Coffee brewing notes πŸ…

Fundamentals:

  • 1 milliliter (ml) of water = 1 gram (g)
  • strength = dissolved solids / water (ideal: 1.25%)
  • extraction = dissolved solids / grounds (ideal: 20%)
  • Cold-brewed: ground coffee steeped in cold water for 12-24h then strained
  • Iced coffee: ground coffee brewed hot and poured over ice

Extraction:

Under extracted coffee:

Sour, acidic, salty: Grounds too coarse or brew time too short.

Over extracted coffee:

Bitter, hollow: Grounds too fine or brew time too long

Ratio, the -nonexistent- Golden rule:

  • 6g coffee per 100g of water, approx 5,6%, ratio 1:17
  • Specialty Coffee Association of America recommends: 1:18
  1. 1:4 highly concentrated, recommended mostly for cold brew concentrate
  2. 1:5 highly concentrated, recommended mostly for cold brew concentrate
  3. 1 : 12.5 recommended for cold brew ready to drink (RTD) coffee (see this)
  4. 1:15 – 1:18 generally preferred range
  5. 1:30 weak, over extracted cup

A method to find your favorite ratio can be found here.

For more info, see also the SCAA brewing chart

Grind size (excellent guide)

The rule of the grind: the more surface of the bean the faster the extraction. The finer the grind, the less the surface.

If the water is exposed to the grounds for a very short amount of time (e.g., 10-15 seconds for espresso), you need a finer grind to provide enough surface area to extract the coffee from the beans. If the brewing time is long (e.g., the ~4 minutes of french press), you need a coarse grind to avoid over-extracting the grounds and getting something too bitter to drink.

If the grind is too coarse for your brewing method, your coffee will end up under-extracted, weak, and acidic. If it is too fine a grind, your coffee ends up over-extracted and bitter. Your grinder is a good brand; if you still have the manual, it includes a guide to grind vs. brewing method. If not, the capresso.com site includes PDF versions.

Method summary:

  • Using pressure: to extract fast and intensely (e.g. espresso machine)
  • Steeping: mix coffee grinds with hot water, steep for a while, then separate them via a filter (e.g. french press)
  • Using filtration (dripping): Pour water over freshly ground beans on a filter. (e.g. Hario v60 Dripper)
  • Boiling: boil coffee with water.

For more info, see the brewing methods summary

Brewing Styles and countries (source)

Brew Style

Roast…

With A Bean From…

Pressure (espresso, Moka pot or Aeropress)

Medium – Dark Roast

Kenya or Tanzania

Steeping (french press or vacuum pot)

Dark Roast/Espresso for an espresso shot

Africa, Indonesia, Central & South America

Filtration (e.g. pour over coffee)

Medium, Medium-Dark Roast

Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii

Cold Brew Coffee

Dark Roast

Nicaragua, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia

Boiling (turkish or cowboy)

Medium, Medium-Dark, Dark Roast

Ethiopia, Columbia, Brazil, Costa Rica

Ratios by method

Method Coffee Water Time Ratio
Pour over 30g 500g 3-4m 1:17 (5,5-6%)
Auto-drip 60g 1000g 4m 1:17 (5,5-6%)
French press 60g 900g 4m 1:15 (6,2-6,6%)
Cold brew RTD 80g 1000g 12h-24h 1:12,5 (7,4%)
Cold brew* 170g 1000g 12h-24h 1:7 (14%)
Cold brew** 200g 1000g 12h-24h 1:5 (20%)
  • concentrated, dilute between 1:2 to 1:3
    ** concentrated, dilute 1:1

Scale of 5,6% (pour over, french press etc):

Coffee Water Ice Ratio
15g 250g 1:17 (6%)
6g 125g 125g 1:17 (6%)
60g 1000g = 1lt 1:17 (6%)
125g 2000g = 2lt 1:17 (6%)

Scale of 20% (cold brew concentrate, dilute 1:1)

Coffee Water Ice Ratio
24g 120g 1:5 (20%)
200g 1000g = 1 lt 1:5 (20%)
340g 1650lt = 1,65lt 1:5 (20%)
400g 2000g = 2 lt 1:5 (20%)

References:

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