For a true coffee enthusiast, nothing gives as much gratification as participating in every step of the coffee-making process and making the most out of the precious, well-loved beans. From choosing the roast to getting the perfect grind and to choosing the best method of extracting that liquid gold, it’s as much a ritual as it is an adventure into the pristine world of caffeine.
And while there are many ways of making your own cup of coffee, nothing says “big coffee lover who knows his cup” than pour over coffee.
But what is pour over coffee and how can you make a consistently amazing cup of one?
What is pour over coffee?
Pour over coffee is a pretty straightforward way of getting your brew. You basically just put a paper cone on your pour-over cup, which is sitting in front of your own coffee cup. Then put your ground beans, pour hot water over these, and wait for a few minutes until the coffee-laded liquid collects in the coffee cup.
Many avid coffee drinkers opt for this method of coffee preparation because it offers a controlled way of ensuring even distribution of water throughout the beans. This results in a vibrant, flavorful coffee without any trace of bitterness.
How to make amazing pour over coffee
Step 1. Boil water. Measure out at least 600g (20 oz) of water and boil it. The ideal water temperature for pour over coffee is somewhere between 195F and 205F. So when our water has started boiling, turn off the heat and let it sit for 30 seconds to one minute.
Step 2. Grind the coffee. It’s best to use freshly ground coffee of your choice, so grind just enough coffee beans you need for serving your pour over coffee. Professional baristas and home coffee enthusiasts alike swear by investing in a quality burr grinder for a consistent grind that also results in even coffee extraction.
A good ratio to go by for pour over method is 60 grams of beans for every 1 liter of water, or you can try a coffee to water ratio of something between 1:12 and 1:17. Still, you can make your adjustments based on your own preference.
Step 3. Pre-wetting the filter. Rinse your paper filter to ensure that your coffee doesn’t have any paper taste. It also ensures that your filter sticks to the sides of your dripper for a better fit.
Place the filter in the dripper over your cup or carafe, and then for about five seconds, carefully pour hot water all over the filter in a circular motion. Then, discard the water that runs through the filter and into the cup.
Step 4. Make the coffee bloom. Pour the coffee grounds into the filter and gently tap it to make sure that the grounds settle evenly. Make sure that your pour-over dripper is placed snugly on top of your cup.
Then, add just enough of the hot water to ensure that all of the grounds get wet. This process of blooming the coffee releases carbon dioxide while making the grounds swell and expand. This also releases the beans’ wonderful smell and flavor, priming you for the delicious cup ahead.
Step 5. Make the first pour. Pouring over coffee may be straightforward, but it still requires some form of finesse. When you finally pour your hot water onto your beans, remember to take your time instead of just dumping all the water.
The right way to pour over coffee is by pouring water slowly over the grounds, in a circular motion. Start at the outer edge of the coffee, the one that hits the filter, and slowly move towards the center, saturating all the grounds evenly. This should take roughly 15 seconds. Then stop and allow your coffee to drip before making the second pour.
Step 6. The second pour. Once you see that there aren’t a lot of extracted coffee dripping, or that the coffee grounds are not saturated with much water anymore, it’s time to make your second pour. The interval from the end of the first pour to the beginning of the second should be around 30 seconds.
Starting from the center of the filter, slowly pour in a steady stream of hot water, again in a circular motion, toward the outer edge and then back at the center. Make sure that you’re not missing the outer edges of the beans.
This even and circular motion that goes in and out and in again helps prevent the grounds from bunching up irregularly around the filter, missing the extraction. It also creates something of a turbulence that stirs the coffee in the filter so that the water comes in contact throughout all the coffee grounds. This should take roughly between 45 to 65 seconds, depending on how much coffee and water you have.
Step 7. The third pour. As the coffee mixture goes through the filter to extract your precious brew, pour in additional water using the same slow and steady motions as the second pour. This will take 15 to 20 seconds.
Step 8. The fourth and final pour. As the mixture falls down into the bottom of the filter and into your cup, make your fourth and final pour. This should take 15 to 20 seconds as well. Then, remove the dripper and serve your coffee.
And there you have it—a delicious, full-flavored pour over coffee that will make caffeine gods and baristas proud. Enjoy!