A guide to making delicious drip filter coffee, using the Moccamaster.
A guide to making delicious drip filter coffee, using the Moccamaster
The Moccamaster is one of the best domestic size drip filter brewers on the market.
In addition to having excellent product features (SCAE and SCAA endorsement, 5 year warranty, commercial build quality beautiful design etc etc.), the Moccamaster has a number of features that enable it to produce coffee of the highest quality:
- adjustable flow valve on the brew basket
- 9 hole spray head that distributes water evenly
- open brew basket allows for agitation – Many filter brewers have a closed basket that prevents agitation, which is necessary to achieve even extraction
- very good temperature stability (slurry is maintained at 92-96 deg. C)
MOCCAMASTER BREWING GUIDE
You can, of course, just put a filter in the basket, drop in some coffee, put in some water and turn it on – you’ve got a brew.
But, if you want to get the best out of it, then there’s lots to learn.
The first thing to learn about is the filter basket.
The filter basket flow valve has three positions: Open 1/1, open 1/2, closed.
To maintain fair brewing times across a range of batch sizes, it is necessary to change the flow rate to suit the changing resistance of the filter bed as the grinds increase or decrease in size and quantity. This is what the valve is used for.
The brewing time for a batch of filter coffee made in the Moccamaster should be between 5 – 6 minutes, regardless of the batch size.
This means that for smaller batches, you use the closed and 1/2 open position to limit the flow rate and for large batches, use the fully open setting.
If you want to, the Moccamaster can be used as a steep and release brewer, in the style of the Clever Coffee Dripper (except you don’t need to boil the kettle). We commonly do this when brewing batches using less than 500g brew water.
The grind size you are using also affects the brewing time. Coarser grinds will make the flow rate faster and decrease extraction, while finer grinds will do the opposite. For smaller batches use finer grinds and when brewing larger batches use coarser grinds.
Figuring out the batch size, grind size and valve position/time combination takes some experimentation.
Regardless of the batch size, the valve should remain closed for at least the first minute of water dispensing. Keeping the valve closed for this time provides enough water to thoroughly and evenly wet the coffee.
To start with, these general rules may help you:
- For batches smaller using less than 400g water: Keep the valve closed for 3 mins, open 1/2 to drain.
- For batches using between 400g and 850g water: Keep the valve closed for 1.5 mins, open 1/2 2 mins, fully open to drain.
- For batches larger than 850g: Keep the valve closed for 1 – 1.5 mins, open full.
- Although the brewer can brew up to 1250g, I find the best results come from batches around 1000g (+/- 100g).
- Filter papers: the Moccamaster takes a #4 filter paper. We prefer the white, oxygen bleached type.
You will need:
- Moccamaster Technivorm brewer
- Acaia scales
- Filtropa #4 filter papers
- Coffee beans
- A stirring tool – a chopstick, a spoon, your Aeropress paddle
As with all brewing methods using paper filters, the filter must be rinsed with hot water before brewing to remove any paper taste and to preheat the brewing basket. With the Moccamaster, there is a second objective to this: flushing out any old water remaining in the boiler and the glass transfer tube. I just measured mine and the water remaining was 200g. Brewing coffee with old or previously boiled water is undesirable, so we use the anyway-necessary prewetting to purge this as well.
- Fill the Moccamaster to between 2 and 4 on the side (250 – 500g water).\
- Fold the filter (see ‘how to fold a filter’) and put it in the basket
- Close the valve (position O)
- Turn the Moccamaster on.
- Wait until all the water has been dispensed. The filter basket should be quite full. **While it’s wetting you should grind your coffee and weigh out the brewing water.**
- Open the valve to full to let the water flow through to the carafe.
For a batch using 1020g brewing water and 60g coffee:
- Tare the brewing basket on the scales and add 60g ground coffee
- Weigh 1020g of fresh filtered water
- Set the basket in place and close the valve
- Pour the water into the tank
- When the first water is dispensed, start the timer
- Rotate the basket to ensure the water is spread evenly on the bed
- When the timer reaches 1 minute, give a stir, making sure to wet all the grinds that have risen to the top and formed a crust, then open the valve to 1/1
- When the timer reaches about 3 minutes, give the slurry a quick stir
- When the last water has been dispensed, give the slurry another quick stir. This is important, because it will set your drain bed up to be nice and flat by moving all of the coffee grinds into suspension, where they can be rearranged by gravity.
- When the draining is finished, look at the drainbed. It should be nice and flat or mildly domed.
- Give the pot of coffee a stir and serve.
When you stir, make sure it is gentle. Stirring too hard will make your coffee bitter. For the first stirring and wetting at 1 minute, use the back of a soup spoon, and from thereon in a chopstick or similar.
Variation: iced filter
Cold brew and cold drip coffee is currently very fashionable. There is a variation on this theme that has a more underground popularity, at least in Australia. This style of iced coffee is very popular in Japan. Instead of brewing the coffee with cold water, you brew a concentrated batch with hot water then crash chill it to lock in the freshness and vitality of hot coffee, characters so often lacking in cold brew. As the ice melts it will bring the coffee back to a more regular strength.
You can make iced filter with any filter brewing device. It’s quite common to make it with a manual pourover such as the Hario V60 or the Kalita Wave. I find it’s easier to use an immersion brewing device, like the CCD, a plunger or the Moccamaster.
The method is the same as above to that above, except for the following:
- Don’t preheat the catching vessel – this is where you put the ice. Use half the water in the recipe as ice. i.e., for the recipe above, you would need to use 500g of ice
- Use only half the brewing water for your ratio. i.e. if you were using the above recipe, you would use 500g of water.
- Give the slurry an extra stir at two minutes
This is delicious stuff. Try mixing with a bit of sparkling water and lemon, particularly with zingy East African coffees.