How I Brew With my V60

All it takes is a little bit of practice...

First and foremost I'll say that there are a million ways to brew with a V60. I probably don't have the best recipe out there, I use it because I get great results with it and it's repeatable. Also, there isn't a one-size-fits-all recipe for coffee, especially with something as intricate as a V60. If you decide and follow this recipe and get sub-par results, take it as a starting point. At the end if the day, the best coffee out there is the one you like the most.

In addition, I'd like to say that the fun thing about pourovers is the many ways in which you can brew coffee with them. A simple tweak in one variable or another will yield a very different cup than expected. That highlights the importance of consistency and repeatability. Pay attention to what you're doing brew in and brew out, and you'll get identical results if you're using the same coffee. Inherently, different coffees won't taste the same using the same recipe. They can be somewhat close, but not identical. So be mindful of this when your new bag of beans comes in. You might need to change the entire gameplan up. Make it fun.

What You Will Need

Coffee is weird. It's difficult to understand what's going on if you don't know what you're using. Of course, I'm talking about your ingredients. In coffee world we describe recipes with the dose (coffee weight), yield (final liquid weight), and time (self-explanatory). Those are the big three. Although there are a few more involved, those are the main ones to pay attention to.

So you basically need three things to brew like I do with a V60. Well four. First, great beans. You can't brew great coffee without great coffee beans. Search around on my site and you'll find where I tend to drink from. Next, get yourself a kitchen scale. they're cheap and will keep you out of the dark when you brew coffee. Third, a burr grinder. This will make your coffee taste exponentially better. Why? Science. Just trust. Last, well a V60.

Step 1

Weigh your beans.

This is where the scale comes in.

See. I follow a simple recipe. To follow that recipe every single time I need a scale to make sure my measurements are the same. Measuring by mass is more accurate and repeatable than measuring by volume, so your trusty tablespoon-full of beans will not have the same weight every single time. A scale ensure you do.

Next, Water

I brew my coffee using 202°F water, for reference. But a range between 195-205 is known to be best. Once I've rinsed and pre-heated my V60 by pouring water over it as if I was doing the real thing, I add my ground coffee to it and level the "bed". Just pick the V60 up and shake it a little. Don't forge to throw away the pre-heat water.

A flat "bed" of coffee

At this point, you're ready to start your bloom. I pour in 30g of water and start my timer immediately. I use a small spoon to agitate the coffee, drawing an imaginary cross a few times. This is to make sure all the coffee grounds are wet, it also has to do with science. At 30 seconds, I add an extra 85g of coffee taking the total weight to 115g. If you have brewed coffee with a V60 before you know the deal, concentric circles.

At this point, this is what your brew should look like

More Water

At 1:15, I take my brew up to 220g. Again, concentric circles. The trick is to keep the same flow rate out of the spout of your pouring kettle, and not raising and lowering the kettle as you pour. It's not a piñata. What I do is moving just my arms holding the kettle, not rotating my wrist. This helps in extracting the coffee goodness out of the beans evenly.

Last Pour

At the 2:00 mark I pour until I reach 325g, my final brew weight. This 20g-325g recipe comfortably sits in the 1:16 ratio that is ever so recommended (One part coffee to sixteen parts water). Then, I pick up the V60 and I spin it 2-3 times. Enter "Rao-spin". This helps to knock off any grounds stuck on the walls of the V60 and incorporates them back into the sinking brew. Also, the spin helps in evening out the coffee bed.

See how the walls of the V60 are free from grounds?

Now Wait

At this point, you're done. All you have to do is wait. If your did things correctly and your grind setting is in the ballpark, the brew should be done around the 3 minute mark. Give yourself a 15 second buffer, 15 seconds are not that big of a deal. If the total brew took an extra 30 seconds or more, then I would tweak the grind a little coarser to speed things up. Inversely, if all water disappeared from the V60 well before 3 minutes, say 30 seconds before, tighten the grind a little finer to get the water more contact time with the coffee. In the end, these changes should all reflect in taste. Just like I said at the top, these are just rules of thumb. They're meant to guide you to the ballpark. I've had small, 4 minute brews taste awesome in the past.

This is how the coffee bed is supposed to end looking like

So after your brew is done, discard the filter and wash your V60. Clean is always best. I rinse the spoon I used at the bloom to stir and homogenize the final brew, and I take a small sip from it. As coffee brews, different layers form striations. Stirring it at the end ensures every sip will be the same throughout. If you've drank espresso, that's what the small spoon is for.

Now Enjoy

I usually don't deviate much from this recipe, but when I do I make sure to note the taste differences from the last brew. I may like it more, I may not. These are the intricacies and some of the mysteries that come with pourovers. And I sit. I sit down with a good book and read and sip away. You can find more technical and more in-depth tutorials on brewing with a V60, they're great, I've seen all of them. But you'll find over time that brewing coffee like this is really simple if you know the basics. So that's how I left it. I'll leave some of my favorite videos on the topic somewhere on my site if you want to see a V60 brew in real time. Enjoy!


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