Many baristas and coffee lovers claim that pour over is the best way to make coffee.
I don’t totally agree, but I can understand why people say that!
There are a lot of things to love about pour over – it makes a smooth, bright cup of coffee that’s easy on the palate, with little to no sharpness or bite.
It’s not very hard to make and it doesn’t take long.
It takes a little practice to get it down really well, but pour over is so good it’s well worth it.
Some brewing methods can be a bit… finicky.
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Meaning, one time you make coffee and it’s amazing, and the next time you make it you’re wondering if your coffee somehow suddenly went bad overnight.
Not so with pour over, it’s basically a no risk brewing method. The results will almost invariably be that clean, smooth cup of coffee.
It’s easy to learn a few techniques that will make it the best it can be. So here are the steps in how to make pour over coffee, the best and (almost) easiest way!
Step 1 – Heat Water, Grind Coffee
The most efficient way to make coffee is to start by heating the water before anything else.
The ideal water temperature for pour over is between 195° and 205° F (90° to 96° C).
If you don’t have a thermometer, no problem. Heat the water and let it boil, then let it sit for at least 30 seconds before pouring.
In my other “how to’s” this is always what we start with.
As the water’s heating, grind the coffee.
For pour over coffee, the grind setting should be medium-fine.
On a scale from 1 to 10, if 1 is the finest and 10 is the most coarse, it should be a 4 or 5.
Use two teaspoons of coffee for every 6 oz of water.
So if you’re making 3 cups (18 oz) for your pour over, use 8 teaspoons or approx. one gram. I don’t usually measure coffee, so I fill the coffee to 1/3 to halfway full on the filter.
I’m a “do it by eye” kind of person, and I know that if I fill it between a third of the way and halfway full – depending on how much water I’m using – the coffee will turn out great!
Step 2 – Rinse The Filter And Put Grounds In
Gently rinse the coffee filter with your hot water over a sink to take out any paper taste and debris in the filter.
This will give you a more clean cup of coffee.
And it only takes about 10 seconds.
Put the coffee grounds in the filter after you’ve rinsed it.
Step 3 – Bloom Your Coffee
Bloom your coffee by pouring enough water so that the coffee grounds begin to release bubbles and are almost immersed. Don’t full immerse them in water yet.
Let it sit like this for 30 seconds.
I wrote an article about blooming coffee and why it’s important. It only takes an extra 30 seconds and it makes it taste great!
Step 4 – Pour The Rest Of The Water
Now that your coffee has been bloomed, pour the rest of the water slowly.
Pour it in a circular/spiral motion, then straight down the middle. Fill the water almost to the top of the filter to let the grounds saturate.
Step 5 – Enjoy!
Remove the pour over top piece, discard the filter with the grounds, joyfully pour the coffee into your cup, and ecstatically take your first sip.
This has got to be my favorite step.
Cleaning And Other Thoughts
Pour over has got to be one of the easiest brewing methods to clean up.
After you discard the filter – which takes maybe 1 1/2 seconds – just rinse the filter holder and the carafe/thermos with water and your good to go!
So deliciously quick and easy.
As I wrote above, I personally do not use a scale when I make coffee. I think that using a scale and doing it by eye/habit both work well.
For some, coffee making is purely a science.
They need to use scales and weigh out everything every time they make coffee.
That’s great, and it will give consistency to it. Others prefer not to use a scale or measurements and can see how much they need, and this is also just fine.
But at least the first time we try a brewing method, it’s a good idea to have proper measurements so you don’t totally mess it up!
Until you get very accustomed to it, it’s a good idea to at least measure how much coffee you’re using.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and even more that you will enjoy your pour over! Feel free to let me know any questions or comments you have below.
Thanks for the info, I understand the how to better now. And why some of those steps do make a difference. Definitely have experienced the coffee being great one day and then the next I can’t figure out what when wrong making it.
It’s my pleasure! Thanks for the comment, Leigh-Ann! I think we’ve all probably experienced when coffee tastes so different, and it’s weird! I really hope that this article helps you with pour over or even other brewing methods.