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Pour over coffee might look or sound a bit fussy or complicated or hipster or for jerks or whatever. But to (mis)quote Notorious B.I.G. - when you get it right it’s a coffee-flavored, triple-beam miracle dream.
So here’s a quick, step-by-step, no-fuss guide to getting it absolutely spot on without a single tantrum or toy being thrown from the pram.
On the most basic level, you’ll need a pour over brewer, a kettle, ground coffee and water.
You can make pour over just with the basics above. But to make it really well, you’ll want a brewer that doesn’t use paper filters - they absorb caffeol oil and affect flavor. Also, you’ll find life a lot easier if you have a gooseneck kettle with a thermometer, filtered or bottled water, a grinder, a timer and a digital scale (more on this later).
We’re making 12floz (350ml) of coffee here so you’re going to need 1oz (25g) of coffee.
Measure 13floz (375ml) water into your kettle. ‘But you said we’re making 12floz (350ml), didn’t you?’ I know - stay calm: you need a little more than what you’ll produce as some is lost as steam and some stays soaked in the coffee.
Choice of water is somewhere you can easily make quick gains. (Your boss at work probably calls this sort of thing something annoying like ‘low-hanging fruit’). Tap water is full of all sorts of chemicals that end in ‘ium’ and ‘ine’ that won’t do you any harm but don’t do coffee any flavors. Tap water works. Filtered is good. Bottled is better.
If you buy coffee pre-ground then the world will continue turning. But you’ll honestly notice the difference if you can grind it fresh. For pour over, we’re after a medium grind - something like caster sugar if possible.
Pop your brewer on a scale, zero the weight and add the ground coffee to the filter. Give the filter a little shake to the flatten out the coffee.
Before you heat your water, warm-up your mug with some hot tap water so your drink stays hot for longer. Stick your water in the kettle and get heating. Aim for around 205°f (96°c). Too cold and your coffee will be under-exposed and tasteless. Too hot and it can scorch your beans. Either way it won’t be the 100% we’re aiming for. If you don’t have a thermometer to hand then boil the kettle and let it stand for a minute before you start pouring.
Start a timer (you’ve probably got one on your phone if there isn’t one on your scale). Carefully pour enough water over the coffee in a spiral motion from the inside - out.
Avoid pouring directly on the rim of the filter if at all possible or the water will run through without properly contacting the coffee and picking up flavor. This is exactly why people use gooseneck kettles that make accurate pouring easy. If you used freshly ground coffee you’ll see it puff up and ‘bloom’ round about now.
Wait 30 seconds for the water to stop dripping through then pour again in the same spiral action. You want to aim to pour all the water out over 3 minutes if you can. If you go over or under 3 minutes then the coffee will taste revolting and also poison you (only joking - it’ll be absolutely fine - coffee doesn’t have a stopwatch).
Take off the filter, put the used grounds in the organic waste (or sling it down the sink if you’re lazy and don’t mind blocking it), pour coffee into mug - enjoy the absolute living daylights out of it.
Congratulations - you have just made pour over coffee like the pros.
Find your new dream brewer and look forward to more smiles per cup.
Looking forward to receiving my new kettle!
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