If anyone thought that pour over coffee was a fad, by now they are rethinking that assumption. Not only has this unique style of coffee brewing stood the test of time, but it’s also grown in popularity over the years.
What is pour over coffee, anyway?
Pour over coffee is a method of brewing and serving coffee without the use of a traditional coffee maker (like you’d see at an office or kitchen), usually one cup at a time. It’s a careful and precise method of preparing coffee, but one that allows for experimentation as well.
For some, the process is enticing because it can be a calming, intimate process of making your own drink. For others, they enjoy the efficiency and lack of waste of making one cup at a time. But for many, it simply comes down to the taste.
Here are six reasons why it’s not (and shouldn’t) go anywhere and why you need to give it a try.
Reason One: It’s easy.
To make pour over coffee, the process is actually simple:
- Select and grind your beans—medium-fine is ideal. You’ll want to use a ratio of 14.5-16.5 grams of water to each gram of coffee. At a 14.5:1 ratio you will pour a total of 360 grams (about 12 oz) of water for 25 grams of coffee.
- Set the grounds in a coffee filter (pre-wet the filter with hot water inside the dripper or cone and let it heat up the server also). Discard the water.
- Boil the water. As soon as it’s at a rolling boil, wait 45-60 seconds before you use it. The perfect temperature for a pour over is between 205-208°. A rolling boil is 212° and those 45 seconds will allow the temperature to drop to the preferred range.
- Pour the water slowly over the grounds, close to a 3:1 ratio (66 grams of water to 22 grams of coffee)—this is called “blooming” and after letting it sit for 45 to 60 seconds, you can slowly pour the rest of the water over the grounds, evenly until it’s gone, letting it all drip down into the cup. For a brew of 360 grams (about 12 oz), the total brew time should take no more than 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
Reason Two: The extraction method leads to a unique taste
Slowly letting the water pull the taste from your coffee grounds leads to a fuller, more robust taste that highlights the unique flavors of your coffee beans. In short, it’s coffee the way the farmers and roasters intended it to taste. By “blooming” the coffee as you begin to pour, carbon dioxide will naturally start to escape, so when you drain the rest of the water it will be a smooth, clean process, leaving you with delicious-tasting coffee.
Reason Three: It’s less wasteful
Pour over coffee is made by the cup, not by the pot, so there’s no wasted water or coffee left over. As we all aim to be more environmentally conscious and strive toward sustainability in all the things we do, every little bit helps. And if you want higher-quality coffee than a regular coffee maker can make at home, you don’t need to get it at a café; pour over coffee can get that level of quality without adding the wastefulness of a paper cup from a café or national chain. Not to mention that it’s lightyears more environmentally friendly than single-serve pods.
Reason Four: It’s cost-efficient
Without needing to repair or replace kitchen coffeemakers every few years (or splurge on a high-ticket espresso machine), using the pour over method is an inexpensive way to have high-quality coffee regularly. Usually, when you buy inexpensive coffee, you skimp on quality, and vice versa; but in this case, you don’t have to. Save yourself a daily trip to the corner café—that $4 cup will run you $120 a month, and $1,440 a year—and save a few bucks along the way, without sacrificing good coffee.
Reason Five: The process is pleasant
This one is a little less obvious for many, but you’d be surprised how satisfying the routine of preparing coffee in this way can be. The slow, careful pouring. The lack of any electronics whirring or sputtering (not counting the grinding of the coffee, of course). The collecting in the cup of the rich, dark coffee that you saw moments ago as clear water. It’s a meditative, calming experience for many, and can be yet another benefit of the pour over method that other ways of making your coffee simply don’t allow.
Experiment until you find the iteration that makes, for you, the perfect cup of coffee. And then rest easy, knowing each cup moving forward will be the best it can be.
Reason Six: Experimentation allows you to find your perfect cup
With the whole process happening by hand, you have more control over the little factors that go into the final taste of your cup. Try tweaking them each time you make a new cup: pour slower or a little faster; let the water cool off a bit more before the pour; use less or more water; change up the grind or the “bloom” time. Experiment until you find the iteration that makes, for you, the perfect cup of coffee. And then rest easy, knowing each cup moving forward will be the best it can be.
Of course, the best place to start before you grind or pour anything is the perfect bean; check out our shop to find a variety of high-quality, carefully roasted blends, perfect for a pour over.