Pour-over coffee is coffee in its most basic and authentic form. All you need is a cup, a filter, and a funnel, plus a little time and effort for the brewing process. This method shuns electrical “cheats” and allows you to carefully create a cup that’s perfect for your tastes and preferences.
The precision and control required to brew the perfect cup of pour-over coffee make this brewing method a little slower than some other options for creating high-quality coffee at home, but once you’ve perfected the technique, you’re sure to love it!
Why pour-over coffee is better
When considering various coffee brewing methods, pour-over coffee will always rate highly… But why is it such a hot choice for coffee enthusiasts and amateurs alike?
Pour-over coffee requires the barista (you) to take a little time and effort over your coffee. You get to control everything from the water temperature to the number of coffee beans in your brew, so you know it’s been made to perfectly match your personal tastes.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to practice a little mindfulness or hygge. Take care to be aware of what you’re doing when making a cup of pour-over coffee, and you’ll find it does a lot more than offering a caffeine boost!
Yes, it can take a little trial and error to perfect your home-brewed pour-over coffee, but that’s part of the benefit of this method! Not only does pour-over coffee give you the chance to relive your school days as a “mad scientist,” but the room to experiment and play with your brew allows you to discover new tastes and techniques until you get the perfect combination.
No more bulk-coffee that tastes exactly the same for everyone; pour-over lets you play with your food (or drink) to discover the flavors you love best.
The control and precision of a pour-over coffee ensure you’ll end up with a cup of joe that’s richer and more flavorsome than anything you could buy at the store. By slowly pouring water over your coffee grinds, you allow the beans more chance to soak and enjoy a richer taste.
Pour-over is the perfect way to extract maximum flavor from each bean without worrying about burning or ruining the coffee.
How to make the perfect pour-over coffee
Making a mug of pour-over coffee is as much meditation and ritual as it is coffee brewing. And it’s worth taking your time over.
Whether you’re familiar with the method or it’s your first time, here’s how to make the most incredible coffee you’ve ever tasted from home.
- Fresh, whole coffee beans
- Coffee grinder
- Drip coffee cone
- Paper filter (unless you’re using a full pour-over coffee maker with a reusable stainless steel filter, like the ones from Uno Casa)
- Gooseneck kettle
- Coffee cup
Preparing the pour-over coffee
- Bring 600g (20oz) of water to a boil.
- Grind 30g of fresh coffee to a similar coarseness to sea salt (use less coffee if you’re using a light roast single-origin coffee).
- If you’re using a paper filter, wet it with hot water, and then place your filter into the drip coffee cone.
- Pour your ground coffee into the filter. Gently tap the edges to encourage a level surface.
- Place the pour-over coffee on top of a mug or carafe, then put the whole thing on a digital scale. Set the scale to zero before adding any water.
- The coffee will be brewed over four distinct pours, each carefully timed to allow the coffee to “bloom.” Set a timer before you start pouring the water so you can ensure precision. (see next step)
The four pours
- Slowly pour hot water over the coffee, starting at the outer rim and working in a slow and steady spiral towards the center. Stop pouring when the scale reads 60g and check all the grounds are fully saturated (if you need to add a drop more water, then do so). The first pour should take around 15 seconds. Allow your coffee 30 seconds to drip before moving onto the second pour.
- For the second pour, start in the center of the grounds and pour the water in a slow, steady spiral towards the outer edge, then back into the center of the coffee. It’s crucial to pour all the way to the edge to ensure you catch any grounds hiding between wrinkles in the paper filter. When the scale reads 150g (including the 60g from the first pour), stop and leave the coffee to 45-65 seconds to drip through.
- The third pour uses the same spiral pattern as the second, but this time you want to add an additional 100g of water (bringing the scale up to 250g) and should take 15-20 seconds to complete.
- The fourth and final pour should occur once the water and coffee from the third pour have fallen to the bottom of the filter. This will involve an additional 100g of water (total = 350g) and take around 20 seconds.
Top tips for pour-over coffee brewing
Once you’ve completed the four pours, you should be left with a delicately tasty and flavourful cup of coffee that’s unparalleled by any other brewing methods. By buying coffee as close to the roast date as possible and grinding only what you need for your cup, you’ll be sure to enjoy fresher, more fragrant, and tastier coffee in every cup.
In addition to checking the quality of the beans, it’s vital not to overlook the importance of getting the water right when brewing coffee. Filtered water offers a unique flavor profile that highlights the flavors and aromas of your coffee beautifully. Aim to get your water to around 195’F – 205’F (or around 30 seconds off the boil) for the best results.
Be sure to take your time with the pour and check that every single coffee ground is well saturated before moving onto the next step, and you’ll be guaranteed an incredible coffee every time.