How to Brew the Perfect Pour-Over Coffee

In a world of Nespresso, Keurig, french press and good old-fashioned drip machines, your next cup of coffee generally isn’t too far away (insert praise emoji). Though the question is, just how good is that next cup of coffee going to be? We certainly all have our preferences, but we believe that more often than not, sticking to simplicity is key. So we’re delving into how to brew the perfect cup of pour-over coffee, one of the most simple, satisfying, technology-free ways out there to brew a solid cup of joe. Trust us, from those initial aromas of bubbly (wait, what?) coffee, you’ll be hooked. Let us explain.

The first step here is the actual grinding of the coffee. It should also go without saying that the higher quality your beans are, the better the resulting cup will be. As with any other coffee-brewing method, it’s best to grind your beans right before using them; this simultaneously retains freshness and prevents oxidation in your coffee. According to Blue Bottle Coffee, you’ll want your grinds to have the same consistency as coarse sea salt. The company recommends using three tablespoons of coffee for every 20 ounces of water, though we’ve found that four is more our style. Play around with the exact ratio to find your perfect balance.

Next, set your brewer over a single cup or carafe, placed on a digital scale — yes we get that this might seem ridiculous, but trust us, it is the surest way to get a perfect cup. Once your beans are ground, boil the appropriate amount of water for desired cups of coffee; place a fresh filter into the brewer and wet with a splash of hot water. Preheating the brewer and carafe/cup will keep the temperature constant, leading to a better integrated final cup of coffee. Wetting the filter also allows the filter to stick to the brewer. For this step most people who make pour-over coffee swear by pour-over coffee kettles, because their thin spouts allow for a precise stream of water to hit the grounds, which is exactly what you want.

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Place coffee grinds into the filter and level them out. Brewing the perfect pour-over will take multiple pours, and the first is where the chemistry begins. When you’re ready to brew, begin to pour hot water in a spiraling motion over your grinds, starting on the outer rim of the brewer and working your way to the center, stopping when the scale reaches 60 grams. This should take no more than 20 seconds and should soak all of the grinds. This first pour, called the bloom, results in a light bubbling of the grinds, which is simply a release of carbon dioxide. Let the coffee drip into the mug/carafe for 30 seconds.

The second pour should take twice as long as the first pour, therefore using twice as much water. Use the same spiraling motion; once complete, allow this pour to drip for approximately one minute. Repeat one to two more pours, using the same amount of water as the second pour. Let drip until complete and you have yourself a perfect cup of pour-over coffee! Feel free to make personalized adjustments according to your own tastes, adding more or less coffee on your next pour-over go. If you find the cup is too bitter, simply grind the coffee to a finer texture.