In our last blog post, we taught you how to make the perfect french press coffee. Another specialty coffee brewing technique that has recently grown in popularity is the pour over. If you’re looking to expand your coffee brewing knowledge beyond the basics of drip and single-cup pods, pour over is another great skill to hone. Like french press, the pour over isn’t as difficult as you might think, but it does require some basic knowledge. Luckily, this blog post will contain everything you need to get started.
Pour over coffee is another form of drip coffee, like your basic coffee pot makes at home. The main difference is in the control you have over the end result. Choosing the pour over method is great for single origin varietals of coffee, as it really allows the flavor to shine through in comparison to other common brewing methods. The difference between french press and pour over is the immersion vs. filtration of the grounds. In french press, the water is saturated with coffee, and therefore the oils that come with that coffee. In pour over, the filter is better at extracting those oils and creating a cleaner cup. It all boils down to a matter of preference.
All of the available options for pour over coffee may seem intimidating at first, but all you’ll need to get started is some basic equipment: a scale, filters, a brewing device, and a kettle. If you want to, you can expand further from there.
So, let’s get started.
What type of coffee should you use? For this particular method, subtle flavors are highlighted extremely well, so a light roast single origin coffee would be the best choice. Of course you could use a medium, or even a dark roast coffee, but this method works very well with light roasts.
What about grind size? Unlike french press, which calls for a much coarser grind, pour over does quite well with a medium grind size. Like in a commercial drip coffee pot, a medium grind allows for the correct amount of surface area for the amount of time the coffee is in contact with the water. Consistency is key here, so make sure to invest in a high quality grinder to make sure you’re not getting pockets of superfine coffee.
What coffee to water ratio? A good jumping off point for your ratio will be a 1g of coffee for every 17g of water (1:17). As with everything else, this ends up being a matter of preference, but as you change things with your method, be sure to log it and only change one thing at a time to ensure you can always recreate your brew.
Learning about all the pouring techniques for a pour over brew can get overwhelming. The main things you’ll need to know are how to use blooming, pulse pouring, and agitation. Blooming is when the water you pour bubbles up quickly right at the beginning. This happens because the water causes the coffee to release trapped carbon dioxide, otherwise known as degassing. This can prevent an even extraction in your coffee if you pour too quickly. Start by pouring about double the amount of water as coffee and let it bloom until the grounds settle.
Pulse pouring vs. continuous pouring - Pulse pouring is a technique that involves pouring specific amounts of water over your coffee grounds multiple times. This can help for the water to create a more even contact with the coffee as it gently disrupts the grounds. You can experiment with different amounts of water with pulse pouring to figure out what you like best. An alternative to pulse pouring is the continuous pour. This technique involves pouring the water at as constant a rate as possible. This keeps the saturation consistent. Each pouring technique will change your brew’s extraction, and it is entirely up to you which one you choose to do. Our advice, as with every different technique in coffee brewing, is to keep experimenting to find out what you like best.
Niche coffee brewing techniques often seem like a daunting task to master, but with a little practice anyone can make a great pour over. We hope you love it as much as we do!