New to pour-over brewing and looking for detailed help on the brewing method? Here comes a definitive guide that takes you through the avenues about how to make pour over coffee. Keep reading and learn how to master the art of pour-over coffee!
Due to their comprehensive learning curve, manual brewing methods are gradually becoming tremendously popular in the community of home baristas. Coffee aficionados who want to explore way beyond just sipping their cups, manual brewing methods can introduce them to that ever-desired “ah moment.” After all, discovering a great-tasting cup’s mystery is always a pleasure!
In recent years, pour-over has been embraced by a lot of homebrewers because of its straightforwardness. From new brewers to seasoned baristas – pour-over coffee has been able to win over the hearts of many. We’re sure that even you are blown away in this pour-over storm, and your quest for knowing its secrets has dragged you here.
To help you celebrate your pour-over moments, we have curated this post with every bit of detail that relates to pour-over brewing. Read on and make your way to incredible pour-over brewing experiences. Here we go!
What is the Pour Over Method?
Put simply, pour-over is a brewing method that requires pouring hot water through coffee grounds in a filter. When you pour water through the coffee grounds and filter, it turns into coffee and drains into a coffee mug or carafe. Pour-over has nicknames like drip coffee and filter coffee. As the method involves hand pouring the water, it’s called manual brewing.
The technique probably dates back to the 1900s or earlier. However, in recent years, the buzz around this method has been revived, making it one of the favorite brewing options for those who are extra sensitive with their coffee brewing experience.
Pour-Over Basics First
The Ideal Grind size for Pour-Over Coffee
Grind size matters, and pour-over is not an exception. The best-fit grind size for pour-over is a medium-coarse grind, identical to a French press grind, and however, it’s less chunky and smoother. If you own a cone-shaped pour-over, you can use a medium-fine coffee grind.
*Note: Pour-over brewers come in different varieties. Hence, you may need to change your grind type accordingly. The best way is to experiment more with the grind size to achieve the perfect taste. The key idea is that the less time the grind is immersed in water, the more refined its size should be.
You might like: Most Ideal Coffee Grind Size Chart
Paper vs Metal – Which Filter is ideal for Pour-Over Brewing?
While all coffee filters look identical in function, they are not one size fits all. It’s worth remembering that coffee filters play an inevitable role in determining the final cup’s aromatics, characteristics, and nuances. Thus, to make the most out of your pour-over coffee experience, you should know which filter you need to use while brewing.
Typically, most pour-over brewers choose to use paper filters. They efficiently absorb oils and sediments, ensuring a clean tasting, and bright cup. They are easily available and pretty convenient. However, they are not a good scorer in terms of sustainability. Though they can be composted, paper filters still create a great deal of waste.
Therefore, paper filters may not be ideal for you if you are more into living a sustainable lifestyle. In addition, as they are not reusable, you need to purchase them pretty frequently based on your coffee consumption habits. Needless to say, this results in higher investment in filters.
Talking about metal filters, they are typically made of stainless steel mesh. They allow sediment and oil (in a few amounts) to end up in your cup, bringing a unique, luscious mouthfeel. Besides, they help extract complex flavors, making your pour-over coffee experience more aromatic and refreshing.
They are sustainable and cost-efficient; however, the challenge is that their design makes them quite inconvenient to clean. Typically, they are built to fit particular pour-over brewers like Aeropress and Chemex. Therefore, when it comes to picking up the right filter for your pour-over, you should consider the following factors –
- The flavors or characteristics of your cup – for a vibrant and clear cup, you should pick up a paper filter, and for intensely aromatic and rich cups, you should go with a metal filter.
- Budget – While metal filters are a one-time purchase, paper filters are not reusable. Given this, paper filters are costlier than metal ones.
- Sustainability – If you are pretty serious about sustainable living, you should avoid paper filters.
Concisely, both the filters can do the job well; you just need to pick the one that caters to your preferences the best.
Also Read: Best Coffee Filter Substitutes
Coffee to Water Ratio for Pour-Over Coffee
You need to be consistent when determining the coffee-to-water ratio for your pour-over. The general rule says you should stick to the ratio of 1:17 to make the most out of your pour-over brewing experience. To clarify, if you use 1 gram of coffee, you should use .59 ounces of water.
