Beginner’s Guide: How to Make the Best Pour over Coffee at Home

How do you make the perfect pour-over coffee at home? Why is pour over coffee so good? How long does it take to make pour over coffee?

Some or many of these pour over coffee questions have been asked by coffee lovers on the internet and that’s why we have decided to put together this beginner’s tell-all guide to show you exactly how to make the best pour over coffee at home or in your office.

Chances are that you have been ordering most of your pour-over coffee at a coffee shop so you are wondering whether it’s possible to make yours at home.

This guide will show you exactly that- how to make the perfect cup of pour over coffee. We have also answered the most frequently asked questions when it comes to pour over coffee- at the end of this article.

Read on.

What You’ll Need

Don’t make a mistake if you want to learn how to make the perfect cup of pour over coffee, you must have the right equipment.

Here are the things you need to make a good pour over cup of coffee.

  • Good burr grinder
  • Freshwater, not tap water
  • Freshly ground beans
  • A kitchen scale that measures items in grams
  • A cup or carafe
  • Coffee filter
  • A thermometer to measure water temperature (optional)
  • Pour over stovetop kettle
  • Pour over coffee maker

How to Make the Best Pour over Coffee- The Process

As it sounds, you may think pour over coffee brewing is all about grinding your coffee beans, pouring water over your grounds, and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee. However, this coffee brewing method requires patience and practice.

Thanks, you have landed on our guide; we will show you how to brew smooth, rich, and aromatic pour over coffee that will leave your tongue salivating for more.

Let’s get started.

1. Determine Which Coffee to Brew

Coffee beans

First things first: Before you do anything, choose your beans. Ideally, although they say what matters is the process, the coffee beans you use may also determine how the final product will be.

For this reason, you need to start by determining which coffee beans to use to brew pour over coffee.

This will depend on your preference but if you are unsure what coffee beans to use, you could ask your nearby barista. You could also walk around checking until you get the beans that smell good to you, although this can be tiring.

Most coffee lovers have been using Costa Rica and Ethiopia for pour over coffee but you should pick the best ones for yourself. Just make sure you choose with caution and get good quality coffee beans.

2. Decide How Much Coffee You Need

Once you have chosen your coffee, put it on your scale. Ideally, you want to aim at a good water to coffee ratio. Some coffee experts recommend a ratio of 18 grams of water in a gram of coffee.

That means, if you are using 11 grams of coffee, you should use 6-ounces of water. Note that while you will get different views when it comes to the ratio of water to coffee, always keep in mind that the more the coffee, the more the flavor.

You could experiment with different ratios when trying to figure out how to make the best pour over coffee at home as long as you have a scale until you get a suitable ratio.

3. Grind Coffee Beans

ground coffee beans

We assume you’ve weighed your coffee beans. It’s time to grind them. Some people who like convenience will have their coffee beans ground at a local coffee shop. But this won’t give you the flavors you are looking for in your coffee.

Grinding your coffee beans while you are making your cup of pour over coffee gives you full control over the coffee flavor.

Note that, if you use finer grinds, your coffee will taste bitter. On the other hand, coarse grinds will give you a sweet cup of coffee although you risk getting acidic or under-extracted coffee.

What grind size should you use? A good rule of thumb is to use medium-fine to medium-coarse grinds – looks like beach or sand soil for those who are confused here.

You could also experiment with your grinder’s range until you get the perfect grind size for a perfect pour-over coffee.

When grinding your beans, don’t forget that the grinder can also make or break your coffee taste. For this reason, we recommend you to use a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder.

A blade grinder works similar to a blender and this could lead to pre-roasting of the beans due to the heat generated by the blades as they rotate fast.

4. Rinse Your Coffee Filter

If you don’t rinse your coffee filter, you will drink coffee that has a hint of paper. You need to clean the filter by putting the pour over coffee maker in the dripper and then flushing water inside in a circle. Do this for around 6 seconds and then empty the water on a cup or carafe.

Well, of course, you can use a permanent metal or a coffee sock instead of a paper filter to minimize waste.

5. Set Up the Brew

Set the brew by setting up the cup or carafe, or whichever serving vessel you are using on the scale making sure pour over is on top and the ground beans are in the paper filter. Put the scale at zero.

This will allow you to monitor the amount of water draining over the coffee grounds- a good way to observe the coffee to water ratio needed so as to avoid getting an over-extracted pour over coffee.

6. Heat the Water

We have set everything the right way; it’s time to get into brewing a good cup of pour over coffee.

As a rule, you can also experiment until you get the right coffee to water ratio. So in this case, you can start with 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of coffee- but this will depend on the strength you want in your cup of coffee.

We assume you have a thermometer or perhaps you are using an electric kettle with temperature control; keep the temperature at 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit or 96 degrees Celsius.

You can also experiment with temperatures below 195 degrees Fahrenheit but generally if you boil the water to the right temperatures, the reaction will take place much faster.

If you are using a stovetop kettle without temperature control and you also don’t have a thermometer, simply bring the water to boil and then let it sit for at least 30 seconds then brew.

You can get a good smart kettle on the market that will take care of your concern as well. However, the smart kettle shouldn’t be used for anything else than the temperature control. When it comes to pouring, you may want to use a gooseneck kettle which will give you control over the flow of water and the brew.

You could also experiment with the boiling process as well.

7. Bloom the Grounds

Don’t worry; we are just one step to brewing your perfect cup of pour over coffee. You’ve boiled the water, rinsed the filter, and you have your grounds in place, bloom the grounds.

Generally, to bloom the grounds, you pour a little water over them until they are saturated completely. Once the grounds are saturated with hot water, they will start to swell and bubble. Sit back for around 30 seconds to 1 minute.

We commend using a Gooseneck Kettle for blooming or your grounds and when pouring the water as you will have full control over the speed and accuracy of water.

8. Pour Water

After waiting for 30 seconds to 1 minute after blooming, use a Gooseneck Kettle to pour the water over the grounds slowly and in a circular motion from the center moving out making sure all grounds are wet. This is perhaps why pour over brewing is different from other coffee-making methods.

Once you’ve poured over the water to your preferred ratio, stop.

And that’s how to make the perfect pour over coffee.

Don’t leave yet because we have some good information lined up for you below. As promised, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions at the end of this article.

How to Nail the Perfect Brew – What’s the Ideal Pour over Coffee to Water Ratio?

If you use the wrong water to coffee ratio, your final product may not be something to smile about.

We recommend adding 55 grams of coffee in every liter of water which translates to water to coffee ratio of 18:1.

However, this depends on your preference as well. Some coffee lovers will make it 16:1 and some 19:1.

You also have room to experiment until you get your perfect coffee taste.

Clean your Pour over Coffee Maker

Don’t forget to clean your Pour over coffee maker after brewing, lest you have some funny taste in your next brewing. Take out the grounds, rinse and clean the Pour Over- but make sure it has cooled completely before you clean it.

Enjoy Your Cup of Pour over Coffee

Sit back, serve your freshly brewed pour over coffee and enjoy it. Some coffee lovers make a mistake of adding extras even before tasting the brewed coffee; don’t do that. Taste it first then decide whether to add anything or not.

This would help you to get the strength of your pour over coffee so that you know what additives to add.

Keep experimenting until you find the perfect recipe for the best pour over coffee.

The good thing about pour over coffee is that it’s customizable. You can experiment with different water temperatures; change the grind concentration or even the speed.

Tips to Remember on How Brew the Best Pour Over Coffee

This style of coffee brewing may look simple and straightforward but can be confusing and even get you different results from what you are looking for.

Remember these tips when brewing pour over coffee.

Practice consistency

This is one of the most important things we will not get tired of telling you about. Always be consistent. Doing everything consistently from step #1 to the last step will help you to know where you went wrong during the brewing process.

To stay consistent:

  • Get a good scale to keep everything precise.
  • Grind your beans with a burr grinder.
  • Follow our pour over coffee brewing guide carefully, getting everything right.
  • Take note of every step. This give you a good starting point the next time you want to brew pour over coffee.

The secret is with the grinds you use

As coffee lovers, we do all we can to preserve the taste we are looking for in our coffees.

You choose your coffee beans with caution, find a brewing method that delivers the taste we want, and in the end, we must make sure to use a good coffee grinder.

Grinding affects all the coffee brewing methods, not pour over alone. Choose fine grinds, you get bitter-tasting coffee, choose coarse grinds you get sweet coffee but sometimes under-extraction occurs. For that reason, you need to avoid under-extracting or over-extracting your pour over coffee. And to help you in this is a good coffee grinder, especially a burr grinder.

Make sure you wet or bloom your grounds evenly

This is also another important step you don’t want to skip. You must soak the grounds in the water until they are completely saturated before brewing. When you saturate coffee grounds with hot water, they will start to bloom- you will notice this when you see bubbles.

To get things right:

  • Pour over the right amount of water to wet all the grounds.
  • Let the grounds sit in water for about 30 seconds to one minute before brewing.
  • Wait until bubbles start to form and the grounds start to expand, that’s blooming now.

You will get a sweet smell when blooming starts. That shows you are on the right track.

Always clean your Pour over coffee maker after brewing

As a rule, you should rinse and clean your equipment after brewing pour over coffee. Failing to clean the machine will give you an odor on your next coffee.

This article will help you to know how to clean any type of coffee maker.

How to Choose a Pour over Coffee Maker

Ideally, you want to work with the right tools from choosing the best coffee beans, to the grinder and now to the Pour Over coffee maker itself.

Remember that, when choosing a brewer, you are looking for a tool you will use for your daily coffee brewing. This is you helping partner when it comes to pour over coffee brewing. You want to get everything right from the word go.

