6 Steps to Start Brewing the Perfect Pour Over Coffee
Brewing process can make all the difference in taste and aroma. And that is what often makes pour over the go-to method when experimenting with new high quality beans and for those who appreciate premium single-origin coffees. Pour over allows you to have complete control over the variables, starting from water temperature and flow rate to grind size and timing. This control lets you fine-tune every aspect that allows for a more nuanced, delicate extraction of flavours from the beans, resulting in a full-bodied and aromatic cup of coffee that highlights the unique flavour notes of the coffee beans.
The extensive level of control that comes with pour over brewing indicates a continuous learning journey to navigate, which can sometimes be overwhelming. However, there are a few steps and techniques that can help you ease the learning curve.
Preparing the right gear.
Getting the right gear is important to kick-start your pour over experiment and here are some essentials you need to get started:
- A pour over dripper
- A coffee filter
- A quality burr grinder
- A gooseneck kettle and thermometer
- A gram scale
- Mineralized water filter
There are various pour over brewing devices to choose from, including flat bottom and cone shaped drippers. It is important to consider your personal preference, but we suggest experimenting with cone shaped drippers like V-60 or Kalita as they allow greater room for adjustments and extract a more even flavour profile.
A gooseneck kettle and thermometer will help you control water flow and achieve the ideal water temperature. Additionally, a gram scale is required to ensure you use the correct amount of water and coffee grounds according to the brew ratio. Investing in high quality equipment is essential to achieving the perfect cup of pour over coffee, and with these items you'll be well on your way to brewing like a pro.
Deciding the coffee brew ratio.
The ratio of coffee grounds to water used during the brewing process is known as the coffee brew ratio. This will be the basis of the pour over recipe as it directly impacts the intensity and flavour. Starting with a brew ratio of 1:15 is recommended, but you can adjust this based on personal preference. If the coffee tastes too concentrated, you can increase the ratio, and if it's too weak, you can decrease it.
Setting the right water temperature.
Water temperature is a crucial factor in pour over method that directly impacts the flavour of the final cup. Too high of a temperature can scorch the coffee grounds while too low can under extract it. The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 88°C and 95°C. It is worth experimenting with temperatures within this range, as different coffee beans may require different temperatures to bring out their best profile.
Achieving the ideal coffee grind size.
A finer grind will produce a stronger, more robust cup, while a coarser grind will create a milder cup. Experimenting with different grind sizes can help find the perfect balance for your taste.
Rinsing the paper filter.
It is important to rinse the paper filter thoroughly with hot water before you start brewing. This eliminates any papery taste from the filter and preheats the dripper. This simple step will ensure all the efforts aren’t wasted and help you achieve optimal flavour.
Monitoring time and water flow.
The first pour of this brewing method is blooming. Pour approximately 40 grams of water and let the grounds rise and bubble for at least 30 seconds before brewing. This step lets coffee grounds release CO2 and prepare it for extraction.
While pouring hot water over the coffee grounds, it's important to monitor the time and water flow rate to ensure a consistent extraction and avoid under or over extraction. For optimal extraction, brewing time should typically fall between 2:30 to 3:30 minutes.
Lastly, it is important to note that pour over is not just about taste – it is also a sensory experience. The process of hand pouring water over the grounds, watching as the coffee slowly drips through the filter, is a satisfying and almost meditative process. It's a chance to slow down and appreciate the art of coffee-making, one cup at a time.