mhession Senior Member Joined: 12 Oct 2012 Posts: 2 Location: Brooklyn Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Oct 12, 2012, 5:27pm Subject: My pourover never turns out as good as in a cafe. Help me problem solve!
I have been home-brewing for about 6 months now, and I have been experimenting, learning, researching, and tasting to try and produce a great cup using a Hario V60 pourover. But for some reason, I have NEVER been able to equal the kind of sweet, fruity, amazing taste I get from a good coffee shop here in NYC such as Gimme Coffee or Toby's Estate. Here is my usual routine:
- using fresh beans from either Toby's Estate, Blue Bottle, Stumptown, or Gimme Coffee (I have loved the Kenyan AA Kaiguri the most) - grind using Baratza Virtuoso (I will get to the grind setting later) - 200 degree water - V60 02 - Hario pouring kettle - 23 grams of coffee to 300ml of water
Now, I have tried a few variations in how I brew. The first is using about a 10 setting on the Virtuoso and pouring all the water into the cone (after a 30 second bloom with ~30 ml of water). The second variation uses a Virtuoso setting of 20, and involves pouring in small increments and letting the water drain some each time, never letting the water level rise too high.
I have produced better results with the 2nd variation of intermittent pouring (even though most online directions resemble the first variation), though my coffee is never as good as the juicy, plummy, deliciousness that I sometimes get at a coffee house (like you are sipping a cup of berries). The weirder thing is that sometimes I will do the exact same brew method 2 days in a row, and the cup will taste totally different each time!
Can anyone out there offer any insight? Also, I have a couple of specific questions:
- Is the water poured during pre-infusion counted in the total amount of water? In other words, if I am shooting for a 300ml brew, will that INCLUDE the pre-infusion pour, or would it be 300ml PLUS the pre-infusion amount? - Does my brew target brew time include the pre-infusion time? I.E...would I start my clock AFTER the 30 second pre-infusion? Or does the brew time INCLUDE that 30 seconds?
Posted Sat Oct 13, 2012, 5:26am Subject: Re: My pourover never turns out as good as in a cafe. Help me problem solve!
Your preinfusion time and weight both count toward the totals. The shops you're going to are going to have tastier cups with better flavor clarity because they have far superior grinders. That being said, you should be able to get closer than it seems you are, so you may want to try the Perger method. I found this to be a great method for fruity coffees:
Ask one of the barista's in a place you go regularly to give you a grind sample of what they use for pourover and then compare it to yours.
And time and watch the barista in the places you like best. Most I have seen do the bit at a time after bloom with a hario. I have had pourover done in a cone dripper where it is really a combination of immersion and pour over and I don't care for it.
Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012, 12:19pm Subject: Re: My pourover never turns out as good as in a cafe. Help me problem solve!
You already have the important pieces taken care of. You have a fantastic grinder, a great dripper, and good coffee!
Things to consider are water quality, water temp, and brew time.
I like 60g/1L for brewing ratio. For 300ml I use 18g if coffee. I used to use a continuous pour but found the pulse pouring to be more forgiving and consistent.
Here is my routine:
1) 18g ground at 15-22 on my Baratza. Grind settings differ from grinder to grinder, but start near 16-18 and move up and down based on brew time and final cup.
2) After wetting filter and dumping coffee in, I pre wet the coffee without 2x the amount of coffee used. For 18g, I aim for 35-40ml. I start my timer after the pour is over. Do not tare your scale - this water counts for the final brew amount so it is a part of the 300ml. I vary my water temp based on coffee age and type of coffee. Starting around 200-202 is a good starting point.
3) After 25-35 seconds (I vary time based on how fresh the coffee is), I begin pouring. Slow circles that start in the middle but never go all the way to the edges. Pause between the pours and keep the grounds bed low. I find that I pour less in the beginning pours because the coffee foams up. I sort of ease into it, get the bed shape going, and then use my final pours to just keep thing level.
4) I aim for a 30ish second bloom, a pour ending at 2:30-2:45, and the final drain ending right around 3min. I then use this final drain to adjust the grind, as long as the pour went well. It took my practice for sure!
This is my baseline method for any pourovers. The V60 needs a more gentle pour and a finer grind. With some patience and a steady hand you'll start making great cup.
Feel free to email me with questions and happy brewing!
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