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How to Make
Pour Over Coffee

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Recipe

Makes 1 Serving, 2:00-2:30 Min

  • Pour Over Brewer
    Pour Over Brewer
  • Paper Filter
    Paper Filter
  • Gooseneck Kettle
    Gooseneck Kettle
  • Scale
    Scale
    Optional
  • Your Favorite Mug
    Your Favorite Mug
  • 198º–205º F Filtered Water
    198º–205º F Filtered Water
    12 oz (350 ml)
  • Medium Grind Coffee
    Medium Grind Coffee
    0.75 oz (21 g) – About 4 tbsp
Step 1
Rinse & Preheat
Add a filter to the coffee dripper and place it on top of your mug or carafe. Rinse the filter with hot water to remove any papery flavors; this will also pre-heat both your vessel and brewer. Discard this water before proceeding.
Step 2
Grind Coffee & Add Grounds
If you’re grinding your coffee beans fresh, you’ll want your coffee grinder on a medium setting. Based on your results, the grind setting is one of the main variables you can adjust for future brews. Our recipe uses 16.6 grams of water for every gram of coffee, so as long as your dripper is big enough, you can scale up from there. Set your mug and brewer on top of your scale (if you’re using one) and add coffee grounds to the filter. Give your brewer a quick shake to level the coffee grounds; this will help you get even extraction, which is super-important on your journey towards delicious coffee.
Step 3
Bloom to Enhance Flavor
To bloom your coffee, follow these simple steps:
  • Tare (zero out) your scale.
  • Start a timer and slowly pour the filtered water (around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or around 20 seconds off the boil) equalling about double the weight of the coffee (about 1.5 oz / 45 g of water).
  • Make sure to cover all of the grounds with water, hitting any spots that are still dry after your initial pour. You’ll notice bubbles — that’s carbon dioxide exiting the coffee grounds.
  • Wait 45 seconds.
Step 4
Pour
Grab your hot water, making sure your temperature is within a few degrees of 200 F, or 20 seconds off the boil. Start pouring your water in a slow circular motion. Pour about half your water to start, then let the water level drop a little and refill. This is the part of making a pour over that takes a little practice, because you don’t want all your water to drip through too fast or too slowly. If the water level starts to come close to the top of your brewer while pouring, slow down your pour or allow for a brief pause to avoid an overflow.
Step 5
Let it Drip
Keep an eye on your coffee as the water drips through, and when you start to see the coffee grounds appear, remove the brewer from your mug and place it in the sink or on another cup to drain (the last few drops of water can be a little bitter). The timer should read between 2:30 to 3:30 minutes. If your water is taking too much time to drip through, try to either pour faster or set your grinder a little coarser next time. If it’s going through too quickly, pour slower or grind finer.
Step 6
Serve
Serve coffee from your carafe or let it cool slightly if you’ve brewed into a mug! To clean up, discard or compost your coffee grounds and rinse the brewer with any remaining hot water from your kettle.
Coffee Talk
From Our Coffee Expert

How is pour over coffee different than drip coffee?

The main difference between a pour over and a drip coffee maker is the person making it. When you are manually pouring water over your coffee to brew it, you’re making a pour over. Drip coffee refers to a machine pulling water up from a water tank and dripping it through a showerhead onto the ground coffee bed. Pour overs allow coffee drinkers to experiment and play with recipes to your heart’s content — you’re the one deciding how to pour the water (in many ways, you, not the dripper, are the real pour over coffee maker). This is one of the reasons they’re so beloved by coffee enthusiasts. So if you see drip coffee, you now know it was made by a machine and pour overs are made by people!

How can I avoid bitter pour over coffee?

Bitter flavors in your pour over come from over-extraction, which happens when the water is in contact with the coffee for too long, pulling out bitter flavors and mouth-drying acids. Thirty percent of a coffee bean is soluble in water and of that, the sweetest spot to pull out the best flavors is at 18 to 22 percent. Extract less than 18 percent, your coffee is sour, cloying, and tastes too “strong”. Extract more than 22 percent, and your coffee is bitter and astringent. Two important factors for extraction are brew time and grind size. If you notice your coffee is bitter and drying your mouth, you can grind your beans more coarsely or get your water in more quickly. The less surface area and time it has in contact, the less it will extract. Conversely, if your coffee is sour, set your grinder to a finer setting, pour slower, or both. Also, check your brewing water temperature — if it’s still boiling you could over-extract, whereas water that’s too cool won’t extract enough.

What’s the difference between different pour over coffee makers?

German entrepreneur Melitta Bentz invented the pour over brewing method by poking holes in a pot and using blotting paper as a filter in the 20th century. Since then, many different kinds of pour overs have flooded the market. Some, like the Melitta Cone, use a coffee filter that tapers down to a flat bottom. Others, like the Chemex, have a filter that tapers down to a point. Yet another category, like the Kalita Wave, use flat-bottom filters like a regular drip machine. Pour overs themselves can also be made from different materials — each with advantages and disadvantages. For example, ceramic coffee drippers hold heat well and glass generally looks great, while stainless steel and plastic are harder to break. The way these brewers affect your technique mostly comes down to how their shape and filter impacts how quickly the water flows through them. But with a little practice, you can make great coffee with any of them!