Brew the perfect cup of coffee using numbers

pour over brewing coffee
One of the questions that we are asked here more than any other is: "How much coffee should I use?". 
There are, unfortunately, no hard fast answers for that question for a few reasons which I will explain. 
Coffee is peculiar in that it can vary from year to year, region to region, country to country and even within the same growing area there can be considerable differences in the coffee beans making a clear set of hard fast rules for brewing the coffee impractical. 
But the good news is. There are some water/coffee ratio numbers that can be used to get you in the ballpark of how you like your coffee and they are actually quite easy to use. Once you get close then you can dial in your favorite bean for that perfect cup. 
Remember that each coffee will be different and could require some tweaks to the general formulas to get to your liking.
coffee beans  

General Guidelines

Check List 
1. Good Spring Water or Filtered Water,after all, coffee is more water than anything so it has to be good if we want our coffee to be perfect. 
2. Grinder A good coffee grinder enables you to grind your coffee just before brewing giving you the freshest possible cup. If you do not have a grinder Please see my review of the grinder that is our long time workhorse the Baratza Encore. It is hard to beat for value. 
3. Well roasted fresh coffee of course we have the worlds finest in the shop
4. Method to brew coffee
 
While there are no hard fast rules for preparing your coffee. These are good general guidelines that will help get you in the ballpark of what you like best in your cup. Then you can dial in the perfect cup from there by changing the water volume, coffee amount, grind, water temp. 
IMPORTANT: If you are using a paper filter to brew coffee rinse the filter with fresh water while in the brew basket before brewing. This will remove the off flavor that can find its way into the cup if the filter is not first rinsed. 
Use a ratio of between 1:15 and 1:17 for the best coffee. Adjust to your own liking after making a cup.
12 oz water , 4 table spoons coffee or 20g coffee 340g water
Water temp between 185-200 degrees F is best for most coffee. If the water temps are to high the coffee will be bitter as there are compounds that we don't want in our cup extracted at those temps. 
I see 205 degrees being used as the optimal extraction temp on lots of sites. Our brewing experience shows us that the optimal temps for most coffee is actually well below that.
Bloom the coffee before brewing. Fresh roasted coffee beans, unlike older store bought coffee, contain gas. We want to release this gas before brewing. Simply add enough hot water to wet the grounds and let sit for 30 seconds to degas then brew away. 
I hope this general guide helps you in your quest for that perfect cup of coffee. Let me know how you prefer your coffee in the comments below. Got questions? 

1 comment

Bob

good article thanks!

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