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How to step up the pour-over coffee game

Mariana Faerron Coffee

There seems to be an endless list of brewing methods in the market. Some of them are a little bit more difficult to use, maybe sometimes even intimidating. But what is always available and easy to use is the pour-over method.

And with pour-over there are several choices like Melitta, V60, Chemex, and even your coffee maker. And each of them has its own nuances, but the concept and procedure is the same: making coffee using paper filter that will remove some of the coffee oils and highlight the coffee characteristics.

So what are the benefits using the pour-over method?

  1. The coffee is very clean and consistent and will give you a very straight forward cup. The paper filter keeps oils and fine particles from going into your cup and improves the mouth feel.
  2. This method helps to accentuate different flavors of coffee compared to other methods. If you like single origin coffees and discover the flavor nuances they have, pour over is the ideal method for that.

What equipment do I need for a pour-over coffee?

The equipment is quite inexpensive compared to espresso machine. Here is what you need to brew pour over at home:

  1. A coffee carafe or mug that will hold the brewed coffee
  2. A Brewing device - Each of them have different designs and that will affect how the water flows during the extraction and how long this is in contact with the coffee grounds. You can choose between, Chemex, V60, Hario, and Melitta. 
  3. Filters - Make sure you buy the right filter for the device you are using. V60 filters are different from Chemex and Melitta. Also each of them will have different thickness affecting the flavor. They filter more oils during the brewing process making the cup cleaner.
    There are options in the market for cloth filters that have some benefits. They tent to have a neutral flavor and have a more sustainable approach since you can wash them and reuse them many times. Check GDS Cloth Goods for some options. 
  4. A Kettle - Many us us have a standard kettle at home. While you can use these ones to brew your coffee, it would be a better idea to invest on a kettle designed for this method when you are aiming for consistency. They have a thin gooseneck that allows to pour the water a constant flow and precision.
  5. A Scale - This is a crucial device if you want to have a consistent cup every time you brew, or to develop your own recipies. You need to know how much coffee you will use as well as the amount of water to create an ideal brewing ratio.
  6. A Grinder - It’s very important to invest in a very good burr grinder because you want to make sure that all coffee particles are all ground to the same size. Lower-quality grinders may produce inconsistently ground coffee and a lot of “fines” or powder. These tiny fragments of coffee extract very quickly and can produce undesirable flavors.
  7. Coffee - You can technically use any coffee for pour over, but the ones that really shine and provide the best flavor experience are the medium and light roasted coffees.
GET POUR-OVER EQUIPMENT

So how do I prepare my pour-over coffee?

To get started with the pour over method, I recommend to use as a standard recipe - 24 grams of coffee with 375 grams of filtered water first to get a first impression of your coffee. Do a few trials and modify one parameter at a time till you find the recipe that works with the coffee you are using.

If the coffee tastes watery or weak, add more coffee without changing other factors and evaluate whether it tastes better. If you find your cup too intense, consider reducing the amount of coffee. But remember to keep track of what you’re changing so you can replicate your perfect brew when you find it.

A consistent pour improves the coffee

When you start pouring water, the coffee grounds will start creating bubbles and raise; this is called blooming. This happens when fresh roasted coffee degases and releases carbon dioxide. The general rule here is to double the amount of water for the amount of coffee you use. For example, if you use 24 gr of coffee then add 48 gr of water to start the extraction and the blooming.



Wait then for 30-45 seconds and then start pouring the additional water in a circular consistent motion and at a height that will create agitation or movement in all coffee grounds, till you have reached the desired amount for your brewing ratio.



Don’t get scared with this long description! Pour over coffee is very easy to make and master. After a couple of times brewing with this method, you will get all the necessary skills to prepare a delicious cup of coffee - in a very easy way!



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