What is Pour-Over Coffee?
Pour-over coffee is a simple and traditional brewing process utilizing just a filter, funnel, and of course some coffee. Making use of a finer grind size together with a slow and steady stream of water offers up the perfect cup of coffee.
Why the Pour-Over Method?
This brewing method is all about coffee's natural flavors that are often lost by using traditional drip coffee makers. When using the pour-over method you allow the coffee to bloom, enhancing those natural notes and aromas and making it much more delicious than your average cup of joe.
The Best Brewing Equipment
Already have your own equipment? Click here to skip to the step-by-step pour-over brewing guide!
The equipment used plays a huge role in these brewing methods and should match your needs, whether for convenience or working towards becoming a master brewer. We've selected a few items that we believe are the best to start your journey, shown below. Of course, you'll also need good coffee!
Here at Play&Ground we've fallen in love with Chemex products. They're stylish with an artisan look and make amazing cups of coffee. That being said, if you're looking for a simplistic single serving option we recommend the Kalita Wave — it's simple and reliable.
Made of non-porous Borosilicate glass which will not absorb odors or residues make it easy to clean and keep your coffee tasting fresh. It's simple, easy to use with a timeless, and elegant design.
The flat-bottom patented "Wave" filter, and three-hole design, work together to provide an even extraction that makes brewing a perfect cup of coffee accessible and easy.
Filters are often designed with a specific brewer in mind so we suggest getting matching filters with what ever device you use!
Chemex Bonded Filter
These filters are 20-30% thicker than most brands and this helps remove even the finest sediment particles. The formulation of the filter allows for proper extraction by regulating the brewing process.
Kettles are about time and convenience. Electric kettles offer a lot more precision and ease of use — that's why we recommend the Bonavita for your coffee journey. The Gator is a great alternative and is more of a traditional kettle style that should last a lifetime.
Gator Pour Over Kettle
A unique kettle with a triple-layer base so it works on all stovetops and stays rust-free and safe for decades. It has a built-in temperature gauge to help control water temperatures.
Bonavita Electric Kettle
This electric kettle has a realtime thermostat. It also comes with a built-in timer and is controllable in one-degree increments, allowing you to fine-tune your water temperature.
Burr Coffee Grinders
Grinders are probably the most important thing when it comes to your coffee drinking experience. The grind size and consistency directly influence the taste and strength of every cup. For the pure convenience factor, we suggest the OXO Brew grinder — the bean storage along with the saved settings makes it fast and easy to use.
OXO BREW Conical
This automatic grinder has 15+ settings that let you adjust your grind to suit your tastes. It has a one touch start timer that will keep your last settings, saving you time and effort.
How to Make Pour-Over Coffee
Step 1: The Set Up
Let's get setup! First thing is measuring your water and coffee beans. We suggest a ratio of coffee to water of 1g of coffee per every 17g of water or 4 tbsp of coffee per 1 cup of water.
The water temperature should be between 195°F–205°F. If you don't have a thermostat handy, the average boiling temperature starts around 210°F, so get your water to a soft boil and let it sit for a moment to get it just right!
Next, set up the filter. This is extremely important: place your filter in the brewing device and slowly rinse the filter inside the device with hot water!
(This will remove any residue from the filter influencing the taste of the coffee.)
Dump the rinse water and get ready for the brewing process!
Step 2: The Grind
Great — you've measured out the grams of coffee and set up your equipment! Now let's talk about grind size.
For the best results, you want the coffee grounds to be about the consistency of granulated sugar. This is why we recommend burr grinders, as blade grinders often have too many inconsistencies in grind size that will affect the taste and brew time.
Evenly distribute the now-ground coffee into your filter.
Step 3: The Perfect Pour
Before the actual pour, you want to moisten the ground coffee evenly with hot water, enough that they're wet but nothing
is dripping out of the filter.
Let the grounds sit in the hot water for around 20-30 seconds. (This allows the coffee to bloom, developing its flavor).
Next, slowly and steadily pour the rest of the water in a circular motion, making sure to cover all the grounds.
Make sure you're pouring the water slow enough so it doesn't reach the top of the filter.
Step 4: The Drip
On average, the brew time should take around 3 minutes per cup for even extraction. When evenly extracted, the coffee should have a rich color and be very aromatic.
If brewed shorter than 3 minutes, your coffee could be under extracted, leaving an
acidic or sour taste.
On the other hand, a longer brewing time over extracts, causing a bitter or hollow taste.
The brew time is normally directly linked to the coarseness of the coffee grounds.
Under Extracted = Too Coarse
Over Extracted = Too Fine
Step 5: Enjoy and Experiment
Pull out the coffee mugs!
Time for the taste test.
Everyone has a different palate when it
comes to coffee, so the first thing you
should do is try the coffee "black"
(adding no other ingredients).
There is a distinct richness and consistency in a pour-over brew, so you won't know if you like it if you add cream and sugar without tasting the coffee black first.
Brewing coffee this way is easy to adjust after making the steps routine. So enjoy the brews and experiment a little!
Let us know how you like it or what makes your pour over unique in the comments below!
Photos by Najib Kalil
Frequently Asked Questions
What is coffee "Bloom"?
Blooming in coffee is when gasses from the roasting process are released as the water hits the grinds. This is normally followed by bubbling and expansion of the grounds and helps the coffee develop its flavor.
What does "Even Extraction" mean?
Even Extraction is referring to the coffee being brewed evenly (an even amount of water throughout the coffee grinds), allowing its flavors to develop properly.
That's all — we hope you enjoy our favorite way to make coffee at home!