Controlled Agitation brewing is simply being aware of the behavior of particles throughout the brewing process as well as taking into account the optimal methods for extracting flavor compounds from ground coffee.
Whether the intention is to achieve a specific flavor balance in the cup or maintaining flavor clarity at high extraction yields, we believe that coffee extraction is not simply a chemical process, but a mechanical process as well.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Dripper: Flat Bottom (Kalita Wave, Blue Bottle Dripper, or any other dripper that is compatible with wave style filters) or Conical (Hario V60).
Coffee: 15-18 grams of ground coffee sized so majority of particles are uniformly sized (akin to kosher salt or finer). When using larger doses please see *Hybrid Pulsing Section.
Water: 150ppm or softer filtered water or mineralized distilled water (Third Wave Water/GC Water).
Kettle: Gooseneck Kettle capable of easily controlling pour angle from vertical to arched streams.
Scale: We recommend measuring the output of water because water retention can vary based on characteristics of ground coffee.
Melodrip: All recipes use a Melodrip to control agitation.
Melodrip Stick: Inspection tool used to inspect and dislodge dry particles (hydrophobic clumps) during the bloom. Not optimized to promote extraction rates.
MELODRIP RECIPE B - By Ray Murakawa
- 15-18g Coffee (For larger doses i.e. 18-30g Coffee, use Hybrid Pour Method)
- Finely Ground
- 3:30-4:30 Total Brew Time
- 17:1 Water:Coffee Ratio
- Dose 15-18g Ground Coffee into Pre Rinsed Filter/Dripper (*Read Hybrid Pour for Larger Doses)
- Bare Kettle Spiral Pour 3x Coffee Mass (15g x 3 =45ml Water) (205-210F)
- Inspect Slurry with Melodrip Stick.
- Wait 30-45s. Bloom Time.
- Melodrip Sprinkle 2x Coffee Mass (15g x 2 = 30ml Water)
- Repeat until 17:1 Ratio or desired output.
This is the basic recipe which we recommend for your everyday standard specialty coffee roast and gravity driven coffee drippers.
This recipe was developed to minimize particle suspension, so all applications of water focus on maintaining low percentage of solids by volume (of water) throughout the brewing process. These methods attempt to reduce the amount of non-settling particles suspended in the slurry which can drain out with brewed coffee and obscure your sensitivity to taste.
1. Pre Rinse the paper filter with hot water. Wait 1min for evaporation of papery or chemical aromas.
2. Pour 15g of ground coffee into the dripper/filter and shake to level the grounds.
3. Slowly Bare Kettle (Without MD) Spiral Pour 45g of hot water (From the center of the slurry outward for conical, and starting outward and inward towards the center for flat bottom).
4. Bloom Inspection:
Conical Drippers: Gently insert the Melodrip Stick in a spiral motion against the filter wall looking for any kinds resistance and dislodge any clumps down to the bottom tip. Scrape down any dry clumps from the surface downward into the slurry.
Flat Bottom Drippers: Gently insert the Melodrip Stick into the middle of the slurry until you feel the bottom - do not drop the stick lower than this level to avoid sealing the holes at the bottom of the dripper. Slowly spiral outward laterally until reaching the lower walls. Then spiral upward gently scraping against the filter wall and lastly using the stick to scrape inward coffee that’s been isolated in between the fins of the filter.
5. MD Sprinkle 2 Times the Weight of Dry Coffee. For 15g of coffee, we recommend pouring 30g of water onto the MD dish.
Keep the MD Dish as low as possible when sprinkling. So place the MD Dish no higher to the surface of water/coffee than the height of the dish itself. The closer the dish, the better the heat transfer and lower the agitation. Pour slowly in an alternating spiral from the center outward back inward. At the same time, hover the dish around the edges of the dripper to ensure an even distributions of water.
6. Repeat until desired total output.
Hybrid Pour Method for Larger Than Recommended Doses (+18g)
The larger the dose of coffee, the taller the brew bed. If your brew is tasting imbalanced (Overly Sour, Bitter, Dry) there is likely an imbalance in distribution of heat and hydration. One remedy is to incorporate Hybrid Pulses one, two, or three, times into your pours.
Melodrip Sprinkling is meant to be a non invasive application of water and as a result is not designed to infiltrate the slurry the same way a bare kettle does. The result is slower heat transfer. In order to reduce suspended particles in deep slurries, we recommend doing a hybrid pour.
Pour 1 Revolution spiral around the slurry with a Bare Kettle, then as you finish the 1 Revolution spiral, bring the MD dish into the pour path and continue sprinkling with the MD around the slurry. This offers efficient heat distribution at a low percentage of solids with the 1 Revolution Bare Kettle Pour and the controlled agitation benefits of applying remaining water with MD. It sounds a bit complicated but fairly simple in practice.
We recommend doing this with larger doses than 18g, or anytime there’s an imbalance in flavor.