The Ideal Temperature for Pour-Over Coffee
The ideal temperature for pour-over is 90-95 degrees Celsius or 194-203 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember, optimal water temperature is essential for making a good cup of pour-over coffee. When you pour the perfectly tempered water through the coffee grounds, you allow the CO2 to bubble out and extract the highest aroma and flavors of your beans. It typically takes around 30 seconds to reach the recommended water temperature for pour-over brewing.
Which Pouring Technique is Best for Pour-Over Coffee?
When it comes to determining the proper pouring technique, the job may look a little overwhelming. However, it’s not rocket science. All you need to do is maintain consistency, learn different pouring styles, and understand their methodology. For convenience, we have listed the best pouring techniques for the pour-over method.
Agitation refers to disturbing the coffee grounds slightly while brewing. You can agitate coffee in numerous ways, including swirling or stirring the brew. You let the grounds become high and dry on the filter by performing agitation. Besides, you ensure no dry clump inside the coffee bed. This makes coffee grounds adequately saturated, making way for even extraction.
Blooming occurs when you pour hot water over coffee grounds for the first time. By disgracing the carbon dioxide buildup in the roasting process, blooming quickly bubbles up the water. This method ensures even extraction by removing carbon dioxide and preventing water from repelling. Besides, when you let the gases escape, it betters the chances of consistent extraction.
To perform blooming, you need to pour twice the measure of coffee in water over the grounds. For example, if you have taken 10 grams of coffee, you need to pour 20 ml of water and wait for the next 25-40 seconds so that the blooming ends and the grounds settle properly.
Continuous Pouring and Pulse Pouring
Continuous pouring refers to pouring the water, maintaining a constant flow rate without stopping for a while. Continuous pouring helps keep the saturation and flow even.
On the other hand, pulse pouring is all about pouring specific amounts of water in multiple attempts. This method lets you play with the volume of water and number of pours, and it’s efficient in preventing channeling. In addition, disrupting the grinds gently allows them to move around and create excellent contact with the water, ensuring a clear and even brew.
Remember, the pouring technique is inevitable in developing the final result. Different pour types lead to variable effects on extraction, impacting your brew significantly. Thus, pour carefully to make the most of your pour-over experience.
How to make Pour Over Coffee
How to Make Pour Over Coffee?
- 1 Coffee grinder or its alternative for grinding coffee beans freshly (Freshly ground coffee beans ensure avant-garde cups)
- 1 Pour-over coffee maker
- 1 Water filter (Using filtered water is recommended for the pour-over brewing method)
- 1 Paper/metal filter
- 1 Scale (Helps measure coffee and water)
- Goose-neck kettle (Helps pouring water perfectly through the coffee ground)
- Thermometer (Optional, however, having one handy will help you ensure that the water temperature is optimal)
- 2 scoops Coffee Beans
- 8 Oz Water
- It all starts with preparationFirst, you need to bring your brewing water to boil and transfer it to a pre-heated kettle. We recommend a goose-neck one as it makes pouring precise. Now you need to put the coffee filter inside the brewer and rinse it with hot water. It helps pre-heating your brewer, eliminating the chances of heat loss. It's worth remembering that heat loss can ruin your coffee experience as it obstacles even extraction.
- Measurement comes in the playWhen you are done with the preparation, take out your favorite coffee beans and grind them. Take care of the grind size to enjoy a fine pour-over experience. We recommend you use about two scoops of coffee beans for a single cup. However, depending on your preference, you can experiment with the measurement.
- Bloom them awayIt's time to saturate the coffee ground with a little water. Let it sit for 30-45 seconds until the bloom gets settled. Experts call this pre-infusing, and as mentioned earlier, blooming helps release gas. Besides, it also softens oil.
- Brew Brew Brew…Once you are done with everything, simply pour water into your pour-over maker slowly and gently. Let the water reach halfway up the cone. This way, you will be able to break the crust which was formed during blooming. When foam shows up on top of the grounds, proceed with brewing by adding the rest of the water to the brewer. Keep the water level high and ensure you haven't left any ground dry and high.
