The World Brewers Cup is an annual event where competitors face-off for the opportunity to win the title "World Brewer Cup Champion." The event is split into two rounds. The first round competitors make four beverages in compulsory and open service. Those with the highest scores get to move on to compete in the final round consisting exclusively of open service. The competitor with the highest score wins the championship.
What does that mean for coffee drinkers like you and me? The opportunity to learn new and exclusive coffee preparation methods that elevate the drinking experience. Much like the new 4:6 Method from 2016's winner, Tetsu Kasuya. Of all the winners to come out of the competition, Mr. Kasuya's original recipe has become popular for its attainability. In a recent article Kasuya said:
"The philosophy I hold dearest is that anyone should be able to brew good coffee. I think this comes from my educational and professional experience. I studied finance and worked as an IT consultant, which trained me in logical thinking and ways to consider reproducibility."
What is the 4:6 Method
4:6 represents the quantity of water and when it's contributed to the pour. In this method, you use three times the amount of water to the coffee grounds split between five different pours. What makes this process unprecedented is the splitting of the water quantities allowing the barista to control the sweetness of the finished product. The first 40% of the boiling water creates a balance of sweetness and acidity. The remaining 60% adjusts the strength.
Get the Most Flavor Out of Your Coffee Beans
For a full-bodied taste, you'll want to properly grind your coffee beans before starting the 4:6 Method. No one intentionally purchases stale coffee, but pre-ground beans are more or less lacking in flavor because the grinds have already deteriorated in flavor. Oxygen slowly breaks down the molecules disrupting the integrity of the taste and notes of each bean. It's called oxidation and affects most edible products like cookies, bread, and fruits. Once the coffee has gone through the grinder, it's fresh for about 30 minutes. The freshness of whole coffee beans, on the other hand, last for weeks at a time.
Coarsely Ground Coffee
Before the 4:6 can begin, you'll want to obtain coarsely ground coffee with your at-home grinder. Getting the consistency of the grind is critical to delivering a perfect 4:6 Method. Water interacts with the coffee beans to extract flavor from the cells. As the water washes over the beans and begins to pull the flavor, the sourness, and the acidity from the beans filters down into the coffee. Here is when the notes from the bean are further identified by the use of boiling water that draw out the properties that make each roast unique.
The 4:6 Method Step-by-Step
For one cup, coarsely grind 20g of coffee.
Prepare 300 cups of boiling water.
Start your first pour with 60g of your boiling water.
Important Note: Each pour is essential and uniquely makes up this winning method. Water should completely finish dripping before you start the second. This should last around 45 seconds. If your water is dripping faster or slower, adjust the coarseness of your beans to accommodate.
Pour an additional 60g of water over the coarse beans.
*At this stage, 40% of the water has been used in the 4:6 Method.
Split 180g of boiling water into three pours. Continuing to wait until the liquid has completely stopped dripping before starting the next pour.
Serve your coffee!
Visual learner? Check out the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish this brewing method.