Before I even ordered my Kalita Wave, I did some research on potential recipes to use. I did the same thing when I got my Aeropress. I wanted to know how I should go about using the device so that I was prepared to make my first brew. After reading through a few recipes, I found one on Drop Coffee which was simple and easy for me to understand. I did not want to over-complicate my brewing so I choose this simple recipe.
Having a recipe gave me a good place to start with the Wave. I had no prior experience with pour-over coffee and my knowledge about how to build a pour-over recipe was entirely theoretical. I needed to brew a few cups before I could play around with the device in more depth, exploring variables that may allow me to produce a better brew. I used the recipe I found a couple of times to help me get used to brewing on the Wave.
Later, I started to experiment. I tried to agitate my brew using a spoon. I found that this had a negligible impact on the final cup, to the point where I now no longer stir. It did not seem worth it to stir my brew when I was not noticing any significant difference in taste. I tried two grind settings and I found one that allows the water to flow through the coffee quickly without gushing out, which is something you want to avoid in any pour-over brewing.
Some experiments really paid off, such as when I tried to pour around the sides of the filter. Pouring toward the sides of the filter helps me ensure grounds did not get stuck high up in the filter during brewing.
After a few weeks of experimentation, I've arrived at a recipe I really like. The recipe is as follows:
15 grams of coffee and 250 grams of water
Prepare the Kalita Wave on top of a mug or carafe, insert a paper filter, rinse the filter, then pour in the ground coffee. Shake the Kalita Wave so that the beg of coffee is flat. This makes it easier to saturate all of the grounds with water.
Pour 50 grams of water over the bed of coffee. Wait until 0:30.
Pour 50 grams of water at 0:30, 1:00, 1:30, and 2:00.
Let the coffee draw down until most of it has left the cup. Typically, I remove the Kalita Wave from the top of the cup after three minutes.
Pouring in 50 gram increments every 30 seconds lets me keep a good amount of water flowing through the device without all of the water draining through. I grind my coffee at the 16 setting on my Baratza Encore grinder which keeps the water flowing well through the water. I've never had a problem with the water being too high in the device, either. I tried a continuous pour—where you pour continuously until you pour in all of your water, which starts after a bloom period—but I could not produce a great cup with this method after several attempts.
I think recipes are a good starting off point when it comes to brewing. Once you have made a few good cups, you can experiment and see if you can improve your brew. I'm experimenting a lot with my Aeropress at the minute. I have a good recipe that I know I can go back to but I want to see the quality of a cup I can produce using other methods.
In the case of the Kalita Wave, I've tried stirring, a continuous pour, swirling the coffee to agitate the grounds, and more. I found that the recipe above produces a better cup. But, your results may vary. If you are in the mood, try experimenting with your recipe and push the boundaries of your coffee making. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by how a change in your recipe can help you produce a better cup.