Here, you are not looking for a tool labeled “the best”.

Note that some Pour Over coffee makers will allow you to use paper filters others will need special filters which you can get on the internet. Just make sure you choose your Pour over brewer carefully according to your needs and preferences.

How to Make the Best Pour over Coffee at Home- FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions we have answered:

What is pour over coffee?

Pour over coffee is coffee brewed by pouring hot water over freshly ground coffee beans. You use a coffee filter, freshly ground beans, hot water, kettle, Pour over coffee maker, and a serving vessel.

Why is pour over coffee so special?

If it’s your first time to see pour over coffee, you will be prompted to ask what’s so special with this brew. Besides, how can one spend too much time preparing one or two cups yet you can brew more coffee with other methods.

Here are a few good reasons for this.

  • Pour over coffee is sweet- Once you learn how to brew a perfect up of pour over coffee the right way; you will never want to brew your coffee with any other method.
  • This brewing technique is customizable- You can experiment with the process, adding and reducing or tweaking it until you get the flavor you are looking for.
  • You use freshly ground beans- To get sweet coffee; you need to use freshly ground beans. That means you grind the beans immediately before brewing. That’s where the pour over coffee brewing method shines.

What is the difference between pour over and drip coffee?

Although the two brewing methods seem a little bit similar (soaking coffee grounds on hot water to extract the brew), there are differences between them.

With pour over coffee brewing, you have more control over your pouring style but with drip coffee, the machine does it for you.

How long does it take to make pour over coffee?

For dark roast, you could wait for about 3 minutes whereas for medium to light roasts, you could wait for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Is pour over coffee healthy for you?

Ideally, when pour over coffee brewing, you use coffee filters which help to sieve out the oily substances in coffee. This makes pour over coffee better for your health.

Why sour causes sour taste in my pour over coffee?

When you under-extract your coffee, the final product will taste sour. This is sometimes caused by use of coarse grounds. You need to adjust your grind size to get medium to fine grounds.

Does pour over coffee contain more caffeine?

In every 4-ounces of coffee there are 100 milligrams of caffeine. Whether there is more caffeine in your pour over coffee or not will depend on the quantity of coffee you brew.

What coffee is the best coffee for brewing pour over?

Again this depends on personal preferences. Not all coffee geeks will enjoy store-bought and not all coffee lovers will prefer pre-ground coffee beans.

A good rule of thumb is to shop around, and try a variety of coffee beans then pick the one that’s suitable for you.

Do you need extra tools to brew pour over?

We have mentioned above that you will need things like scales, thermometer, Gooseneck Kettle, etc. However, not all these tools are necessary.

The good thing about pour over coffee is that it can be brewed without a scale or smart kettle only that you risk losing consistency. That means even if you repeat the next time with the same variables, you won’t get the same results.

A scale and a gooseneck kettle is good for accuracy and are worth the purchase if you want to seriously brew the best pour over coffee.

What’s the best water to coffee ratio for pour over?

17:1 would be the best starting point then you can work from there. A scale would give you the best water to coffee ratio but if you don’t have one, put 2 teaspoons of coffee on every 6 ounces of water.

What’s the best pour over coffee filter?

Unless you are new to coffees, you must have heard or seen on the internet that there are three types of coffee filters which are metal, paper, and cloth.

Here is a closer look at each of the coffee filters.

Metal filters– Metal filters are durable and don’t produce waste. They sieve your grounds and natural oils letting you have a full-flavored cup of coffee.

Paper filters- These are the usual coffee filters and are sometimes not preferred because they tend to leave your final product with a papery taste. Besides, they aren’t durable and recyclable.

Cloth filters- When taken care of properly, the cloth filters can serve you for a few weeks. These types of coffee filters also give you coffee with enhanced flavors.

As you can see, the type of coffee filter to use to brew pour over depends on your preference. A good way to know the best coffee filter for you is to try them all.

Should you use a pour over stand when brewing

Although pour over stands are cool, they don’t make a difference. Well, they will hold your coffee maker in place so you can brew your cup of coffee but they aren’t a must-use.

Besides, some stands will limit the way you use your scale since they are too big so a scale cannot fit beneath. That means you will get a close view of the amount of water you add to your brew and this might give you inconsistent coffee.

How to drink pour over coffee?

You can either drink pour over the espresso-style or add hot water to turn it into an Americano. You can as well make cocktails, lattes, etc.

Final Words

So there you have it: A complete beginner’s guide on how to make the best pour over coffee. Once you follow the steps and tips we have outlined in this comprehensive pour over brewing guide, you will be able to make the perfect pour over coffee in no time.

Did we miss any tips you know? Let’s hear that in the comment section.

Happy brewing!!

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Sophia Green

Sophia is a long time coffee enthusiast and blogger, so the project started naturally five years ago. You can find useful information about coffee types, plantations, equipment and even tips and tricks or fun facts.

View all posts by Sophia Green →

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