How to Make Pour Over Coffee

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How To Make Pour Over Coffee

Have you ever walked into a cafe and been intimidated by the sure intensity of the menu? Has the sight of coffee varieties you’ve never heard of and cannot pronounce left you feeling a little lost?

Stepping into the world of coffee can be confusing for both the novice and the knowledgeable. It is easy to get sucked into the labyrinth of size of beans, freshness of beans, types of beans, types of roast of beans, names of drinks, names of ingredients in the drinks, and a hundred other things. While you could drive yourself and others insane trying to navigate your way through, today our sights are set on the faithful classic – the pour over coffee.

What is Pour Over Coffee

The art of brewing coffee by pouring hot water slowly and steadily onto the grounds, is pour over. This method eventually just requires a cup, a funnel and a filter as equipment. At first, it might be a little tough for anyone, but with practice it can be mastered.

With time, people have moved over to machine brewing as finding the ratio by a common drinker was difficult. The machines don’t do that error as they are programmed for the perfect. Most coffee connoisseurs still prefer to brew manual as they have full control over the brewing parameter as water temperature, coffee to water ratio and pouring the water. And this really makes sense in this method.

How to Make Pour Over Coffee

If you’re someone who’s just wanted the coffee to get in their cup and have never really investigated the how; it’s time to take a deep breath and undertake a deep dive. Chances are you’ve enjoyed a cup of coffee brewed using a drip coffee maker on more than one occasion, you probably just weren’t able to put a name to the method. 

The electric drip coffee maker has been in existence since 1954 and manual, one even before that.

A few of the manual drip coffee makers are names you’re sure to have encountered in the past. They include the Kalita Wave, the Chemex, and the V60. The automatic variants include the Braun BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker,  the  Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System and the Bonavita One-Touch Coffee Maker to name a few. 

The choice all comes down to how much creative control control you wish to have in the process of assembling your caffeinated cup.

Things Needed

  • Coffee – A bag of your favourite coffee beans is kind of the obvious main ingredient
  • The Coffee Maker – Either your manual or mechanic drip coffee maker
  • A Coffee Grinder – If you’ve opted to receive whole beans in your home, you’re going to need a grinder ready to freshly powder those beans
  • A Coffee Filter – This can be a one use filter that is customised to the appliance that has a home in your house. With an aim to be more environmentally conscious, a lot of coffee appliances come with their own reusable mesh filters
  • A spoon or a Coffee Scoop – An easy to forget item. Have a spoon ready to transfer the coffee grind into the filter
  • Scale – If you prefer to weigh your coffee grounds rather than measure them in a spoon, have an accurate digital scale ready
  • Water – Cold, preferably filtered water if you’re going to need to fill in a machine’s water reservoir
  • A Gooseneck Kettle filled with boiled water for a manual drip coffee maker
  • Receiving Vessel – If you are using a manual maker and do not wish do brew directly into your coffee mug, keep a receiving vessel read to collect the coffee once it falls through the filter
  • Your Favourite Coffee Cup – Everyone has their favoured cup that they always reach for on account of either its size, shape, colour or at times feel. It just adds that pinch of enjoyment to your daily cup. 

