How to Dial-in Coffee


How to Dial-in Coffee

  • Only ever change one variable at a time.
  • Extraction variables include: grind size, brew ratio, water temperature, brew time and agitation level.
  • If the brew is under-extracted (sour): grind finer or use less coffee to water or use hotter water or steep longer or agitate (eg stir) more.
  • If the brew is over-extracted (astringent): grind coarser or use more coffee to water or use cooler water or steep for less time or agitate less.
  • As always - use scales!

Transcript (Speaker: Adam Marley)

Hey, folks. So, tips and tricks. For this week, I wanted to keep it a little bit more broad. In this series, we're going to go into how different variables when you're making coffee can affect the flavor, trying to help you get the best out of your Monastery Coffee at home. Try and get those flavor notes that you read on the pack. We're also going to go into other things, about origin, about farming, getting the coffee to Australia. Anything you can think of, if you have suggestions, feel free to DM us and send them in.

But for this week, we're going to go with extraction. We're going to talk about variables when it comes to extraction. This applies to both espresso and filter coffee or brewed coffee. So think plunger, drip coffee, AeroPress, whatever it might be. My tip for this week is, whenever you are changing your extraction, whenever say your brew wasn't perfect, you want to tweak things to get the best out of it. Only ever change one variable at a time. That's the biggest tip. That's the most important one. All the things ... And variables in this case are things like how fine or course the coffee is ground, the temperature of the water, how long you're brewing for, how much you agitate the brew, all those things. They're all variables. I guess you could throw in their roast level as well, but that's outside of your control, once you bought the coffee. Each of those things is going to affect the flavor. It's going to either increase or decrease the extraction. And then also potentially change the evenness of the extraction, but that's its own video. Absolutely.

But because each of these things all have an impact, if you change more than one thing at once, then you're not going to be able to work out which of those things that you changed had the positive or negative impact on your brew. So say my coffee's a little bit under extracted. I'm going to ... Maybe it's a little bit sour and a little bit too thin, a little bit too weak. What I'm going to do is only change one of those variables. Now that might be, I might grind a little bit finer, which would increase the extraction, or use hotter water, agitate longer, steep the coffee for a bit longer. Obviously these things are a little bit different for espresso, but grind size would be probably the first one I focus on. That would be a video on itself.

But the trick is, whenever you are changing your extraction to only change one variable at once. Then you can taste the coffee afterwards, was it better or worse? And then, you know what you've achieved effectively. If I grind a little bit finer and the coffee is better, I know that by increasing the extraction, that I've improved my brew. Now, if it doesn't improve the brew, then you can go back to where it was before and change one of the other variables or change that variable in the other direction. But if you change more than one thing at once, you won't be able to work out which of those changes had the impact on your brew that it did. So that's our tip for this week. Change one variable at a time. Oh, and I'm going to throw in a bonus tip, always use scales, please buy some scales, weigh your coffee, weigh your water. We'll get into why in another tip. Thanks folks.