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January 30, 2017 /
The Coffee Compass

The Brewed Coffee Compass is very simple to use:

  1. Brew a coffee.
  2. Taste it.
  3. If you experience any negative flavours, find them on the map (left).
  4. Those flavours are now the center of the compass (right).
  5.  Find the direction you need to travel in order to get back in the green.
  6. When you brew the next cup, do whatever that arrow says.
  7. Rinse and repeat.

Enjoy, and please let me know how you go!

Hi resolution version here.

Please note, this compass doesn’t:
– work for espresso.
– take into account that your coffee might be of poor quality or roasted badly.
– care about brewing temperature. Just use boiling water.

 

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Matt
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Matt

Guys I, struggling with pour over. I used this beautiful chart but when I move from one side to the other I could never get close to the centre. It’s either or! I did Kalita 185, V60, Origami. I used Baratza Encore, EKG Kettle, Acaia Scale, and of course high quality beans. I suspect there is some issue with my pouring method perhaps. I tired Hoffman, George Howell method. I would appreciate if you give me some tips and guidance or possibly some Detailed recipe?

Tegan Britt
Guest
Tegan Britt

Here’s the method I use: 15:1 ratio // 23 g of coffee // 350 g of water. Ideal time is usually around 3:30, but every coffee has its nuances. Steps: 01 Wet filter. 02 Add coffee and 40-50 g of water — 1st pour. 03 Wait 30-40 secs, pour 100 g of water in a circular motion — your 2nd pour. You should be around 150 g total. 04 Next pour is 100 g straight down the center — your 3rd pour. 05 Final pour is 100 g around the entire filter, get every ounce of coffee wet — your 4th… Read more »

Pickmybrewer
Guest
Pickmybrewer

Great post guys

Pickmybrewer
Guest
Pickmybrewer

Great post

Pickmybrewer
Guest
Pickmybrewer

Great post!

Zahir Hussain
Guest
Zahir Hussain

No doubt, the post is incredible and informational also. Every time I read your blog I just stuck with the content of a post that how easily you describe each and every aspect of the topic of the post.
Great inspiration for me.
I literally have been meaning to research how to make cold-brew coffee at home, so this makes me VERY HAPPY. You’re basically the best.

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Chiết xuất cà phê lý tưởng, từ Under đến Over-extract – Coffee Inside

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jkline0142
Member
jkline0142

I just started grinding my coffee beans to get a better cup of coffee at home. I use the Baratza Encore and their grinding tips directed me to this Coffee Compass. What an excellent tool to dial in a brew. It only took me two adjustments to get a well balanced cup that is smooth with a long nutty finish. There’s nothing like getting a fresh cup from my local coffee house, Willoughby’s in New Haven, CT, but when I can’t my home brews are a close 2nd now.

Thanks for the tips!!!

Coco
Guest
Coco

Which setting for the Encore and ratio did you land on, and what brew method are you using?

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[…] If you’d like to go even further down the rabbit hole and explore more nuanced tastes like ‘vegetal’, ‘beefy’, ‘overwhelming’ and a whole bunch more, let me introduce you to the Coffee Compass. […]

Yan Salomo
Guest
Yan Salomo

Thank you Matt , a very interesting topic , Matt could you elaborate on the techniques of pass brew , if there are any guidelines , for example, how much percentage of the total beverage we need to add water to dilute the final result

Swag Valance
Guest
Swag Valance

Brilliant. Thanks for sharing this.

Mike Cutright
Guest
Mike Cutright

As matt pointed out before, by the time your boiling water makes it to the grounds, it’s not boiling, and even if it was, you can’t burn the beans that have been roasted to a much higher degree. What i’d like to know, is if there happens to be certain unwanted compounds that only extract at that high of a temp? And further more can we plot what compounds are soluble at what temps. Or does water off a boil simply extract more quickly. I like the consistency of using water right off the boil.

Joe Palozzi
Guest
Joe Palozzi

Do you really recommend boiling water for drip (percolated) coffee? I don’t know of a single commercial brewer with water that hot or winning Brewer’s Cup or Aeropress recipe that uses boiling water.
I’m willing to try a recipe if you’ve got one…

German D Salamanca
Guest
German D Salamanca

amazing, helpful and simple, looking forward to seeing one for espresso too. Thanks!

Angela Marie
Guest
Angela Marie

espresso compass, please? *waits with bated breath*

Jason Chuah
Guest
Jason Chuah

Excellent diagram! Very helpful.

tionico
Guest
tionico

I typicallly wait for the auto electric kettle to click off (always at a rolling boil), pick it off the base, and begin pouring over the already filled brewer.. Aeropress for single serve, Frogpot for more than myself. I use slightly more coffee, grind a touch finer, and brew VERY short, and constantly amaze people who love good coffee. Of course, I start with top quality beans I’ve roasted light and sweet. No harsh, bitter, astringent flavours, unless I’ve muffed the roast or its too old. Or forget to reset the grinder to my Frenchpress setting after using the Aeropress.… Read more »

Joe Palozzi
Guest
Joe Palozzi

You are correct that the boiling water will not “cook” the coffee; it’s off by a factor of two to do that. The chemistry of extraction is the issue. Hotter water has increased solubility for the sugars, alkaloids and organic acids flavoring the coffee. A simple example is citric acid. At 70C 100ml of water can hold 76g. At 100c 100ml can hold 84g. That’s a more than 10% increase due to water temperature for only one solute and there are many more. The tongue is highly sensitive to changes in molarity. The first time I tried Illy “spec” drip… Read more »

Matt Perger
Guest
Matt Perger

Always!

