To get the best result possible out of every brew the aim of the game is to extract the ground coffee as evenly as possible. Here are a couple of easy but effective tips to help you out with making that happen
Creating a small hole directly into the middle of the dry coffee grounds with the handle of a tea-spoon (pre bloom) will ensure that the coffee right at the bottom of the filter (cone) will become in contact with water right away, rather than having to wait for the water to slowly soak down. The quicker ALL of the grounds are wet the better the bloom will be. 🙂
A gentle stir just after you have finished pouring the bloom is a must. However stir too much and you will slow the brew down, due to clogging and compacting the coffee together. So when brewing a V60 I always go for a circular motion starting in the middle and working out, making sure that I get to the bottom of the V60 and feel for the dry grounds. Or if you are brewing a Kalita I find that an arrow movement up, down, left and right works best. Again a tea-spoon is best.
This is essentially the same as the stir just a slightly different technique. Simply pick up your brewing device and gently swirl the brew water around, ensuring that all the coffee comes into contact with water. As with everything though there are pros and cons and the swirl is no different. It’s a technique that im trying to use more; It’s less likely to slow the brew down due to over stirring (clogging, mentioned above) but if you’re a little heavy-handed (like me) it’s easy to over swirl and end up with coffee everywhere, hahaha… Also ceramic and metal V60’s get REAAAL HOT, so be careful not to burn your hands. Or as I always suggest, buy the plastic versions. In my opinion the plastic is best for the cost and the heat retention of the brew.
side note: A great indicator of a good bloom is the bubbles (or carbon dioxide) that are produced as the dry coffee comes into contact with water. Ideally you don’t want to be seeing any bubbles being produced after the bloom. The quicker you don’t see bubbles the better.
The Rao spin:
I love this for its simplicity and effectiveness. Plus you can actually see the coffee grounds that are stuck to the filter paper being picked up by the turbulent water and forced into the centre of the brew bed. As the title suggests the champion of specialty coffee Scott Rao came up with this beauty.
After your final pour simply take the back of a tea-spoon and gently push the brew water, this creates a vortex (super cool word – VORTEX) and picks up the coffee grounds that are high and dry and allows them to still contribute to the final brew.
This final technique in the last phase of the brewing process is simply just to get the brew bed flat because the “vortex” that is created with the Rao spin will leave the coffee like a pyramid if not flattened. So as the brew water is about half way down from your final pour and spin, simply pick the V60 up and tap it on the carafe or brew vessel. That’s it as simple as that.
I hope these few little tips help you brew more consistent better brews.
Always a “vortex” vibe