If you’re brewing more coffee at home these days, you might want to experiment a little. Pour-over brewing allows you to control the variables that impact cup quality, rather than letting a machine do it for you.
There’s a whole world of pour-over devices out there. Below is a recipe for a Hario V60 – an easy access point for at-home experimentation.
In recent years, V60’s have become a common at-home pour-over brew method. It is a cone-shaped brewer that is easy to-use and great for brewing coffee for one. V60’s have a ribbed interior that is meant to improve airflow during the brewing process. This helps your (coffee) water draw down into the cup more evenly across the brew basket, which can help improve the taste of your coffee.
Best brewing results come when you use a goose-neck kettle to apply hot water to the coffee grounds. The kettle design allows you to have more control when you pour hot water over the coffee.
Brewing a Hario V60: The Basics
Cup Size: 6 oz. to 12 oz.
Brew Time: 2 ½- 3 ½ Minutes
Water Temp: 195-205 Fahrenheit
Coffee-to-Water Ratio: 1: 15-18 (adjust to taste)
Grind Size: Medium-Fine
Stuff You’ll Need to Brew
- Coffee! (Fair Trade, organic preferred)
- Water Kettle (goose-neck if you have it)
- Grinder (Always Peferable)
- V60 – 01 or 02- either plastic or ceramic
- V60 Filters (these should correspond with your 01 or 02 device)
- Coffee Mug
- Pre-Heat Water.
- Calculate your Brew Recipe.
This sounds fancy, but it’s really straight-forward. Basically, you will brew one gram of coffee to 15-20 grams of water. First, decide what you want your brew ratio to be (a 1:15 ratio produces a strong cup of coffee because it uses less water. A 1:18 ratio is weaker, because it uses more water). Then, choose a coffee weight and multiply that number by 15-18. As an example, let’s say we will brew 15 grams of coffee at a 1:15 brew ratio. Multiply 15 times 15 to get your water weight of 225 grams. Your brew recipe then is 15 grams of coffee with 225 grams of water.
- Weigh and Grind Coffee.
Weigh out 15 grams of coffee. Grind at a medium-fine grind- something a little finer than what you’d use on an at-home Mr. Coffee-type brewer. If that grind-size is not possible, work with what you have.
- Place Filter in V60 & Place V60 on top of your Mug.
Fold the creases of the filter before inserting it into the mug. This helps it sit snugly in place in the brewer.
- Pour a Small Amount of Hot Water Over Empty Filter.
Your filter should get almost entirely wet and the hot water should empty into the mug, pre-heating it before you brew.
- Discard Water.
Pick up the V60 and pour out the hot water.
- Add Ground Coffee to V60.
Add 15 grams (or your preferred amount) of ground coffee into the pre-wet filter.
- Gently Shake the V60 & Return it to your Mug.
When shaking the V60, you want to level the coffee grounds so the top is a flat, even surface.
- Place Mug and V60 on top of Scale and Tare.
You want your scale to read zero grams when you begin to pour.
- Confirm Your Water is Hot (ideal is 195F-205F) and
Begin Pouring Gently, Getting all Coffee Grounds saturated.
If you are using a timer, begin it as you start pouring hot water.
- Stop Pouring when your Scale Reads about 45 Grams.
Here, you will be allowing your coffee to bloom. This allows the carbon dioxide that is trapped inside the coffee beans to escape. (If your coffee is freshly roasted, you’ll see it bubbling out of your brew bed). Letting CO2 escape allows for a more even extraction as you continue your brew.
- Let bloom for 30 seconds.
- After a 30-second Bloom, Slowly Add the Rest of the Water in a Gentle Spiral.
Do not let water level rise above initial bloom.
- Stop Pouring when you Reach Your Desired Water Weight.
In this example, you’d stop pouring when your scale reads 225 grams.
- Remove the V60 & Admire your Brewed Baby!
- When it’s Cool Enough to Drink, Observe What you Like or Don’t like about the Brew.
- Enjoy with Satisfaction! and/or Troubleshoot for your next Brew.
Troubleshooting your V60 Brew:
- If the resulting brew is too sour or grassy, add more water. Multiply coffee weight by 17 and brew again.
- If the resulting brew is too woody or burnt, use less water. Multiply by 14 and brew again.
- If your brewing time is running long, use a coarser grind.
- If your brewing time is too fast, use a finer grind.
- If your bed is “high and dry,” meaning that coffee grounds are caked around the sides of the filter after brewing, you are pouring too much water in the center. Try to use a smooth, spiral motion so that your used coffee bed has a flat surface after it drains. The more even the coffee bed, the more even the coffee extraction, and the better cup quality.
Experimenting with Grind-Size
You might also decide to keep your original recipe the same, but experiment with grind-size.
Coarsening the grind will expose less coffee surface area to water, meaning you might get a “less intense” or “less bold” cup. Making the grind-size more fine, exposes more surface area to water, meaning you will extract more out of the coffee. A finer grind will pull more natural acids and flavors out of the coffee, but if it’s too fine, it might be too much.
Check out our Home Coffee Brewing FAQ’s as a reference for future experiments.
Brew What you Like
In the end, brewing coffee is a delicate balance of a number of variables. The key is finding what you like and replicating it for you.
Below is a recent Facebook live session with Coffee Education Coordinator Hannah Mercer. Follow along as Hannah brews one of her favorite coffees- Colombia Medium Roast from Fondo Paez on a Hario V60 from home.
Hannah Brews Hario V60 from Home