Everything You Always Wanted To Know But Didn't Dare Ask about Pour Over Coffee.

Pour Over coffee is super hip and can be a little nerdy, but don't worry, everything you need to know is in this article. The key thing to understand about Pour Over is that it refers to a method not a specific device. There are lots of Pour Over accessories out there, but they are all just things to help you manually pour hot water over ground coffee: hence Pour Over. Your brew will then slowly drip through the grounds.

Make your Pour Over with a 1 to 13 ratio of coffee to water, which is the brewing gold standard. For example, if you are making coffee for two people, add 34g of coffee in your filter and slowly pour 450ml of hot water over the grounds. However, your perfect brew is unique to you, and you can adjust your ratio to achieve the kind of taste and strength that you prefer.

Pour Over Cheat Sheet

  • Pour Over refers to a brew method: pouring water slowly over grounds placed in a cone while the brew drips out slowly from the bottom.
  • Success depends on a slow even pour which requires attention: don't attempt if you need immediate caffeine!
  • Brewing happens by drip, so it is a slow method.
  • There are Pour Over cones that you place directly over a mug, like the Kalita Wave and the Hario V60. These are inexpensive, easy to store and well suited for travel. They are good for solo brewing.
  • Another popular Pour Over option is the Chemex which has an open mouth carafe shaped like an hourglass. This is ideal if you're brewing for several people.
  • Plan to use 13ml water for every gram of ground coffee 
  • Clean-up is simple - just bin the paper filter of used grounds and rinse your device

Reason To Love #1: You're In Control

When you make a Pour Over you have a lot of control in how the final brew turns out. Not only do you control the coffee : water ratio, but you also determine how hot your water is, and how fast or slow you pour it. The Pour Over method really allows you to develop your personal style. Some like it slow, some like it fast ;)

Reason To Love #2: It's Perfect For Sunday Morning

Making a Pour Over feels like a zen mediation. There is something very calming about slowly watering your coffee with your own hands and watching the grounds soak and release their oils and wonderful aroma. We love the ritual of making a pour over on a weekend morning when we can really enjoy the process. Ohmmmmm.....

It is often referred to as "slow coffee" because it takes between 5 - 10 minutes to make and the process requires your full attention. Poured too slowly, the water cools too much to properly brew the grinds. Poured too fast, the water runs through the grinds without extracting well, which means less taste and caffeine in the brew. Because of this, Pour Over lovers recommend using a gooseneck kettle to get just the right pace of water flow. If you are rolling your eyes at this point, we recommend going either for the Aeropress or a French Press

The Theory

The Pour Over method uses percolation because a paper filter is used in the brewing process. Your brew will percolate through the filter as gravity pulls the water through the coffee and drips slowly out at the bottom of the cone.

Each time you make a Pour Over you'll insert a disposable paper filter into your cone. Filters are typically available in the following sizes: 1, 2, 4, and 6 (larger numbers can brew more coffee). Check your Pour Over cone for filter size. The filter prevents coffee sediment and oil from getting into your final cup, giving Pour Over coffee a reputation for delivering a "clean" cup of coffee.

The filter also makes the Pour Over clean up super easy - you just pluck out the paper cone, bin it and give the cone a quick rinse. Some Pour Over devices come with fine metal mesh filters (either in cone or flat basket shapes). Some people prefer them because they allow some oils through in your brew. Using a metal filter means you don't have to keep buying paper filters but they are also a bit more fiddly to clean.

Pour Over Instructions

  1. Place your filter paper into your Pour Over cone.
  2. Select a medium to medium-fine grind coffee.
  3. Pour the grinds into the cone, noting the quantity used.
  4. Boil your water, and plan to use approximately 13 ml of water for every gram of coffee in the cone (that's the 1 to 13 ratio).
  5. Pour over enough water to wet all the grounds evenly. With freshly roasted coffee you will see the coffee bubble or expand into a "bloom" (it's the carbon dioxide gas escaping from the coffee). Some people pause here and wait for the bloom to peak while others gently stir the coffee to saturate the grounds. In our experience either approach is fine so do it your way.
  6. Pour the remainder of the water over the grounds evenly and slowly. This is the key step to get a great brew, don't rush it! Think of the coffee as swimming in a pool of water - keep the grounds just under the surface level of the water rather than too "underwater".
  7. Wait for the Pour Over to finish dripping into your mug.
  8. Enjoy!

Click here for our recommended gear to brew Pour Over