Compass with tips for preparing filter coffee

The origin of the compass

The whole story begins at the 2013 World Barista Championships, which PeteLicata won. He had been a barista for 10 years at that point. But after his win, questions started piling up about how he prepares his coffee, so balanced? How does he bring out the exact flavor in his coffee? And so compasses were created to help you navigate the flavors of coffee and make the adjustments you need.

A compass with tips for making filter coffee

Adjustments in filter coffee preparation need to be approached in a comprehensive way. However, you can take a cue from the compass to ensure that your next cup of coffee isn't bitter or watery like the last.

The compass has 4 main points:

  • Bitterness
  • Acidity/acidity
  • Wateriness/weakness
  • Strength/fullness of flavour

You may also encounter a combination of points, in which case more factors need to be adjusted.

What should I do if my coffee is too bitter?

If you make a cup of coffee that is too bitter, you've probably made one of these mistakes:

  • Grinding too finely
  • Very hot water
  • Poor extraction - uneven steeping
  • Long extraction time

Bitter coffee can also be caused by bad water, so be sure to use filtered water when preparing it. A filter kettle will rid the water of unwanted substances and enrich it with magnesium, which helps proper extraction.

My cup of coffee is too acidic

Some coffees are acidic naturally, if you don't like acidic coffees, try reaching for a packet of less acidic coffee next time.

If you want to lessen the acidity in your coffee, try:

  • A finer grind
  • Higher water temperature

My coffee is too weak and watery

Another common problem is watery and bland-tasting coffee. The first thing to check is the ratio of coffee to water used. The baseline you should start from is 6g of coffee to 100ml of water. If your coffee was too watery try increasing the amount of coffee or conversely use less water.

A bland tasting coffee can also be affected by cold water, very coarse grinding which goes hand in hand with a short extraction time. A coarser grind makes the water swell more easily and thus faster.

The solution to weak coffee can therefore be:
  • Adjusting the coffee/water ratio
  • Finer grinding
  • Higher water temperature

If you are brewing in an AeroPress, dripper V60, or French Press stirring the coffee during extraction can also help.

Keep the water temperature under control with a barista kettle with adjustable temperature

What to do if the coffee is too strong?

Some people like strong and flavourful coffee, but if this is not the case for you, take a look at the following tips.

You've probably over-extracted your coffee, for example,frequent stirring of the coffee in the V60, AeroPress or FrenchPress could have caused this. Stirring the coffee about 2 times during the whole brew is enough.

Avery fine grind or a bad coffee ratiocould also be to blame . So next time you may need to try a coarser grind or reduce the amount of coffee used.

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