The Art of Making Pour Over Coffee: Everything You Need to Know

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Pour over coffee is a simple and delicious way to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee. Unlike other brewing methods, pour over allows you to control every aspect of the process, from the grind size to the water temperature, resulting in a coffee that is uniquely tailored to your preferences. In this article, we will explore the steps of how to make pour over coffee, beginning with choosing the right coffee beans and ending with enjoying the final product.

Choosing the Right Coffee Beans

Choosing the Right Coffee Beans
Choosing the Right Coffee Beans

The quality of your coffee beans can significantly impact the taste of your final product. Here are some tips on selecting the right coffee beans for your pour over.

Tip 1: Buy Freshly Roasted Beans

To ensure that your coffee tastes as good as possible, it’s crucial to choose freshly roasted beans. Coffee beans begin to lose their flavor almost immediately after they are roasted, so selecting beans that have been recently roasted is vital to getting the best taste out of your coffee.

When coffee beans are roasted, a complex series of chemical reactions occur within the beans that give them their characteristic aroma and flavor. Over time, these compounds break down and evaporate, which leads to a loss of flavor and aroma. This process is accelerated by exposure to air, heat, and light, so purchasing freshly roasted beans and storing them properly is essential.

Ideally, you should aim to purchase coffee beans within two weeks of their roast date. This timeframe allows for enough time for the beans to degas and develop their full flavor profile while still ensuring that the coffee is fresh enough to taste great. If you purchase too old beans, you may notice that the coffee tastes stale or bland, even if you store them correctly.

Look for bags with roast dates instead of “best by” dates to get the most out of your coffee beans. This information will help you determine how fresh the beans are and make an informed choice about whether or not to purchase them. Keep in mind that coffee beans can vary widely in freshness depending on where you buy them, so it’s always best to purchase from a reputable source that values quality and freshness.

Tip 2: Consider the Origin of the Beans

Coffee beans grown in different regions worldwide can offer a wide range of unique flavor profiles that can appeal to various coffee aficionados. The soil, altitude, weather conditions, and processing methods all play a significant role in determining the taste of coffee beans.

For instance, countries like Ethiopia, Yemen, and Kenya are famous for producing coffees with floral notes. These beans often feature a delicate and sweet aroma resembling jasmine, lavender, or citrus fruit. On the other hand, countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Indonesia produce coffee with chocolatey and nutty flavors. These beans are darker roasted and have a smooth and rich taste.

Other factors that can affect the flavor profile of coffee include the roast level, brewing method, and water temperature. For example, light roast beans tend to preserve their unique flavor profile, while dark roast beans can have a more uniform taste. Similarly, brewing methods like French press or pour-over can enhance specific flavor notes in the coffee.

Considering your preferred flavor profile is essential when choosing coffee beans. If you enjoy bright and floral notes, then opt for Ethiopian or Kenyan coffee beans. However, Brazilian or Colombian beans might be more appropriate if you prefer a chocolatey and nutty taste. It’s also worth experimenting with different types of beans and roasts to find the perfect flavor that suits your taste buds.

Tip 3: Choose the Right Roast Level

The roast level of coffee beans is a crucial factor in determining the final taste and aroma of your pour over. Coffee roasting is an art that involves carefully heating the green coffee beans to different temperatures depending on the desired flavor profile.

When pouring over coffee, the roast level can significantly affect the taste and sensory experience. A light roast will produce a bright, tangy flavor with notes of fruitiness and acidity. This is because the light roast preserves more of the coffee’s natural flavors and aromas. However, the lighter roast may not appeal to everyone’s taste buds, especially those who prefer a bolder, richer brew.

On the other hand, a dark roast will produce a bold, rich, and smoky flavor with a full-bodied mouthfeel. Dark roast coffee is roasted for a longer time, caramelizing the beans’ sugars and creating a deeper, darker color. The longer roasting time also reduces the acidity of the coffee, giving it a smoother finish. Dark roast coffee is often associated with a stronger caffeine kick, making it a popular choice for those seeking a more robust brew.

Experimenting with different roast levels is essential to find the flavor that suits your taste buds. You can try light, medium, and dark roast coffees to determine which one you prefer. Additionally, different brewing methods may also require specific roast levels to achieve the best results.

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Grinding the Coffee Beans

Grinding the Coffee Beans
Grinding the Coffee Beans

Grinding coffee beans is an essential step in the pour-over process, as it plays a vital role in determining the quality and flavor of the resulting brew. The grind size of the beans determines how quickly water will flow through them, therefore, how much flavor will be extracted.

