Expert barista pouring hot water on the coffee grounds to brew pour-over

How to Make Pour-over Coffee? (Correctly)

Audrey Harrison
Home brewer

Pour-over coffee is a brewing method that has gained immense popularity among coffee enthusiasts around the world. It allows you to have complete control over the brewing process, resulting in a customized cup of coffee.

Whether you are a seasoned coffee connoisseur or a curious beginner, pour-over brewing opens up a world of possibilities to explore and experiment with.

In this article, we will guide you through the art of making pour-over coffee, providing you with step-by-step instructions to achieve a rich and flavorful brew right at home.

 What is pour-over coffee?

In the pour-over method, hot water is poured through coffee grounds in a filter. Through the coffee, the water drains into a carafe or mug. Unlike other coffees, it is made by hand pouring water over the coffee.

This is why it is called hand brewing or manual brewing. It is said that Europeans have used the technique since the 1900s  for much longer, and the specialty coffee movement recently brought it back to the surface.

Different pour-over coffee makers to make pour-over coffee

Now that you're eager to try your hand at making pour-over coffee, let's talk about the different pour-over coffee makers you can choose from. There's a whole world of options out there, each with its own unique characteristics and brewing techniques.

1) The Hario V60

This iconic pour-over brewer features a conical shape with spiral ridges inside the dripper, allowing for optimal water flow and extraction. It's known for producing a bright, clean cup of coffee and offers a lot of room for experimentation with different grind sizes and pouring techniques. 

2) The Chemex

If you're looking for elegance and style, the Chemex is a stunner. Its hourglass shape, coupled with its thick paper filters, produces a rich and full-bodied brew with clarity and minimal bitterness. Plus, it doubles as a beautiful coffee server for those Instagram-worthy moments.

3) The Kalita Wave

This little gem is designed for consistency and ease of use. With its flat-bottomed dripper and three small drainage holes, it promotes an even extraction and produces a balanced and flavorful cup. It's a great option for beginners and those who appreciate a more forgiving brewing process.

4) The AeroPress

While not a traditional pour-over brewer per se, the AeroPress is worth mentioning. It's a versatile and compact device that uses air pressure to extract coffee goodness. With its rapid brewing time and endless brewing methods, it's a favorite among coffee geeks and travelers alike.

How to make perfect pour-over coffee?

1) Equipment and tools you need to make pour-over coffee

To brew that perfect cup of pour-over coffee, you'll need a few key tools and equipment by your side. Let's go through the essentials and understand their purpose and importance in the brewing process:

1) Pour-over Coffee Maker

Choose from popular options like the Hario V60, Chemex, Kalita Wave, or AeroPress. Each brewer has its own unique design, which influences the extraction and flavor profile of the coffee.

2) Coffee grinder

Opt for a burr grinder to ensure consistent and precise grinding. Freshly ground coffee beans are crucial for the best flavor. Grind your coffee just before brewing for maximum freshness.

3) Kettle

A gooseneck kettle with a precise and controlled pouring spout is ideal for pour-over coffee. It allows you to pour the hot water evenly and gently over the coffee grounds, ensuring proper extraction.

4) Filter

Paper filters are commonly used for pour-over brewing. They remove sediment and oils, resulting in a cleaner cup of coffee. Choose high-quality, unbleached filters for a more eco-friendly option.

5) Coffee scale

A digital scale is your best friend for achieving consistency in your pour-over brew. It allows you to measure both coffee and water precisely, maintaining the ideal coffee-to-water ratio.

2) Choosing the right coffee for pour-over coffee

For a perfect pour-over experience, opt for high-quality coffee beans with distinct flavor characteristics. Try to look for beans that have been freshly roasted and are within a few weeks of their roast date.

Single-origin beans often showcase unique flavor profiles, allowing you to explore the nuances of different regions.

3) Best coffee beans for pour-over

1) Ethiopian coffee

Known for its vibrant and fruity flavors, Ethiopian coffee beans are a favorite among pour-over enthusiasts. They often exhibit floral notes, citrusy acidity, and a delicate sweetness, making for a bright and refreshing cup.

