Welcome to the first Blog / Tutorial by Crown & Canvas Coffee Co - starting with how our Roaster Jake, brews his favourite coffee's at home, using the Hario V60.
To begin with, I will start with that there is absolutely no 100% right or wrong way of doing this, as different factors create different results, and those results can produce varying flavours which you may, or may not like, this is just my preferred method to achieve what I think is a delicious cup of coffee.
To start with you will need the following items -
A kettle (Preferably goose neck but not mandatory) , water, a V60, filter papers, grinder, scales, timer (your phone) and your favourite coffee, for this blog we are using our Light Roasted Ethiopian - Kayon Mountain.
A brief talk about the equipment -
Kettles - I use at home a Hario Goose neck kettle, a goose neck kettle is great for pour over coffee as it allows greater control over the flow and direction of water, one of the main things in making V60 coffee is that you try to maintain a consistent temperature in the slurry (Coffee bed inside the filter paper), this will aid in consistent extraction throughout the brew, and a Goose neck kettle can help control the pour much easier than a standard kettle, but it is Not Mandatory - I brewed all my coffee with a standard Ikea kettle for about 2 years before making the upgrade.
Water- - Water plays a huge role in the brew, a standard v60 ratio of coffee to water is 1:16, so for every 1 Gram of coffee, that's 16 Grams of water you'll be adding, so the flavour and quality of that water can have a huge effect on your brew, I use at home a simple Britta Filter to help soften every day tap water, some people use bottled water for their brews, its all completely up to how controlled you want to be.
V60 - A V60 is by far my favourite way of brewing coffee, its simple, easy to clean up, great results and most importantly...CHEAP. - I at home am still using the same V60-01 I purchased 2 years ago, and it works great, I stick with the plastic ones as they have great heat retention, and they're durable. The ceramic units are great, look amazing and have lovely weight in quality about them, but I know that I would have replaced them a hundred times with how my home V60 gets dropped or knocked on the kitchen counter, if you're starting out and you're brewing for yourself, a V60-01 is the perfect way to start. The most common sizes are the 01 & the 02, we sell the 02's at the Crown & Canvas , the 02 is that perfect size to make a brew for just you, or to be shared.
Filter Papers - Filter papers are relatively straight forward, we sell the unbleached variants at the Roastery as after some taste testing (Soaking different filters in hot water, then tasting the water) There is actually a notable difference between the two...and I preferred the Natural (None bleached) type, it seemed to effect the taste of the water the least, or at last the least unpleasant.. so that's what we went with! (Be sure to pick the size Paper to match your V60!)
Grinder - Here is where things get a little trickier, Grinders; and grind size plays one of if not the biggest role in your brew, the courser ground your coffee, the faster the water will flow and risk under extracting, as the contact time between the water and the coffee is reduced, imagine water flowing through a cup filled with rocks. If the grind is too fine, then the contact time between the water and the coffee will be much larger, and therefore you risk over extracting - Over extracted coffee is often confused by people saying the coffee is 'Burnt' ...This in majority isn't the case, but over extracted coffee releases elements of flavour that you would associate with burnt, it becomes more bitter and unpleasant, and a great way of avoiding that is by increasing your grind size, shortening the time your coffee and water have contact - avoiding over extraction. The common rule of thumb is you're looking for a grind size that of kosher salt.
For home, I use a Wilfa Svart grinder, they're small, adjustable grind size and relatively cheap for home- If you're just getting started in Pour over coffee, something like a Hario hand grinder should do the trick!
Scales - Scales play a great role in brewing V60, though not mandatory tool, you could still brew V60 without them, they are a fantastic tool for consistency, if you nail that grind size and extraction on a V60, nothing will be more frustrating than not being able to do it again, scales help massively with knowing your water weight in, to be able to control your brew ratio and achieve consistent brews over and over again.
I use a set of scales accurate up to 0.1g, but used a pair of Salter Kitchen scales for around 2 years, its better to have any set of scales than nothing at all!
A brief talk about the coffee choice-
For this brew, I'm using our Ethiopian Kayon Mountain Coffee, This coffee is roasted relatively light, and is packed with sweet, tea like qualities, its light and clean on the pallet, and has delicious complexity which is a running characteristic of Ethiopian Coffees, between Kayon Mountain and Yirgacheffe a V60 or similar pour over brews like Chemex are a great way of Showcasing these delicious coffees.
