Victrola Coffee Roasters

Home Brew Class Part 1: How To Use Brew Ratios At Home


You can brew amazing coffee at home.

Don't let that sweet coffee gear collect dust. Here's a little bit about coffee ratios to get you started. Look for more tips on other variables like water, temperature, grind and more coming soon.

We use weight-based recipes because they are accurate, quickly repeatable, and makes us feel like caffeinated scientists. The range of coffee/water ratio recommended by the SCAA is from 1:15-1:18. Some coffees taste best slightly lower or stronger ratio (1:15) and some want to be slightly higher or weaker ratio (1:18). 


Here's the way we do it.

We usually start at about 1:16 ratio and adjust from there based on taste. (more on that in a minute) So, for a V60 pour over, that would be ~18.5g of coffee to 300g total water. It also works for other methods like french press. ~45g of coffee to 720g water for a typical 32oz press. (Note that this does not work for espresso, which is a different delicious animal)

How to adjust for taste.

When we're talking about ratio, we're talking about brew strength. And not "puts hair on your chest" strength. Strength is defined as "soluble concentration" or coffee solids vs. water.

Science moment: ~30% of coffee solids are capable of being dissolved in water but only 18%-22% of those are desirable flavors. So we want to drive the car far enough, but not too far.

Next stop, Tastyville.

We should have a good balance between aromatics, pleasing acidity, sweetness and spice/earth flavors. So, in general, if your coffee tastes bitter, astringent, or like charred wood, we drove the car too far, or OVER EXTRACTED. If the coffee tastes sour or very acidic, grassy and lacks sweetness, we didn't drive the car far enough, or UNDER EXTRACTED. This next sketch shows Strength vs. Extraction which helps prove it's not always about how much coffee you use.

If you know that you're within the Golden Ratio, then you can adjust the grind to get more or less out of the coffee, depending on what you taste.

The Recipe.

Here's a recipe for V60 Pour Over to taste our 3 Process Costa Ricas with (or a starting place for any other coffee for that matter).
• 18.5g Coffee (Ground to slightly finer than kosher salt)
• 300g Water at 203º (plus more for rinsing)
• V60 dripper, V60 filter and mug.
• Pouring kettle
• Scale
1 Place filter in dripper on top of mug on the scale. Rinse the filter with some hot water and discard the water
2 Place the ground coffee in the filter, tare the scale to zero
3 Start 3min timer and pre-wet the grounds with double the weight of the coffee ~36g of water
4 At 45 seconds, pour in a circular motion until you arrive at 300g total, (keeping the slurry level at least 1/2" below the top of the filter)
5 Your total brew time (when the stream breaks) should be about 3m total. If it takes a lot less time, make the grind a little finer, if it takes a lot more time, make the grind a little coarser.

Our 3 Process Costa Rica is perfect way to nerd out on this stuff at home. You get the same coffee processed three different ways at origin then roasted by our amazing roasting crew. The Washed process, Honey Process and Natural process taste like a progression of fruit ripening and sugars caramelizing and playing around with ratios is an awesome way to explore the coffees. Check out more about the Costa-Rica here.

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