World Brewer's Cup 2016 Champion
Guide to the World's Best Cup of Coffee - The 4:6 Method
Anyone can make delicious coffee. Just ask Tetsu Kasuya from Coffee Factory Japan - winner of the 2016 World Brewers Cup.
Using 20 grams of coarsely ground, naturally processed, and handpicked Panama beans from Ninety Plus Coffee, 300 grams of 92°C / 192.7°F, 6.6 pH pure water at 0.3ppm, and his 4:6 Method, Kasuya was able to brew a sweet, perfectly balanced coffee noted for its smooth, and juicy mouth feel, and long, sweet, and lingering aftertaste.
Incredibly balanced and round, Kasuya’s special cup was noted for its unique property of turning sweeter and smoother as it cools down. “The aroma you can find [is] peach, and bright cherry...The flavors you can find peach and blackberry - when it’s hot - and when it cools down you can find strawberry and pineapple." "The aftertaste is very long and sweet...It changes from strawberry to cacao.”
According to Kasuya, “A truly great coffee is one that has lingering sweetness - and this is such coffee.”
Take a look below at some of his tips and techniques on how you can brew your own award winning cup of coffee.
The 4:6 Method - Finding Perfect Balance Between Sweetness and Acidity
Kasuya originated this technique because he wanted “to find an easy [brewing] method for the coffee lover, not only for the professional.” "This simple brew method makes coffee that is “super clean, light, sweet, and powerful.”
It is named the 4:6 Method because this method divides total brewing time into 2 parts - the 40% - and the 60%. To do so, we divide the total water used into 2 parts: the first 40% and latter 60%. According to Kasuya, originator of the technique, “the first 40% will balance of acidity and sweetness, [while] the second 60% will decide total brew strength.”
Here is a video to see how Kasuya performed the method himself - to brilliant success - in his final championship round at the 2016 World Brewer’s Cup:
The 4:6 Method - An In Depth Guide & Notes From Video
First, grind 20 grams of coffee to coarse grind “to get the clean and bright flavors out of the coffee.” For the competition, Kasuya used 300 grams of pure water at 0.3ppm and a pH of 6.6 to “[make] acidity light, clean, and juicy.”
(If you are using less grounds, use 3x amount of water to grounds and multiply that 5x for five pours - so for 15g of grounds, use 225 grams of water)
The 4:6 begins by dividing the total brew time into 2 parts - the 40% and the 60%. 1st 40% will decide balance of acidity and sweetness; 2nd 60% will decide brew strength.
The First Phase: 40% - “The 4”
“The amount of water in 1st and 2nd pour decides acidity and sweetness of final cup.”
For 300 grams of water, the first 2 pours will be 120 grams - 40% of 300 grams is 120 grams. He uses 50 grams of water in the first pour - his personal choice. “If I use more water in the first pour the acidity will be stronger. But if I use less water in the first pour the overall sweetness will be stronger...To get more sweetness of this coffee, I use less water in the 1st pour - 50 grams.” For the second pour, he pours the remaining 70 grams - so that “the sweetness stands out more.”
For this method, only pour after “all liquid has dripped down into the decanter.”
“This timing makes the selection of heat very high - and increases brew strength for coarse ground coffee like this.”
The Second Phase: 60% - “The 6”
Third Pour - The total number of pours will change brew strength - more pours for higher strength, less pours for lower strength.
For coarse grind, Kasuya suggests dividing the rest of the water to 3 even pours of 60 grams of water each.
Simply continue to pour in even intervals, after waiting for all liquid to drip down into the decanter.
To brew with precision, like Kasuya, or any other professional barista, we suggest our Pour Over Kettle with a Built In Thermometer - an essential tool in gauging the perfect temperature to perfect your craft.
We hope that you enjoyed today’s newsletter - and that you take the time to see how this method can drastically elevate your brewing - and coffee - to the next level.
PS: A word of advice from the world champion brewer himself: “The most important thing is knowing what good coffee is. It’s not difficult to brew. But if you don’t know what good coffee is, you cannot brew that.” Today, you can find Kasuya and his award winning coffee in Philocoffea Roastery & Laboratory in Funabashi, Japan.