Recreating 4:6 Coffee Method at Home
I popped over to Rudder Coffee inside JR Funabashi Station for a fourth cup on my way back home, this time a latte. In collaboration with Tetsu’s Philocoffea, Rudder Coffee sells freshly brewed coffee, coffee beans, and drip coffee equipment. Together, the two ventures are on a mission to make Funabashi famous for coffee and worthy of a train ride for the chance at enjoying a great brew. They educate coffee baristas and customers alike, with Tetsu Kasuya being incredibly passionate about elevating Japan’s coffee culture.
The moment I get home, I order everything I need from Philocoffea’s online shop in preparation for replicating the 4:6 coffee method, including the 092 Ethiopia Sakicha Natural medium-coarse grind, and wait for my package to arrive.
Once I have everything I need, I take the challenge head-on. The 4:6 method is more complicated than it looks, especially when keeping track of both the scale and the timer. But the more I get the hang of it, the better the results. I even unearthed an old bag of ground coffee left over from the last time I gave drip coffee a chance, and surprisingly it tastes better with Tetsu’s method.
But I need someone else to confirm, in case I was just starstruck by Tetsu Kasuya’s awesomeness. And that brings us to the most challenging part of this whole affair.
Can I Win over a Fellow Drip Coffee Skeptic?
I need someone as vehemently anti-drip as myself to see if I can get them to say a good word or two about the 4:6 coffee method. There are many of us, espresso fiends, out there, so I invite my espresso dragon friend and fellow writer Phoebe Amoroso. She has had her own encounters with master craftsmen (like a sake brewer and an ikebana teacher), so I know she will be brutally honest, and she sure is.
“I get images of ripping open coffee sachets in business hotels while balancing the kettle next to the hairdryer,” Phoebe retorts when I ask her what she thinks about drip coffee, “It’s the coffee of desperation.” I know this is going to be a tough one. We’re both harsh judges when it comes to pour-over, but I am no barista champion, unlike Tetsu.
But I brave my inexperience, rely on my new equipment and beans, and start brewing a cup of 092 Ethiopia Sakicha Natural. An acidic smell spreads across the room, and Phoebe seems to regret agreeing to be my taste tester instantly. However, the surprise of the 4:6 coffee method is in the taste, so I encourage her to suspend her verdict.
It’s not a great sign when even the first sip only tastes like hot water to her. However, she reports milk chocolate and fruity notes soon after, and she’s surprised at the smooth mouthfeel and better-balanced acidity than she initially dreaded.
And yes, she finishes her cup! We are both known for walking out of cafes upon discovering that they don’t have an espresso machine, so I count this as a small win. She probably won’t drink drip coffee again, whereas I don’t think I would mind as much as I used to as long as it’s Tetsu’s method that’s being served, and especially if I am back at Philocoffea or Rudder Coffee in Chiba.
In the end, Phoebe is rewarded for her efforts in much the same way that I was at Philocoffea. I open a bag of wonderfully chocolatey 093 Ethiopia Sakicha Anaerobic Natural beans and, much less elegantly than master brewer Tetsu, make Phoebe a velvety concentrated espresso. I couldn’t change Phoebe’s mind about pour-over coffee, but we both definitely have a new favorite source for great coffee beans. How we drink them is up to us.
Philocoffea Roastery & Laboratory
Address: 2-3-29 Honmachi, Funabashi-shi, Chiba 273-0005, Japan
Business Hours: 10:00–17:00 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Access: 7 minutes walk from JR Funabashi Station
Address: 1F, Chapeau Funabashi South Building, 7-1-1 Honmachi, Funabashi-shi, Chiba 273-0005, Japan
Business Hours: 10:00–21:00
Access: 30 seconds from the JR Funabashi Station’s Chapeau Exit ticket gate
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