A brief talk about brew ratios-
Brew ratios effect the level of coffee to water, and in result the flavour result, I wont go too far into brew ratios here as its a huge discussion across the board, so for the purpose of this brew, I'm sticking too my standard 1:16 brew ratio, which means that for every 1G of coffee, I will require 16G of water, meaning that for my single person brew in a V60-02...my coffee weight will be 18G, and my goal weight of water in will be 288g. (As close too)
FINALLY, The brew.
So to begin the brew, first things first is get the kettle filled, and begin heating it up, this will take a little time, so you can begin the rest of your prep work while that's going, we want to brew with water just off the boil as we're aiming to keep the brew slurry as close to 92C as possible.
Get your scales and weigh out your coffee, for this I'm making just a cup for myself, so 18G will be enough, don't forget to tare your scales before you weigh your coffee as any cup/dish you're weighing into will need to be accounted for.
For me, I now pour the coffee into my grinder hopper and let it wait until I am ready to grind. (Purge your grinder before doing this, if there's any ground coffee left in the grinder you don't want to add that to your freshly ground brew)
Get your V60, and brewing vessel ready on your work surface, you can brew this size directly into the cup if you wish, for this brew I'm brewing into a Hario Glass Server. Insert your paper filter by folding the seemed edge and then opening the filter in place.
From here, once the kettle has reached temperature or boiling point, you want to pour some water through the filter, this helps with two things. It will wash away any loose matter or dust from the paper filters, and it will begin warming up the brewing vessel and the cup/server underneath, to help better maintain stable temperature in the brew beginning to end.
Once the paper has been sufficiently wetted (Is that a word?) - Pour the water out from the server below, as this isn't needed - Now you can grind your coffee!
Once the coffee is ground, I like to remove the V60 and rest it on the work surface, pouring the ground coffee into it and giving it a few taps to get a level coffee bed, some people like to use their finger or a spoon to add a little well in the middle, you can do this if you like, I find a level bed works fine.
Now you're ready to brew, place your server on your scales, and your V60 on top...Tare the scales so your weight is reading 0 - and grab your kettle.
I will do my V60's in 3 stages, the Bloom and two pours.
Bloom- From here were going to do whats called a bloom, Start your timer...and we want to pour in roughly double the weight of water to coffee, I tend to go for about 40G for this bloom - What this does is expose the ground coffee to water for the first time, and you will see bubbles forming and gas escaping, this is Co2 being released from the coffee. I leave this process to take around 30-45 seconds, and to ensure the coffee bed is sufficiently soaked through and there are no dry areas or pockets, I will swirl the slurry in the V60 gently, this mix's everything together to give you an even bed to begin your pour.
The Pour- At the 45 second mark, I will begin pouring, I will start in the centre with a steady controlled flow, moving in circles from the centre outwards, avoid pouring coffee directly onto the paper, as this can cause the water to skim down the paper and avoid the coffee altogether (Channelling). Pour until the level reaches about half way from the rim of your paper, normally around 170-180 Grams.
Once the coffee level drops slighty, I begin pouring again in the same manner as before, until we reach the target water weight of 288g or as close to as we can, at this point, I will swirl the V60, this is to help the coffee slurry level itself out in the brewer, and helps prevent bits of coffee getting stuck to the side of the paper, these bits will be left by the lowering level of water and wont be part of the full extraction, we're trying to keep all the coffee evenly saturated from beginning to end.
Wait for the draw down which is where all the water will drain from the coffee bed and hopefully leave us a nice flat bed of coffee.
This shows that the extraction has been level throughout and everything has drawn down with the water, rather than being stuck up the sides of the brewer. (You will still get some bits, that's fine!)
Target Times- For this brew, we're looking for a total brew time of between 2:30 & 3 Minutes.
Making Adjustments - So, you've brewed your first V60, and hopefully you've brewed a delicious cup of coffee! Some things may need changing, the brew time could be too fast or slow, leaving the flavour weak and astringent, or bitter and overpowering, I would suggest that your adjustments are all made in your grinder. All adjustments you should need to make to get delicious results should start with your grind size, adjust your grind size and assess the results, and continue to move in that direction until you're happy with what you taste, because that is what it's all about, your enjoyable taste. If you go too far? You can easily dial it back, but keep your brew ratios and weights in and out the same until you're happy with your grind size, changing more than one variable at a time means that if you solve OR cause an issue, you wont know which change caused which, so change one thing at a time, experiment, and most importantly, enjoy!
The majority of the equipment in the above post can be found at www.crownandcanvas.co.uk