Handcrafted coffee doesn’t require professional training. The pour-over method
is great for beginners who want better-than average results.
The ceramic pour-over method is the easiest way to start making handcrafted coffee. It’s great if you want to take the quality up a notch from your electric drip coffeemaker. Since pour-overs are made for a self-serving of coffee, you’re not leaving more coffee in a pot to grow old and cold.
This manual brewing system regulates flow to extract a lot of coffee’s flavors, and it’s easy to use. Just place the ceramic cone over the mug and brew. Dishwasher safe, in most cases, and cheaper than K-cups.
What You’ll Use
4 tbsp (57 grams) of freshly-ground coffee beans
12 fl. oz. (375 grams) filtered water at 205º (or near boiling)
A stirring utensil, like a spoon
How It’s Made
There’s six simple steps to make pour-over coffee that will take you about 2.5 minutes from start to finish.
1. Grind your beans just before brewing.
We recommend your grind is a little coarser than table salt. Feel free to experiment by making the grounds finer or coarser. Finer coffee makes the flavors fuller and sometimes bitter, while coarser grinds are milder and sometimes sour.
2. Place a #2 filter in the ceramic cone and rinse with water.
This helps more of the coffee’s flavors to run through the paper into your final beverage. Because the paper is highly absorbent, it will naturally collect the coffee oil, which is a significant part of good coffee’s flavor. An additional reason to run water through the paper first is to help mute unwanted paper-like flavors. You will know it when you taste it: a sensation of very fine flavorless wood fibers layering your tongue. Yeah, I’m saying that watering your paper filter cuts down on that undesirable sensation.
3. Put the ceramic cone on your mug and scoop in 4 tbsp of coffee.
And if it helps your OCD nature, gently shake to create a settled bed of grounds.
4. Slowly pour in 12 fluid ounces of filtered water at 205º.
If you want to get “fancy” making pour-over coffee, then at this point add an additional step. gently stir the grounds when you’ve just completely submerged them with water for about 10 seconds, then add the remaining water. The flavors that result in the final drink may be more fulfilling. Just see for yourself.
5. Let the coffee steep and drip on its own for 1 minute.
With paper-filtered coffee, some of the last drips are the richest in flavors. Most all of the dripping is done within 45 seconds of pouring the water into the cone.
6. Take off the ceramic cone and dispose of the grounds and paper.
…and enjoy your freshly brewed coffee!
Why Pour-over Coffee?
If we don’t like it; we won’t recommend it. Pour-over coffee is recommendable. It’s worth a try if you don’t like electric drip coffeemakers and aren’t interested in the complexity of fussier coffeemakers, like an AeroPress or French Press.
The pour-over system makes coffee really fast because it’s so easy to use and clean up. It doesn’t take much equipment.
Speaking of clean-up, since the parts are often dishwasher safe, just load them up in the dishwasher. That’s something you cannot do with an electric drip!
And the end result of your drink is usually satisfactory. Will it be the most flavorful coffee journey? No, since it uses a paper filter, but most people will like the drink as a standard cup of joe.
- As one coffee drinker said, “Four tablespoons is a lot of grounds for one average size cup of coffee… unless of course you want it to grow legs, teeth, and hair.” We very much disagree. Millions of folks like more grounds to make full-bodied flavors, so… to each his own. If you want milder flavor, and to stretch out the amount of grounds per cup, then dilute your coffee with more water after you’ve finished making a cup. If you want the coffee to have bolder flavors, then add less water.
- A “#2 filter” is a size of the Melitta paper cone filters. The higher the number the larger the paper filter. Larger cone filters will work in your pour-over ceramic cone, but a #2 is as large as necessary to fill the size of most ceramic cones. Larger filters get unwieldy.
- The ideal temperature of the water is up to your choosing. Some like it as low as 195°, while others like it up at 205° (90° to 96° Celsius). Still others like the water at almost boiling point. We recommend you start with 205º then experiment with the temperature to find something more ideal for your personal taste. If you like the results at 205º then don’t change it.
- Keep in mind when you purchase a ceramic cone for pour-over that it may not fit on all your mugs, or a handy carafe. Many pour-over cones are specifically made to fit a mug it came with and no other.
- Fun fact: many coffee lovers believed that this manual coffee brewing system invented by Melitta Bentz in 1908 was the best way to brew delicious coffee for the decades after. Technology made other methods possible that coffee drinkers found to be more convenient, so the pour-over fell from the spotlight.