How should I adjust this watery V60 recipe?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by thechristophershow »

Hey, everyone. New here, first post. Hope this is the correct forum for it!

This morning I made Stumptown's Ethiopian coffee in a French press using James Hoffmann's "ultimate" technique. Tasted great, like mild Earl Grey.

A few hours later I made the same coffee, now using Hoffmann's V60 technique.

It tasted very weak, watery. I used his ratios - 300ml water, 18g coffee. Could hardly taste anything.

I forget what video it was that Hoffmann said this in, but he said something about avoiding changing ratios, and rather to change extraction. Only change the ratios if the coffee is too (weak or strong, I forget).

Well, my grind was medium-fine, and the whole brew took about 4m5s. So it seems unlikely that my brew was under-extracted, despite having a weak taste. My water was 210F, about 30 secs off boil, since he recommended boiling the water and then pouring it (vague instructions, I know, but that's what he says).

My question is, what should I do to make this taste less watery? Less water? Finer grind (at the risk of having a 5-minute brew time)? Coarser grind (counterintuitively)?



#2: Post by Jonk »

I suggest you try Rao's new method:

or some other multiple pour technique.


#3: Post by thechristophershow »

Thanks, I'll give that a try eventually, but I like the simplicity of James' technique, and that's what I'm trying to use. Rao's technique isn't for a V60 either. So I'm just wondering if it's a ratio problem or an extraction problem, and how to fix it.


#4: Post by Jonk »

Sorry, guess I didn't answer your question. I'm guessing it is under-extracted and you either need a finer grind or change method.

The problem is, Ethiopian beans are infamous for clogging filters, which could be the reason you're seeing a slow drawdown even if the grind may be too coarse for that particular method.

You could change the brew ratio as well of course, even go a little bit nuts and try something even simpler like Tetsu Kasuya's no bloom 15-second pour 1:12 ratio:
I find it somewhat wasteful but it can lead to good results and was designed for this particular problem.


#5: Post by Sugssugi »

Famous ethiopian woes. You probably should check your grinder. If you are using manual grinder, try not to wind it too fast as it can produce more fines. Instead just do it slower with no swing momentum. It can be tiring but it works better that way.

Ethiopian beans usually work best with continuous pour so Hoffmann's technique should work fine. You might also want to try 1:15 ratio so in your case maybe 20g to 300ml water.


#6: Post by thechristophershow »

I had no idea different regions' coffees had behavioral characteristics on top of their flavor characteristics. I'll give these a try today and tomorrow and report back here with results. Thanks so much!


#7: Post by thechristophershow »

Sugssugi wrote:Ethiopian beans usually work best with continuous pour so Hoffmann's technique should work fine. You might also want to try 1:15 ratio so in your case maybe 20g to 300ml water.
Alright, this was much better than 18g to 300ml. Thanks! I wonder if I'm tasting the paper filter. I use Hario's own bleached ones and rinsed it with boiling water first. Not sure if I tasted the filter or if the coffee itself had a cardboard flavor. But other than that it was good. Still prefer the French press method with this, but later I'm going to try Tetsu's method with the V60.


#8: Post by thechristophershow »

Jonk wrote:The problem is, Ethiopian beans are infamous for clogging filters.
Interesting. Why would that be? I mean what about Ethiopian makes it prone to clog? I could understand different roast levels affecting this, but why different regions?

As for Tetsu, I was planning on trying his 4:6 method later, but why do you suggest this other method if his specifically? Was it developed with Ethiopian in mind, or just with the problem of clogging in mind?


#9: Post by Jonk »

Can't find the reference now about Tetsu, think it was mentioned in a video but I might be wrong. Either way, it does counteract clogging by spreading the grounds over the whole filter surface, at the cost of extraction so you have to use a high ratio.

You can read more about origins at ... rocessing/ but basically the Ethiopian beans are often hard and brittle, resulting in more fines when ground.


#10: Post by thechristophershow »

Just tried Tetsu's 15-second-pour with his recommended ratios. Very watery. Bit of paper. No good. So far, for this particular coffee I have, I'm thinking French press is the best method. Hesitant to try the 4:6 method because I'm not sure the water will drain in the recommended 45" between each pour. I wish I knew more about coffee so I could experiment with pouring methods rather than just experiment with ratios and grinds and temperatures.