Pour Over Coffee 101

Pour Over Coffee 101

by The One World Deli Team

For the coffee lover, there is nothing like a solid cup to put you in a great mood. While there is nothing wrong with, say, the instant variety, there is something to be said about putting a bit more effort into it.     

Enter the pour over. What is it exactly, you may ask? It’s basically a way of extracting coffee by pouring hot water over ground beans through a paper filter — although it’s not as simple as it sounds. Not quite, anyway. It’s also an old method that dates back to the early 20th century (or even earlier!) but is back in fashion, especially in specialty coffee places. This method, when done properly, gives you a bright, clean, and damn tasty cup of coffee – and is a great way to really highlight a bean’s flavors, and aromas.     

It may sound all fancy, but the truth is that it’s definitely replicable at home. If you want to really deep dive into it, there’s a myriad of variables to consider: everything from water temperature, to the kind of filters to use, or the size of your grind. But for now, let’s keep things simple and consider the very basics.     

Before you begin, make sure you have the following: a brewing device (the most popular ones being a Hario V60 or Kalitta Wave), paper filters for said device, a digital coffee scale (again, Hario is a good brand), a kettle (one made for pour overs – these have long necks with really make things easy for you), a good grinder (the best you can afford), and, of course, some good coffee beans. A light roast is a good place to start, because this will help with those clean flavors we all desire.     

There’s a LOT of recipes out there. Don’t get intimidated. Remember, we’re keeping this simple. You can measure out 20g of coffee beans on your digital scale. Grind it to a coarse grind – be sure it’s not like sand or anything. For pour overs, coarse is the way.     

Position your device over your mug, and put a folded filter on top. This is where you put your ground beans in. Heat up around 240g of water in your pour over pot. This is where it gets very Zen-like. Put the mug and device on top of your digital scale and make sure you tare it (meaning, set it to zero). This scale, by the way, is crucial – its best to take note of the variables of your recipe on the scale, because if you make an amazing cup, you can more or less replicate your beverage every time, using the same variables!    

Now, on to actually making your drink. The first pour is where you bloom your coffee. This is when you release the gases trapped in the beans. Get your timer, start it, and begin with a slow and steady circular pour of 80g of water. Wait until that drains completely – you should see the grounds puff up. Then hit it with another 80g, making sure to pour evenly and in a circular motion once again, before letting that empty a second time. And lastly with another 80g with the same method. The entire process should take around 2 minutes and 20 seconds or so. Don’t fret if you go a bit over (but not too much, of course!)     

Sniff the cup and smell all the wonderful aromas emanating from your coffee. Take a sip, and savor the flavors that are dancing on your tongue. The best part: a lot of coffees actually change flavor as they cool down. This is the beauty of the pour over, discovering all the nuances of your beans – and this is why so many coffee lovers all over the world enjoy making hand poured coffee.     

You don’t need fancy equipment – and you can do it all the time! Put on some good tunes as you go through the process, and begin or end your day with a comforting cup crafted by your every own hands.