2) Colombian coffee

Colombia is renowned for producing high-quality coffee with a well-balanced flavor profile. Colombian beans often feature notes of chocolate, caramel, and nuts, offering a smooth and mellow cup that is highly enjoyable in pour-over brews.

3) Costa Rican coffee

Costa Rican beans are celebrated for their bright acidity and clean, crisp flavors. They often showcase fruity and floral notes, with hints of citrus and honey. Costa Rican coffee can bring a lively and refreshing character to your pour-over experience.

4) Kenyan coffee

Kenyan coffee beans are beloved for their complex and bold flavors. They exhibit bright acidity, wine-like characteristics, and intense fruitiness, often with blackcurrant, berry, and citrus notes. Kenyan beans can bring a vibrant and lively dimension to your pour-over cup.

5) Guatemalan coffee

Guatemalan coffee beans offer a diverse range of flavor profiles depending on the region. Generally, they feature medium acidity, balanced sweetness, and notes of chocolate, caramel, and stone fruit. Guatemalan beans can deliver a well-rounded and comforting pour-over experience.

Remember, the best coffee beans for pour-over coffee ultimately depend on your personal preferences. Don't hesitate to explore different origins, single-estate coffees, or specialty blends to find the flavors that resonate with you. 

4) Best roast levels for pour-over

Medium roast coffees are generally well-suited for pour-over brewing. They strike a balance between retaining the origin's flavor notes and developing pleasant roast flavors. Avoid overly dark beans, as they can result in a bitter and smoky brew. 

5) Best grind size for brewing pour-over coffee

For pour-over brewing, a medium-fine grind is typically recommended. The consistency should be similar to granulated sugar. Finer grinds can lead to over-extraction and a bitter taste, while coarse grinds may result in under-extraction and weak flavors. 

6) Preparing to pour-over coffee maker for making pour-over coffee

Before diving into brewing, ensure that your equipment is clean and preheated. Properly clean your pour-over dripper and rinse your paper filter to remove any residue or papery taste.

Preheating your brewer with hot water helps maintain a stable brewing temperature and minimizes heat loss during the brewing process.

Now, armed with the right equipment, fresh coffee beans, and the knowledge of grind size and roast levels, you're well on your way to mastering the art of pour-over coffee. 

7) Step-by-step process for making pour-over coffee

Step 1: Gather your equipment and ingredients

Gather your pour-over coffee maker, coffee beans, grinder, kettle, filter, coffee scale, and mug. Measure the appropriate amount of coffee beans based on your desired coffee-to-water ratio. A general guideline is a ratio of 1:16 (1 gram of coffee to 16 grams of water).

Step 2: Preheat and prepare

Preheat your pour-over coffee maker by rinsing it with hot water. This helps maintain a consistent brewing temperature and removes any papery taste from the filter. Place a filter in the dripper and rinse it with hot water to preheat the filter and remove any residue.

Step 3: Grind your coffee

Using a grinder, grind your coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency, similar to granulated sugar. 

Whole coffee beans and ground coffee beans

Step 4: Measure and boil water

Measure the appropriate amount of water based on your coffee-to-water ratio. It's recommended to use water that's between 90°C and 96°C for optimal extraction. Boil the water and let it cool for about 30 seconds to achieve the desired temperature.

Step 5: Bloom the coffee

Place the pour-over coffee maker on top of your mug. Add the ground coffee to the filter, ensuring it's evenly distributed.

Pour a small amount of hot water (about twice the weight of the coffee) evenly over the coffee grounds, ensuring all the grounds are saturated. This step is called blooming and allows the coffee to degas and release trapped flavors.

Coffee grounds are being poured on the pour-over filter

 Step 6: Pour in a controlled manner

After 30-45 seconds, resume pouring in a controlled, circular motion, starting from the center and proceeding outwards. Pour slowly to maintain a steady flow of water. Pouring water directly onto the filter can cause channeling and uneven extraction. Pour in increments, allowing the water to drain and the coffee bed to settle before each pour.