Pour Over Brewing – Step by Step

  1. Get your hands on your favourite coffee beans.
  2. If you’ve got a pack of whole beans, it’s time to bring out the coffee grinder. Set your sights on a highly reviewed burr grinder if possible, it makes a noticeable difference in the consistency of the grind.  
  3. If the coffee maker you are using requires a removable filter, position it within the filter basket.
    If the company or quality of filters is not specified, be careful of the one you choose to use. Low quality rip offs are not as dependable. They either rip when they come in contact with hot water, or transfer some fibres and, or flavours into your coffee as the water drips through.
  4. Measure or weigh the ground coffee required and place it into the coffee filter.
  5. If you’re using an automatic machine, pour some cold water into the water reservoir, plug the machine into your power source and press the button that allows the machine to get to work.
    If however you’ve opted for a more hands on approach, these are the next steps to follow.
  6. Once the coffee grounds are sitting comfortably in the filter; pour some boiled water out through your kettle and wet the filter paper. Throw away the water collected once you’ve succeeded in warming the vessel.
  7. Slowly pour a little of the boiled water onto the ground coffee. (roughly double the quantity of the coffee). It is never advised to pour in boiling water directly onto your freshly ground coffee beans. If you’ve been doing that in the past and have been complaining of a punch of bitterness in your morning cup, this could be the reason why.
  8. Allow the coffee to bloom for thirty seconds to a minute.
  9. Slowly pour the remaining water over the coffee.
    For the best effect, start pouring from the outer circle, and work your way towards the centre of the filter. A gooseneck kettle is often favoured as it gives you the most control during this process.
  10. Once all the water from the kettle has passed through the filter, or the automatic machine has finished its work pour the delicious hot coffee into your favourite mug and enjoy. 
Pour Over Brewing

How to Take the Most from your Coffee

Have you ever made yourself a cup of coffee. And it was alright. Not bad at all, but not great either. It was simply alright. When excellence is within your grasp, mediocrity can be highly frustrating. So what is it that makes an ok cup of coffee, intoxicatingly drool-worthy?

Keep a Check on as How Fresh are the Coffee Beans

A basic rule of thumb to follow is the fresher coffee grind, the better the coffee. 

The best way to ensure you have freshly ground beans ready for your daily cup is naturally to buy the beans whole and grind them yourself at home. 

Once ground, coffee beans begin to lose their flavour and fragrance as time passes. If for whatever reason you are unable or unwilling to procure a coffee grinder at home, try to find a coffee company that delivers freshly ground beans and be very careful how you store them

It is important to make sure your coffee beans are stored in an airtight container far away from any strong flavours. If you do not follow through on these guidelines, it is possible you might find your coffee smelling or even tasting a little like whatever it is stored next to.

Pour Over Coffee Ratio

As a general rule of thumb, the coffee to water ratio is to be kept at 1:17, which means a part of coffee with 17 equal part of water. For example, with 13 grams of coffee, you need to add 221 grams of water. But according to SCAA ( Specialty Coffee Association of America, the recommended coffee to water ratio for pour over brewing is 55 g/L ± 10%. It states that with each 55 grams of coffee, one needs to use 1 litre of water and you can experiment for optimal taste by increasing or reducing the coffee by 10%. Here is a more easy split for you.

Coffee (gm)Coffee (tsp)Water (mL)Water (Oz)
132.62378
193.935512
265.347316
39871024
Pour Over Brewing Ratios

Keep the coffee maker clean

Bringing home a coffee machine with all the bells and whistles can at times amount to quite a hit on your wallet. It is considered an investment by many. And like any other investment, it is important to ensure it is working at top capacity. In order for that to happen, cleanliness and maintenance is essential. 

Whether you’re using a manual or automatic machine it is very important that all the surfaces both inside and out are thoroughly cleaned. If you find yourself forgetting to do the task one day you’re ensured to taste the repercussions in your next coffee. Apart from wiping down the machine after every use, it is also advised to do a deep clean of the coffee maker at least once a month. If you smell something foul, or see visible signs of either sediment or coffee stains on your coffee maker, it’s a safe bet you’ve waited too long and need to get cleaning right away.

Consistency of the Coffee Grind

Grinding beans

If you thought goldilocks had it bad having to figure out the porridge, chair and bed that was just right for her, think again. Locking in the size of your coffee grind plays a key role in the overall flavour and enjoyment of a caffeinated cup.

So how fine, or coarse should your serving of ground coffee be when it comes to drip coffee? Science dictates the more you grind your coffee, the simpler it is to expel the flavour from them. 

If your grind is too coarse you could end up over extracting the coffee which will leave you with a cup that is unfavourably bitter. If on the other hand you grind too finely, your coffee might just be lacking that punch that pushes it through to perfect. 

The go-to size advocated by the experts is between a medium to medium-fine grind.

