Once you learn to make pour-over coffee, you may never go back to drip. Enjoy the perfect cup at home.
If you stop at your local coffee shop for a daily pick-me-up, you can easily spend $4 or more daily. That's $120 a month and/or $1,440 a year. Whoa! And that doesn't include the cost of those irresistible muffins or bagels — not to mention a tip. However, if you learn to make pour-over coffee at home, it'll taste as delicious as your favorite coffee shop. Plus, you'll save both time and money.
We cannot recommend this coffee-making method enough. We've designed this recipe to be as delicious and beginner-friendly as possible so you can make craft coffee at home. (Take your coffee obsession a step further with our recommended coffee for home.)
What Is Pour-Over Coffee?
Pour-over coffee is a method of brewing coffee that requires pouring hot water over coffee grounds in a filter, also called hand-brewed coffee. In a traditional drip coffee maker, water pours in a steady stream over the grounds, and you have no control over how the coffee is extracted. The pour-over method puts you squarely in charge. (Trust us, it's one of the yummiest types of coffee).
What Are the Benefits of Pour-Over Coffee?
Since pour-over coffee is made by hand instead of in an automatic coffee maker, the flavors and oils from the coffee grounds are extracted with precision, bringing out the optimal taste. Plus, you don't waste a whole pot of coffee when you're brewing for one. And believe us, a pour-over is an upgrade compared to a single-serve coffee maker.
If you're wondering how much caffeine is in your coffee, a pour-over has more than a drip coffee or cold brew. With a coarser grind and extra hot water needed to brew, this higher extraction method results in more caffeine per cup.
How to Make Pour-Over Coffee?
After some prep work, you'll do timed and weighed pours. These pours will extract the fullest flavor possible from your coffee grounds. This recipe is designed for one serving in a standard coffee mug. (If you want to make more than one cup at a time, try using a French press to make your morning brew.)
Don't worry if you don't get this right the first time. It takes practice! Even if your weight is slightly off, your pour-over coffee will taste great. Just do your best today and try again tomorrow.
To make a pour-over coffee, the recommended ratio of coffee to water is 1:15; for every 1 gram of coffee, add 15 grams of water. For our recipe, we use:
375 grams of filtered or tap water
25 grams of coffee grounds
BODUM Pour-over Dripper: These come in various sizes and styles, but BODUM Pour Over 30 oz is a great place to start.
Amazon Basics: The Stainless Steel Portable Fast, Electric Hot Water Kettle for Tea or Coffee, Automatic Shut Off, 1 Liter is perfect.
Pour-over Scale: You can use a simple food scale to weigh each pour. However, since you'll also need to time each pour, we suggest a pour-over scale that features a timer.
Filters: No matter which pour-over dripper you choose, you'll need coffee filters for easy cleanup and a clean cup of coffee.
Step 1: Heat the water and prepare the coffee grounds
Begin by heating your water to a gentle boil. While the water is heating, use your scale to weigh out 25 grams of coffee beans. Using a good burr grinder or pre-ground coffee. If grinding, the beans make a medium-coarse consistency, similar to the texture of rough sand. Note: If you want to use pre-ground coffee beans, read the tips below.
Step 2: Pre-wet the filter
Place a filter in your pour-over dripper. Then, while holding your dripper above a sink, gently trickle water from your kettle over the filter in a circular motion until the entire filter is wet. Let all excess water drain through. Pre-wetting the filter like this ensures that it will stay in place during your pour and that there is no papery taste in your coffee.
Step 3: Get your supplies and scale ready
Then, add coffee grounds to the filter, just like you would when making a whole pot of coffee. Set your scale to measure grams and tare your scale so that, with all of your equipment on top, it reads 0 grams.
Step 4: Pour the water
Start your timer. With your kettle in hand, begin pouring water at the center of your coffee grounds in a circular motion, slowly working your way out to the rim of the coffee grounds without quite touching this rim. Allow the coffee to drip down. During this first pour, the coffee grounds will rise a bit—called the bloom.
The fresher the coffee is, you will see more of a bloom.
When your timer reaches around 30 seconds, begin your second pour. Starting with the center of the coffee grounds, pour in a spiral motion, slowly working outward and gradually working your way back toward the center. Allow this to draw down for about 30 seconds.
Step 5: Let the water draw down as you pour
Around the 60-second mark, slowly pour more water, moving outward from the center and back in, until the timer reaches about 1 minute 30 seconds. Let the water draw down. As you pour the rest of the water in a circular motion, try to capture any remaining coffee grounds.
Step 6: Enjoy your perfect pour-over coffee
Once complete, gently remove the dripper and toss the filter into the compost. And that's it: You have just made yourself a perfect cup of joe. Cheers!
What brands of beans should I use to make pour-over coffee?
Can I use pre-ground coffee?
You certainly can, but the more recently ground your coffee is, the fresher your pour-over will taste. So, we highly suggest investing in a coffee grinder and grinding coffee yourself.
Can I make pour-over coffee if I don't have a scale?
Of course. The measured amounts of coffee to water are about 4 tablespoons of medium-ground coffee to about 1 1/2 cups of water. But feel free to experiment with a ratio that works for you. While the ratio is important, timing is everything to a perfect pour-over.
Do I need to use filtered water to make pour-over coffee?
The water quality affects the taste of your coffee, so we suggest using filtered water. However, if you don't have access to it, it is completely fine to use tap water.
Why does my pour-over coffee taste weak?
If your coffee tastes weak, try using a finer grind. Also, brewing too quickly won't fully extract the coffee grounds. Aim for that 2-minute and 30-second mark from the first pour to the final cup.
Why does my pour-over taste bitter?
You might need a slightly coarser grind if your coffee tastes too bitter. Also, if you brew too slowly, you can end up with overly extracted coffee. Again, timing is everything. Experiment to find your perfect pour-over.