How to Make Pour-Over Coffee

Making Pour-Over Coffee Gets a Modern Twist

If you’re wondering how to make pour-over coffee, we might clear things up – or confuse you even more. That’s because the manual way of making pour-over coffee isn’t the only way anymore.

Yes, making a great cup of pour-over coffee can be an art form – one that can be learned and perfected. There are a few key elements to pay attention to when crafting the perfect cup. So, we’ll discuss what pour-over coffee is and why it’s different than drip coffee. We’ll also touch on the best kind of coffee to use, why rinsing the filter beforehand is essential, and the best coffee systems, starting under $10!

And if you can’t imagine going 100% technology-free with your coffee making, no worries. Pour-over coffee has gone (optionally) digital!

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee
making pour over coffee, pour over coffee making
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

What is Pour-Over Coffee?

Instead of the name of a machine (although it is that, too), pour-over coffee is a manual brewing technique. The process is simply pouring boiling water over coarsely ground coffee beans and allowing it to drip slowly through a filter into a carafe or cup.

You have total control over the entire manual process, resulting in a distinct flavor that suits your taste. Part of the appeal of pour-over coffee is experimenting with different grind sizes, temperature settings, water amounts, and even timings to get the exact flavor you prefer. This traditional coffee-making method creates less acidity in your cup of joe compared to other methods like the French press or espresso.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Pour-Over Coffee Step-by-Step

Although there are several pour-over systems, some individual-cup and others that produce a larger batch, the process is pretty much the same.

1. Boil water according to how many cups you’re making (8 ounces per cup)

2. While the water is heating, prepare your pour-over setup by putting a filter (cloth, metal, or disposable) in the filter holder.

3. If you’re using a paper filter, pour some water through to fully saturate the paper. Then dispose of the remnants.

4. Add two tablespoons of coarse coffee grounds to the filter for every cup you’re brewing.

5. Moving in a circular motion, pour just enough boiling water into the filter to cover the coffee grounds.

6. Now it’s blooming time! Before you add more water, let the grounds bubble and foam to release carbon dioxide (for a better taste profile). It only takes about 30 seconds or so.

7. After you allow the grounds to bloom, add the rest of your boiling water, working slowly and still moving in a circular motion.

8. Give it a minute or so for the coffee to slowly work its way into your cup (or carafe), and serve immediately.

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Melitta – Then and Now (and Now)

One of the most familiar pour-over coffee systems is the Melitta brewing system. Amalie Auguste Melitta Benz invented the relatively simple system with a cone-shaped filter holder in Germany in 1908. You can still buy a manual set-up by Melitta and other brands today, and it’s one of the most affordable ways to enjoy your java.

Automating Melitta

It’s now called gourmet pour-over coffee. The SENZ V system (and similar models) is Melitta’s high-tech approach to manual coffee making. The manual-automated coffee maker includes a temperature sensor, scale, timer, and taste teller. So, if you’re not sure how much coffee to use or how slow to pour the boiling water, you can go all-in with the high-tech Melitta for your pour-overs.

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how to make pour over coffee, making pour-over coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Light to Medium Roast Coffee

Many experts agree that light to medium roast coffee is optimal for pour-over preparation. Because you’re controlling how much water and how slow (or not) you’re introducing it to the grounds, you don’t need a dark roast to get a full-bodied cup.

If you’re using paper filters for your pour-over coffee, be sure to rinse them first. Put the filter in place without the coffee and pour some of the boiling water through first. Discard the water in the cup, and you’re ready to start making coffee!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is pour-over coffee the same as drip?

You might come across the terms used interchangeably, but drip coffee typically refers to an electric coffee maker with a water reservoir, so the process is automated. Pour-over coffee involves manually pouring boiling water through a filter filled with coffee grounds.

Do you need to spend a lot on a pour-over coffee maker?

No. While there are some gourmet pour-over systems with timers and temperature sensors, you can buy a simple Melitta coffee filter holder that rests on a standard coffee cup or mug for less than $10.

Are there tips for the best pour-over coffee?

The benefit of pour-over coffee is that you can control the process to your taste. However, the best way to start the process is by pouring some boiling water through the coffee-less filter first to remove sediment and any unpleasant taste. Then, discard the water, add the coffee and pour enough boiling water in to fill the filter holder. Wait about 30 seconds, then continue the process.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
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