Yep, the secret will be now revealed to you and it is quite simple - there is no secret! TADAAA
There are some concepts and parameters though to have in mind that will help you to fine tune the your coffee making so that you consistently brew a coffee you enjoy drinking.
I will show you in the next bit a few tips to achieve that.
Starting with the brewing gear
You'll need a kettle with water at about 94-96 Celsius (you can boil water and let it rest for about 3 minutes to cool to around 94 degrees). If you have a goose neck kettle it is a plus as it allows you to control the pour more precisely - common kettles tend to pour too much water too quickly.
You'll also need a filter cone such as a Hario V60 or in this example an hourglass server such as Chemex or Brewista or another. I'm using a Brewista Hourglass 5 cups.
To filter, you need a paper filter or cloth filter - up to you. There are also stainless steel filters available, which avoid the waste created by paper filters.
You might want to have a coffee scale or a normal kitchen scale if you don't have a coffee scale. The scale will help you get the right dosage/ratio, which is very important to get a good tasting coffee.
Now the second important aspect - GOOD & FRESH COFFEE!!!
In this example I'm brewing an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Aricha, Natural Processed, so this coffee will be fruity, a bit acidic and sweet. The coffee was roasted light-medium, 3 days ago so it is very fresh, and perfect for a pour over.
You'll need coarse and freshly ground coffee. Preferably with a burr grinder if you have one.
As per the amount of coffee, I normally do 35g of grounds for 500ml of water, but this is my preference. You can fine tune to achieve your desired flavour.
The fun part.
--- Preparation ---
1 - The first step is to heat some water to about 94 degrees (200F).
2 - While the water is heating up, set up the Cone with paper filter on top of your brewing vessel or coffee server.
3 - Once the water ready, pour some of the water onto the filter to "wash it" and warm up the server at the same time. The "wash" helps to remove some of the paper taste from the filter. Discard the water.
--- Add the Coffee ---
4 - Add the 35g of ground coffee into the filter (for a 500ml yield).
--- Bloom ---
5 - Place the scale under the server and zero the scale's tare weight.
6 - f you have a scale with timer, start the timer (other wise a watch will work) and slowly pour about twice the weight of coffee (70g - 80g) of water covering the coffee evenly - with a spoon give it a bit of stir to ensure all the coffee is in contact with water. This is the BLOOM, which is a pre-infusion. Leave it blooming for about 30 seconds.
--- Add more Water to Complete the Brewing Process ---
Now slowly pour the water evenly, making circles. Do not pour on the filter wall as this will make the water channel and run off through the path of less resistance and you'll end up with a very weak coffee.
Give the cone or hourglass a bit of circular motion with your hand (carefully to not burn yourself) so that the water collects the grounds that have stuck to the filter wall.
Top up with water until you pour the desired amount of water. In this recipe I poured 500g of water, which is equivalent to 500ml.
--- Finish the Brewing, Serve and Enjoy ---
Wait about 3 to 4 minutes and remove the filter with the coffee. If you didn't get all the water through it's OK. Let the filter drain in the kitchen sink.
The key points are:
Fresh and good coffee, light to medium roast will give you the best origin flavours.
Get the correct coffee/water ratio (rule of thumb - 70g of coffee for 1L of water)
Let coffee bloom
Stop the brewing after 3-4 minutes