Pouring water over the coffee grounds

 Step 7: Adjust and fine-tune

Continue pouring in stages until you reach your desired coffee volume. Aim to finish pouring within 2-3 minutes, adjusting the speed and intensity based on your preferred strength and extraction.

Step 8: Enjoy your pour-over coffee

Once the water has passed through the coffee grounds and the dripping has stopped, remove the pour-over coffee maker from your mug. Give the brewed coffee a gentle swirl and enjoy!

Pouring coffee into the cup

Best pattern of pouring water for better extraction of flavor

The best pattern of pouring water for better flavor extraction is in a controlled manner, maintaining a steady flow and avoiding pouring directly onto the filter.

You should ideally start pouring from the center and spiral outward, covering all the grounds evenly. Continue pouring in a circular motion, ensuring that all the coffee grounds are saturated uniformly.

Try to keep the water level above the coffee bed but below the rim of the pour-over brewer to maintain consistent contact between water and coffee. These hacks will certainly help you get a flavourful cup of pour-over coffee.

How to make pour-over coffee stronger?

Here are a few ways to make pour-over coffee stronger -

1) Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio

Increase the amount of coffee used relative to the water to achieve a higher coffee-to-water ratio.

For example, instead of the standard ratio of 1:16 (1 part coffee to 16 parts water), you can try using a ratio of 1:15 or even 1:14. This higher concentration of coffee grounds will result in a stronger brew.

2) Extend brew time

Increase the overall brew time by adjusting the pouring intervals and slowing down the flow of water.

This allows for more extraction from the coffee grounds, resulting in a stronger flavor. However, be mindful not to extend the brew time excessively, as it can lead to over-extraction and unpleasant flavors.

3) Pre-infusion technique

Before pouring the remaining water, try implementing a pre-infusion step. After the initial bloom pours, allow the coffee to sit for a slightly longer period, typically around 45-60 seconds, before resuming the pouring process.

This extended pre-infusion helps extract more flavor from the grounds, contributing to a stronger cup.

Tools that will make pour-over brewing easy

Here are some tools that can simplify your pour-over coffee experience:

1) Automatic grinders

An automatic grinder ensures consistent and precise grinding of coffee beans, saving you time and effort. It allows you to set the desired grind size and delivers a uniform grind, crucial for even extraction in pour-over brewing.

2) Digital scales

Accurate measurement of coffee and water is vital for achieving the desired coffee-to-water ratio. Digital scales provide precise measurements, allowing you to replicate your preferred brewing recipe consistently.

3) Automatic pour-over coffee makers

These machines automate the pouring process, mimicking the pouring technique of a skilled barista. They control the water flow, temperature, and pouring pattern, providing a consistent and even extraction. Automatic pour-over coffee makers are ideal for those seeking convenience without compromising on taste.

4) Gooseneck kettles

Gooseneck kettles provide precise control over the water flow rate, allowing you to pour water in a controlled manner during the brewing process. Their narrow spouts enable accurate and steady pouring. 

5) Paperless metal filters

Metal filters offer an eco-friendly alternative to paper filters. They allow more oils and sediments to pass through, resulting in a fuller-bodied and richly flavored cup of pour-over coffee. Additionally, metal filters are reusable and reduce waste.

The Final words

By following the step-by-step process, you can create a cup of coffee that is tailored to your taste preferences, highlighting the unique qualities of your chosen beans.

From selecting the right equipment and coffee beans to perfecting your pouring technique, each element plays a crucial role in achieving a balanced and flavorful brew.

So grab your favorite pour-over equipment, select high-quality beans, and go get that perfect pour-over coffee.


Audrey Harrison

Team TAB
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I am a coffee aficionado based in Seattle. I have devoted my passion and expertise to perfecting the art of home coffee brewing. I became known for my exquisite pour-over and espresso creations. I source coffee beans from local roasters and explores ...


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