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Pour Over Coffee Maker: The Basics of Good Coffee

Dave Carter

June 29, 2020

Learning how to make pour-over coffee is an amazing skill to have, especially if you are a coffee lover because it allows you to taste coffee like you never have before. The process may seem easy, but it is a little tedious because you need to get the variables correct to come up with a nice brew.

If you are only starting, it can be a trial and error process to achieve the proper amounts in your variables, including the right grind for your coffee beans, temperature, and the right amount of water. But when you do it right, it is definitely worth the effort because you get a rich, bold, and very flavorful coffee with a hint of sophistication. And because it is handmade, you will certainly feel proud that you have done it without using a machine.

How to Make Pour-Over Coffee​

Before you start making your pour-over coffee, there are some things that you need to have to make the process happen. You will need to have a good burr grinder, a slow- pouring kettle, a gram scale, and a thermometer if in case your kettle does not have a built-in temperature display because you need it to check your temperature’s stability.

Part of the process of making a pour-over coffee is to consider the variables involved, such as the consistency and uniformity of your coffee grind. This is important in having a quality and consistent brew. The finer your grind is, the shorter the contact time the brew requires; but if your grind is medium-coarse, you will need to have a longer brew time.

Another important element is the ratio of the coffee and water, which they say should be approximately 1g of coffee for every 16.7g of water. The quality of water also helps in brewing a nice cup of coffee and keeping your equipment in good shape, so if you can have high-grade brew water, the better. Temperature is essential, and preheating your brewer must not be forgotten each time you make a brew. A stable temperature is needed for a successful pour-over coffee. The ideal temperature must be between 90.5C and 96C.

Perhaps the most basic way of making a pour-over coffee is the one you do at home, which comes in the following method:

  1. The first is to heat fresh water to 200F.
  2. Measure about 25g of roasted coffee beans.
  3. Prepare the filter and grind by folding down the seam of the paper filter, then placing it into the pour-over cone so that it lies flat.
  4. Discard the hot water and place the v60 and carafe on your scale.
  5. Pour.

The detailed way to make a pour-over coffee goes like this:

  1. Bring about 600g of water to a boil.
  2. Grind about three tablespoons of coffee beans to a coarseness that is similar to sea salt.
  3. Put a filter in the dipper.
  4. Add the ground coffee to the filter and gently tap to level the surface of the grounds, and place the brewer on a carafe or a cup and set- up onto a digital scale with a 0 setting.
  5. Start a timer. Begin by pouring water slowly over the coffee, starting at the outer rim, and moving in a steady spiral toward the center of the grounds. Stop pouring when the scale reaches 60g. This process takes about 15 seconds. Give the coffee an additional 30 seconds to drip before going on the 2nd pour.
  6. Starting in the center of the grounds, pour in a steady spiral toward the outer edge and back towards the center. This time add 90g to make 150g, the goal of this process is to sink all of the grounds on the surface of the bed. Allow 45 to 65 seconds to elapse.
  7. Pour an additional 100g of water using the same pattern in the 2nd pour to make the total, 250g. This takes about 15 to 20 seconds.
  8. When the coffee and water from the 3rd pour drops to the bottom of the filter, complete the 4th and also final pour by adding 100g of water to make 350g in total. This should take 20 seconds to finish.

If you think that your coffee is thin, sour, or weak, you can try having a finer grind setting. However, if it is bitter, harsh, or brothy, try a coarser grind instead.

What is Pour Over Coffee?​

Pour-over coffee is a manually brewed way of making coffee, and to perfect the craft, you only need to have some basic equipment, know a few guidelines, and have the willingness to experiment. The best way to learn is through constant practice of brewing, tasting, adjusting, and recording results. To have efficiency, try to adjust one variable at a time while adjusting your recipe to avoid things from getting complicated.

This method is also the slowest way of making a cup of coffee and is the most basic as well because all you need is a cup, a filter, and a funnel, and there is no need to have any coffee machine. The process is also just really about pouring a slow and steady stream of hot water over coffee grounds. It may seem easy, but there is a lot of adjusting variables that need to be done to create that delicate and full-flavored cup of coffee. Making a pour-over coffee is a skill.


