Welcome to part two of this blog post. Below are some recipe ideas, but before we get there, some troubleshooting!

I’m still having coffees drain really slowly!

  • Pre grind your coffee a little before brewing
  • Start with a coarse grind setting
  • *Controversial* Use coffee beyond 4 weeks after roast.** 
  • Try pouring with more time in the centre and more height
  • Avoid washing down the sides of the brewer
  • *Also controversial* but I also usually find faster draining times with bigger doses, like 20g with 2 x 150g pours
  • Shift your two-pour recipe to 50g bloom and a 150g pour (pouring 50g circle and 100g centre). This is another one that I find gives me some very nice results and typically gives a bit more flexibility on the grind size, since the second pour can take a while to drain.
  • If none of this works, it could be the density of your coffee. I find washed lots especially from Ethiopia, Colombia, Kenya can be slow. Naturals, lower altitude lots and coffees roasted more ‘medium’ and beyond can drain very very fast. In this case, I’d try something different!

My coffees drain really quickly!

  • Go finer in grind - toward the 18-22 click or ‘fine side of medium-fine’ range
  • Go hotter in temperature. Increasing extraction here is a good move if your cups are tasting quite weak.
  • Add an extra pour. You’ll see in the recipe section below my approach there. This is my favourite way and usually a way that gets me some ridiculously tasty cups.
  • Add two extra pours. Why not!
  • If none of this works, you might just be working with a faster draining coffee like an experimental, natural, bigger bean or potentially lower altitude lot^.
  • On that, roast also plays a factor. This dripper was designed with ‘Nordic’ style roasts in mind, so differing styles and more ‘medium’ style coffee can drain quite quickly*.

Recipes, duh

Before I list things here I’ll just quickly write that you can scale all these up depending on how much coffee you make. To keep things simple I’ll write everything based around what’s below unless otherwise specified.

Dose: 12-13g coffee, depending on how strong you want your cup.

Temperature: 90 - 99c, adjusting for roast, cup strength or desired flavours.

Grind: Start at whatever your medium/medium-coarse is. For me that’s 7/9 on my Ditting, 7 on 1zpresso, 25 on Comandante, or 16 on Timemore C2.

Standard 2 x 100g

This is the standard, go-to April Brewer recipe. Light body, lots of clarity and in my experience quite dependable.

0’00 Pour 100g, 30g in a circle to saturate all the coffee and 70g in the centre.

0’40 Fill up to 200g, 30g in a circle to saturate all the coffee and 70g in the centre.

2’30 - 3’00 TBT

Here’s some pointers:

  • Rinsing down the sides on the second pour can be a useful technique if you have a very fast draining coffee to extend contact time.
  • Not rinsing down the sides can be a useful technique if you have a slow draining coffee to prevent stalling. To be honest I find it just lightens the extraction a bit and cups still taste really delicious.
  • I like to pour quite high for the centre pours on all these recipes. I think it helps speed things up a bit and almost always leaves a perfectly flat bed. If you pour too close it can not create the agitation required.

Small bloom, big pour

Simple recipe that really helps the April Brewer function a bit closer to a V60, but with the added benefit of the cup clarity that comes from the April Brewer.

0’00 Pour 50g, saturating to bloom.

0’40 Fill up to 200g, 50g in a circle to saturate all the coffee 100g in the centre from a bit higher.

2’30 - 3’00 TBT

Here’s some pointers:

  • I almost always rinse down the sides at the start of the second pour here. Not doing so can help with your drawdown times.
  • The higher water level usually leaves a really nice, low, flat bed with not many grinds on the side - especially if you rinse down at the start of the second pour.
  • The drawdown can slow down quite a bit, but even if it looks quite slow I usually get a full drawdown by 3’20. The 100g centre pour really helps move things along.

Standard 3 Pour

Fun fact: this is the original recipe provided with the April Brewer, and it’s also my go-to 3 pour recipe. I find it is amazing with faster draining coffees and more of a classic ‘Third Wave US/Australia/Europe’ style roast. Bit more body, bit more perceived sweetness and a bit more of a round flavour.

0’00 Pour 50g, saturating to bloom.

0’40 Fill up to 150g, pouring 30g circle and 70g in the centre.

1’10 Fill up to 200g, pouring 50g in the centre.

2’30 - 3’00 TBT.

Here’s some pointers:

  • I tend to not rinse the sides on the second pour, because I find the bed is always very flat and grinds are surprisingly not very high up the filters. But you can rinse if you like, it just will probably take a bit longer to drain.
  • If you’re pouring onto dry coffee for your third pour, your grind is too coarse. There should be a couple centimeters of water for your kettle to hit.

Fun 3 Pour

An inverted version of the above. I find the flavours in a side by side comparison to be a bit lighter with a little more complexity. Good for coffees with a lighter body and lots of complexity in my opinion, and (probably) better for Nordic roasts, since the big pour at the end helps increase flow rate in my experience.

0’00 Pour 50g, saturating to bloom.

0’40 Fill up to 100g, pouring 20g circle and 30g in the centre. Pour steadily here, don’t worry about height.

1’10 Fill up to 200g, pouring 30g in a circle and 70g in the centre.

2’30 - 3’00 TBT.

4 Pour (yes, you can!)

This is a recipe I often sleep on but it’s really wonderful. Great for experimental stuff since you don’t need a super coarse grind for very fast draining coffees. The body is a bit bigger and the texture is quite beautiful. The other thing is, keeping your first two pours small means you can create more downward pressure later, helping mitigate any clogging.

0’00 30g, saturating to bloom.

0’40 Fill up to 60g, centre pour.

1’10 Fill up to 130g, pouring 20g in a circle and 50g in the centre.

1’40 Fill up to 200g pouring all in the centre.

3’00 - 4’00 TBT.

Here’s some pointers:

  • I would start at the coarse side of medium-coarse.
  • During the final pour, you should be pouring onto a water level that's still above the bed of coffee. If it's dropped down, your grind is probably too coarse.
  • This is a surprisingly versatile recipe for this brewer, butI  would use a faster draining coffee. This won’t help speed up slow draining coffees, so I tend to keep it for things like Geishas or
    coffees I know will drain quite happily.

Once again, if you're in Australia you can purchase the April Brewer from my store, BEDST.

**I'm really just including this because I always brew using more rested coffee, and when I use fresher coffee I ~tend~ to have less consistent results brewing across the board. I wish I could cite something but it's really just something I've noticed in my personal experience and a habit that matches my lifestyle of purchasing coffee and taking a few weeks to actually get around to brewing it.

^The point of this addition is to say a coffee that drains really fast is gonna drain really fast no matter the brewer, and likewise with a slow draining coffee. This generally has to do with density from my understanding, but it’s a big world and I’m trying not to generalise too much to simply say it’s ‘because you’re using a more or less dense coffee’.

*I’m just gonna add the ol’ disclaimer that roast terminology is incredibly vague and can be misleading. There’s a lot that happens in a roast that goes beyond ‘ultra-light, light, medium, dark’, and coffee choice, in my experience, usually plays the most significant role. General development will affect the way a coffee grinds, and how many fines it creates, but there’s other factors too. References in this article are more for guidance.