What’s better than a cup of pour-over brewed coffee to start a beautiful weekend? Of course, another cup of pour-over coffee.
Pour-over brewing technique results in a rich and flavorful cup of coffee. It is not only pouring hot water into coffee grounds. But there is much more to it.
With our pour-over coffee brewing guide, we promise to make you go ‘wow’ every morning. So get ready to pursue the pour-over brewing process with pro tips from Coffeenom.
Pour over is a coffee brewing technique that coffee enthusiasts love the most, though it is the most low-tech, slowest, and simple method of coffee brewing. The method is simple once you have done some practice. It is easy, but the clean-up of equipment takes only seconds.
In simple words, pour water over ground coffee beans held in a filter with a holder. The filter holder is usually called a pour-over dripper. The water passes through the ground coffee beans, and the coffee extract gathers in a serving vessel.
Instead of keeping yourself busy with other chores, wait and watch the flavors of coffee drip slowly into the vessel. Thank me later for the mesmerizing view that you created for yourself.
With the pour-over method, you have better control over all the factors that affect extraction. You can control the water temperature, the speed at which grounds infuse water, brew time, and the amount of water through coffee grounds. A slight adjustment in any step can make a difference in the final taste.
Your practice will pay off when you take a sip of an amazingly flavorful brew. With time, you end up with a more pronounced flavor and clean, silky mouthful taste and quality coffee.
To brew a killer cup of pour-over coffee, you most importantly need a pour-over brewer. In addition, make sure to have a filter, coffee grinder, digital scale, and water kettle.
There is no hocus pocus with the pour-over brewer. It is simply a cone having a hole at the center. Over this, you place a coffee filter. And under this, you put a carafe. Different pour-over makers are of other materials and shapes. Each of them promises a delicious result.
Depending on the brewer, you may need minor adjustments in the process. For example, a flat-bottomed dripper extends the contact time between water and coffee grounds. Be careful not to over-extract the coffee.
For making a better coffee, it is essential to keep the coffee-water mixture warm. This is because the material regulates how much heat is retained in the final cup. For example, a plastic or glass cone contains most of the heat. In comparison, the heat is lost in a ceramic cone.
Some famous pour-over brewers are Hario V60, Melitta, Kalita Wave, and Chemex. Even if you’re a beginner, you can learn to use the devices quickly.
This is more of the optional equipment you need if you are sharing the coffee you are brewing at the moment. However, there is a neat little trick that you can use the server for.
You can pour a little hot water into the cup to warm it up before pouring the coffee into the cup itself. Doing this warms the cup up, so the cold cup doesn’t take away from the temperature of the coffee. This is where the server comes in.
For heating the water, we need a water kettle. Any water kettle works. But, for ending up with a barista-level pour-over coffee, use a gooseneck kettle. If you have seen baristas using it, have you ever wondered why?
The long spout of the kettle allows water to flow more slowly, precisely, and intentionally. In addition, the thin and curved spout helps to keep greater control over the running water.
All you need is to tilt the kettle a little backward or forward, and you will end up with your desired flow rate.
Coffee filters are needed to get rid of the mud. . .I mean the coffee grounds which make your coffee sludgy. Specific brewers require specific coffee filters. You can choose between cloth, metal, paper, bleached and unbleached.
Metal and cloth filters are reusable, but the paper filter is not. Yet, the paper does the job best of them all. Some may disagree with this since paper coffee filters tend to leave an unpleasant papery taste in the coffee. But how can we work around it?
Wet the filter paper for 5 seconds with running hot water in a circular motion. You can enjoy a delicious brew without the papery taste with this simple trick. But of course, the cloth is the more environmentally-friendly option.
A digital scale is optional yet a good investment for the perfect brew every morning. Coffee grounds measured using the digital scale are more precise, allowing you to replicate the result each time for good.
Grind the coffee yourself, just before brewing coffee! This is the most straightforward trick to enhance coffee’s final flavor. Unfortunately, the pre-ground coffee bean loses a lot of aromas while sitting on the shelves.
For grinding coffee beans, you need a grinder. A tip is to invest in burr grinders. They produce consistent grind size. Also, they allow you to adjust the coarseness.
But don’t just take any mug. We recommend pouring your final coffee in a glass or a ceramic mug. Plastic cups are handy, but they take away from the flavor and cannot contain the heat for a more extended period.
Now that you have all the necessary brewing gear, you need coffee and water. But the range for coffee available in the market for the pour-over method is vast. So which one should you choose? Don’t worry, as we’ll be covering that too.
Any coffee variety may work. But we prefer high-quality, single-origin Arabica beans. They are packed with flavors and sure to offer a delicious brew.
The pour-over method is perfect for bringing out subtle flavors from the beans. Therefore, it works best with lightly roasted beans.
Pour-over helps to highlight the authentic bright and acidic flavors of lighter roasts. However, a medium to dark roast is also okay if you wish so.
Grind size is an essential factor that directly affects the final cup. Most of the pour-over method errors involve a wrong ground size. The coarser the grind size, the longer brewing time it requires.
Ideally, a medium grind size that resembles sand works well. Experiment ahead to figure out the perfect fit. Did it become sour and watery? Try a finer grind. Did it turn bitter and harsh? Try a coarser grind.
