How to Brew with the Pour-Over

Simple cup-top filter brewers have probably been used since coffee brewing began. The term ‘pour-over’ is used to describe a host of different brew methods. The common factor is that they brew by percolation, which means that the water passes through a bed of coffee, extracting the flavor from the coffee grounds along the way through a cloth or paper material to filter the grounds from the resulting drink.

3 Key Variables that Affect the Resulting Cup of Coffee

  1. The grind of the coffee - The finer the coffee, the more is extracted from it as the water passes through so there will be more contact time.

  2. The contact time - This is not only how quickly the water flows through the coffee, but also how long it takes for us to add the water. The brew time can be extended by adding the water very slowly to increase the extraction of the coffee.

  3. The amount of coffee - The more coffee there is, the longer it takes for the water to flow through and the longer the contact time.

These 3 key variables must be kept as consistent as possible to replicate a good brew.

The Ratio

Recommended brewing ratio: 1:15 to 1:17, coffee-to-water ratio. As a starting point, we recommend 60g/liter, so approximately 1g of coffee per every 16.7g of water. So for a 12oz  cup of coffee you would add 20-22g of ground coffee. But be sure to experiment to find your preference.

The Grind

A medium/fine grind size is recommended. However it also depends on the amount of coffee you're brewing. You will need to grind the beans more finely if you are brewing a single cup, and more coarsely if you want to brew more. The grind size is a good variable to experiment with as you’re dialing in your process. If the brew comes out thin, weak, or sour, try a finer grind; if the brew comes out bitter or harsh, try a coarser grind. 

Steps to Brewing with a Pour Over

  1. Grind the coffee just before you start brewing. Be sure to weigh the coffee first.

  2. Boil a kettle/pot of fresh water suitable for brewing coffee.

  3. While the kettle/pot is coming to a boil, place a paper filter in the brewer.

  4. Add the grounds of coffee to the brewer, place the brewer on top of the cup or jug and have it on a scale.

  5. Once the kettle/pot of water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and wait about 20 seconds before pouring the water into the brewer.

  6. Using the scale as a guide, pour a little water on to the coffee just enough to get all the coffee wet, make sure there are no dry areas. When you add the hot water, the grounds start to release the trapped carbon dioxide and the bed of coffee will start to bloom like dough rising. 

  7. Wait 30 seconds before starting to add more water. 

  8. Slowly pour the water again in a circular motion, weighing as you go to get an accurate amount. Try to pour directly on the coffee and not the walls of the brewer as water may pass through without really extracting the coffee.

  9. Once you have added the necessary amount of water, let it drip through until the bed of coffee looks dry. It should be relatively flat at the base of the brewer.

  10. Discard the coffee and paper, remove the brewer from the cup and enjoy.