Choosing the correct grind size for your coffee beans is important to achieve the perfect brew. For pour-over brewing, medium-fine grind size is generally recommended. This grind size allows for a moderate rate of water flow, which helps to extract the coffee’s flavors and aromas without causing over-extraction. However, it’s important to note that different pour-over devices may require slightly different grind sizes.

Blade Grinders

Blade grinders are a popular choice for home brewing coffee due to their affordability and ease of use. These grinders operate by using a spinning blade that chops up the coffee beans into small pieces. The mechanism is similar to a blender but with sharper edges that are specifically designed for grinding coffee.

While blade grinders can be convenient, they do have some drawbacks when it comes to achieving a consistently uniform grind size. The problem lies in the fact that the spinning blade can chop the beans unevenly, resulting in a mix of larger and smaller particles. This inconsistency can lead to an uneven extraction when brewing the coffee.

When brewing coffee, the goal is to extract the right amount of flavor and aroma from the coffee beans. The extraction process happens when hot water passes through the ground coffee, dissolving and extracting the soluble compounds that give coffee its unique taste and aroma. If the grind size is inconsistent, then some particles will be over-extracted while others will be under-extracted. This results in a brew that is either too bitter or too weak.

In contrast, burr grinders are designed to produce a more consistent grind size by crushing the beans between two abrasive surfaces. This ensures that the particles are evenly sized, leading to a more uniform extraction. Burr grinders are often more expensive than blade grinders, but they are worth the investment for those serious about their coffee

Burr Grinders

Burr grinders are a type of coffee grinder that is highly regarded by coffee enthusiasts for their ability to produce a consistent grind size. Unlike blade grinders, which use a spinning blade to chop the coffee beans into pieces, burr grinders use two flat or conical burrs to crush the beans into uniform particles.

The burrs in a burr grinder are typically made of steel or ceramic and can be adjusted to achieve different grind sizes. This allows coffee drinkers to customize their grind according to the brewing method they prefer, such as coarse for French press or fine for espresso.

One of the primary advantages of using a burr grinder over a blade grinder is the consistency of the grind. With a blade grinder, the uneven pieces can lead to an inconsistent extraction during brewing, resulting in a lackluster cup of coffee. Burr grinders, on the other hand, produce particles of a similar size, ensuring a more even extraction and a better-tasting cup of coffee.

Burr grinders come in both manual and electric versions. Manual burr grinders require the user to turn a crank to grind the beans, while electric burr grinders use a motor to spin the burrs. Some coffee enthusiasts prefer manual grinders because they offer greater control over the grinding process, allowing for a more precise grind. However, electric grinders are generally faster and more convenient, making them a popular choice for home use.

Preparing the Pour Over Equipment

Preparing the Pour Over Equipment
Preparing the Pour Over Equipment

Before you begin the actual brewing process, it’s essential to prepare your pour over equipment properly.

Choosing the Right Pour Over Equipment

Pour-over coffee is a manual brewing method that involves pouring hot water over freshly ground coffee beans, dripping through a filter into a container or cup. This process allows for maximum extraction of flavors and aromas, resulting in a clean, flavorful cup of coffee.

Several types of pour-over equipment are available on the market, each with unique features that affect the flavor profile of the coffee. The Hario V60 is a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts due to its cone-shaped design and spiraled ridges that aid in even extracting the coffee grounds. It requires a specific type of filter, usually made of paper or metal, that fits snugly inside the cone. The V60’s steep angle allows for a faster brew time and produces a bright, acidic cup of coffee.

The Chemex is another pour-over device that has a distinctive hourglass shape. It uses a thick paper filter that removes any sediment or oils from the coffee, resulting in a clean, smooth cup. The Chemex’s thicker filter also slows down the brew time, allowing for a more prolonged extraction and a sweeter, less acidic flavor profile.

The Kalita Wave has a flat-bottomed design with three small holes at the bottom of the filter. This form ensures even water distribution, leading to a consistent extraction of the coffee grounds. The Kalita Wave’s unique filter design produces a slightly thicker cup than the V60 but still maintains a bright, clean taste.

When choosing between these pour-over devices, it’s essential to experiment and determine which one works best for your taste and brewing style. Factors such as grind size, water temperature, and brewing time can all affect the final cup of coffee. It’s recommended to start with a medium-coarse grind and experiment with different brewing times and water temperatures until you find your ideal cup.

Rinsing the Equipment

When brewing coffee using a pour over method, it’s important to rinse the equipment before use. This step serves two primary purposes: first, it removes any papery taste or residue that may be leftover from the filter; second, it preheats the equipment, which helps to ensure that the coffee brews at the correct temperature.

