How many times do you pour water through the filter...


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Oct 9, 2004
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..when making manual drip coffee? I've found that the coarser the grind, the more times water should be poured through to optimize taste. When I've gotten extremely finely ground coffee, one time works very well (and in fact doing it more than once clogs the filter). With the drip grind coffee I'm currently using (Jim's Organic Coffee), I pour water in 2 times when I use 4-5 tablespoons of grounds - about 1½ - 2 ounces the first time, then 6 - 8 ounces. When I make coffee with 2 tablespoons or a little more grounds, I run water through 3 times - 1 - 2 teaspoons first, then 1 - 1½ ounces then 2 - 2½ ounces.
Overextraction produces nasty coffee. If you're brewing in such a way that you're not getting good extraction first pass, then there is probably a better way to brew and get it right the first time.

One of the more entertaining experiments I have folks making espresso for the first time do is to brew two shots in series from the same coffee. The facial expressions for taste difference between the two shots is worth the price of admission.

If you're using an auto drip brewer, you're going to be heating brewed cofee - exposing it to a heating element. That is going to produce some nasty results and lead to tedious cleaning parties. If you brew with an autodrip the first time and then just pour that through a filter basket (not pouring brewed coffee into the reservoir) then it won't get scorched, but you still run a risk of over extraction.

With many things in life, there is a lot to be said for - do it right, do it once.
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I don't use a machine, I put a cone on top of the mug and make a cup or half-cup at a time. With a small batch like this, if I don't pour a little bit of water in before pouring in the rest, the coffee is underextracted. I've also gotten the coffee very finely ground and poured all the water in all at once - that works pretty well as well.
I wanted to bring up this old thread again because I have found lately that manual drip is working consistently well for me at home. I have a perculator which can make good coffee but you have to get the ground just right and I use a blade grinder so it is tough! Same thing with my french press. With the manual drip...I boil the water, let it calm a bit and pour just enough slowly to wet all the grounds and let the coffee bloom....then as it passes through, I add a bit more water....then the remaining water after a few more seconds.....never all at once. I also re-heat the water to boiling while waiting for some water to pass through.