Just boil your water and use any recipe. Doesn’t need to be any more complicated.

ps I won world brewers cup with boiling water ✌

Mike Cutright
Guest
Mike Cutright

Thanks for the example! Any chance that the hotter brew temps just tend to highlight the flaws in the roast? I know that given enough time, you’ll extract undesirables, but I’m curious to whether lower brew temps are a way to mask a poor roast. ps. I’m relatively new to this, go easy on me 🙂

John Arnold
Guest
John Arnold

Hi, I am a home brewer and am a little confused by the combination of “extract more, less coffee” at 3 o’clock and “extract less, more coffee” at 9 o’clock. Is that saying that for example that you should extract more by reducing dose?

Joe Palozzi
Guest
Joe Palozzi

It is certainly a possibility that hotter temps can highlight flaws. I’ll report back tomorrow with an experiment I’ll be running with 1.9L water and 100g of coffee brewed on the same pulse setting on a Curtis at 97C (205F), 93C (200F), and 90C (195F) blind tasted by a panel of three and TDS measurements. When the water is too cool (below 90C) the TDS starts to drop and the flavor is as weak as using too little coffee. It is sadly what is frequently served at breakfast and brunches as people try to over use their coffee brewers before… Read more »

Marcin Rzońca
Guest
Marcin Rzońca

Clear and useful, thanks a lot for a great job!

Joyce Li En Yong
Guest
Joyce Li En Yong

Best chart on brewing yet! Thanks, Matt!

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Mario E. Chavez
Guest
Mario E. Chavez

Can’t wait to hear the results of your experiment. Thanks in advance and good luck!

Mario E. Chavez
Guest
Mario E. Chavez

Hey John, I think the combination means that you can do one or the other, or both, depending on how far away in the spectrum you find your brew to be. For example, if you think your brew is over-extracted (3 o’clock on the map), then you head in the opposite direction to 9 o’clock using the compass which takes you to “extract less/more coffee”. I would suggest trying only one of those options at a time or it might get too complicated: if you notice, in order to “extract less” you have already the three options of making your… Read more »

Keith Wayne Brown
Guest
Keith Wayne Brown

Matt, you know that is basically the symbol for #ChaosMagick? That is great. 🙂

Napoleon Rincon (NapoHBarista)
Guest
Napoleon Rincon (NapoHBarista)

I love it!

Joe Palozzi
Guest
Joe Palozzi

So we performed the experiment as described above. The coffee was ground at roughly 8 on an EK-43 (with Matt’s picture on it) previously dialed in and not changed during the course of the test (grinding the three samples). Brews were done back to back starting with the hottest and altering the temperature between brews and waiting for the machine to ready. The coffee was tasted black hot and after it had cooled to around 50C The 97C brew had a TDS of 1.37. The 93C brew had a TDS of 1.31. The 90C brew had a TDS of 1.23.… Read more »

Matt Perger
Guest
Matt Perger

If it says both, do both!

Joe Palozzi
Guest
Joe Palozzi

John, increasing the dose is one variable, grinding coarser is a second variable and a shorter brew time is a third. You can get a lower extraction with more and coarser coffee because the water will not dwell as it percolates though.
What the coffee expert was potentially speaking to was the fact that to keep the same TDS yield/extraction with less coffee you can grind finer, but that will lead to over extracted coffee; the astringent flavor in Matt’s lower right quadrant. It may still be “strong” though.

John Arnold
Guest
John Arnold

Mario, Thanks for the explanation. So assuming you only change one variable at a time, is increasing the dose, in addition to grinding coarser and shortening brew time, another option when you want to “extract less”? I recently watched a video in which a well known coffee expert said that sometimes people reduce the strength of a brew in order to reduce the sensation of bitterness but actually end up increasing extraction and hence making it more bitter while at the same time making it less strong. So now it’s thinner and more bitter. I had never thought of changing… Read more »

Aditya
Guest
Aditya

Hi Matt, what if my brew has qualities on the opposite sides of the map (e.g. dull and bitter)? Where should I go on the compass?

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Devinfahada
Guest
Devinfahada

Did u have achieve mouthfeel and balanced with handgrinder??
Im home brewer and still use hand grinder i find it difficult to make good extraction and i Did use sieve like you said before.. Btw i use v60

Matt Perger
Guest
Matt Perger

This one’s really tough to describe in two dimensions… but I’ll try!

John Arnold
Guest
John Arnold

Joe and Matt, Thank you both for your comments. I think (or at least hope) that I get it now. The light really went on for me when Matt said “if it says do both, do both!” If I understand it correctly, when a problem exists at either end of the horizontal axis, it assumes that the strength is good, but the brew is under or over extracted. So when extracting more or less you have to change the dose to maintain the proper strength. Therefore the instruction is “extract more/less” AND “more/less coffee”. The “more/less coffee” action is required… Read more »

Monbaza Taiwan Chang
Guest
Monbaza Taiwan Chang

Thank you Matt, now I have a direction…

srlarso
Guest
srlarso

Take this quick survey about coffee!! https://vantage.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eKbRlfLr5eFBtU9

asianwolf
Guest
asianwolf

Doesn’t the temperature of the water count in extraction? (FYI I’m a novice beginner home brewing).

Charles Gray-Paetkau
Guest
Charles Gray-Paetkau

Just what I needed!

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Adam Vitez
Guest
Adam Vitez

it does. The hotter the water, the more you extract. Some people try to fix and tweak their water temperature, but generally it is good to stay between 94°C and 85°C.

Dan Kennedy
Guest
Dan Kennedy

Hahahahahaha! Frogpot! Took me a few seconds. I almost googled it ???

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