My coffee seminar on Wednesday focused on the ratio between coffee and water. Before I go further I want to remind you all about the importance of the type of water you use. Coffee is 95% water, so if you do not use good, clean water, you will not have a good cup! It is recommended that you either use filtered or bottled water to brew.
For the seminar, I brewed the same coffee with three different measurements of coffee. All coffees were brewed as a pour over. The coffee in decanter A was 15g of coffee to 400g of water. The coffee in decanter B was 22g of coffee to 400g of water. And the coffee in decanter C was 30g of coffee to 400g of water.
When we smelled the first batch there was not much to it. It smelled vaguely of coffee but we were not able to pick out any distinct notes from the coffee. When we tasted the coffee, we found it was sour and had very little taste. This is due to extraction during the initial brewing process. There was too much water for the amount of coffee used resulting in an under extraction of flavor and leaving a sour, watery taste.
The second batch contained the correct measurements. The first thing we did was compare the color of this coffee to the first cup. The first cup was a light color. We could see the sides of the cup through the liquid as we moved it around. The second cup was a beautiful umber brown color that had slight carmel coloring to it as well. Next we found the berry notes of the coffee were very prominent during both the smelling and tasting process. We enjoyed this coffee for a while and talked about how you identify acidity, body, and flavor.
We arrived at the final batch and smelled our coffee. The smell was still present but muddled. We could not pick out the distinct berry notes from before, nor any other notes for that matter. When we tried the coffee, we found that the taste was similar to the second batch but had a bitter aftertaste with nothing distinctive to enjoy. This was the result of the coffee being over extracted. Meaning the water took too much flavor from the coffee during the brewing process.