Coffee can be quite a complex subject these days, with menus at coffee shops providing more options than ever before. But even at its most basic level, the black coffee, there is so much that can be done to change the flavour of the brew. The most important factor in this for any brewing method is the brew ratio, which is just a fancy term for the ratio of ground coffee to water.
Why does it matter?
The brew ratio influences the coffees strength, flavour and mouthfeel, and can drastically change the drink you end up with. This means that it’s incredibly important to have a consistent coffee ratio for every drink made by each brewing method, and also that you’re using the right kind of coffee for each method to really get the best out of your beans. Nobody would be able to successfully run a business if each espresso they sold tasted different!
Different brew ratios for each method
Of course, different brewing methods require different coffee ratios. As you would expect, the most intense kinds of coffees, such as espresso and ristretto, will generally have a ratio of between 1:1 and 1:3, but other kinds of brewing like filter, French press etc can vary wildly. You must also take into consideration things like the brew time, which could drastically change the flavour of the coffee and can actually end up altering the brew ratio and vice versa. For example, if you’re making an espresso and change the brew ratio to pass more water through, you will also be increasing the brew time.
What effects brew ratio?
If we’re looking just at an espresso, there are a number of different factors that can influence the brew ratio of your shot:
- Dose – obviously how much coffee you use in each shot needs to be correctly measured to maintain consistency.
- The grind – if the coffee is not finely ground then the flow rate will increase, altering the brew ratio.
- Tamping – similarly, the density of the coffee can alter how easily water flows through.
- Time – The brew time also needs to be consistent to make sure the espresso yield is the same each time.
All of these factors are part of the learning process for all baristas, with the ability to pull the perfect espresso coming along with time and a lot of practice. Of course, not everyone has the luxury of professionally trained baristas on hand to keep their brews tasting great, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on amazing quality coffee.
WMF machines automatically grind and tamp each espresso shot perfectly every time, keeping the brew ratio consistent and every coffee tasting incredible. From the classic stylings of the WMF Espresso, to the versatility of the WMF 1500S+, there’s something for every business, be it a coffee shop, restaurant, hotel or office. Download a brochure to see the whole range.