4:6 Coffee Brewing Method: What Is It?

If you are a bit of a coffee connoisseur like I am (well, I like to tell myself that), you may have tried the 4:6 method before, but if you haven't, then you should. This method allows for greater control over the extraction process and give a much better cup of coffee. If you haven't tried it before, I highly recommend giving it a go.

What is the 4: coffee brewing method


What is the 4:6 coffee brewing method?

The 4:6 coffee brewing method is a technique developed by Tetsu Kasuya, the 2016 World Brewers Cup Champion from Japan. The name "4:6" refers to the ratio of coffee grounds to water used in the brewing process. The method involves dividing the total amount of water into five equal parts, with each part being poured over the coffee grounds at different intervals. The idea behind this method is to control the extraction of flavours from the coffee grounds by adjusting the ratio of water at each stage.

The benefits of using the 4:6 coffee brewing method

The main benefit of using the 4:6 coffee brewing method is that it allows for more control over the extraction process. By dividing the water into multiple pours, you can adjust the strength and flavour profile of your coffee. 

Another benefit is that it enhances the flavour and aroma of the coffee, and trust me, it tastes better. By controlling the extraction process, you can bring out the unique characteristics of different coffee beans and roast levels. This method is particularly popular among specialty coffee enthusiasts who appreciate the complexity and subtlety of flavours in their cup of joe. (Like me!)

The step-by-step process of the 4:6 coffee brewing method

  • Start by heating your water to the desired temperature. The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195°F and 205°F (90°C and 96°C). If you don't have a thermometer, you can bring the water to a boil and let it cool for about 30 seconds.

  • While the water is heating, place a filter in your coffee dripper and rinse it with hot water. This will remove any paper taste from the filter and preheat the dripper.

  • Weigh out your coffee beans and grind them to a medium-fine consistency. For a single cup of coffee, you will need about 15 grams of coffee.

  • Place the coffee dripper on top of your coffee cup or server and add the ground coffee to the dripper.

  • Start the timer and pour the first 20% of the total water volume over the coffee grounds. For example, if you are using 300 grams of water, pour 60 grams of water in the first pour. Make sure to saturate all the coffee grounds evenly.

  • Allow the coffee to bloom for about 30 seconds. During this time, carbon dioxide is released from the coffee grounds, causing them to expand and create a "bloom" on the surface.

  • After the bloom, pour the next 20% of the total water volume over the coffee grounds. For example, if you are using 300 grams of water, pour another 60 grams of water in the second pour. Again, make sure to saturate all the coffee grounds evenly.

  • Allow the coffee to brew for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. This will depend on your personal taste preferences and the desired strength of the coffee.

  • After the initial brew time, pour the next 20% of the total water volume over the coffee grounds. For example, if you are using 300 grams of water, pour another 60 grams of water in the third pour. Again, make sure to saturate all the coffee grounds evenly.

  • Allow the coffee to brew for another 45 seconds to 1 minute.

  • Repeat steps 9 and 10 for the fourth and fifth pours, pouring 20% of the total water volume each time.

  • Once all the water has been poured, allow the coffee to finish dripping through the dripper. This should take about 2-3 minutes in total.

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Tips and tricks for perfecting the 4:6 coffee brewing method

While the 4:6 method is relatively straightforward, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you perfect your brew.

One common mistake to avoid is pouring the water too quickly or too slowly. The ideal flow rate is a slow and steady pour, allowing the water to saturate all the coffee grounds evenly. Pouring too quickly can result in an uneven extraction, while pouring too slowly can lead to over-extraction and a bitter taste.

Another tip is to experiment with different variables to achieve different flavours. You can adjust the grind size, water temperature, and brewing time to suit your taste preferences. For example, a finer grind size will result in a stronger and more intense flavour, while a coarser grind size will produce a milder and more delicate flavour.

Common questions about the 4:6 coffee brewing method

Can I use any type of coffee beans for the 4:6 method?

Yes, you can use any type of coffee beans. However, choose beans that have a flavour profile that you enjoy. Different beans will produce different flavours, so it's best to experiment and find the ones that suit your taste preferences.

Do I need a gooseneck kettle for the 4:6 method?

While a gooseneck kettle is recommended, it is not absolutely necessary really. You can still achieve good results with a regular kettle.

How long should I let the coffee bloom for?

The bloom time can vary depending on the freshness of the coffee beans and the grind size. As a general guideline, a bloom time of 30 seconds is recommended. You can adjust this time based on your personal taste preferences and the desired strength of the coffee.

Can I adjust the ratio of coffee to water in the 4:6 method?

The 4:6 method is based on a ratio of 4 parts coffee to 6 parts water. But you can adjust this ratio to suit your taste preferences. For example, if you prefer a stronger cup of coffee, you can increase the amount of coffee and decrease the amount of water.

Can I use the 4:6 method with a French press or Aeropress?

The 4:6 method is primarily designed for pour-over devices like the V60 or Kalita Wave. While you can experiment with using the 4:6 method with a French press or Aeropress, the results may vary. These brewing methods have different extraction dynamics, so it's best to follow the recommended techniques for each method.

Go ahead and try it, I am sure you will love it as much as I do.

Post a Comment
2 Comments
I have not heard of this method before, but I love the study and technicality of it. There is definitely a difference in intensity with various methods so this intrigues me! Thanks for sharing it here!
Fransic Verso said…
I think I've done this but was a lonng time ago. I'm a coffee lover and wil try this method. Thank you for sharing!

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