Take the coffee grounds and pour hot water over them.
But in reality, there is more to it. A lot of practice and patience make pour-over brewing perfect.
Fill your gooseneck kettle with water and heat it to 195 – 205o F. If you don’t have a thermometer, no problem. Just let the water boil and cool it down for 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, place a filter inside the pour-over brewer and pour hot water to rinse it. Make sure to put a carafe under the brewer. Now, add coffee grounds. The ground goes inside the filter.
Pour water just enough to soak the grounds, about double that of the coffee. Pour slowly in circles. Stir and wait for 30 to 45 seconds. The coffee bloom gets rid of the excess CO2 in the coffee ground. This process is called degassing.
Observe the grounds releasing gases and oils till they expand and start to bubble. This process is called pre-infusing.
Pour water again on the coffee bed. This time the water should slowly reach halfway to the dripper. Then, add your desired amount of water starting at the middle with a circular motion outward.
This step takes practice. Make sure to wet every ground evenly. Allow the water level to drop a little before refilling to prevent overflow.
The brewing time varies depending on the roast profile of coffee grounds, and of course, the brewing method. Lighter roast requires more time to brew than darker roasts. After adding the desired water content, allow it to dip for another 30 seconds.
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Keep a keen eye on the pot when the drip process is ongoing. Keep a jar or a second cup at hand. If you see coffee ground dripping along with the coffee, pick up the brewer and place it on the pot or the second cup you have near you to drain.
The last drops of water will be bitter. If your coffee takes more than average (normal is around 3 minutes), you need to either pour faster or use a coarser grind next time. On the other hand, if your pouring is going through really quickly, you need to pour slowly or use a finer grind.
Collect all the drained water in the carafe, even the last bit. Tap the dripper to ensure that there is no coffee left inside the filter. Transfer the coffee into a cup. Now sip, savor and enjoy your delicious coffee!
Drip coffee is just the mechanized version of the pour-over coffee method. Though it is a natural and understandable reaction to choose automated processing over the time-consuming process of pouring over coffee, it has its pros and cons.
Though a much easier process, a drip coffee machine mostly doesn’t have the precise human touch to make a brew taste more personalized. However, recent coffee makers have improved a lot in their design features, making the overall taste and experience similar to the pour-over method.
Still, coffee professionals like to lean towards the more traditional and manual pour-over method.
It all comes down to the personal preferences of an individual. If you are someone who likes to go through the morning ritual of preparing your coffee with the pour-over method, it’s up to you.
If you’ve come this far reading the article, you must love your pour-over coffee. To make sure your cups of coffee stay lovable every morning, here are a few tips to make your morning coffee even better
- Use the metric system to measure the water and coffee volume for maximum accuracy.
- If you think your coffee isn’t strong enough or tastes sour, you need a finer grind. On the other hand, switch to a coarser grind if it’s too bitter.
- If you can’t manage a digital scale, that’s fine. The best way of keeping it close is to use four tablespoons of ground coffee with one ¼ of water.
- Don’t have a thermometer? That’s fine too! Just bring the kettle to a near-boil state till it starts to steam, then proceed with the rest of the steps.
- Some brew methods require paper filters exclusively. So if you are a fan of a particular brew, make sure to stock up on paper filters beforehand.
- Always make sure to rinse the paper filters in hot water to eliminate the paper-like taste.
- Use a metal cone dripper instead of a disposable filter. These drippers often include a brush to clean off the coffee residues from the dripper.
- Avoid overflowing in case of making a large batch.
- Select the pour-over brewer for your everyday needs—no need to pick up a bigger one just because the reviews are more intriguing.
- Always maintain the ratio of coffee and water according to how strong you want your brew. Standard, balanced coffee brew uses a ratio of 1:17. If you like your pour-over coffee stronger, try 1:16 or 1:14 (60-70 grams of coffee per liter of water).
- Don’t forget to de-gas your coffee before starting the process. This gets rid of the excess CO2 that can affect the overall taste of your coffee.
Had fun reading? Check out our piece on coffee drip bags.
The entire process of brewing pour-over coffee can sound lengthy and tedious to some, but to coffee experts, this is a morning ritual they need to perform to ensure the caffeine overlords may smile on us for the whole day.
Are you one of the classic pour-over coffee drinkers, or do you make it easier on yourself by using an electric drip coffee maker?
A cup of pour-over coffee is more precise, flavorful, vibrant, and stronger than drip coffee. This is because all the factors that affect extraction are easily adjustable. These include the water temperature, brew time, water flow, and coffee to water infusion speed.
A cup of pour-over coffee can turn bitter from over-extraction. You may be using too hot water, fine grounds, or a longer steeping time. Try pouring slightly cooler water, or change the grind size to a bit coarser. In addition, cutting down on your brew time may help reduce the bitterness.
The ideal water temperature for pour-over coffee is 195 – 205o F. Do not worry if you don’t have a thermometer. Let the water boil and cool it down for 30 seconds. You will end up with perfectly heated water for pour-over.
The golden rule for the coffee to water ratio is 1:17. That means you should take 1g of coffee for each 17g of water. Suppose it doesn’t work for you; first, change the grind size or brew time. Then, if it’s still too weak or too strong, change the ratio between 1:14 and 1:19.