What is Pour Over Coffee and How to Perfect it at Home Easily?

The pour-over coffee brewing method entails hand pouring hot water over ground coffee in a filter which is placed inside a dripper device. The water drips through the coffee into a cup or carafe.

What sets pour-over coffee apart from other brewing methods? Coffee drinkers will tell you it’s the only way to get the full flavors and aroma of a good coffee. And, you don’t need any fancy machinery to do the job.

It’s thanks to a German lady in the 1800s who was not satisfied with percolator-style coffee that pour-over coffee came into being. It continues to be a popular brew, especially among specialty coffee drinkers.

Some skill is required to make the perfect cup of pour-over coffee. It’s done by hand pouring hot water over ground coffee. Also known as hand or manual brewing, this coffee style only needs water, filter, coffee, and a pour-over device.

Find out how to make pour-over coffee at home using our step-by-step guide. We’ll also answer some common questions asked about brewing coffee this way. Lastly, we’ll recommend some great products to use when making your own pour-over brew at home.

How to Make Pour-Over Coffee at Home?

It’s easy to make this specialty coffee in the comfort of your own home. Once you master the art of hand pouring the hot water over the coffee grinds, you’ll be brewing pour-over coffee like a pro!

Before going through our step-by-step guide to making your own cup of pour-over coffee at home, make sure you have all the right equipment on hand. The joy of using the pour-over method is that very few items are needed to make this coffee type.

Pour-Over Coffee Maker

You can select between simply using a dripper that is placed onto your cup or a coffee maker set that includes both the dripper device and the carafe.

Kettle

For boiling the water before brewing the coffee, make sure you have a good kettle. A gooseneck kettle is highly recommended for hand pouring over coffee gently and with precision.

Coffee Grinder

It’s always recommended to grind fresh coffee beans just before you start brewing. A burr coffee grinder is better than a blade grinder if you want to get the right consistency and flavors from your coffee beans.

Scale

The difference between a mediocre and delicious cup of coffee is the quantity of ground coffee used. A scale will ensure you measure out the right amount of coffee before brewing.

Filters

You can decide whether to use paper or cloth filters. Paper filters can impart a woody taste onto the brew which some drinkers don’t enjoy. Cloth filters are often favored for this particular reason and they can be re-used, saving you from buying paper filters all the time.

Timer

The perfect brewing time for this coffee style is 3:15 minutes with water poured at certain intervals. A timer will help you get the brew timing right, resulting in the perfect cup of coffee.

Fresh Coffee

Whole bean will give you a fresher brew with more flavor and aroma when ground just before brewing. However, if you use pre-ground coffee make sure it’s fresh.

Water

Coffee snobs will tell you that filtered water is the only way to go when making pour-over coffee. But, clean tap water can be used if you don’t have filtered water available.

Once you have all the equipment, coffee, and water ready, you’re good to go. All you need now is time and patience when making your own pour-over coffee brew at home.

1) Prepare your coffee and water

You don’t want to overfill the filter with coffee as this will cause the water to overflow. On the other hand, putting too little coffee in the filter will result in water pouring too quickly through the grounds. A good coffee to water ratio is 1:16 or 20g of coffee to 320g of water.

2) Boil 320g of water in the kettle

Place the filter in the dripper, making sure it fits snugly. When the water has boiled, gently pour water all over the filter. Wetting the filter before brewing rinses out any chemicals or other residue often found in paper filters.

3) Measure out 20g of coffee beans on your scale

Place the beans into the coffee grinder. A medium to coarse grind is recommended for pour-over coffee. Always grind the beans just before you start brewing to get the best flavors and aroma.

4) Remove the dripper and toss out the rinsing water that dripped through to the carafe

Remove the dripper and toss out the rinsing water that dripped through to the carafe. Replace the dripper and add the coffee grounds to the filter. Start the timer before pouring the hot water. Never use water that has just boiled. Let it sit for at least 30 seconds to get the right water temperature.

5) Pour the first 50g of water in a gentle, spiral motion over the ground coffee

Pour the first 50g of water in a gentle, spiral motion over the ground coffee. Wait for 30 seconds for the blooming process to complete. When the gases are allowed to escape you’re more likely to have a consistent extraction.

6) After the first 30 seconds, pour another 200g of hot water, again using gentle, circular motions

After the first 30 seconds, pour another 200g of hot water, again using gentle, circular motions. You don’t want the water to pour directly through the center of the coffee. Pick up the dripper and swirl gently. Wait for another 10 to 15 seconds before pouring the remaining hot water. Give the dripper another swirl and wait for all the water to drip through into the carafe below.

7) Remove the dripper, give the carafe a gentle swirl and pour the brewed coffee into your favorite mug

Sit back and relax while sipping on the perfect cup of pour-over coffee. If your coffee tastes slightly sour it could be the grinds are too coarse. A bitter-tasting brew is often caused by too fine a grind. These problems can be solved by adjusting the grind size when grinding beans.

This brewing theory “4:6 method” is invented by Tetsu Kasuya. Below is a video where Tetsu Kasuya shares about his method;

If you like your coffee to be full of flavors, rich in body and aroma, pour over coffee is often rated as being better than any other coffee type. This method allows you to have full control over the brewing process, giving you optimal results with consistence extraction.

Coffee drinkers love making pour over coffee because it’s straightforward. You don’t need any expensive machinery to make it and it’s ideal for optimizing the flavors and aroma of single origin coffee. The resulting cup is clean and clear as most of the coffee oils have been removed during the filtering process.

Medium-coarse grind size is recommended for pour over coffee. For a cone-shaped pour over, rather used a medium-fine grind. With so many different pour over brewers on the market, experiment until you find the best grind size for your device.

The right coffee-to-water ratio is essential if you want to get the perfect cup of pour over coffee. It’s recommended to use the 1:16 ratio meaning 20 grams of coffee to 320 grams of water.

Any coffee bean can be used for pour over coffee. However, Peruvian coffee beans is a popular choice and Ethiopian coffee is another favorite with its low acidity and complex fruity flavors. Lighter roasts are better and so is single origin coffee

Our Recommendations

1) OXO Brew Pour-Over Coffee Maker With Coffee Tank

Instead of trying to get the perfect hand pouring style, you can use the auto-drip tank on this coffee maker to control the water flow rate and even distribution. The dripper fits a range of cup and carafe sizes.

2) COSORI Pour Over Coffee Maker, 8 Cup Glass Coffee Pot & Coffee Brewer with Stainless Steel Filter, High Heat Resistance Decanter, Measuring Scoop Included, 34 Ounce, Transparent

With everything included in this set for making pour over coffee at home, all you need to do is control the brewing process. What’s more, the stainless steel filter means no more fiddling with paper or cloth filters.

3) Melitta Coffee Maker, 10 Cup Pour-Over Brewer with Stainless Thermal Carafe, Steel Carafe – (60 OZ)

The modern style of this pour-over brewer will look good both on the kitchen countertop and on your serving tray. Everything is included to make your own coffee and your brew stays warm longer too with the thermal carafe.

4) Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper, Size 02, Clear

This cone-shaped dripper is designed to fit most cups and carafes. It’s perfect for those days when you’re on the road and you want to make a quick brew of pour-over coffee while traveling. It’s sturdy and lightweight making up to four cups.

Final Thoughts

Brewing your own cup of pour-over coffee at home can be very rewarding. And, it’s a simple and efficient way of getting your favorite specialty brew without having to visit a specialty coffee shop. Once you have all the right equipment in your kitchen, you’re all sorted to make this coffee brew.

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