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Pour Over Coffee Instructions​

To make your pour-over coffee, here are the instructions. And in case you are using specific equipment, also check the Cuisinart coffee maker manual.

  1. Heat fresh water to 200F and to achieve the right temperature, bring water to a boil then let it stand for about 30 seconds.
  2. Measure 5 tablespoons or 25g of roasted coffee beans.
  3. Prepare the filter and place it into the pour-over cone. Rinse the filter with hot water and grind the coffee beans to a texture similar to the sand—Preheat the cone and carafe to remove paper flavors.
  4. Discard the hot water and place the v60 and carafe on the scale, then add coffee grounds and 0 out the scale. Next is to pour 50g of water or twice the weight of the coffee grounds in a spiral motion to saturate the grounds. Wait for about 30 seconds.
  5. After 30 seconds, pour water over the grounds until the scale reaches 400g, and the timer reaches 2 minutes. Pour first in a spiral pattern then straight down to keep the coffee grounds fully saturated.
  6. Give the coffee in your carafe a final swirl, and you have your cup of coffee!

Pour Over Coffee Ratio​

Another important element in making a successful pour over brew is the coffee- to- water ratio. While there may be different standards like some say 16:1 where you put 22g of coffee to 370g water or 18:1, or still, some say for every 12oz cup, you use 21g of coffee or 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6oz of water, etc. The golden ratio is 17:1 or 17.42:1, to be exact, equivalent to 1 cup of water to 1 tablespoon of coffee.

To be accurate, always use a gram scale. And for medium to light roast, use a higher coffee- to- water ratio.

Pour Over Coffee Filter​

There are different types of coffee filters. There is the paper filter which comes in 4 various kinds that include:

  • Melitta, which is a size four and fits most coffee machines.
  • Hario where the small is 01 and the large is 02.
  • Chemex is ideal for 1 to 3 cups and also for 6 to 10 cups.
  • Aeropress is available in 1 size only.

Another type is the stainless steel filter, which is the more permanent version of the filter, and some cones have a built-in filter.

A coffee filter is one of the essential elements in making a pour-over coffee, and you need a coffee maker, which is also known as “cones” or “drippers” because this is what holds the filter.

Grind for Pour Over​

The grind size for your coffee beans may be adjusted as it will depend on your brewer size and the batch, which means your coffee grounds can be finer or coarser. Also, consider your type of coffee beans to make a perfect grind.

The ideal size is medium-fine for a brew of 400 ml. With this size, you get a ground that is finer than sand, but still not as fine as an espresso grind. To start brewing, the first thing you need to do is to place the filter into the brewer then rinse it thoroughly with hot water.

If you want to have the finest and the best tasting cup of brew, try a type of coffee bean Blue Mountain Coffee from Jamaica. This type of coffee is grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and is considered to be among the most expensive and sought after coffees in the world because of its impeccable mild flavor without any bitterness. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is the only one of its kind certified by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica.

Coffee Pouring​

Pressed for time? Coffee makers can always lend a hand in making a quick brew. A small coffee maker is convenient and can save you a lot of space. It is also very easy to use, and all you have to do is to press one button to start brewing. If you are using this, choose the one that comes with a drip-free pouring and one that already has a permanent filter.

You also have the option of using a high-end coffee maker like the Behmor Brazer Plus, which lets you adjust variables such as water, temperature, and the presoak time for the grounds. Or the Bonavita Connoisseur, which is easy to use and is compact, or the Bonavita Metropolitan, Bunn Velocity Brew BT, which brews in 3 minutes and treats the grounds well.

Best Pour Over Coffee​

By knowing how to make pour-over coffee (with the perfect coffee to water ratio), you give yourself the chance to experience coffee making in a different way as well as the opportunity to taste the finer qualities of the coffee bean. The slower the pour, which allows time for the water to pull out more flavor from the grounds, the richer and bolder taste you get.

Some say that the best pour-over coffee maker gives flavorful and consistent coffee due to its flat-bottom design that promotes even more water drainage.


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