Let's set the stage.
You're tired of burnt, dry, stale, overhyped coffee. You're tired of drinking coffee that's just okay every morning. You're tired of spending a million dollars a day at your local worldwide chain coffee shop. You know that the dollop of cream and the spoon of sugar you add every morning aren't great for you, but the coffee just needs it.
But there's something new on the horizon. A new way to brew your morning coffee. A company promising that whole bean coffee is the only acceptable coffee - and that high-quality beans that are freshly roasted and fresh ground is the best way to make a great cup. And wait, I won't need that cream and sugar anymore?
So you check out our page, and you find our Starter Pack. Looks great! I can try all of their coffee and find what I like the most. And it even includes all the equipment needed to try each one out with the classic style of a pourover.
So you bought one. But no ones taught you how to use it before - you're shooting in the dark. No idea how to grind the beans and no idea how to use the pourover...
That's okay. We got you. Read on to learn how to use your brand new Starter Pack.
Step 1: Set your grind size
It's important to do this step without any coffee in the grinder, or you might damage the burrs.
There's a small dial on the underside of the grinder. Unscrew the bottom grinds hopper and you'll see it. Tighten that all the way down - you'll feel a bunch of clicks as you tighten. Once it's all the way down, back it off 9 clicks. This is the grind size that we like with the Blue Belt, and will work as a starter for the other 3 roasts in the pack.
Step 2: Select your coffee
Everyone has their own favorite. If you plan on trying all 4 at once, start with the White Belt and work your way darker. That's how professional taste testing (known as cupping) is done.
Step 3: Setting Up The Pourover
This process can seem complicated at first because there's a lot of variables. It's actually really straight forward, just might need a bit of guidance your first time. To brew coffee with a pourover, you effectively pour hot water over a funnel full of coffee beans. The hot water extracts the coffee particles from the grinds as it passes through. The big three variables to control here are grind size, ratio, and brew time. It's an iterative process and takes patience and trial and error, but the results are oh-so worth it. Let's dig in.
Step 4: Preparing Your Equipment
An often overlooked step in any cooking endeavor is preparing all of your necessary gear before you begin. At this stage, you want to grab your mug, set your water to boil, and weigh out your coffee.
Your water should be at a temperature of around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Water above that temp will burn the coffee a bit and make the end product more bitter. Bring it to a boil, but give it a few seconds to cool before beginning the brew. We offer an electric Gooseneck kettle that's made specifically for use with a pourover. It gives you great control over your pour and is easy to boil and use.
The amount of coffee you choose is dependent on your ratio and on the amount of coffee you want to brew. You can use volume of coffee, but weight is more consistent and reliable of a measure. A pourover scale is the perfect way to make sure you're consistent. Without one, you can get away with using the included white scoop (included with the V60). We use a ratio of about 1g of grinds to 16g of water. If you're brewing a 12 oz cup of coffee, you want to use about 24g of coffee and 375g of water for that ratio. That's just a little bit less than two full scoops of whole bean coffee.
Step 5: Grind away.
Enjoy your morning workout!
Step 6: The Brew
At this point, all of your coffee is ground and your water is boiling. This is the fun part.
Start by placing your V60 on top of your mug and your filter in the V60. Pour some water into the filter to wet it to the sides of the filter. This keeps it in place and helps to ensure a more consistent brew. Let the water drain into your mug and then dispose of it. This also warms up your mug a bit.
Add your coffee grinds to your filter.
Pour just a bit of water (about 50g - just enough to wet the grinds)) on your grinds and start the timer. This is called the bloom. Fresh coffee is still full of gases. This step allows all the gases to escape and saturates the grinds. After about 30 seconds (or when the bubbles stop coming to the surface), you can start adding water again.
Fill the funnel with water, ensuring an even coverage of the coffee grinds. Keep adding water in a circular motion to keep the water level at the top of the filter. Once you've added all of your water, give it a quick stir and let the coffee drain through. All of the water should pass through right around the time that the timer says 3 minutes. This is your brew time.
Step 7: Enjoy and refine
Congratulations! You just brewed your first cup of world-class coffee. There's definitely an art to using the pourover, so if you feel like something is wrong, there's a lot of things you can change:
Grind size: Grind size determines the amount of extraction. If your coffee is too sour, it's been overextracted. Try turning the dial counterclockwise for a bigger grind. If the coffee is too weak, try turning the dial clockwise for a smaller grind.
Ratio: The effects of a wrong ratio are similar to that of an incorrect grind size. Try using less coffee if the end cup comes out too gritty and strong, or more if it comes out a bit weak.
Brew time: The brew time is dependent on your ratio and grind size, and gives you a great indication of how the other two are faring. Industry standard is to aim for 3-4 minutes here. How long it takes is entirely up to you (and your choice of ratio and grind size). As you add more coffee, this will drop. If it drops too far, you can use a coarser grind setting to bring it back up. A shorter brew time will create a weaker cup, and a brew that's too long will sour the coffee a bit.
Those are the big three variables in a pourover. There are others, however:
The stir. Some people swear that stirring your grinds will keep the extraction consistent. Some people swear that stirring your grinds destroys all that is right with the world. Try out both - and see what the difference is!
The pour. Some people pour in an even, circular motion. Some people zigzag across the funnel. Some people pour totally haphazardly. Try out different ways of pouring your water and see what works for you. The key here is to be consistent so you know what to track!
That about covers the introduction to your brand new Starter Pack. If you have any other questions, shoot us an email or drop a comment below.
Cheers to a great morning cup!