How to Master the Art of Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee

How to Master the Art of Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee

How to Master the Art of Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee is about getting the right recipe (level of extraction) for your roast level.

Under-extracted coffee is sour, and over-extracted coffee is bitter.

You can easily and quickly make better coffee using recipes on this site.

Don’t waste half the bag of beans trying to make a nice cup of coffee. gives you:

  1. Recipes: Instead of one recipe that can’t work for every roast level, provides 158 recipes that cater to every roast level. The recipes use SCA standards. They are the recipe adjustments that a very experienced barista would use.
    You can read more about Roast Levels and Recipes here.

  2. Adjustments: Grind size changes are great for getting your extraction time about right, but they are terrible for changing the level of extraction. They can’t cover the extraction requirements for the full range of roast levels, making dialling in difficult and often impossible.
    Changing the recipe is much more effective, caters to the entire roast level range, and is quick.

  3. Starting recipe: Instead of always using the same recipe that will probably only work less than 10% of the time, you can find an initial recipe that probably will work 68% of the time and 95% of the time only requires a single recipe change, reducing dialling in time.

  4. Taste: The biggest benefit is that you are finally using your taste buds to adjust the coffee. You find the recipe that tastes the best.

Resulting in better tasting coffee.

As Lucia Solis says, “Life’s too short to drink bad coffee.”

How to Master the Art of Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Extracting coffee is much like cooking meat.

  • Fillet steak is beautiful if seared for a few minutes on each side.
  • Brisket is beautiful if slow-cooked for 6 hours.

Using one fixed recipe for cooking all meat will not produce the best result.

Coffee is no different.

  • Dark-roasted coffee is not very dense. It is pretty brittle; you can crush it with your fingertips. The fixed recipe is likely to over-extract and make very bitter coffee.
  • Light-roasted coffee is very dense; a hammer will bounce off it. It is hard to extract. The fixed recipe is likely to under-extract and make sour coffee.

Using one fixed recipe for extracting all coffee will not produce the best result for every coffee.

Density.Coffee provides 158 recipes, and if you choose to measure your bean density you can in less than 1 minute select the recipe likely to suit your beans.

Why does measuring density make better coffee?

Prepared coffee puck

Easy coffee recipes to make at home

One hundred fifty eight recipes ordered from extract the least (1) to extract the most (158), where the extraction required is scaled to match the Roast Level.

Measuring the roasted coffee density will provide a much better-starting recipe for your coffee extraction than using one fixed recipe every time.

If you are interested in the density range and the calculations that generate the 158 recipes, read more here.

Kinu M47C and Flair Pro 2

How to dial in coffee

Grinding finer will extract more, but you can’t go far before it chokes the shot.

Grinding coarser will extract less, but you can’t go far before there is not enough puck pressure and the shot runs too fast. However, changing the recipe changes every extraction variable. It is a more effective adjustment that makes dialing in your coffee much quicker and easier.

How to use this site

You can use this site without a 100ml cylinder by starting with a default recipe and then using the Extract More or Extract Less buttons.

But making a great coffee is much quicker if you get a 100ml cylinder because 68% of the time, you will make a brilliant coffee on the first attempt—95% with up to one adjustment and 99% with up to two adjustments.

Step 1

Measure the density

It takes less than 1 minute, and the tool is cheap.

Graduated Cylinder, 100ml
Step 2

Fill in the form

Get the recipe by entering your measured density into the calculation form and clicking Submit.

Step 3

Select method

Select from Espresso, Filter, Aeropress, or Hario Switch.

Step 4

Make your initial coffee

Using the recipe provided, make your first coffee.

Step 5

Taste it

Empirically, 68% of the time, the coffee extraction will be correct on the first try. 95% works after one adjustment. 99.7% works after two adjustments.

All you need to decide is:

  1. Is it too sour, like lemon? In this case, you need to extract more.
  2. Is it OK? You don’t need to change anything. Some refer to this as the sweet spot, but coffee doesn’t contain sugar, so think of this as the calm between too sour and too bitter.
  3. Is it too bitter? All coffee is bitter to some extent, but you can reduce the bitterness by extracting less.
Step 6



  • Use the Extract More button (adds 20 to the measured density).
  • Use the Extract Less button (subtract 20 from the measured density).

So easy


I feel so lucky to find this way by accident. I just do not understand why it is not common knowledge. I feel ease of mind compared to my endless struggle to replicate god shots, now I drink god shot twice a day almost.



Love your site

Hi Richard, I thought I’d let you know that I really appreciate your efforts to illuminate the relationships of the different variables in preparing espresso. So much of the “instruction” out there in videos and blogs is an oversimplification of the process. It’s been a confusing and frustrating journey until we ultimately settled on one particular roast that we managed to dial in. Now, having the freedom to try different types of coffee (even kinds we previously thought we didn’t like) is really great! Thanks again!



I have to say this worked extremely well. Im new to the Flair (just got a Pro 2) and (good) espresso-making in general. Couldn’t get a medium roast to not taste sour for the life of me. And by sour I mean I would almost pucker up when tasting the espresso and just thinking about it I have my mouth watering in disgust as I type this. I tried the site and on my first attempt I nailed it. No sourness at all. I’m sure I can still make improvements but it was night and day!