Pour overs are all the rage. You’ve heard of them, but you aren’t sure what all the fuss is about. Heck, you’re still using a traditional drip brewer, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
In fact, most people enjoy at least two different coffee brewing methods. Adding the pour over method may be a great fit for you. If you’re looking for rich, individualized flavor, a pour over filter or brewer may quickly become a new favorite.
The Filter, The Grind, & The Kettle
When brewing with the pour over method, the three aspects we control are the type of filter we choose, the coarseness of the grind we use, and the effectiveness of the kettle. The type of filter is going to determine how quickly or slowly water will drip through. The grind is going to be a big factor in determining flavor, and the kettle style will help us control speed of the brew, which will also affect flavor.
There are essentially two types of filters used in pour over coffee making. The first is the ceramic style, which also requires a paper filter. The ceramic pour over typically has holes in the base which allow the water to stream down. A paper filter is needed because these holes are large enough for grounds to slide through.
The other type of filter is a stainless steel cone. When choosing a cone filter it is important to find one that is double-walled and has a fine mesh screen. The incredible thing about these filters is that you’ll never need a paper filter again. The cone itself is the pour over and the filter in one. Score for the environment and your savings account. These filters are used in the Chemex style carafes as well.
Both types of filter are easy to use over a single mug or for an entire pot.
When brewing with a pour over, you want to grind the coffee relatively coarsely. This is due to the fact that the grounds are going to be continuously coming into contact with fresh, hot water. This will extract more from the coffee. The coarser grind will allow all of the flavor and oils to come out, without the bitterness that comes with too fine a grind.
The kettle may not seem like a very important aspect of this process. Sure, you can use the pour over method with a tea kettle or a with a pot of boiling water, but if you have a gooseneck kettle with thermometer, you can really perfect your brew. This is because you can control exactly where your water is going with the narrow neck of a pour over kettle. You can also figure out your own ideal temperature for the best flavored cup of coffee.
Pour Over Coffee Brewing
Step 1: Get the Necessary Equipment
- coffee cup, beaker or carafe
- gooseneck kettle
- kitchen scale
- pour over filter
Of course, you’ll also need coffee and water. We generally recommend using a ratio of 30 grams of coffee per 500 grams of water, which is enough for two 8-ounce cups of coffee. If you’re using more or less water, adjust your coffee accordingly.
Step 2: Heat the Water
Once you have all the supplies you need, heat the water. The ideal brewing temperature is anywhere from 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3: Grind the Coffee
While the water is warming up, grind the coffee. Use a medium-coarse grind, so the coffee has the coarseness of sea salt.
Step 4: Prep the Filter
Pour the extra 300 grams of water you have so that the entire filter becomes damp if using paper. This will both remove any paper taste from your filter and warm up your brewing apparatus. If using a stainless steel cone you still want to warm up your filter.
Step 5: Let the Coffee Bloom
At this point, you’re ready to begin brewing. Place the coffee in the filter, and use about 25 to 30 grams of water to get the grounds dampen. If you’re using freshly roasted coffee (which you should use), you’ll see carbon dioxide bubble up from the grounds. This is the “bloom.” Let the grounds bloom for 30 to 40 seconds before continuing to brew your coffee.
Step 6: Begin Pouring for 1 Minute
When the bloom subsides, begin pouring the rest of the water. In the first minute, you should use half of your water. As you pour, go in concentric circles, starting in the middle and slowly working outwards.
Step 7: Pour for 2 More Minutes
After one minute of pouring, slow your rate of pour so that you’ll be done pouring water at 3 minutes. If you’re brewing with 500 grams of water, a rate of about 75 grams per 30 seconds should be good.
Step 8: Let the Coffee Finish Dripping
Once you’re done pouring, let the coffee finish dripping. It should slow in a few minutes, at which point your brew is ready.
Step 9: Sip and Enjoy
Now that your coffee is ready, sip and enjoy.
Use Freshly Ground Coffee
To make sure your brew always tastes great, use only freshly ground coffee. If you don’t have a grinder, this is a great model: