Whether you call it a V60, drip filter, pour-over, Kalita, Melita, or Hario, this handy guide will show you how to brew the perfect cup of pour-over coffee at home or at work.
But before you begin, there are a couple of important things to consider.
First, like with all coffee brewing, the “grind” is important. Coffee that is ground too fine will over-extract, and you’ll end up with a cup that’s bitter and lacks sweetness. Ground too coarse and your coffee will under extract and be thin and weak.
Coffee tastes its best when the beans have just been ground and, needless to say, it’s better to grind only what you need when you need it. But if you do have to get ground coffee – then go for one that is filter ground or medium ground.
Secondly, the type of filter paper you use will make a difference. We tend not to recommend unbleached filters as these usually have a stronger paper taste and tend to flow slower. Go for the white (bleached) papers as they’ll give you more clarity in the cup.
Now, the pour-over brew method is especially suited for lighter roast coffees and works equally well with natural processed and fully washed coffees. The result will be a clean, bright-tasting cup with great clarity and good balance. We recommend something like the Rwanda - Titus from Missing Bean or the Medium Roast Oxford Blend from Colombia Coffee Roasters. You'll find a handy list of coffee roasters in Oxfordshire here.
So let’s get started.
Arrange a pour-over coffee filter in your cone and place the cone over a vessel. This could be your cup or something larger like a carafe if you’re not going to drink it all in one go. Boil your kettle and aim for 93 degrees Celsius. On a conventional kettle turn it off when you first see bubbles rising from the bottom. Next grind arout 24g of coffee.
Rinse the filter with around 100ml of hot water, letting it drip out fully, and then discard the collected water in the vessel under the cone. This rinse helps prevent any papery bits and flavours from ending up in your coffee. You don’t want coffee that tastes like a paper filter. It also heats the brewing cone and server.
Now add your freshly-ground coffee to the cone and make sure it’s placed over whatever vessel you’re brewing into. Most coffee shops will add 24g of ground coffee, but you can adjust this to suit your coffee – very light roast coffees might need a bit more, and more robust coffees might need a little less. Give it a shake to distribute the grounds evenly.
You want to keep the ratio of water to coffee to around 16:1, so you’ll need to have around 400ml of boiling water ready. Pour over enough boiling water to saturate the grounds fully, but not so much that there is water pooling on top of them. This is called “blooming” and helps the flavours in the coffee to really shine. Wait 30 seconds for the coffee to “bloom”. You’ll notice the coffee start to expand (or bloom) as it hydrates.
Now it’s time for the real brew. Continue to add boiling water, pouring in a circular motion, and making sure not to pour it all in at once. You should try to retain a consistent level of water in the filter cone during brewing without filling up the cone completely – this enables a more consistent extraction. Repeat this until you reach your target water weight or pour out your measured volume of water.
Once all the coffee has dripped through agitate the brewed coffee a little and serve. You’re aiming for a total brew time (including the 30-second pre-infusion) of around 3 minutes, although this will vary depending on your beans.
That’s it. You should have a vessel full of delicious, freshly-brewed pour-over coffee. And now you know how to brew the perfect cup of pour-over coffee, there are no more excuses for bad coffee.
PS: Head over hear for all you’ll need to brew the perfect pour-over in the comfort of your kitchen.