Pouring hot water over ground coffee beans.

How to Make Coffee Using the 4:6 Brewing Method

What Is the 4:6 Method?

The 4:6 Method is a revolutionary hand-drip formula invented by Tetsu Kasuya that won him the coveted title as the 2016 World Brewers Cup Champion. The method gets its name by how the hot water is divided during the pouring stages—40% and 60%—which allows you to adjust the flavor and concentration of the coffee.

By following this method, you can control the taste simply by adjusting the formula rather than relying on experience, technique, or luck.

Tetsu created the 4:6 Method to make it possible for anyone to easily brew delicious coffee.

Not only is it easy to master, but the method is also practiced and recommended by top baristas and coffee lovers around the world for its ability to consistently produce excellent results.

When the 4:6 Method was introduced at the World Brewers Cup, it was recognized for its simplicity, innovation, and excellent taste. As a result, Tetsu won the competition and became the first Asian world champion.

How to Brew with the 4:6 Method

1. Start with a 1:15 ratio of ground coffee beans to water. For example, if you're using 20 g of ground coffee beans, you will need 300 g of hot water.
2. Divide the total amount of hot water into a 4:6 ratio. For example, if you're using 300 g of water, you will divide it into 120 g (40%) and 180 g (60%), respectively.
3. Pour the 40% portion over the coffee grounds, splitting it into two pours. By dividing the pours, you can adjust the flavor. If the first pour is less than the second, the coffee will taste sweeter. If the first pour is more than the second, the coffee will taste brighter.
In this way, you can control the balance between sweetness and acidity simply by adjusting the amount of hot water with each pour.
4. Pour the remaining 60% of hot water to adjust the concentration.  Depending on how many times you divide this portion, you can adjust how strong the coffee will be. Pouring all of it at once will make a lighter coffee, while dividing it into two pours will make it stronger, and three pours even more so.
The 4:6 Method recommends using a medium-coarse to coarse grind. So, Tetsu's advice is to divide the 60% portion into three pours. However, feel free to experiment to find your ideal strength.
Also, if you're using dark roast beans, which result in a relatively thick coffee, you should start with two pours to make the coffee thinner.
The 4:6 coffee brewing method by Philocoffea CEO, Tetsu Kasuya.

How To Make the 4:6 Method Work For You

Here are a few recommendations to make the 4:6 method a breeze.

1. Hario V60 Dripper Kasuya Model + 100 Filters

The 4:6 extraction method uses medium ground powder to clarify the coffee's natural flavor by making it transparent. However, coarse grinding may result in coffee that is thinner than necessary.

This dripper has eliminated the ribs at the bottom inside, which is intentionally designed to slow down the fall of hot water. This allows the coffee to be well concentrated even when medium ground powder is used.
2. Mini Drip Kettle Kasuya Model
We created the Mini Drip Kettle Kasuya Model to make it easier to make a small drip or drip bag extraction for one or two cups. We had samples made many times and focused on the size, weight, and ease of pouring.
The Hario V60 Coffee Drip Scale can measure the amount of hot water and time simultaneously, making it an essential item for brewing delicious coffee.

Prepping for the Perfect Coffee

1. The Coffee

2016 World Brewers Cup champion and Philocoffea founder Tetsu Kasuya created the 4:6 Method using coarsely ground coffee beans. Generally speaking, coarse grounds (brighter flavor) or fine grounds (more robust flavor) can be used. If you want a lighter brew, use a coarser grind; if you want a thicker mixture, use a finer grind.

2. The Water

  • Use purified, soft water (30–50 mg/L hardness is recommended).
  • Avoid using freshly boiled water, as the water temperature is too high and produces a bitter taste. The ideal temperature is:
-  Around 93°C for light roast coffee
-  Around 88°C for medium roast coffee
-  Around 83°C for dark roast coffee
  • It's best to use a kettle with a narrow mouth.

Philocoffea ground coffee beans

Breaking Down the 4:6 Method

Basic Formula for Brewing

The easiest way to remember the 4:6 Method is to multiply the weight of the ground coffee beans by three to find out how much water to use for each pour. Then multiply that number by five to find out the total weight of hot water you will need.

For example, if you're using 20 g of ground coffee beans, you will pour 60 g + 60 g + 60 g + 60 g + 60 g of hot water for a total of 300 g.

Each pour should be timed so that the hot water has almost completely passed through the filter before pouring again. This is the key to extracting a rich and robust flavor, even with a coarse grind.

Timing Each Pour

  • 0:00 Pour 60 g
  • 0:45 Pour 60 g
  • 1:30 Pour 60 g
  • 2:15 Pour 60 g
  • 2:45 Pour 60 g
  • 3:30 Remove the coffee dripper

Tetsu suggests adjusting the coarseness of the ground coffee beans to match the timing above.

Pouring hot water over ground coffee beans.

Discover Your Own Perfect Cup

What makes specialty coffee so appealing is its complex and rich taste. However, it's only when it has a clean flavor profile that you can fully enjoy it. It's easy to brew coffee with the excellent taste by grinding it coarsely. So, be sure to weigh it well and try to imitate the extraction formula described above.

Philocoffea believes that this method is ideal for all types of beans. However, there are still many other ways to brew fantastic coffee. So, why not try using the 4:6 Method as the foundation to explore other extraction methods. From there, you should be able to discover your own way of making the perfect cup.

Philocoffea founder and CEO drinking coffee in his coffee shop, Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

Related Videos

How to Brew Coffee Using the 4:6 Method

How to Use the Kasuya Model Dripper

Tetsu Kasuya Winning the 2016 World Brewers Cup

How to Brew Coffee Using the Single Pour Method

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