To achieve the ultimate rich and satisfying cup of coffee, you should try the pour-over method using a brewer like the Kalita® Wave. There are different ways to approach a pour-over, but we feel the very best way is the 4:6 method. Wouldn’t you like every cup to look this clean, the aroma so inviting that your senses are awakened, and the taste so pure that you can finally understand all the elements that differentiate one roasted coffee from another? You can do it because the guide below shows you every step along the way.
You may not be Tetsu Kayusa, the coffee barista from Japan, pictured below, who won the World Brewers Cup Championship in 2016, but you can emulate him. He is the creator of the 4:6 method. This is shorthand for the ratio used when you pour the hot water into the ground coffee – 4 stands for 40% and 6 stands for 60%. In other words, you should aim for pouring 40% of the hot water initially and after the bloom settles down repeat the pour-over using the remaining 60% of the hot water. Your initial pours will define your cup’s sweetness and acidity and your remaining pours will define strength or intensity.
Here are the steps to take with detailed instructions for each step.
Use whichever source of water you prefer – from plastic bottles, a Brita® equipped jug, or even your kitchen sink faucet if your home is set up with a filtration system. Add more than enough water to the kettle as some amount will be lost as steam.
Allow the water to reach a full boil. Then remove the kettle from the stovetop and allow the boiling hot water to cool slightly. The ideal temperature for your hot water should be between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. You can achieve this by waiting 30 seconds after your water boils before you begin your pour.
While your water is in the process of boiling, you can add dry coffee beans to the grinder and begin to grind. The coarseness of the grind depends on your choice of coffee beans, filter, and brewer – but aim for a medium coarse grind and avoid a fine grind. Always use fresh dry roasted coffee beans. Move the ground coffee from the grinder to a small receptacle like a ramekin.
For optimum freshness, store your coffee beans in the refrigerator or the freezer.
The Kalita® filters are sold in packs of 100 filters each. These filters are white and are made of the finest filter paper available. They come in two custom sizes – one for the Kalita® Wave 155 model and one for the Kalita® Wave 185 model – and are designed to fit just below the rim of each Kalita® brewer.
Build a stack on top of your scale – place your coffee cup or mug on top of the scale and then place your Kalita® Wave brewer on top of the cup or mug. Tare the scale (return the weight to zero by pushing a button).
You want to wet down the filter because doing so serves two purposes – to warm up the Kalita® Wave brewer and to remove any paper taste. You pour a small amount of the heated water from the kettle directly into the filter, in the middle, so that it wets down only the bottom. Avoid wetting down the edges; the filter will lose its shape. The hot water will drip down into the coffee cup or mug below. Lift up the brewer, remove the cup or mug, throw away the hot water, and restack as before.
Take the ramekin and pour the ground coffee into the wet filter inside the Kalita® Wave brewer. The weight on your scale should show 25 – 28 grams. That is the equivalent of 1-3/4 to 2 tablespoons. Shake the ground coffee gently until it forms a flat surface. Tare your scale again.
You can do this step in 1 or 2 passes. Each pour should be in a circular motion starting at the center and moving toward the edge. The total weight of hot water should equal about 186 grams. Tare your scale again.
This step should take about 15 seconds. Wait until the bloom settles down. The bloom is essential for the removal of gases and bitterness from the coffee.
You can do this step in a single pass or divided into 2, 3, or 4 passes. It all depends on the type of coffee you are using and also your personal preference for intensity in a cup. Start the pour as before, in the center, and then use a circular motion as you continue to the edge. With each pass, start again at the center and work your way outward. Stop when the total weight reaches 280 grams.
The entire brewing process should take about 3:30 minutes. Before you sip your coffee, take a moment to admire it and breathe in the aroma. Drink your coffee as it is – black – or add your favorite condiments – however you prefer it. See if you can taste all the features of your selected coffee – and enjoy!
Did you like reading this step-by-step guide to the 4:6 Method? Are you pumped to try it the next time you make a pour-over coffee? If you enjoyed reading this article, check out our related post on the Kalita Wave Review.