the melodrip method. a beginner’s guide.
For Updated Recipe See Blog Post: Melodrip Recipe Updated 2019!
Pour lightly, and keep away from vitals! When pouring fluids onto melodrip, keep sensitive body parts (Face, Eyes) approximately 24 inches away from the dish. Practice pouring with your kettle using cold water to see how melodrip functions.
- Aim for a 5min. brew time. Since the melodrip method greatly reduces fluid agitation there are minimal spikes in extraction that would otherwise lead to a bitterness heavy flavor profile (over-extraction).
- Rinse filter with hot water to hydrate filter and evaporate unwanted odor.
- Use a minimum of 15g medium-fine to fine ground coffee for any brewer. (A couple notches finer than your typical filter grind size).
- Whisk or mix coffee grounds for 10 seconds. This will help minimize clumping and homogenize the brewbed.
- Gently drop coffee grounds into the filter and level the brewbed.
Prepping the Brewbed/Bloom Phase:
This is the most important step in melodrip brewing. This preps the brewbed so it is saturated for even hydraulic conductivity. If these steps are not followed, it is similar to pulling a shot of espresso without tamping, where water can likely channel through dry or unevenly porous coffee grounds.
- Begin sprinkling water until 3x the mass of coffee is reached. For 15g of coffee add ~45g of water in 3 slow increments.
- Use the stick to slowly stir and feel for unsaturated particle masses in the brewbed. Start at the center in an outward spiral and then check the bottom areas (flat, cone, trapezoidal) of the brewer. If you feel any solid clumps, agitate to integrated them into the slurry.
- Let the brewbed properly de-gas, drain, and collapse for ~30sec.
- Position the melodrip dish as close to the brewed as possible and do not exceed 1/4inch above. In a spiral motion on the dish, slowly sprinkle 2x the mass of coffee used. The key is to evenly saturate the brewbed edge to edge by saturating any light colored or bubbling areas. Then concentrate on peaks and rougher topographical areas of the brewbed.
- After sprinkling 2x mass of coffee wait until the waterline drops close to the surface of the brewbed. The waterline should drop onto the surface of the brewbed approximately every 5-7 seconds.
- Use a brewing mirror to observe flowrate. If the brew is draining in a stream and the waterline is dropping onto the surface of the brewbed too quickly (every 2~4sec.), use the stick and gently stir once. If the brew is draining in droplets 1 second apart, the volume of fine particles has overloaded the pores of the filter paper and your flow rate may not be optical (grind coarser).
- Once you reached the last pour, gently pour in the remaining water without using melodrip. This helps to extract any remaining compounds from larger particles that may have had limited access to low concentrate water.
- The complexity and delicacy of some coffees may not be fully identified when tasting at +185F˚. Depending on the insulatory properties of the cup or receptacle being poured into, decanting through melodrip from an extended height can reduce beverage heat up to 7F˚ or more. Hold melodrip high enough to prevent splash-out, then gently pour brewed coffee onto the melodrip dish. The higher the pour onto the dish and into the cup, the lower the temperature will be.
My coffee tastes weak. What’s the deal?!
Be sure the total brewtime from Bloom is approx. 4-5min. If your coffee is measuring at less than 1.20/18%EY and is extracting higher without using melodrip (standard bare kettle), the coffee needs more contact time. As mentioned above, grind finer.
My coffee doesn’t have that umph!
Flavor is subjective and manual brewing is all about personalization and catering to preferences. The melodrip method is designed to bring a different perspective to all of your brewing devices. Whether that be clarity, heightened sense of complexity and focus, more sweetness or amplified acidity and vibrancy, melodrip excels at bringing out the details. If you are used to bigger body and umphy flavors from brewing with a bare kettle, follow until step 12 but stop using melodrip 50% through the brew instead of 80%. This should increase the likelihood of extracting darker flavors, and discharging more insoluble particulate for body.
I think I can taste more, but I don’t know.
If you’re comparing drinks side by side, remember that a melodrip brew is mainly cleaner and clearer because there are less particulates accumulating on your tongue. If you are simultaneously eating foods or drinking a coffee brewed conventionally you may not taste an apparent difference.
When is the best time to drink a melodrip coffee?
Whether there are roast defects such as excessive charring, over development, imbalance of flavors, or just a high volume of fines in the brewer, melodrip will reduce the presence of the insoluble solids that influence these flavors. This is most apparent when drinks are closer to room temperature where we are more sensitive to bitterness. A conventional brew could taste over extracted, while the melodrip brew could maintain clarity and sweetness.