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A beginner’s guide to pour over coffee

If you’re a coffee aficionado, you’ve probably noticed the increasing popularity of pour over coffee. It may seem as though all of your favourite hipster coffee shops jumped on board this trend as fast as you could say ‘macchiato’, leaving you wondering – how can I get on board?

Well, if you’re someone who likes to have total control over their demitasse, this method of brewing is for you.

What is pour over coffee?

With pour over coffee, all you need to do is grind up your favourite fresh coffee and use a brewing system to pour hot water over the grounds. 

However, as you’ve probably been told time and time again, the better things in life take time. So even though pour over coffee seems simple, it requires your patience and your time. 

This method is the preferred choice of many coffee lovers because it allows them to control the coffee’s strength and taste much better than others. Your perfect cup is created when you drizzle hot water through the grounds little at a time so that the coffee is extracted from the beans. Of course, to pull it off you need the right equipment.

What equipment do I need?

As well as your time and your patience you’re going to need a few things to get you started. Let’s start with how you’re going to grind your beans. 

If you’re a seasoned coffee drinker, we bet that a few bad cups have managed to slip through the net in the past. A “bad cup” can either be coffee that’s weak, sour, and acidic or way too bitter and harsh. The former occurs when your beans have been ground too coarse, and the latter too fine. To find the perfect balance you want to invest in a burr grinder that creates grounds in a uniform size. 

Once you’ve measured your coffee out (oh, you might want to invest in a scale too), you’re going to have to give it a place to sit. In that case, you’ll need to invest in a filter that can comfortably fit over your coffee maker so that the flavours can properly be transferred into the cup. Then, of course, you’ll need somewhere for your freshly brewed masterpiece to go. A glass or ceramic carafe tends to be your best bet, as these won’t taint the flavours. 

As far as equipment is concerned, we think we’ve covered everything. That is, apart from the obvious kettle and hot water. 

The brewing method

Now you’ve got all of your equipment lined up; it’s time to make your coffee come alive. You might feel like you’re undertaking a real-life science experiment but trust us when we say that there’s no need to put on a white lab coat or protective eyewear. Here goes…

  • You’ll want to ensure that you boil your water to the right temperature. We recommend somewhere between 90 and 96°C will be just right. 
  • Rinse your paper filter with hot water for roughly 5 seconds. This gets rid of any papery taste and also helps your filter stick to the sides of your dripper. 
  • Spend about 30 seconds blooming your ground coffee. This helps to remove gasses (carbon dioxide, specifically) from the coffee and causes grinds to grow and rise resulting in a better flavour. 
  • Record the time you go for so that the next time you come to brew, you’ll know whether you need to spend longer on the process or not. Once you’ve done this a few times and realised how much different variables can achieve different results, congratulations, you’re a fully-fledged coffee snob!