The art of pour over coffee brewing has gained popularity in recent years, captivating coffee enthusiasts with its simplicity and elegance. It’s a hands-on approach to brewing, offering plenty of adjustability so you can make a truly personal cup of coffee. It’s easy to learn the basics to brewing pour over coffee and from there you can experiment and refine your technique. Follow along and we’ll dive into the details of pour over coffee brewing, covering everything from the essential equipment required to the step-by-step brewing process.
Essential Equipment for Pour Over Coffee
To get started on your pour over coffee brewing journey you’ll need a few essential tools. These include a pour over dripper, a filter, a hot water kettle, a grinder, and a digital scale with a timer. The pour over dripper acts as the vessel through which the coffee will be brewed. Using a paper filter will result in a clean and sediment-free cup. Some pour over coffee makers come with a stainless mesh filter, which is great for reducing waste, but will allow some sediment into the cup
The kettle is used to heat water to the optimal brewing temperature and the grinder allows you to grind fresh coffee beans to your desired coarseness. A scale is indispensable for accurately measuring the ground coffee and the brewing water, allowing one to achieve the desired water to coffee ratio. Also, don’t forget about a mug or carafe to catch your coffee as it brews.
The Importance of Fresh, High-Quality Coffee Beans
One of the key elements in achieving exceptional pour over coffee is using fresh, high-quality and properly roasted coffee beans. Choosing great beans that have been recently roasted and storing them properly will make a significant difference in the flavor of your brew. No matter how properly you execute your pour over, the coffee can only be as good as the beans that are used.
Consider exploring local coffee roasters or specialty coffee shops for a wide variety of beans, each with its own distinct characteristics and flavor profiles. If you need a recommendation, Galena Coffee Roasters offers a selection of exceptional beans to elevate your pour over experience. Drop by our coffee shop or give us a call. We’re happy to help.
Types of Pour Overs
Several pour over devices have gained recognition among coffee enthusiasts, each with its own unique characteristics. One popular option is the Chemex, known for its industrial design and use of a thicker filter paper that produces a clean and clear cup of coffee. The basic designs for pour over drippers are either cone shaped or flat bottom. There is plenty of debate out there over which produces the best cup. Reputable brands include Melitta, Kalita, Origami, Bodum, Hario, though there are many more that can make great coffee.
Exploring these different styles of pour over can add variety to your brewing routine and help you discover new flavors and brewing techniques. Plus basically there is no such thing as too much brewing gear! It’s also a possibility that your local specialty coffee shop will offer a pour over where you can try different styles before buying your gear.
Selecting the Right Coffee Beans
There’s plenty to think about when choosing coffee beans for pour over brewing. One crucial aspect is the roast level. Lighter roasts tend to highlight the more nuanced flavors and brightness of the coffee beans. A darker roast will offer more body and potentially a more robust profile. A well done medium roast can contain some of both. The origin, elevation, variety and processing method will all influence the flavors in the cup. Comparing a Central American washed process coffee to an African natural process coffee can be mind blowing. Revealing the potential of differing flavor profiles is one of the reasons pour over brewing has become so popular.
The right flavor is all about you. If you like it, then it’s the right flavor, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Whether you enjoy a bright and citrusy cup or a full and chocolatey brew, exploring different flavor profiles will help you find your perfect pour over coffee experience.
Grinding the Beans
Grinding your coffee beans just before brewing is crucial to brewing the best cup of coffee. The grind size plays a crucial role in the extraction process and for pour over coffee a medium to medium-fine grind is generally recommended. Too fine a grind can result in a long extraction time and an over extracted bitter cup. If your grind is too coarse the extraction time will be shorter and the coffee possibly sour from under extraction. Experiment with grind size until your coffee is balanced with perhaps some sweetness and good mouth feel.
To achieve a consistent grind size, investing in a reliable burr grinder is highly recommended. A quality burr grinder offers precision and control, allowing you to adjust the grind size to your preference. There are plenty of options available on the market, so don’t be afraid to ask an experienced friend for advice, or reach out to us. We’ll be happy to share some suggestions.
Preparing the Equipment
Before starting the brewing process, it is essential to start with clean equipment. Rinse the dripper with hot water to remove any residue from previous brews and ensure that the paper filter is properly placed inside the dripper. For systems with reusable filters, make sure they’re clean before you start brewing.
Preheating the dripper and the vessel in which the coffee will be brewed helps maintain a stable temperature during the brewing process, contributing to a consistent extraction. Aim for a water temperature between 195-205°F (90-96°C), as this range allows for optimal extraction of the coffee's flavors. Using a gooseneck kettle for pouring offers greater control and precision and enables you to pour the water evenly over the coffee grounds. Be sure to empty any water used for preheating before beginning the brewing process.
Now that everything is prepared, it's time to dive into the actual brewing process. If you are using a paper filter, pour a little water through the filter before you brew as part of your preheat process. This helps you get even extraction. Next add your weighed ground coffee to the pour over filter. Now place your entire pour over rig on your scale and tare. This will allow you to weigh your water and achieve your preferred water to coffee ratio. Start the timer on your scale and then pour a small amount of water, enough to saturate the grounds. This is the blooming phase which causes the coffee to degas and saturate with water, allowing for a more thorough extraction. At about 40 seconds from the start, pour an additional amount of water in a slow, circular motion, evenly soaking and submerging all the grounds. Depending on the amount of grounds and the desired amount of coffee to be extracted, it will require 3 to 5 pours to extract all of the coffee. Adjusting the pouring speed, intensity and even swirling direction can change the flavor profile, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find what you like best. The entire brewing process will likely take on average 3 to 5 minutes.
Fine-Tuning Your Brew
To achieve your desired flavor profile, you can fine-tune your brew by adjusting various variables. Experimenting with the grind size, water temperature, and pouring technique can significantly impact the taste of your coffee. Having a goal time for the brewing completion will help you understand how to control the brewing process. Try keeping a brewing journal to track your adjustments and findings so you can follow how your technique evolves on the journey to finding that perfect cup of coffee. Thanks to your notes, you’ll be able to consistently brew that exceptional cup again and again.
Pour over coffee brewing offers a simple yet captivating way to enjoy a remarkable cup of coffee. With the right equipment, fresh coffee beans, and a little practice, you can unlock a world of flavors and aromas in each pour over brew. Explore different pour over methods, experiment with various coffee beans, and embrace the artistry of this brewing technique. Start your journey into the realm of pour over coffee and savor the rich, nuanced flavors that await.