Additional tips for


"Dialling in" refers to adjusting specific brewing parameters to reach a desired flavour outcome.

There are countless variables when brewing coffee: grind size, water temperature, roast level, processing method, variety, and origin just to name a few. This means there's a good chance you'll come across coffees that don't fit your go-to brew method.

Your new washed Gesha might brew faster, resulting in an unbalanced cup compared to the anaerobic Typica you brewed last week.

If you follow some of these guidelines, you'll have a better chance of nailing a brew of the new coffee you just got.

Here's some guidelines to get you started:

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Grind Size

If you're having trouble dialling in a new coffee, the first thing to look at is your grind setting.

Some coffees are more dense than others which results in different grind sizes even on the same grind setting. Dense coffees will brew much faster than lower-density coffees.

The general rule is if your brew is fast and unbalanced, try grinding finer. The opposite is also true.

Water Temperature

The second place to look is water temperature.

Sometimes, grinding finer can result in a stalled brew or muddled flavours. If your goal is to get more flavour while avoiding these negative attributes, use a slightly higher brew temperature.

The higher the temperature, the more you'll extract from the coffee.

However, higher temps aren't always the answer. Sometimes dropping the temperatures is beneficial if your brews are over-extracted, the coffee is lower density, or grown at a lower elevation.

Run an experiment on the same coffee with 3 different brew temperatures: 85ºc, 95ºc, & 100ºc. Taste them side-by-side and notice how it affects the flavours in your cup.

The Coffee

Before you start brewing, it's a good idea to look at the details of the coffee. Take note of origin, varietal, processing method, elevation, and roast level.

A light roast, washed Ethiopian coffee grown at 2000 MASL will be a very dense bean and likely brew fast.

On the other hand, a medium roast, natural coffee from Brazil, grown at 1100 MASL will be a less dense bean and likely brew a lot slower.

Here are some general density guidelines:

High Density -> Lower Density
Washed -> Honey -> Natural
High Elevation -> Low Elevation
Light Roast -> Dark Roast
Short Fermentation -> Long Fermentation

Of course, there are exceptions to this, like a high elevation washed coffee that's gone through an extended fermentation may be less dense than expected.

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Brew Method

The changes you decide to make will also depend on your brew method.

Espresso requires very fine-tuning, whereas hand brews require broader adjustments.

We won't cover every brew method here, but check out our Coffee Brewing Practices page for more details on specific brew methods.

Making Adjustments

To understand how each variable impacts your brew, adjust one parameter at a time.

If you adjust multiple variables at a time, you'll never know which caused the result you came to. Which hinders repeatability.

You'll likely come across a coffee or two that'll defy everything you thought you knew about brewing, which might force you to try something weird, like brewing at 70°c. Or have a 2:00s bloom.

Keep in mind these are just guidelines! There's rarely clear-cut answers when brewing coffee, but we hope these tips help steer you in the right direction.

Here's some coffees to try:

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Much love! 🤍

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