With the entry and progression of the Third Wave and Specialty Coffee Culture to our country, manual filter coffee brewing methods have also entered our lives. The reason behind the good brews we drink when we go to specialty coffee shops is the recipes prepared by baristas according to the beans. In this article, we will discuss how home brewers can create better recipes at home. Making coffee may seem like a more weighted motion from the outside, but there are various ingredients in the background for recipes. These ingredients are the key points for brewing good coffee at home. Let’s delve into the basics of these ingredients:
Both online sources and books provide a standard recipe and ratio for the basics. These ratios and recipes are efficient when learning to brew initially. However, after this stage, we come across the fact that a single standard recipe does not fit every coffee. Generally, the recommended ratios for specialty coffee in various sources are between 1 gram of coffee to 15 ml of water and 1 gram of coffee to 17 ml of water. After learning to brew at a specific standard, we can change the ratio of water we pour according to the taste of the coffee we have. For example, if your coffee turns out too watery on your first try, you can lower the ratio to 1:15. On the other hand, if your coffee seems too strong, you can determine the ratio between 1:16-1:17 for your next recipe.
Again, a standard grinding setting is given to gain the basics during the learning process. However, adjusting the grinding setting according to the water-holding capacity of our coffee and finding the taste that suits us would give better results. One of the most radical and solid examples on the subject of grinding setting is the grinding setting used in the recipe of 2016 World Brewers Cup Champion (2016 WBrC) Tetsu Kasuya. Did you know that the grinding setting he used for his technique for V60 is close to the grinding setting used for French Press?
To brew specialty coffee, the recommended temperature range for water is generally between 91-96°C. However, when creating a recipe, you can adjust the water temperature based on the coffee you have and the taste you are looking for.
Pre-infusion is the first stage where we initiate the extraction process of coffee. Just like determining ratios for a recipe, we also determine a ratio for pre-infusion. I usually use 1/4 or 1/5 ratios based on the weight of the coffee I am using. You can adjust the ratios according to your desired taste and observe the differences to determine the best ratio and pre-infusion time for your coffee.
The first stage where we initiate the dissolution in coffee is the pre-infusion. Just like determining the ratio for a recipe, we also determine the ratio for pre-infusion. I usually use ratios of 1/4, 1/5 according to the weight of the coffee I use. You can change the ratios according to the taste you are looking for and determine a better ratio and pre-infusion time by observing the differences.
You can increase the dissolution by stirring with a spoon during pre-infusion, which is the first moment where coffee starts to dissolve. The more you stir with a spoon after pouring the water in, the more dissolution you will achieve. You can also intervene in the dissolution with a spoon according to the taste you are looking for.
The basic principle in coffee brewing is the dissolution process. To get a better coffee, we need to achieve better dissolution that suits the coffee we are looking for. In this direction, by making different trials on the basic ingredients mentioned, it is possible to create enjoyable tastes according to the beans you have at home. For those who are curious about brewing, my recommended sources are the book Everything but Espresso by Scott Rao, the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) Brewing Handbook, and relevant articles on Perfect Daily Grind and Barista Hustle websites.
You can also check out my YouTube channel for detailed recipe instructions on our specialty coffees and technical videos in my FAQ series.