Everything You Need to Know About Making Pour Over Coffee
The pour over method for making coffee allows you to draw some of the richest and boldest taste from the ground beans of your choice. Though it takes more time than other, simpler methods, the deeper flavor profile is worth the tradeoff for many coffee aficionados.
At home, most Americans brew coffee using a standard drip machine. Drip coffee can be tasty, and many on-the-go appreciate the time and effort they save using this method. However, the quality will never compare to what you can achieve using the pour over method.
How Can I Make Pour Over Coffee at Home?
If you’ve ever enjoyed the pleasure of made-to-order coffee at a cafe or roastery, you may wonder if such a delicious cup at home. Good news – you can! The pour over method is the simplest and best way to enjoy coffee at home without expensive appliances or having to steam milk and espresso.
What You Need to Make Pour Over Coffee
Thanks to its resurgence in popularity, pour over kits are commonly found at many big box retailers right next to automatic machines. Brands like Bodum and Chemex are hot-selling pour over solutions for many who want to dive into the world of specialty coffee.
To get started with making specialty coffee, all you need is:
- A water kettle with a gooseneck spout
- A scale with a timer
- A pour over cone to hold the filter
- A pour over pitcher to brew into
- A coffee grinder, if you are not purchasing pre-ground coffee
- Paper filters or a Chemex which acts as both a cone and filter
Disclaimer: Please handle kettles carefully. They boil water and are extremely, extremely hot when active. Use at your own risk and only handle them the way the manufacturer intends.
Most pour over devices are made out of stainless steel, glass or ceramic and should last a lifetime (just so long as you take care of it and don’t accidentally drop and break it!). Given that a pour over is just a pitcher and a cone, you don’t need to worry about any electrical components or settings. No electrical shorts, no tubes getting clogged and no heating element burning out. There is nothing that will short out and leave you without your much needed morning coffee.
The (Simple) Process
Now that you have your tools ready, it’s time to brew some delicious coffee! The more that you use the pour over method, you will find that it becomes even easier over time. You’ll actually start looking forward to making your next cup.
Controlling the Quality
The best part of brewing pour over coffee is that the process can be fully customizable. You can control the grind size, water-to-coffee ratio, water temperature, and even the speed at which you pour the water.
If you do not want to grind your coffee at home, your local coffee shop can do this for you at whatever grind setting you prefer. The recipe that the Perk Cafe team loves is 30g of medium-coarse ground coffee and 500g of water. The medium-coarse grind allows the coffee to bloom properly while keeping brew time quick with proper flavor extraction.
The Perk Cafe At-Home Pour Over Coffee Recipe
This is our favorite recipe for pour over coffee, but you can always adjust various aspects of it to suit your taste. For example, if you find the coffee to be a little too bitter or weak, start by adjusting the grind setting. If the grind is too fine, your mouth will likely feel dry and you’ll experience a somewhat ashy after taste. Grind the coffee too coarse, and it will taste weak, sour, or a little papery.
- 30g of medium-coarse freshly ground coffee
- 500g of water
- Assemble your pour over system. If you’re using a Chemex, place the paper filter in the top part. If you’re using a separate cone and pitcher, then put the cone on top of the pitcher and place the paper filter in the cone.
- Once the filter is secured, wet it with hot water and allow it to soak through completely. This will eliminate any papery aftertaste from the final product.
- Drain the initial bit of water
This is a recipe our Perk team loves. You may have to adjust the grind setting depending on your specific pour over equipment, coffee, etc., but this is a great starting point.
- Assemble your pour over, if you’re using a Chemex, pop the paper filter in the top, if you’re using a separate cone and pitcher put the cone on top of the pitcher and pop the filter into the cone. Once the filter is in place, wet it with hot water and allow the water to filter through completely. This will eliminate any papery taste from your final product.
- Once your filter is wet, drain the initial bit of water. Place the pitcher onto your scale and tare it to 0 grams.
- Add 30 grams of freshly ground coffee to your pre wet filter. Gently shake the cone to level out your grinds (this helps to ensure that you get an even brew!)
- Tare your scale so it reads 0 grams.
- Start your timer, and using your water kettle, start pouring 60 grams of water over the grinds in a slow, steady, circular fashion from the center out towards the edges of the filter. Let it sit for 45 seconds. You will see the coffee expand and bubbles will appear. This is called the bloom, which is CO2 escaping from the coffee grinds, and it’s a very important step in brewing a delicious cup of coffee.
- When your 45 seconds are up, start adding more water in the slow, steady, circular motion. Bring the weight of the water up to 200 grams and then pause. Let the water filter through the grinds. Don’t rush this because this is when the water and grinds start doing their thing, and come together to make some beautiful coffee.
- You’re ready to add more water when it has filtered almost all the way through and you’re almost able to see the bed of grinds. Keeping that slow circular motion, add 100 grams of water at a time allowing time in between for the water to filter through. Continue this process until you’ve hit 500 grams of water. Let the water finish filtering through all the way. Ideally, you should be finished brewing between 4 and 5 minutes.
Congratulations! Go grab your cup and enjoy your first cup of pour over coffee!
Keeping Your Pour Over Coffee Equipment Clean
Thanks to pour over coffee’s simple brewing process, you do not have to bother with cleaning out the internal workings of your coffee maker.
Some pour over cones can be cleaned in the dishwasher. However, we recommend lightly scrubbing them with dish soap and then rinsing with hot water.
When handling the vase, be careful not to let it slip out of your hands when wet (they are not what we would call “shatterproof”). For the outside, dish soap and a warm water rinse will suffice.
Cleaning the inside of the vase is a bit more challenging. Here, we recommend filling partway with warm water, adding dish soap, and then swishing it around in the vase before rinsing out. Keep rinsing with warm water until no more suds are coming out of the vase. Do NOT put your pour over vase in the dishwasher.
Want to Master Pour Over Coffee? Let Us Help
Though Perk Cafe is based in Bayville, NJ, we love coffee from all over the world! If you would ever like tips, recipes, or to ask us any questions, contact us anytime!