7 Common Mistakes When Brewing Pour Over Coffee

7 Common Mistakes When Brewing Pour Over Coffee

Brewing Pour Over Coffee 

The pour over brewing method is one of the techniques that requires a high level of precision. This method uses a cone-shaped dripper with a specific slant angle. Coffee grounds are placed inside a filter paper, and hot water is slowly poured over the coffee grounds. This process allows the water to seep into the coffee grounds and produce a delightful and complex cup of brew. 

However, this method is much more sensitive to errors and a high level of precision is required in every step of the brewing process. Every aspect, from the coffee-to-water ratio to water temperature and pouring pace, can influence the final taste profile. 

In this Gateway article, we will explain some common mistakes in brewing pour over to help you achieve high quality coffee at home. 

First of all, here is How to Get Started on Brewing Pour Over Coffee at Home.

Uneven Coffee to Water Ratio

Using an incorrect ratio of coffee to water can result in a brew that is either too diluted or overly concentrated.

Solution: We suggest using a scale to precisely measure both coffee grounds and water during brewing. The typical pour over ratio ranges from 1:15 to 1:17. For example, use 15 grams of coffee per 250 ml of water. Start with one ratio and refine it through experimentation to achieve your desired coffee flavour.

Not Rinsing the Paper Filter

Rinsing your paper filter before brewing is important as it helps eliminate any papery taste and preheats the brewing equipment. 

Improper Blooming Technique

Blooming is a vital step in brewing pour over. In this step, a small amount of hot water is gently poured over coffee grounds to allow them to swell and release carbon dioxide produced during roasting. Skipping this step can lead to uneven extraction and a flat tasting brew.

Solution: Pour 30-40 grams of water (approximately double the weight of coffee) slowly over the grounds, starting from the center and moving outward. Allow the coffee to interact with the water for 30-40 seconds and you will start seeing small bubbles forming as carbon dioxide escapes.

Incorrect Pouring Technique

Water flow is an important factor in properly extracting your coffee grounds. Pouring too rapidly or unevenly can result in inconsistent extraction. This will cause some grounds to saturate too quickly and others to remain underextracted. On the other hand, pouring too slowly can prolong brewing time, leading to over extraction.

Solution: Pour in a steady circular motion and make sure to wet all grounds evenly. Avoid pouring directly onto the filter wall to prevent channeling and uneven extraction. It is also recommended to finish your brew within 3-4 minutes.

Poor Coffee Quality

Ensure the freshness of your coffee beans before brewing. Using stale or old coffee beans can result in mediocre brew, regardless of how meticulous the brewing process.

Solution: Allow freshly roasted coffee beans to rest for at least 10 days before brewing and aim to utilize them within a specific timeframe. Proper storage is also important in keeping your beans fresh for a longer time – ideally in a vacuum sealed container and away from direct sunlight. It is also important to note that ground coffee has a much shorter shelf life than whole beans. Various types of beans reach their peak flavour at different ages; some may mature after a month and maintain quality for several months, while others might exhibit optimal flavour within a month. We recommend consulting directly with the roasters or baristas for advice.

Incorrect Grind Size

Using the wrong grind size can significantly impact the extraction process. When the grind is too coarse, the water will flow through too quickly and result in under extraction. When the grind is too fine, the water may not flow through properly and result in over extraction.

Solution: Opt for a medium coarse grind size resembling coarse sand or granulated sugar. You can adjust this as necessary to achieve your preferred flavour profile for each coffee bean variety.

Check out How Grind Size Impacts Flavour and Extraction.

Incorrect Water Temperature

Water temperature directly influences coffee flavour strength. Excessively hot water can scorch the coffee grounds, resulting in over extraction and astringent taste. Conversely, water that is too cold may fail to extract enough flavour from the coffee. 

Solution: Aim for a water temperature between 190°F to 205°F (88°C to 96°C) for optimal extraction and adjust as necessary to your desired flavour profile.

Achieving a flavourful and enjoyable pour over brew is a rewarding journey filled with discovery and refinement. By addressing these common mistakes and enjoying the process, you are on your way to brewing exceptional coffee right in the comfort of your home. Happy brewing!

Check out our step-by-step video tutorial on how to brew pour over at home on our Instagram page.