
This simply refers to a slight disturbance of the grind during the extraction process. There are many ways to stir your coffee, including stirring or rotating the brew.
Agitation disperses the grind which, with channeling, could remain on the filter surface and remain dry. Also, break up any dry clumps inside the coffee bed. By ensuring that the entire grind is saturated, agitation helps even in extraction.
Poured coffees can be a great way to make your daily cup and it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you understand these key topics, you are well prepared for a decent extraction, and you have the tools to tweak it until it is excellent.
So, what are you waiting for? Unpack your V60, Kalita Wave, or Chemex and invest in a specialty coffee. The world of landfills is yours to explore.