Beginner’s guide on how to make pour over coffee at home
There is a lot of discussion going around about what are the best techniques and tools to use for pour over coffee, a coffee brewing method that has recently been embraced by the specialty coffee scenes in Thailand. The pour over coffee is a straightforward way to make a delicious cup of coffee. Take a look at this beginner’s guide & tips for making pour-over coffee at the comfort of your own home.
WHAT IS POUR OVER COFFEE?
Pour over coffee (also known as filter coffee or drip coffee – although these terms also includes the coffee filter machines) method involves hand pouring hot water through ground coffee in a coffee filter. The water drains through the coffee and filters into a carafe or mug.
The technique has been commonly used in Europe since the 1900s and other parts of the world for much much longer, but it was only “rediscovered” recently by the specialty coffee movement that continues to grow on a daily basis.
WHY USE THE POUR OVER COFFEE METHOD?
Pour over gives you the intricate flavors from the coffee compared to other coffee brewing methods. Making it a popular most suitable for single origin coffees as it allows drinkers to really embrace the flavors and aromas of the coffee.
Good filter coffee is clean, clear, and consistent. This is because the water extracts coffee oils and fragrances in its own consistent time and at its own pressure. The filter then catches a lot of oils, leading to a clean cup of coffee.
Because this is an infusion method, it is a little more efficient at extracting coffee solubles than the French press. French Press coffee methods can often cause the water to become saturated, whereas pour over coffee uses a constant supply of fresh water.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU NEED FOR POUR OVER COFFEE?
There are endless options for pour over coffee equipment, but really you don’t need to buy all of them. You can start with a simple coffee pour over maker, some coffee filters and later on you can then continue to buy and add to your pour over station. So let’s take a look at what are the basic pour over coffee equipment you need to make a pour over at home.
- Pour Over Coffee Maker
- Scales – You may not think scales are important, but if you want to make consistently good coffee, then they are. Buy a digital scale (any kitchen grade will do) and use it to measure your coffee and water. Knowing exactly how much of each you used in a good (or bad) coffee brew will let you know what to replicateor how to tweak it for an even better and a more delicious cup of coffee that matches your taste reference.
- Drip Kettles – Have you seen specialty baristas pour water from a small water kettle? Well you can also use any standard electric kettle as well but like many things in specialty coffee, the important factor here is the consistency. Drip kettles are made specifically for pour over and they are designed to keep the hot water at a stable temperature. Which then results in a consistent coffee extraction. The long, thin gooseneck is designed to control the flow of the water being poured out, as the water tends to gush out of kettles with shorter spouts.
- Coffee Grinders (Simply put coffee tastes better when grounded fresh)
- Roasted Coffee Beans or Drip Ground Ground Coffee
WHICH COFFEE SHOULD YOU USE FOR POUR OVER COFFEE?
Because pour over methods highlight the subtle flavor notes and aromas, you may want to choose
- A medium to light coffee roast (Beans that are roasted to this profile are the brightest, with the most acidic flavors. Light coffee roasts gives you the most authentic quality of the actual coffee.
- Single Origin Coffees
- Organic Coffees
WHAT IS THE BEST GRIND SIZE FOR DRIP COFFEE?
You should start with a medium grind size and then evaluate your cup and tweak it as needed.
Pour over is an infusion method, which means that the coffee and water are in contact for a shorter amount of time than in an immersion method, but longer than in an espresso. The size of your coffee grounds affects the rate of extraction. So you want the coffee to have enough surface area to extract before the water filters through into the cup, but not so much that they under-extract and produce a bitter brew.
EXTRA USEFUL TIPS FOR MAKING POUR-OVER COFFEE
- If your pour over coffee is a little too watery or too sour then simply try a finer grind.
- If it’s bitter or you would like some more sweet tasting notes then try going a little coarser.
We hope you find our tips for making pour-over coffee useful and please feel free to add any comments or additional tips you may have for pour over coffees in the section below.
Happy brewing and have a productive and positive day. Until next time….
Susan Villota (Borvornpotsakul).
Founder of Coffee Culture Asia