- Time to sipWait for a little and check if the stream has been slowed down to a drip. Now, remove the filter and dump the grounds. Yeah! Your home-brewed pour-over cup is ready to sip.
Why use a Pour-Over?
The pour-over method is known for its incomparable ability to accentuate the intricate flavors of your favorite beans. Especially when you are more into single-origin coffees, no other brewing method can give you the satisfaction offered by pour-over. When you brew coffee using a pour-over, you ensure a consistent, clear, clean joe experience. Here’s why a pour-over produces such a definitive result!
When pouring hot water through ground coffee beans, it perfectly extracts the coffee oils and aromas using natural pressure and consistent timing. The filter does the job of catching excess oils, which promises a clear cup. The method is technically called infusion, and unlike immersion techniques like the French press, it extracts coffee solubles with a little more efficiency, ensuring a constant supply of fresh cups.
It’s worth remembering that though the brewing method doesn’t change the flavor, it can precisely highlight the exclusive nuances of the beans.
Keeping its namesake, when it’s pour-over, the excellence of your cup always depends on the precision of pouring. If there are unevenly distributed clumps and grounds in the filter and you pour the water inconsistently, some of the coffee won’t be extracted. Therefore, when using a pour-over, pay attention to learning and try mastering the art of pouring water in a way that perfectly immerses the grounds and saves your brew from becoming a victim of human error.
Commonly used Pour-Over Coffee Makers
Now that you know the know-how of the pour-over method, let’s introduce you to the most common pour-over makers that can help you retain a paradisaical pour-over coffee experience.
Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper
Pour-Over Time: 3-4 minutes
Grind Size: Medium to Fine
This pour-over coffee maker can be placed directly on your cup to make delectable single-serving coffee. You just need to add freshly ground coffee, put a size 01 paper filer, and pour hot water, maintaining a consistent flow. The dripper is easy to carry, making it your go-to companion on camps or tours.
This cone-shaped pour-over coffee comes with spiral ribbed walls, and it features a large hole at the bottom. The filter slightly protrudes from the said hole. The ribs allow airflow and keep the grounds away from the walls, ensuring a balanced extraction.
This affordable brewer comes in metal, glass, ceramic, and plastic options. If you are pretty much worried about breaking your pour-over, you can walk with the plastic alternative. However, you can opt for metal or ceramic for perfect heat retention and a sturdier build. Finally, if you are confident that you will be able to handle it with care, the glass option will be the best as it looks amazingly attractive apart from being functional.
The coffee maker has earned a stellar reputation in the coffee verse. This well-deserved maker may be an absolute steal when comparing the coffee quality and the price tag.
*Note: It may require a little trial and error; however, when you keep brewing, you learn to master the art of V60 brewing.
Kalita Wave Pour Over Coffee Dripper
Pour-Over Time: 3-4 minutes
Grind Size: Medium-coarse
This flat three-hole coffee maker is highly admired because of its ability to simplify the overall brewing process. Its exceptional, rigid filters let air insulate your brew and balanced water flow. The base plate that encircles the cone allows the maker to rest over any serving vessel, whereas the curved handle that arches from top to bottom make gripping comfortable.
Compared to the Hario V60, it looks more classic and appealing. It’s easy to use and sturdy. Besides, it gives you a hundred percent control over your brew. Kalita 185 can make 2-3 cups of pour-over coffee at one go, making it the perfect pick for small families. Overall, it’s a functional and reliable pour-over coffee maker that justifies its job role precisely.
*Note: We strongly recommend using only medium-coarse grind with Kalita Wave 185 so you leave no room for ruining your pour-over experience.
Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brewer
Pour-Over Time: 3-4 minutes
Grind Size: Medium-coarse
This lightweight and affordable coffee maker consistently delivers flavorful coffee. If you are searching for an agile and effortless way to brew pour-over coffee, this brewer from Melitta may be your choice. Consisting of a single piece of sturdy plastic, this ultra-efficient pour-over maker requires a #2 filter and your favorite beans to render you an excellent joe experience.
Granted, the cone is not as good as to be rated the top in terms of taste, but it’s still decently fared, and its price makes this brewer unbeatable. Though its shape is not ideal for backpacking, if you are a clever packer, you can carry this light brewer anywhere.
