How to Make Pour Over Coffee: Brewing Tips and Tricks

My favorite way to brew a morning cup of joe is using the pour over brewing method. The process is more involved than a drip coffee maker, but I enjoy a Zen-like satisfaction with my morning ritual.
pour over coffee

Having full control over the brewing process makes a big difference to me, and the resulting coffee is always delicious.

If you want to improve your coffee, be sure to invest in at least one high-quality pour over device. When it comes to extracting brighter flavor notes, this technique is superior to other brewing processes, especially for lighter roasted coffees.

I recommend starting your search with the Hario V60 02 coffee dripper since it’s simple and affordable. You can also check out other options like Chemex or Bodium.

Read on to learn how to make pour over coffee with a few bonus hints and techniques.

What is Pour Over Coffee and How Does it Differ from Drip Coffee?

Over 40% of homes still use an auto-drip coffee maker for their morning cup of coffee. Although, the percentage has been on a steady decline for the last 10 years. With the increasing popularity of specialty coffees, consumers have begun to experiment with more manual brewing techniques.

The pour over technique enhances the flavor of coffee by allowing for a more controlled brewing process. This allows for better temperature control and more even saturation of water through ground coffee. And since you are in control of more of the process, there is more room to experiment with coaxing the nuanced flavor from each roasting type.

Pour Over Coffee Brewing Method

Here’s a list of the equipment and ingredients required to get your brew going:

  • Pour Over Brewing Device
  • Your Favorite Coffee Bean
  • Filter (can use paper filters or stainless steel filter)
  • Digital Scale to weight coffee and Fresh Water
  • Electric Gooseneck Kettle (for more control)

Prepare Your Hot Water

For medium roast coffee, you can brew at 205 degrees Fahrenheit (96 degrees Celsius). If you don’t have an electric kettle, wait for your water to boil, then remove it from the heat and wait a minute for it to cool down to achieve the proper temperature. For light roasts, you can use water that is right off the boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius).

grind size

Grind Your Whole Beans

While you wait for your water to heat up, go ahead and grind 20 grams (0.7 oz) of coffee beans for each serving of coffee you intend to brew. A medium grind (consistency of sea salt) is the perfect grind size for medium roast coffee. You may want a finer grind for a light roast coffee since it is less porous and takes a bit of extra effort to pull out those lighter flavor notes.

Crease Paper Filter

If you are using a paper filter, you will notice that one edge has been pressed together. To allow the filter to be fully inserted into your pour over device, crease this paper along the edge where it has been pressed, then insert it into the cone.

pre wet pour over filter paper

Pre-wet your Filter Paper

Place your pour over device, with the paper filter inserted, on top of your coffee mug. Once the filtered water has heated to the proper brew temperature, grab your gooseneck kettle and pour hot water around the filter until it is fully moistened. This will remove any paper fibers that may be leftover from the manufacturing process.

The hot water will also help to preheat your brewer and mug. A preheated brewer will allow for a more consistent temperature during the brewing process, and a preheated mug will help your coffee stay warmer longer. Make sure to pour out the water in your mug before moving on to the next step.

pour over bloom

Add Coffee Grounds and Perform Coffee Bloom

Add your fresh grounds into the filter and tare your scale. For the bloom, you will want to add double the amount of filtered water for each portion of ground coffee. For a single serving of 20 grams of coffee, start your timer, then pour 40 mL of water, measured with your food scale. Wait 45 seconds to complete the bloom.

Blooming is important because it will start the release of carbon dioxide necessary for your pourover brew.

Start by pouring a slow and steady stream of water over your fresh coffee beans at the center, then swirling outwards. Ensure even saturation and avoid pouring too heavily, creating a channel of water.

I like to swirl the mixture after wetting all of the coffee grounds to ensure everything is evenly moistened.

pour over final pour

Time for the Final Pour for Maximum Extraction

After the coffee bloom is complete, it’s time for the final pour. Again, start by gently pouring from the middle and working your way outwards in a spiral pattern. A consistent flow rate will ensure a more even extraction during the brewing process. The total amount of water poured for a single serving will be 320 mL (7.7 oz.) when you stop pouring.

After completing your pour, I prefer to do one final swirl to help create an even coffee bed of grounds for the water to filter through. Finally, wait for the water to finish filtering through. The average brew time is between three to four minutes, depending on your grind size and pour style.

pour over flat bed final

Remove the Filter and Enjoy!

Once you have completed the brewing process, remove the spent grounds and dispose of them (I hear coffee grounds are good for your garden). I like to grab a stirring device, also known as a spoon, and give my mug of coffee a few gentle stirs to aerate my brew.

Grab your mug, hold it close, and take a deep whiff. That’s the smell of success (and a delicious cup of java)!

When I use a dark or medium roast, I add a splash of heavy whipping cream and a couple spoonfuls of simple syrup to create a delightfully sweet and creamy treat.

Best Type of Fresh Ground Coffee Beans for Pour Over

Similar to AeroPress and other brewing styles, pour overs are quite versatile. It can be used with light or dark roast, and single origin coffee or blends. If you have a favorite type of coffee, it’s wise to experiment with different grind and water temperatures to obtain the most flavor from your brew. You may find that pour over coffee provides the perfect balance of bright acidity with a subtle sweetness that really brings out your coffee’s hidden qualities.

The Benefits of Pour Over Coffee

While it may not be the fastest method, I believe brewing coffee with a pour over has its advantages. The biggest benefit is that you are totally in control of the brewing process. You can experiment with different grinds or roasts to find your favorite type of coffee.

The number of variables involved may appear intimidating at first, but once you learn how to adjust each roast, you may discover tastes that were previously hidden. I had an Ethiopian roast that I enjoyed as drip coffee, but once I started experimenting with pour over, it has become my all-time favorite (fruity and nutty!).

The Disadvantages of Pour Over Coffee

The biggest disadvantage to making pour over coffee is the time involved. Pour overs take longer than other brewing equipment when making a single cup of coffee, which may make it unsuitable for those who need their coffee on-the-go or those who want a quick cup in the morning.

When using my drip coffee maker, I can have the coffee brewed and poured into my mug within three minutes with little effort. In comparison, pour over coffee takes four to five minutes from start to finish.

Finally, unlike a French Press, some of the coffee oils are removed by the paper coffee filter. This means that the body of your brew will be slightly different and may not be as heavy compared to using a French Press.

Final Thoughts

Pour over coffee is a delicious, flavorful way to brew the perfect cup of coffee. It’s also a great opportunity to experiment with different grinds and roasts to find the ideal flavor profile for you! There are few variables involved in this process that may seem daunting at first but after learning how pour over brewing works, it can be easily mastered. This is my personal favorite way to make a cup of coffee in the morning.

As a fellow coffee drinker, let us help you discover the right coffee for your next brew, or go over to our gear reviews to learn more about the many coffee brewing devices.

Picture of About the Author Kris Silvey

About the Author Kris Silvey

As a semi-professional at-home barista and full-time software engineer, my love for coffee borders on obsession. By combining my passion for coffee with an engineering mindset, I strive to perfect my brewing process and share that knowledge with each of you.

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