IM 5.03 Water First or Coffee First?

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One interesting capability of steep-and-release brewers is that you can reverse the normal approach to brewing, adding the water to the brewing device before the coffee. This same approach can work very effectively with other brew techniques, such as the ibrik and jug methods. To help us better understand how much this approach affects variables such as brewing temperature and extraction yield, barista trainers Diana Dolejsi and Gwilym Davies carried out some tests for us. 

Picture: Coffee first, then water.

First, Diana and Gwilym prepared a control brew based on the recipe designed by Jessica Sartiani featured in the previous lesson. They used a honey-processed Ethiopian coffee from the Suke Quto washing station; it had been roasted 8 days previously as a light filter roast.

 

Recipe

  • Dose: 18 g 
  • Total brew water: 250 g
  • Water temperature: 93°C

At 1:30 minutes, break the crust. After 2 minutes (at 3:30), open the valve on the Clever dripper to begin the drawdown. 

Here are the drawdown times and TDS readings from the three control coffees.

Temperature profiles from the three separate coffee-first brews, probe in coffee (at the bottom of the Clever.)

Temperature profiles from the three separate coffee-first brews, probe in water (at the surface of the Clever.)

Next, Diana and Gwilym poured the water into their Clever dripper before adding the coffee. 

Picture: Water first, then coffee.

Here are the drawdown times and TDS readings from the water-first method.

Temperature profiles from the three separate water-first brews.

 

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