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Beginner’s Guide To Pour Over Coffee

If you’ve visited any coffee shop in the last few years, you’ve probably seen a barista using a long-necked kettle to delicately pour water over coffee.

Pour over coffee is considered one of the best ways to make coffee, and it’s easy for you to get great pour over results from the comfort of your own home.

Pour over coffee uses the same technology that coffeepots do––heated water goes through the coffee grounds and into the pot.

With pour over coffee, you’re taking that control in your own hands, so the result is a better cup of coffee.

In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to make pour over coffee, and then we’ll share two recipes to get you started.

What You Need to Make Pour Over Coffee

There are three main elements to making pour over coffee: a dripper, a gooseneck kettle, and freshly roasted and ground coffee. (We’re assuming you already have a high quality grinder like the Baratza Encore.)

If you want to see our gear recommendations, visit our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Making Coffee at Home.

To sum up what you need, here’s a bundle we recommend to get started.

The Kalita Wave is a beginner-friendly pour over dripper that will still produce an excellent cup of coffee even if your technique isn’t perfect. Since it has a flat bottom, it will ensure the coffee extracts as evenly as possible, giving you an optimal brew.

Kalita Wave Pour Over Coffee Dripper, Size 185​, Makes 16-26oz, Single Cup Maker, Heat-Resistant Glass, Patented & Portable

The Bonavita 1.0 Liter Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle is the best kettle for most pour over situations.

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It’s relatively inexpensive and allows you to precisely control how much water you pour, which is essential for making good pour over coffee.

Bonavita 1.0L Variable Temperature Electric Kettle, 1.0 Liters, Metallic

For freshly roasted coffee, we suggest checking out roasters that are local to you. The workers will help you find the right coffee for you, and if you have any coffee-related questions, they’ll gladly answer them.

Finally, grind your coffee right before brewing, and you’re ready to go!

Recipes

After you have all the necessary equipment, you’re ready to make the coffee!

There are many different methods for making pour over coffee, and we’re going to include step-by-step instructions for two of them here. We’ll also share links to other methods if you want to have more to try out.

These methods are what we suggest for starting out making coffee with your pour over equipment. The first is a continuous pour method, and the second is a pulse pour method.

A continuous pour means that most of the water is poured all in one go. With a pulse pour, you use several smaller pours instead.

The following recipes are for making a 12 oz. cup of coffee. You can adjust the variables if you’d like to make more or less.

Continuous Pour Method

1. Weigh out 20.5 grams of whole beans and grind them to a medium-fine grind. If you’re using a Baratza Encore, this is around the 12-15 mark.

2. Place a filter in the dripper, and place the dripper on top of your mug or server. Boil some tap water, and use it to rinse the filter thoroughly and heat up your mug/server. (If you’re using a server or decanter, boil some extra water to warm up your mug as well.) Discard the rinse water.

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3. Place your dripper on top of your mug/server, and place everything onto your scale. Tare the scale.

4. Boil some filtered or spring water. When it reaches a boil, dump the coffee grounds into the filter. You’re ready to pour!

5. Pour #1: This first pour is called the bloom pour. You want to pour about 3 times the amount of grounds, so since you have 20.5 grams of coffee, you’ll pour about 60 grams of water in this first pour. Pour gently and wet all of the coffee, starting in the center and moving out toward the edges. The water should be right off boiling. Start your timer as soon as the water hits the coffee.

6. After you’ve finished the bloom pour, gently stir the mixture of coffee and water (known as the slurry) with a bamboo paddle or spoon. Be careful so you don’t accidentally tear the filter paper. The goal with this stir is to make sure all of the coffee is evenly wet, so stir lightly with that goal in mind.

7. Once you’ve finished the stir (at about 45 seconds in), start the second and final pour. Pour continuously until the scale reads 340 grams. The pour should be gentle. Pour in clockwise spirals starting in the middle, moving outward to the edges, moving back to the middle, and so forth.

8. When you’ve reached the total weight of 340 grams, stop pouring. Pick up the dripper (it may be hot, so be careful!) and give it a light shake and tap. This will ensure the coffee settles and extracts evenly.

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9. When the coffee has slowed to a drip, take the dripper off. You should notice a flat bed of grounds in the dripper.

10. Clean up, and enjoy the coffee!

Pulse Pour Method

1. Follow steps 1 through 6 of the continuous pour method.

2. When the bloom has been stirred and the timer is about 45 seconds in, start your second pour. This pour should add an additional 50-60 grams of water. After the weight has increased by 50-60 grams, stop pouring and allow the water to drain down a little.

However, you always want the grounds to be submerged in water. If you see the grounds becoming exposed to the air, disregard the exact time and do another pulse pour.

3. Pulse pour about every 15-30 seconds or whenever you see the grounds becoming exposed. The pulse pours should be clockwise spirals just like in the continuous pour method.

4. Keep pulse pouring until you’ve reached 340 grams.

5. Clean up, and enjoy the coffee!

Final Thoughts

Pour over coffee can take a while to master, but it’s not as difficult as it seems.

Persistence is important. If your first cup isn’t perfect, don’t give up.

If your first thirty cups aren’t perfect, don’t give up! It can take a while to dial in the right method for your liking, but once you’ve mastered it, you can make café-quality pour over coffee at home.

image: Pxhere

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