A Complete Guide To Pour Over Coffee
As a coffee lover or expert brewer, you might have noticed the increasing buzz over pour over coffee, and you have probably been wondering what it is.
I remember watching in awe as my barista slowly poured water from a strange looking kettle with a long spout, into a bed of ground coffee placed in a little funnel-like device and I wondered why he was taking so much time to make a simple cup of coffee. He turned making a simple coffee into a ritual.
Impressed by the amount of time and finesse he used on this particular cup, I decided to look further into pour over coffee. When I took a sip of the coffee, I understood why it was clean and fresh – a revolution. Now I find myself brewing my coffee with my brand new pour over cone every other day at home.
Pour over coffee gives you a great sense of peace and calm. The aim of this article is to give you a deep insight into pour over coffee and the different steps to take to make an amazing cup of pour-over coffee for you and your family!
Let’s get started!
What exactly is pour over coffee?
Leonardo da Vinci didn’t create the Mona Lisa in an instant – it was a labour of love. Therefore, the finer things in life take a little longer to achieve. You may have been used to having your coffee made and delivered in a matter of seconds, but with the pour-over coffee, you get to experience true art of coffee making which results to probably one of the best and smoothest coffees you have ever tasted.
Pour over coffee is simply made by grinding fresh coffee beans and using a brewing (cone-like) system to pour hot water over the ground coffee to produce a fresh cup. It is the preferred choice of coffee for many coffee lovers as it allows them to control many factors involved in the process such as the overall strength and taste of the coffee.
What equipment is used to make pour over coffee?
Just a few things are needed to make an amazing cup of pour-over coffee as outlined below;
- Brewer (for pour-over coffee)
- Filter papers (for coffee)
- Carafe (pot that brewed coffee drips into)
- Coffee (ground using a burr coffee grinder)
- Hot water (a little below boiling point)
Kinds of pour over coffee makers or brewers are diverse and readily available at your local malls. Some examples are; Chemex, Kalita wave dripper, etc. and you may find some other ones bearing generic names like Drip Brewer, Pour over coffee Brewer, or pour over coffee maker, etc.
Mechanism of pour over coffee brewer
The mechanism is essentially the same across these different kinds of Brewers. The brewer carries the ground coffee in a V-shaped cone filter, you pour hot water over the coffee, and the water seeps through the coffee into a carafe or vessel depending on the amount you want.
How to make the best pour over coffee- A step by step guide
This section will show you a detailed guide to making amazing pour over coffee
Step 1: weigh out about 6 tablespoons (32g) of coffee and grind it using a burr coffee grinder until it has a fine texture.
Step2: place the coffee brewer in a carafe that can adequately hold at least 160oz of water, add the ground coffee and set the kitchen scale to read zero.
Step3: this is the wetting and blooming step. In a slow and steady motion, pour about 65ml of hot water over the coffee and ensure the entire grounds is well saturated. This sets the “bloom phase” where carbon(iv)oxide is released from the coffee. Wait for thirty seconds, and then pour the hot water over the coffee again starting from the middle, in a circular motion down to the sides and back to the middle.
Repeat this step over and over again until you have used up to 544ml of hot water and when your scale reads 1:45. You can also adjust your speed while pouring to meet the target weight and time.
Step4: when you are done pouring, give the little coffee time (about 2 minutes) to drain properly into the carafe. Once it is done draining, you can remove the filter and clean it.
Please note that the entire coffee brewing process should take about 3 minutes including the time used for wetting and blooming. In the case where the entire duration of the brewing process is less than 3 minutes then you should adjust the size of your ground coffee to make it finer next time. On the other hand, if your coffee takes longer than 3 minutes to brew, you should also adjust the ground size to make your coffee coarser. And that’s it! Enjoy your delicious cup of pour-over coffee.
Tips for making a great cup of pour-over coffee
Yes, with pour over coffee, sometimes the steps aren’t enough. There are some key tips that should be taken into due consideration while making your coffee. Some of them are discussed below;
1. Get a good coffee grinder
You may have used store-bought, already ground coffee for your previous cups of coffee, but with pour over coffee, you need to grind the coffee yourself!
Pre-ground coffee loses the essential oils very quickly and can leave your coffee lacking a distinct taste. For pour over coffee, you would want fresh, whole coffee beans and a grinder (burr grinder) which will create uniform sized grounds that will give your coffee a great taste.
Some grinders will make your coffee beans too coarse, thus giving it a sour taste; or too fine, thus, giving it a bitter or harsh taste. The taste of your pour-over coffee largely depends on the quality of your coffee grinder, so get a great one!
2. Set the right temperature
Okay, calm down! There’s no pressure here. However, if you are a perfectionist like me, then you would need to ensure the temperature of your hot water is optimum (between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit) for amazing pour over coffee. You can easily achieve this exact temperature by boiling your water to completion and letting it sit for about 30-60 seconds. You can also use a thermometer to get the exact temperature range.
3. Rinse your filter paper perfectly
Seems like a lot of work for a cup of coffee? Remember what we said earlier about great things taking time. This step is really important to avoid traces or bits of paper in your final cup of coffee. To rinse your filter paper properly, all you have to do is place the brewer into the dripper and pour water on it in a circular motion for about four seconds, then dump the water in the cup that ran through it. This will make a great tasting cup of coffee.
4. Adequate wetting and blooming
You must ensure that your coffee grounds are adequately wetted to ensure complete blooming (release of carbon(iv)oxide gas). This can easily be done by;
- Adding enough water to ensure adequate wetting
- Waiting for about thirty seconds for the gas to escape
After these, you can easily notice the coffee grounds swell with the water. This is the blooming stage!
5. Be very patient and consistent
Making a great cup of pour-over coffee requires a certain amount of patience and consistency as the entire process takes a little longer than other coffee brewing methods. You can be consistent with;
- Using a precision scale for accurate dosing
- Using a burr grinder
- Following the guide religiously “to the T.”
- recording the entire process to avoid mistakes in the future
One of the amazing benefits of pour over coffee is that it does not require the use of electricity. Therefore, you can brew your coffee as often as you want without worrying of the strain it causes on your electricity bill, as there is none. Also, the brewer used for pour-over coffee is very portable and specifically designed to fit the top of any carafe or mug. Hence, it is also easy to take with you on your travels so that you can enjoy a delicious cup of pour-over coffee even when away from home.
Currently, whenever I see a barista or coffee lover brewing pour over coffee I feel an instant connection to him/her as I believe we were skeptics in the past, but now we have both come to appreciate the beauty that is poured over coffee.
One of the highlights of my day is standing over my kitchen counter, brewing my coffee and inhaling the sweet scent it gives when it blooms. It calms me and helps me collect my thoughts just before I set out for the day. Hence, I am 100% sure you will come to appreciate and love this amazing style of brewing coffee.
Although it is a bit more hands-on and demanding than the other methods, it will give you a great sense of accomplishment once you brew it perfectly and your friends start asking how you did it!