The Pour Over Coffee Method

The Filters

Achilles-Coffee-Roasters-San-Diego-Buy-Coffee-Online-Hario-v60There are many ways to create a delicious cup of coffee at home. Today I want to talk about making a great cup of coffee using the pour over coffee method. To get started, you need to make sure that you have some fresh roasted coffee beans and all of the right equipment. For beans, Achilles Coffee Roasters has many options that will fit everyone’s personal tastes from light to dark roast. As far as equipment goes, the first thing you need is a cone and filters. There are three major options that we can choose from. At Achilles Coffee we use a ceramic Hario V60. There are other choices as well: The Kalita Wave or Chemex with the corresponding filters. For whichever one you choose to use, there is a basic pour over process that will work no matter what.

The Grinder and Kettle

Next, if you did not get your beans pre ground at the store you need to have a home grinder. It is recommended to not get your Baratza Encore coffee grinder. It is a conical burr Achilles-Coffee-Roaters-Buy-Coffee-Online-Hario-Kettlebeans pre ground and to only grind them within fifteen minutes of making your coffee. A really solid home grinder can be purchased for around $100. My recommendation for home grinder is the grinder that has thirty settings from coarse to fine that evenly grinds your coffee to near perfection. Lastly, I recommend  a Hario kettle, which has a spout that allows you to control the flow of water as you pour it over the grinds. With all of your equipment in hand, it is time to make that awesome cup of coffee.

The Pour

The first step in the process is to heat up your water. The ideal temperature for water is 200 degrees. The best way to achieve this is to bring your water to a boil and then let it sit for about thirty seconds. While your water is heating up, you can go ahead and grind your beans. Your grind should be quite a bit finer than a french press grind (which is generally very coarse) Buy-Coffee-Online-Achilles-Coffee-Roasters-San-Diego-200x150and quite a bit coarser than an espresso grind (which is generally on the very fine side). Experiment with your grind and find what works best for you! It is recommended to use between 25 and 30 grams of coffee for a 12oz drink, and 30 to 35 grams for a 16oz drink. When your water is up to temperature, the first thing that you want to do before adding your beans is to place the filter in the cone and pour a bit of water to seal the filter to the cone. After this point, there are many different theories on how to pour the water over the beans; however, it is an agreed upon idea that the entire process should take somewhere between four and four and a half minutes. The easiest way is to begin with a slow steady pour from the outside and spiral inward. After all of the beans are saturated, allow the coffee to sit and “bloom” for about 20 to 30 seconds. Then repeat the pour from outward spiraling inward again, but only allow the coffee between 5-10 seconds before adding more water with the same spiraling pour. Keep repeating this process until complete!

Perfect the Pour Over Coffee Process

The Stages of Pour Over Coffee

The preparation of pour over coffee has experienced a real renaissance in recent years. Some of this might be attributed to the rise of Third Wave Coffee – the growing emphasis on single-origin cups of coffee, as well as the increased awareness of the complexity of flavor found within a bean. Pour over-brewed coffee is an excellent way to experience the diversity of flavor profiles found in a variety of beans and roasts. The following is a guide to the different stages of the pour over brewing process.

Stage One: Beans and the Grind

To begin your pour over coffee, you’ll need to be equipped with the necessary supplies. First, you’re going to need fresh roasted beans. Since pour over is a great way to experience the flavors found in the bean and its roast, you’ll want to buy coffee roasted within a week or two from a local roaster. Why spend the time on the pour over if the bean isn’t worthy of the investment? You will find most Third-Wave coffee shops that do their own roasting sell beans in increments of 8, 12 and/or 14oz.

You want to grind your coffee immediately before you brew – the fresher, the better. The coarseness of the grind is very important. If you are making a 12oz. cup of coffee you want the complete pour to take about 3 minutes. Too course and your cup will finish pouring within a minute, too fine and you will be staring at your cup of coffee for 5 minutes before it is ready. Make sure you measure out the amount of whole beans before you – usually, between 23 and 27 grams of coffee per 12 oz. of water is a good rule of thumb.

Stage Two: Water Temperature and the Kettle

One important piece of equipment that is often overlooked by at-home brewers is a kettle that makes pouring easy. Purchase either a conventional kettle or an electric kettle with a gooseneck, not a spout. When you pour the water over the beans, you’ll want a lot of control over the amount of water in the pour and where you pour it. A traditional spout just won’t afford you that control, and you’ll end up with a subpar cup of coffee. An electric kettle is convenient because you can monitor the temperature of your water – ideally around 204 degrees Fahrenheit.

Before you place the coffee in the filter, wet the filter with hot water by pouring just enough to saturate the paper. This will help you prevent the paper taste of the filter from detracting from the coffee flavors.

Stage Three: The Initial Pour – Saturating the Coffee Grounds

For the initial pour, you want to pour between 60 and 75 grams of water over your coffee. Saturate the entire surface of the grounds, and watch as the coffee bubbles and moves – this is called the “bloom,” when carbon dioxide is released from the grounds as the coffee begins to be extracted from the beans.

Roast-Coach-Pour-Over-Coffee-Espresso-Bar-San-Diego Stage Four: Continuing the Pour

After the coffee has bloomed, but before the bloom has collapsed, pour another hundred grams of water into the grinds. Pour slowly, in a spiral motion, moving from the center of the grinds to the outside, and back. Watch carefully while you’re doing this – you want to make sure that all of the grounds are saturated. It might take you a couple tries to really perfect your timing on this, but no worries! Brewing a good cup of coffee takes practice, just like anything else.

Stage Four: The Finished Cup

Just one more pour to go! Once your second pour has almost drained, go ahead and carefully pour once more – again, a spiral pattern is optimal. Pour until you’ve reached around 350 grams (12oz.) total for your cup of coffee, and wait until it has completely drained. Take a few sips before adding any cream or sugar and start to familiarize yourself with the unique flavors of each cup and enjoy one of the purest forms of coffee preparation, pour over coffee.