Did I mention I won the bounty on methodology? Anyway, I am looking into updating, revising and expanding the comments on this. I will hopefully get to do some experiments in different media since my roommate recently got a size #2 and #4 filtercone manual brewing basket.
Now obviously the first three things that should leap to mind are what the respondent Bob put up: Ratio of grounds to water, Coarseness of the grind, Temperature of the water.
With that in mind, these three things and controlling them are akin to ensuring your water is boiling befor you put pasta in. You need to ensure these things or your process won't work, at all. What's fantastic is that these three things are totally controllable. See the remedies below:
- Ratio of grounds to water - Remedy: measuring spoon
- Coarseness of the grind - Remedy: a good coffee grinder, or eyes to tell you the coffee is medium ground
- Temperature of the water - Remedy: thermometer, or eyes to tell you the water is about to boil
That said, here's the most important thing for you improve your actual process:
- pour time: some automatic coffee makers shove the coffee through because you're in a rush. fantastic. others have a sprinkle head and pour out over a deliberately extended period of time. This is because you are trying to extract flavor as thoroughly as possible. Quick is not thorough.Maintain a slow, steady pour; trickling is less effective since it will cause an uneven leeching from the grinds so be wary of this, submerging is less effective since you will lose heat from your water as it sits there. This is probably the most important part of a good brewing technique.
- You need to learn how to manage the following: it should take 4-5 minutes, pouring evenly over all the grinds, to extract a full 10 cup pot. Hopefully your arm is strong or you're only doing 1 cup.
- That said, more practically speaking, you will want to refer to this link for a chart on specific infusion times: for a #4 filter, and 20 ounces of coffee, you will want to spend two minutes and thirty seconds on the infusion (they recommend 32g/4ish rounded Tbsp of coffee)
- Here's a video documenting the whole process
For more of the why, click here
The steam you lose brewing up your 20 ounces of coffee for the #4 filtercone and 32g ground coffee? Probably doesn't matter if you're using a closed kettle, especially if it is spouted