In a busy café setting the time it takes to make a pour-over is crucial. But, that’s not the only challenge the barista faces while brewing coffee by the cup. It has to taste good too! So just how can you brew coffee efficiently, consistently and as productively as possible?
One method is using a single pour method.
What is the single pour method?
A single pour method is a technique that involves pouring all of the water (post bloom) in one go. Simple, But there’s much more that goes into it than simply getting all the water in as quickly as possible. So lets take a closer look into how brew a deliciuos cup of coffee.
What are the benefits of the single pour method?
A huge factor in the coffee tasting as good as possible is to make sure the coffee extracts as evenly as possible. Arguably, one of the most important factors (as well as grind size consistency) is water temperature. Utilizing one single pour (after the bloom) is a sure-fire way to keep the brew temp as constant as possible. As Scott Rao demonstrates in his book “Everything but Espresso” a multi-stage pour radically changes the temperature of the brew. So by pouring the remainder of the brew water in tight concentric circles in one go, you will ensure a stable brew temperature and thus an even extraction.
With this technique focus on only pouring water on where the dry coffee once was. Pouring in slow concentric circles, focusing on reaching the target brew weight and times outlined below. Pouring the water in this manner controls the amount of agitation that is created by pouring the water. You may notice that when you normally pour water close to the side wall of the brewer in a concentric motion that the water becomes turbulent and speeds up, which can, in turn, lead to over-extraction. This can be counteracted by the central pouring technique.
It is almost impossible to repeat a pulse pour, because how can you replicate the level of the water in brewer before your next pour? However, with a single pour if you master the flow rate and achieve the target weights and times, the chances of having a similar brew are much more likely.
So, one of the major positives to the single pour method is that because you aren’t waiting for the water to draw down in between pours, the chance of human error is much less. Human error chan be in such forms as, trying to multi-task in between drawdown times. You are focused on doing one pour over at one specific time.
Also, having a set target weight in 15-second increments means that the rate in which the water is being poured will be fairly consistent.
One of the major benefits of a single pour is that it promotes a much shorter brew time, at approx 2:15. This may not seem like a huge difference at first glance, but when you multiply it over the course of a full day and most certainly during a busy rush these seconds and minutes add up.
Also a quicker brew time can enhance the sweetness and body of the coffee and give less chance for over extraction.
In a multi-stage pour technique you might not finish pouring until 2:30 then after the final draw down the finish time could be well over 3:00.
How to brew?
Due to the shorter brew time “dialling in” the coffee with the correct grind size is crucial to a well extracted and tasty brew. So, to compensate for the shorter brew time the grind needs to be slightly finer than you would normally do for 21g dose with a conventional three-stage pour.
To ensure all the coffee grounds are evenly wet, the best practice is to use water 3 times the weight of the dry coffee.
21g coffee – 63g water. However, I would recommend just using 70g of water just to keep the numbers as simple and easy to remember as possible.
After all the water is added, agitate the coffee slurry slightly. This will help promote even extraction as the agitation moves the water into contact with dry coffee.
Due to the finer grind, stable water temp and hopefully a consistent grind, the coffee is going to extract well so keep agitation to a minimum and think of it as just “moving the dry coffee into contact with water slightly”.
Flow Rate / Pour
The flow rate is the rate in which the water is poured (OR flows) out of the kettle and on to the brew bed of the coffee. Simple! However, the rate at which the flows is important. Pour to quickly and the aggressive nature of the water will create agitation in the coffee bed, and this will contribute to further extraction of the coffee. So by utilising a slow single pour, starting in the centre and moving in concentric circles and constantly keeping the same flow rate, pouring only where the dry coffee was sitting in the bottom of the V60, you can control the effect (or agitation) the water has on the coffee.
Below I have outlined the target brew weights at set times throughout the brewing process.
(flow rate, 6g ps)
0:00 – 0:30 – 70g (Bloom)
0:30 – 0:45 – 160g
0:45 – 1:00 – 250g
1:00 – 1:15 – 340g
2:15 (approx) – drawdown finishes.
So there you have it. A guide to brewing coffee quicker. So, if your thinking about how to speed up service in your café or just looking for a new way to brew at home. Give the single pour method ago.
Always a vibe
Manual one-cup pourover (Brewing Water poured all at once). See Scott Rao – everything but espresso.