When it comes to brewing a perfect cup of coffee, there's no denying that agitation is key. That's why so many baristas prefer the pour-over method - it allows for a thorough saturation of the coffee grounds, leading to a better extraction and ultimately a tastier cup of joe. But how best to achieve this saturation? There are many schools of thought, with some baristas opting for a nice swirl with a spoon. But there's a new kid on the block - the Wet Weiss technique.
What is a Weiss Distribution Tool?
The WDT is a small tool that looks like a mini whisk. It's designed specifically for distributing espresso grounds but can also be used to agitate your pour-over coffee. Using it is simple, stir the coffee bed during bloom and after the first poor to release the trapped air. This results in an evenly saturated bed, leading to improved extraction and flavor.
Improving your brews
The Bloom - preinfusion
The bloom is a crucial step to achieve an even flow and extraction during a brew. When the water hits the dry coffee grounds, the hydraulic resistance goes down drastically in the region watered.
The water then flows down the path of least resistance and travels farther downward. Then the capillary action helps the water propagate through the coffee bed in every direction.
To help the coffee achieve a faster bloom, you can use the WDT tool to stir your coffee bed. It will help to get all the grounds wet and help achieve a more even extraction.
During the bloom, the gases in the coffee are released. Some of this gas travels upwards and leaves the bed and another part stays in it. These bubbles cause the water to redirect away and leave a part under-extracted.
Once the bloom is complete and you start your pour, it's important to agitate the coffee bed once more. Using the WDT after the first pour will release the gas that is stuck in the coffee bed, helping to improve extraction. The reason is important to get those gases out is because they act like little blockers for the water. It will cause the water to take another path making the extraction less even.
Agitation after the first bloom will also cause the fine to come back up. They get stuck on the filter and leave the bed more uniform. This reduced the chance of clogging the filter and makes for a more even extraction.
How We Tested It
To see if the Wet Weiss was effective, we brewed 5 coffees with a Fellow Stagg X and a V60. We replicated the brew, without changing the parameters and grind size, with different bloom methods. We did a simple brewer swirl, a stir with a spoon and finally the Wet Weiss method.
Our experiments have shown that contact time is linked to extraction in most brewing methods. We noticed this effect when we stirred the bloom of a V60, increasing it by about 12 seconds and boosting extraction around 0.6%.
The interesting thing about the Wet Weiss technique is not just the increased drawdown time, but also that the extractions are higher than the control coffees. This could be due to less clogging and channeling. Furthering the research could lead us to understand better what makes for an optimal coffee, or at least one with high yields!
In addition to its practical benefits, the Wet Weiss has another big advantage over other agitation methods - it's fun! Swirling your brew basket around may be satisfying, but it doesn't hold a candle to the sheer joy of using the Wet Weiss. There's something about that little tool that just brings a smile to your face. And who doesn't want to start their day with a smile?
So there you have it - the Wet Weiss is not only an effective way to achieve uniform saturation of your coffee grounds, but it's also fun to use! If you're looking for an easy way to improve your pour over game, we highly recommend giving the Wet Weiss technique a try. Add one to your brewing toolkit today and see for yourself how this nifty little tool can take your coffee from good to great.