Its dripper hole is elevated above the base, which allows you to monitor the level of coffee in your mug while preparing your drink, eliminating the chances of surprise overflows. If you want to make multiple cups, you are free to use a #4 filter and load up its cone.
However, when it comes to comparing with a more functional brewer like V60, it may score a little less in terms of consistency and evenness of the brewer.
To conclude, the Melitta pour-over coffee maker is ideal for those who want to experience satisfactory cups without paying much.
Bee House Ceramic Coffee Dripper
Pour-Over Time: 3-4 minutes
Grind Size: Medium-Fine to Fine
The Bee House is a straightforward pour-over maker that is well-admired for its realistic design and ease of use. Featuring a flat bottom with steep walls and a wedge-like shape, it helps you with better control over the hot water flow, which takes off the pressure of applying methodological pouring techniques.
The unique design enhances predictability and guarantees consistency. Besides, it adds more to the maker’s visual appeal, making it a good fit for almost every countertop. Overall, if you’re looking for a functional pour-over maker that doesn’t care much about the pouring technique for brewing precision, Bee House will probably be the best pick!
Bodum Pour Over
Pour-Over Time: 3-4 minutes
Grind Size: Medium
This well-made and easy-to-use coffee maker is an excellent example of the industry standard. If you are new to home brewing, you will probably find brewing with this coffee maker arguably simple. All you need to do is pour a steady stream of hot water into this maker, and it will unleash both the prominent and subtle flavors of your beans carefully.
It’s affordable and efficient. Besides, it gives you a little leverage with the size of the brew, allowing you to make up to 8 cups of coffee at a time. The only downside is that the body of the brew often adapts to a mute mode because of its extra sensitive filter, and it may look like an issue for a sophisticated grinder.
The maker features a carafe, an insulation band, and a metal filter. The carafe is made of borosilicate glass, and the insulation band is either silicone or cork.
In a one-liner, its quality, performance, capacity, style, and affordability are fantastic. Ease of cleaning comes as an added benefit.
Oxo Brew Single Serve Dripper
Pour-Over Time: 3-4 minutes
Grind Size: Medium-coarse
This single-serve pour-over brewer renders a safe brewing experience. It’s able to create flavorful and consistent cups with minimal effort. Boasting an auto-drip tank frees you from the worry of precise pouring, ensuring perfect control over the water flow rate.
Needless to say, it results in a well-balanced brew without involving much manual effort. The water tank has a precise hole pattern that evenly distributes water over coffee grounds. Two different pour sizes facilitate automatic regulation of water distribution for ideal brew time.
The tank features measurement markings that let you know how much water you need to add for brewing. The lid allows you to retain heat while brewing, and the brewer securely rests on different cup sizes. However, it can brew only 1-2 cups at a time, making it not an excellent choice for group brewing.
Overall, the OXO Brew pour-over maker is a neat and sensible device that can help you retain an enjoyable pour-over experience at a reasonable cost.
Well, the pour-over story finally comes to an end. With this post, we have tried to convey the basics of pour-over coffee, and we hope that it will turn out to be useful when it comes to making pour-over at home for the first time. Celebrate your cuppa mania and keep enjoying home-brewed coffee!
How long do I need to let my pour-over coffee sit?
Ideally, you should let your pour-over coffee sit for 30-45 seconds, and this ensures even extraction of the grinds.
Can I reuse my pour-over grounds?
Well, if saving outweighs the coffee experience for you, then yes. However, unfortunately, the result will not be pleasing as your cup will be sour, bitter, over-extracted, and disappointing.
Is Cowboy a pour-over coffee?
Technically, yes, as the method involves brewing heated coarse grounds using poured-over water.
Why do I need a goose-neck kettle for pour-over?
Of course, you can make pour-over coffee without a goose-neck kettle; however, when you use one, you ensure the water flow’s precision and consistency, which results in a great-tasting coffee.
Why is pour-over coffee healthier?
Pour-over coffee is a healthier option because it holds less cafestol. It’s a cholesterol-raising agent widely found in coffee prepared with other methods except for pour-over. Besides, pour-over coffee is less acidic, making it gentle to your digestive system.