Hot water is being poured on the pour-over grounds

17 Common Pour-Over Mistakes That Beginner Makes

Henry Muller

Pour-over coffee brewing is a delicate and precise method that allows coffee lovers to experience the full flavors and nuances of their favorite beans.

However, mastering the pour-over technique takes practice and an understanding of common mistakes that beginners often make.

In this blog, we will explore 15+ common pour-over mistakes and provide guidance on how to avoid them, ensuring you achieve the perfect cup of coffee every time.

Mistakes to avoid while brewing pour-over coffee

1) Inconsistent water temperature

Proper water temperature is crucial for extracting the best flavors from your coffee beans. Using boiling water can result in a bitter brew, while water that's too cold leads to under-extraction.

To achieve optimal results, aim for a water temperature between 195°F (90°C) and 205°F (96°C). Use a thermometer or electric kettle with temperature control to ensure accuracy.

2) Inadequate coffee bean grind size

The grind size directly impacts the flavor extraction during pour-over brewing. Using a grind that's too fine can result in over-extraction and a bitter taste, while a grind that's too coarse may lead to weak and under-extracted coffee.

Experiment with different grind sizes to find the sweet spot. Aim for a medium grind that resembles granulated sugar for most pour-over methods.

3) Not minding the coffee-to-water ratio

Maintaining the proper coffee-to-water ratio is essential for achieving a balanced and flavorful cup of pour-over coffee. Using too little coffee can result in weak and watery brews while using too much coffee leads to an overpowering and bitter taste.

Start with a ratio of 1:15 (1 part coffee to 15 parts water) and adjust according to your taste preferences. Use a kitchen scale to measure the precise amount of coffee and water.

4) Uneven pouring technique

The pouring technique plays a crucial role in ensuring even extraction and consistent flavor throughout the brew. Pouring too quickly can cause channeling and uneven extraction, while pouring too slowly may result in over-extraction.

Maintain a steady and controlled pour, using a gooseneck kettle for better control over the water flow. Pour in a circular motion, starting from the center and gradually moving outward.

5) Neglecting bloom time

The bloom, or pre-infusion, is an essential step that allows the coffee grounds to degas and release trapped CO2. Skipping this step or not giving it sufficient time can affect the overall flavor extraction.

To achieve a proper bloom, pour a small amount of hot water (twice the weight of the coffee) over the grounds and let it sit for 30-45 seconds. This allows the coffee to "bloom" and ensures even saturation.

6) Neglecting brew time

The brew time refers to the duration it takes for the water to pass through the coffee grounds. Under-extracting the coffee results in a weak and sour taste, while over-extraction leads to a bitter and unpleasant flavor.

Monitor the brew time and adjust variables such as grind size, and pouring technique, and water temperature to achieve the desired taste. Aim for a total brew time of around 3-4 minutes.

7) Using poor-quality filters

The quality of the filter used in pour-over brewing can impact the flavor and clarity of the final cup. Using cheap or low-quality filters may introduce unwanted paper taste or allow sediment to pass through.

Invest in high-quality, oxygen-bleached filters that are specifically designed for pour-over brewing. These filters provide better flow and ensure that no unwanted flavors or particles interfere with your coffee.

If using unbleached filters, rinse them with hot water before brewing to remove any residual paper taste.

8) Neglecting equipment maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your pour-over equipment are essential for optimal coffee quality. Neglecting to clean and descale your equipment can lead to residue buildup and affect the taste of your brew.

Clean your pour-over device thoroughly after each use, ensuring there is no coffee residue or oils left behind. Periodically descale your kettle to remove mineral deposits that can affect water flow and temperature control.

9) Grinding coffee beans too far in advance

Freshly ground coffee beans provide the best flavor and aroma. Grinding your coffee beans too early results in a loss of aroma and flavor as the grounds are exposed to oxygen.

Grind your coffee beans just before brewing to maximize freshness. Invest in a quality burr grinder for consistent grind size and adjust it according to your pour-over method.

10) Pouring water incorrectly

Proper pouring technique is crucial for achieving an even extraction. Avoid pouring directly onto the filter as it can create channels and uneven saturation.

Instead, pour the water in a slow and controlled manner, making sure to wet all the coffee grounds evenly. Pour in a circular motion, starting from the center and moving outward, ensuring all the grounds are fully saturated.

11) Neglecting preheating

Preheating your pour-over equipment, including the dripper and server, is essential to maintain temperature stability during brewing. Neglecting this step can result in inconsistent extraction and temperature fluctuations.

Preheat your equipment by rinsing them with hot water just before brewing. This helps to ensure that the brewing temperature remains consistent throughout the process.

12) Overstirring the coffee slurry

Stirring the coffee slurry during brewing aids in achieving even extraction. However, over-stirring can lead to excessive agitation, resulting in over-extraction and a bitter taste.

Gently stir the coffee slurry once at the beginning of the pour-over process, making sure to wet all the grounds. Avoid excessive stirring to maintain a balanced extraction.

13) Rushing the brewing process

Patience is key when it comes to pour-over brewing. Rushing the process by pouring too quickly or not allowing enough time for extraction can lead to subpar flavor and weaker brews.

Take your time and allow the water to interact with the coffee grounds properly. Aim for a steady and controlled pour, maintaining a consistent flow rate to achieve the desired flavor and strength.

14) Using low-quality water

Water quality significantly impacts the taste of your pour-over coffee. Using tap water with impurities, such as chlorine or hard minerals, can negatively affect the flavor and clarity of your brew.

Use high-quality water for brewing, such as filtered or bottled water. This helps to ensure that no unwanted flavors or impurities interfere with the delicate flavors of your coffee.

15) Ignoring the drip rate

Monitoring the drip rate during brewing allows you to adjust variables and achieve optimal extraction. Ignoring the rate of extraction can result in under or over-extraction.

Observe the rate at which water drips through the coffee bed. If it's too slow or too fast, adjust variables such as grind size, pouring technique, or water temperature to achieve a balanced and controlled drip rate.

Experiment with different variables to find the ideal drip rate that produces the desired flavor profile and strength in your pour-over coffee.

16) Lack of consistency in technique

Consistency is key to achieving reproducible and delicious pour-over coffee. Inconsistency in pouring, timing, or technique can lead to varying results in flavor and strength.

Develop a consistent pour-over routine by practicing and refining your technique. Pay attention to variables such as water temperature, grind size, pour rate, and brew time, aiming for consistency in each brewing session.

17) Not tasting and adjusting

Tasting the brewed coffee is crucial for refining your pour-over brewing process. Neglecting to taste the coffee can prevent you from identifying any adjustments needed for improvement.

Regularly taste your brewed coffee and pay attention to its flavor, acidity, and body. Adjust variables such as coffee-to-water ratio, grind size, and brewing time based on your taste preferences to achieve the perfect cup.


By being aware of these common pour-over mistakes and making the necessary adjustments, you can elevate your coffee brewing skills and enjoy consistently delicious cups of pour-over coffee.

Remember to pay attention to water temperature, grind size, coffee-to-water ratio, pouring technique, and other variables.

With practice and a focus on improvement, you'll soon be brewing exceptional pour-over coffee that showcases the flavors and aromas of your favorite beans.


Henry Muller

Team TAB
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I am a barista by profession hailing from NC. My journey began in my late teens when I started working as a barista in a local coffee shop. My passion for coffee quickly became evident as I immersed myself in the art of espresso extraction, latte art ...

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