To begin, place the filter in the pour over cone or holder. Then, pour hot water over the filter, covering all parts of the filter evenly. Allow the water to run through and collect in your brewing vessel. Discard it and the rinsing water once the water has passed through the filter.

Doing this removes any remnants of paper or filter particles that may have been left on the filter during manufacturing. These particles can impart an unpleasant taste or aroma to the coffee if not removed before brewing. Additionally, preheating the equipment ensures that the coffee brews at the appropriate temperature, which is crucial for a good cup of coffee

How to make pour over coffee

How to make pour over coffee
How to make pour over coffee

Now that you have chosen the right beans, ground them to the correct size, and prepared your pour-over equipment, it’s time to brew your coffee.

Wetting the Coffee Grounds

Before you start brewing your coffee, it’s essential to understand the importance of blooming. Blooming is the process of pouring hot water over the coffee grounds and allowing them to expand, releasing trapped gases. This step prepares the coffee for better extraction by ensuring that all of the coffee particles are evenly wet before the brewing process begins.

When roasted coffee beans, they release carbon dioxide gas as a natural byproduct of the roasting process. After roasting, this gas remains trapped in the coffee beans until they come into contact with hot water. When hot water is poured over the coffee grounds, it forces the trapped gases to escape, which can cause the coffee to bubble up or “bloom.”

The blooming process is crucial for freshly roasted coffee beans because they contain more trapped gases than older, stale coffee beans. If you skip the blooming step, these trapped gases can interfere with the brewing process, leading to an uneven extraction and potentially ruining the flavor of your coffee.

To bloom your coffee properly, add a small amount of hot water to the coffee grounds, just enough to thoroughly saturate them. Use a circular motion to ensure that all of the grounds are wetted evenly. Wait for 30 seconds to a minute, allowing the trapped gases to escape and the coffee grounds to expand fully.

After blooming, continue to pour hot water over the coffee grounds in a slow, steady stream, ensuring that all the grounds are evenly wetted. This method helps to ensure that the coffee extracts evenly, improving the overall flavor of your brewed coffee.

Pouring the Water

When making coffee, it’s essential to understand the proper technique for pouring hot water over the grounds. Once you have added the coffee into your brewing device, whether it be a pour-over, French press, or drip machine, it’s important to wet the grounds first. This helps release some trapped gases and allows for more even extraction.

Next, begin pouring hot water over the grounds in a circular motion. Keeping the water level consistent throughout the process is crucial to ensure even extraction. Avoid pouring too quickly or slowly, as this can affect the final product’s taste.

The ratio of coffee to water is also an essential factor to consider. As a general rule of thumb, use 1 gram of coffee per 16 grams of water. However, this ratio can be adjusted based on personal preference. If you prefer stronger coffee, you may want to increase the amount of coffee used, while if you like a weaker brew, less coffee can be used.

By following these steps and adjusting the ratio of coffee to water to your liking, you can achieve a delicious cup of coffee at home. Remember to experiment with different brew methods and techniques to find the perfect cup that suits your taste buds.

Enjoying Your Pour Over Coffee

Enjoying Your Pour Over Coffee
Enjoying Your Pour Over Coffee

Congratulations, you have brewed a perfect cup of pour over coffee! Now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy your hard-earned labor. Here are some tips to help you savor your coffee experience:

  • Take small sips and savor the aroma and flavor of the coffee. Good coffee should be enjoyed slowly and with intention. Take your time and appreciate the different notes and flavors you can detect.
  • Consider experimenting with adding cream or sugar. While some coffee connoisseurs may argue that adding anything to good coffee is sacrilege, there’s no denying that cream and sugar can enhance the flavors in your cup. Try adding a little bit until you find the perfect balance for your taste buds. Alternatively, try drinking your coffee black to truly experience all the flavors that the beans have to offer.
  • Don’t forget to share your creation with friends and family. Coffee is best enjoyed with good company, so why not spread the joy of a perfectly brewed cup? Introduce them to the process of pour over brewing and watch their faces light up as they taste the difference between a well-brewed cup and a mediocre one.

In conclusion, enjoying a cup of coffee isn’t just about the caffeine buzz. It’s an experience that should be savored and shared with others. By taking the time to appreciate the nuances of your brew, experimenting with different flavors, and sharing your knowledge with others, you’ll be able to elevate your coffee game to new heights.


Making pour over coffee may seem like a daunting task, but with the right equipment, fresh beans, and attention to detail, anyone can become a pour over pro. You can create a unique and delicious cup of coffee anytime by following these steps on how to make pour over coffee and experimenting with your brewing process. So, why not try it and see how much better your coffee can be?

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