We do melitta at my shop, and it seems everyone has a different technique. I've read the chemex debate at coffeed.com, and Scott Rao's reference to "voodoo pouring techniques" got me curious.
(I'm writing this on a whim during a break at work, so I haven't researched it myself yet).
How do you pour your melittas?
I use a measuring glass, and do two to three pours (depending on cup size). The first is usually about half to three quarters of the way up the filter, then once the liquid's mostly gone, I pour again, this time above the last line of grounds, and so on with the third time until the coffee cup is full.
Another of my coworkers just puts the filter under our water tower and pours directly into it.
And a third does something similar to what I do, but whisks.
I've been told by a regular that he prefers when I make it, but I'm not entirely sure why.
Am I overthinking this, or is there really something to the pour?
There is definatly somthing to it. I would say that your whisking co-worker is overworking the coffee. Just pour relativly agressivly and the coffee will be stirred. I admit that I don't have a ton of experience with chemex, but consistancy in a shop is important and I would say that 3 different techniques will produce 3 different results.
P.S. I hope you got a good laugh out of the Coffeed catfight, I know I did.
Agree with Jesse here - it matters. My method usually resembles the one you described - only with a circling pattern wetting all the grounds for the second pour tapering to a smaller trickling circle to finish the brew. Will refine this in the future, but that's how I do it now.
BTW, I appreciate you mentioning that coffeed brawl, which I'd totally missed. Thanks.
Whisking will cause over extraction because of the friction.
First, rinse the filter by pouring hot water through it, saturating the entire filter.
Add ground coffee
Add just enough water to saturate the grounds - this should cause bloom and expansion.
When the bloom starts to collapse, start adding the rest of the water, pouring in a circular motion at first filling the cone and than slowly pouring the remaining water into the center of the cone keeping the water line almost to the very top. This will depend on what size coffee you're making - 8oz you probably wont need to fill it all the way up, but 12oz may take a little longer.
The idea is to keep as much of a consistent temperature through out the brewing process as possible. Adding water and letting it drain and than adding water again will allow the grounds to cool creating an uneven brew.
I would also add, get everyone together and brew a bunch. experiment with different variables taste them and see which you like. just because one person says they like a certain method doesn't necessarily mean it's the best. experimenting for yourself is the only way to learn. that's not to say hearing other opinions means nothing. I'm so glad to see this discussion. we just did a pour over experiment at cultiva on saturday. waterfalls! try it.
I was trained to pour hot water in till all the grounds are wet, so the actual amount of water may vary. I let the coffee bloom or whatever you want to call it, letting the gasses escape, then poor a second time before the water is very low, keeping the water level at the top of the grounds so no grounds become dry or not part of the "extraction" or become too cool before adding the last pour of hot water. if you let too much water drain, then the gounds will be exposed to fluctuating temps, which can affect extraction and taste. I'm sure there are many ways to do this effectively and if you should experiment with different methods and how the taste is affected, find the one works for you and your shop that yields a good taste.
Edit: oh... yeah, what they said. haha that's what i get for posting before reading the other comments
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