Dialing in our pour over coffee brewing variables (Mark II)

Continuing on my journey down the rabbit hole, I opened a new bag of Mt Whitney Organic Ethiopia Guji. Previously, I used the Tetsu 4-6 V60 pour technique on a bag of Guatemala beans and did a taste comparison by brewing using different settings across three variables. This time, I wanted to keep things simple and decided to use the Hoffmann V60 technique.

If you’re not familiar with the Hoffmann V60 technique, here’s his 12 minute YouTube video describing the entire process. He advocates keeping the coffee-to-water ratio at 1:16.7 (i.e. 30g of coffee to 500ml pf water) and adjusting grind size to alter the taste profile.

The DeLonghi KG89 has stepped grind settings from 01 (fine) to 16 (coarse), and I chose nine different levels, from 04 (medium-fine) to 12 (medium-coarse) to cover a broad range.

A simple visual comparison showed a size difference when comparing Grind 04 and Grind 12, with the others somewhere in-between. The grind consistency wasn’t good though, and there was a large variance in ground size for any one setting.

The Hoffmann technique requires a swirl of the dripper during the tail-end of the drawdown to ensure a flat bed. This highlighted the large amount of fines in the grounds, which stuck to the side of the filter paper after the swirl. This further emphasised the grind inconsistency and was another good reason to consider a grinder upgrade.

Here are the results of the taste comparison for both myself and The Wife. She preferred a finer Grind 04 whereas I preferred a coarser Grind 10. However, we both felt that the previous Tetsu 4-6 technique produced the best cup so far.

The Tetsu 4-6 technique allows for more flexibility in adjusting the final taste profile, as explained by Tetsu Kasuya himself in the video below.

Since we used a different bean last time, I made another batch using the Ethiopian for a fairer comparison between the two pour techniques. It turns out that the Tetsu 4-6 still produced the better cup, with both of us scoring it an 8 (vs 7 for the Hoffman).

So, even though the Tetsu 4-6 seems more fiddly than the Hoffmann, looks like I’m taking it out of my back pocket and using it as our daily caffeine driver.

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