The Pour-Over Method

Posted by William Mowen on

The pour-over method is exactly what it sounds like: in short, you pour water over grounds. In a sense, it is a manual process of doing the functions of an auto-drip coffeemaker. Although more hands-on, the cup quality is much better as you have direct control over water temperature and the extent of ground wetting. 


Items Needed:

1. Pour-over dripper

You can't go wrong with a Hario V60, shown above.

2. Paper filters

They make specific cone-shaped filters for pour-overs, such as theseBe sure to choose the correct size, covered below.

Pour-over filters come in different sizes:

  • Size 01: 1-2 cups
  • Size 02: 1-4 cups
  • Size 03: 1-6 cups

3. A reservoir of choice 

This is what you will be brewing coffee into. Make sure it is safe to hold hot liquid up to roughly 220°F. You can also purchase a carafe specific for pour-overs, such as this one. We've used mason jars, too. Just be sure to check for what temperatures it is safe to hold. 

4. Kettle 

You can use a stovetop or electric kettle. Whichever you choose, we highly recommend using a gooseneck kettle. This will give you far better pouring accuracy. This is important to avoid pouring near-boiling water on the counter or possibly yourself. You can get an electric gooseneck kettle from Amazon for about $30.

5. Ground coffee 

The fresher, the better! The roast date is important as well as grind date. Coffee will remain fresh longer as whole bean. Ground coffee will stale quicker. When a coffee grinder isn't possible, try to use a coffee with a recent roast date such as within the last week or so.

6. Measuring spoon

If a food/kitchen scale isn't possible, measuring spoons can still get you pretty close to where you need to be. We found that 1 tablespoon averages to roughly 7 grams of ground coffee. We like using a 2 tablespoon measuring spoon, averaging 14-15 grams of ground coffee. 

7. Water

We will be covering an article on water quality/source soon and will update this article as soon as we do. In short: avoid using city/chemical treated water. This will alter the taste of the coffee. If using a well, be cautious of limescale build-up. Try to use bottled spring or filtered water, such as a gallon jug. These are just a few short tips until we can get the article out covering water quality/source. 

8. A drinking vessel of choice

We recommend coffee mugs or cups. Not all cups are meant to hold near-boiling temperature liquid, such as your coffee. Be sure to use one designed for holding hot coffee!

Optional & Recommended:

9. Food scale

Food scales can be very useful, especially for the pour-over method, to ensure accuracy and consistency. If these are not available, use our recommendations on measuring your coffee with a tablespoon. For the amount of water, either measure beforehand or know the capacity of your water reservoir/carafe. 

10. Coffee grinder

We recommend burr grinders to ensure a consistent grind level. If this is available, grind to medium and prior to brewing your coffee to ensure freshness. 

Instructions:

1. Place a filter into the cone/dripper

2. Weigh or measure your coffee and place in the filter

Recommendations: we recommend using 60g/8-10Tbsp of coffee per 1000ml/~4C of water. You can adjust this according to your personal taste preferences. 

3. Heat water in your kettle. In either case of using a stovetop or electric kettle, you will want to heat water to 185°-205°F. Take into account that the water will cool a few degrees after you take it from its heat source. 

4. Place your carafe on the scale and then your cone/dripper on top of your carafe. Turn the scale on or tare it to zero.

5. Begin brewing! We like to soak the center initially to avoid any dry clumps and then slowly begin to go in circles around the outside. After initially wetting the coffee, you have two choices going forward from this point:

1. Blooming Method: this is where you pour only enough water initially soak the grounds. The coffee will "bloom" or bubble up. This allows for carbon dioxide emission from the coffee and can yield a better cup taste. The water will begin to replace the carbon dioxide, causing the bloom, and allow for better extraction of the grounds. Allow the coffee to bloom for 30-60 seconds. 

2. Just Brew It: you can continue your circular pattern, soaking the coffee, and stopping before the water level reaches too high and risks spilling over the side. This method misses out on blooming but blooming is not "required."

6. Continue to pour the water over the grounds in the manner stated above until you have reached the appropriate water quantity through either two methods:

1. Scale Method: you have reached your desired/target coffee-to-water ratio based on weight, such as 60g of coffee per 1000g of water (water measures equally in grams and milliliters, therefore 1g + 1ml). 

2. Eyeball Method: you have reached your carafe volume limit. For those that don't have a scale, it's best to measure your water by volume prior to get a more accurate coffee-to-water ratio. See item 9 from the Items Needed section above.  

7. Once you've completed brewing and the coffee has finished dripping, your coffee will be ready! Be careful: it will still be too hot to consume at this point. 

 

 

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