Pour over coffee: sounds simple and tastes fantastic. If you’ve yet to have the pleasure, this guide for beginners will set you straight.
They say variety is the spice of life. Just as in cooking, where you can boil, roast, or fry potatoes and get different results, the same is true of coffee. The type of drink you make and the bean you use will make a difference, but something that you might not have experimented with is the brewing method.
For many years, drip coffee has been the standard, but thanks to coffee-lovers and the ability to share information through technology, that is changing. You might have already tried a cup of pour over coffee, or perhaps you’ve only heard someone mention it.
Read on to discover what do you need to make it, how it works, and how to achieve the perfect cup at home.
What Is Pour-Over Coffee?
Also called manual filter coffee, it involves hand pouring hot water over freshly ground beans. The distinction is that the water isn’t added by a machine. It’s a simple process with no gadgets and just a few pieces of equipment involved. This method is about bringing out the best flavor of quality coffee.
Understanding how coffee is brewed and what affects the result can help you get to grips with pour over coffee. There are three stages: wetting, dissolution, and diffusion. When you use your French press, you’re making coffee without a dripper. The grounds are immersed in water (wetting) to brew (dissolution), and then the plunger separates the grounds from the brewed coffee (diffusion).
Think of this as a DIY method. The reason the pour over method makes a great cup is that it includes one fresh stream of hot water that quickly dissolves the best part of the coffee grounds, which gives you a stronger flavor. However, it does this without moving on to the less desirable part of the bean, making the result less bitter.
Equipment You Need to Make Pour Over
There are a few things to gather before you make your coffee:
- A pour-over coffee maker
- A coffee filter (depending on the brewer you use)
- A gooseneck kettle (for the perfect hot water distribution over the coffee)
- Kitchen scale
- High-quality coffee beans of your choice
- A good quality burr coffee grinder
- Cups to serve
How to Make Pour Over Coffee?
These steps will give you the starting point, which you can adjust and perfect to get your coffee just right.
1. Select your beans and grind them
Burr-grinders are preferable, and you’ll be aiming for medium-coarse to medium-fine depending on your preference. This part is where you might need to experiment.
2. Prepare your dripper
Some come with a metal filter, others are without filter, so you’ll need to insert a paper or mesh one, as you prefer.
3. Heat the water
You’ll need to consider the strength of your coffee. Usually, it’s two cups of water to tablespoons of coffee, but you can experiment. If you have a thermometer on your kettle, you’ll want to boil it to 205℉, you can go lower, but hotter is generally better. If you don’t have a way to check the temperature, bring the water to a boil and leave it to cool for about 20 to 30 seconds before pouring.
4. Place your cup or carafe on the scale
You’ll need to have the dripper with the filter on top of your mug or carafe of choice. Add the grounds into the filter, so you can see how much they weigh. Next, set the scale to zero, which will allow you to measure the water you add. Try 18 grams of water for each gram of coffee, but you’ll find your ideal amount.
5. Wet or bloom the grounds
Before you pour all of the water over, you need to add a small amount to evenly wet grounds. Around 30 grams should be enough to saturate them. They should rise and bubble, and after thirty seconds, they’ll be ready for the pour. This stage helps the next step where the water needs to pass through the grounds slowly.
In a slow circular motion, starting at the outside edge, pour the water over the coffee. As you pour, move towards the center and keep the spout close to the grounds. Stop pouring once you’ve added the right amount of water according to your ratio. Avoid pouring water onto the filter, and don’t let the dripper fill up to the edge.
7. Filter and remove
Once the water has finished filtering through the grounds and into your carafe or cup, you can set the dripper to one side to clean later and discard the used grounds.
The most important part, drink your coffee, noticing the strength and flavor so you can appreciate the taste, and make adjustments for next time.
Still confused? Have a look at this video below for a better idea!
Tips for the Perfect Brew Every Time
Some elements that can help you perfect the pour-over method to get the best cup:
- It works best if your kettle has a gooseneck spout to control the pour
- Note the bean, grind, temperature, and ratio of water to coffee you use so you can adjust to make your brew stronger or sweeter
- Rinse your paper filter to avoid affecting the flavor with its coating
- Allow between 30 to 45 seconds for the bloom
- Use equipment to help you be as precise as you can with weights, temperatures, and timings.
FAQ on Pour Over Brewing Method
If you’re all set to try pour-over brewing, take a look at the answers to these common questions to make sure you take full advantage of the pour over method.
What ratio should I use of coffee to water?
A scale is the best way to determine your preference. If you check the Reddit threads from baristas, they suggest anything from 16:1 to 19:1, so use this as your range and experiment.
What grind size is best for pour-over?
A medium grind is just right for pour over, as if it’s too coarse, it won’t extract the flavor leaving you with weak coffee. On the other hand, too fine means the water won’t get through, and it’ll be a messy and bitter cup.
What is the best coffee to use for pour over?
Your bean preference is up to you; just make sure it’s freshly ground. You can browse our selection of best pour-over coffee beans, or ask at your local coffee shop if you need guidance.
Which pour over coffee maker should you use?
We like the Hario V60 and the Chemex Glass Coffeemaker, but there are plenty of brilliant options on the market (even automatic ones!).
How do you make pour-over coffee without a scale?
If you don’t have a scale, you can start with two tablespoons of coffee for every six ounces of water. After you’re done brewing and tasting, make a note and go on from there; if the brew’s too mellow, add more coffee. If it’s too strong, add less.
How to Make Pour Over at Home: A Recap
Quality beans and getting the right grind to make the difference when it comes to the perfect brew. Once you’ve tried the pour-over method, you’ll also see that this manual form of making coffee can influence the strength and flavor of your cup.
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