At the end of the day though, it all comes down to personal taste. So try a few rounds, make a few changes and stick to what works best for you.

Quality and Temperature of Water Used

The majority ingredient in a cup of unadulterated coffee is water. Naturally paying special attention to it will drastically affect the flavour and enjoyment of your daily cup.

To start off, if you’ve been simply adding tap water to your coffee everyday, it might be time to make a change. 

The reason? Depending on where you stay, tap water can contain both impurities and, or minerals. Both can play an important role in altering the taste of your drink. The coffee-to-water ratio that you should turn to once again depends heavily on personal personal preference and tolerance levels. 

The go-to ratio is two tablespoons of coffee to every six ounces of water, or weigh in 15 grams of coffee for every 225 grams of water. If you want your coffee stronger increase the quantity of coffee, if it’s too intense for you, increase the proportion of water.
Try to ensure the water temperature measures close to 91–96 degrees celsius for the best extraction from the beans.

Watch that Heat

If you want to treat yourself to the perfect cup of coffee everyday, you’re going to have to pay attention. Not just while the coffee is being prepared, but even after it is done.  When it comes to drip coffee, timing plays a very important role.

Automatic drip coffee makers often come with a heating element, where your receiving vessel or coffee cup stands. If that vessel is insulated there is no need for concern, if however it is made of plain glass, you’re going to have to act. Once the assembly of your drink is complete, it is important to take you coffee off the heat. The simple reason being, as with anything else, too much heat will cause it to burn which in turn can cause your drink to taste bitter.

How to Clean the Pour Over Coffee Maker

Cleaning up is no ones favourite thing to do. It is however essential. Since the use of hot water is a constant and imperative part in the process of making a coffee, it is common to observe mineral sediments making the automatic coffee maker their residence over time. This in turn will make the coffee you try to enjoy taste sour which is extremely off putting.

So maybe you clean out the filter casket and wipe the other surfaces down after you’re done brewing every time. It is not enough. Cleaning a manual coffee maker is fairly simple. Just ensure you wash all the reusable parts with soap and water after each use. If however you’re using an automatic machine and want to ensure a healthy life cycle of your coffee maker, it requires a deep cleanse once a month.

  • Fill the water tank on your auto coffee maker with a liquid that is half water and half vinegar and let the machine function as it normally would to make a cup of coffee.
  • After it is completed pour the collected water back in the tank and repeat the process.
  • Get rid of the mixture and wash all the removable parts out with a combination of soap and water.
  • Fill the tank with clean water and run the machine one more time to ensure all the soap and vinegar has left the machine.
  • If you feel the carafe of your machine has lost its looks; try filling the tank with a mixture of lukewarm  sudsy water, and a little rice and run the machine. It should help loosen up anything stuck. Scrub out anything remaining with a sponge and wash it off. You’re carafe should be back to looking brand new.
  • You are now free to brew without worry for another month.

Troubleshooting

No matter how well you take care of a machine, there’s always the possibility that something can go wrong. If and when it does, there’s certain steps that you can undertake in an attempt to find a solution. 
Accidents always happen accidentally. If your auto coffee maker is malfunctioning and you’ve decided to attempt a solution, it is imperative to first ensure the machine isn’t connected to a power source and that the water reservoir is cool. 

If the problem is with the taste of the coffee coming out of the machine, make certain the device is clean. As discussed earlier, that does play an important role in altering the flavour of your drink. If the water isn’t flowing easily, run the water and vinegar mixture that you use for monthly cleaning through it. It should clear out any blockages. 

If it is a technical issue you think is beyond your abilities, contact the company’s customer care department or enquire about replacements or warranty. 

At the end of the day

It doesn’t take long to get attached to the coffee maker in your home be it manual or otherwise. Allow yourself a little trial and error when you begin figuring out what works for you. Trust in your taste and alter the ingredients in your creation accordingly. Once you’ve learned all the tricks of the trade, and locked in all the nitty gritties, preparing a cup of coffee can be the highlight of your day.