Today’s coffee lover is blessed with no shortage of home brewing options. You can drop a few thousand dollars and end up with a machine that will deliver a pretty tasty brew (and we’d be happy to help you do just that), but gourmet coffee doesn’t have to be such a strain on the wallet. Pourover—a century-old method currently experiencing something of a renaissance—delivers a rich, aromatic brew that’s as good or better than the stuff being sold for outrageous sums at your local café (yes, even if you live in Seattle), all at a fraction of the cost of traditional drip brewers or specialized machines.
Like most simple cooking techniques (and make no mistake—brewing coffee is cooking), pourover is all about the execution. Attention to detail pays massive dividends. So start with the freshest beans available and grind them right before brewing.
Grind your coffee to a fine consistency—think kosher salt—and weigh out enough for the amount of coffee you’ll be brewing. I like to use about 35 grams for 500 milliliters (just over 16 ounces) of coffee. Feel free to experiment with more or less to suit your tastes.
Place a paper filter inside your brewer and rinse it with hot water. This will help your brew stay hot longer and keep your coffee from tasting like paper. Pour out the rinse water.
Add the ground coffee. Heat water until it’s slightly off a boil, then pour in enough to saturate the grounds. Wait 30 seconds. The grounds will swell, or “bloom” as they release carbon dioxide and other volatile compounds. Blooming results in fuller flavor extraction and a balanced-tasting cup. The amount of bloom is directly proportional to the coffee’s freshness—the fresher the coffee, the more bloom.
Starting at the edges and working toward the center, pour hot water over the ground coffee. Pour slowly and methodically and try to keep the coffee from sticking to the edges of the filter.
Continue to add water until you reach the desired amount of coffee. Aim for a total brew time of approximately four minutes.
Pourover coffee can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. You can go with a simple brewer designed to perch on a standard coffee cup or you can go all-out and add stands, integrated scales and other accessories. A conical burr grinder will be the largest expense in setting up your pourover rig, but it’s also the one that will have the greatest impact on the final product. That little whirly-bladed thing? Save it for grinding spices. You’ll also need a pourover brewer such as the Hario V60 or the classic Chemex, matching filters, and a gooseneck kettle for heating and pouring water. A kitchen scale makes it easier to fine tune brewing. And of course, don’t forget the beans.
Latest posts by Cory Newbiggin (see all)
- A Tax-Relief Cocktail Recipe: Slush Fun(d) Blender Negronis - April 15, 2016
- How (and Why) to Make Candied Lemon Peels - March 9, 2016
- Cotriade: An Easy Breton Fish Stew - February 26, 2016