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A Guide to Making the Perfect Pourover Coffee

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More and more people are learning how to brew their own coffee at home and frankly, it is becoming easier as more coffee brewing apparatuses arrive in the market. If you are one of them and you are considering your options, then you are in the right place. Today, we are going to talk about one of the most popular coffee-brewing methods: the pourover.

Just from the name of the method, you probably have the correct idea already: you pour the water over the ground coffee. Yes, it is that simple but at the same time it is not. What we mean is that the method is pretty straightforward but making a good cup requires some technique and understanding of how coffee is brewed.

Let’s get to it!


Set it up

To make pourover coffee, you need five things: ground coffee, a filter, a filter holder, a container to catch the coffee, and of course, water. The set up is conventional: the container goes to the bottom and on top of it rests the the filter holder (also called a “dripper”) with a filter, and into the filter goes the ground coffee.

Wet your coffee

This is an important step that you should never skip. Why? Roasted coffee has carbon dioxide trapped in it and though it seeps out over the weeks chances are, there is still some left inside by the time you brew. When hot water hits the coffee, whatever carbon dioxide is left inside escapes. As this happens, the water cannot reach the soluble part of the coffee because the escaping gas is blocking its way in.

So what do you do? Pour hot water evenly over your ground coffee, enough to get everything wet, and wait for 30 seconds (which is about the time needed for all that carbon dioxide to whoosh out). You will see that the coffee bed will expand. In coffee pro lingo, this is called ‘blooming’.

So what do you do? Pour hot water evenly over your ground coffee, enough to get everything wet, and wait for 30 seconds (which is about the time needed for all that carbon dioxide to whoosh out). You will see that the coffee bed will expand. In coffee pro lingo, this is called ‘blooming’.

Tip: Darker roasts have less carbon dioxide left in them after roasting. This makes them the better choice for making pourover coffee because the blooming phase will be quicker, meaning you’ll get your coffee faster.

 

Start brewing

Once you have finished wetting your coffee, you can begin with the brewing. Before you pour the rest of your hot water, you must understand that coffee beans contain both good and bad flavors. The good thing is, the good flavors dissolve first and the bad flavors dissolve last. This is why how long you brew matters --if you brew for too long, you risk bad, bitter coffee.

So what’s the magic number?  2.5-3 minutes for dark roasts and 3-4 for medium to light. That includes the 20-60 seconds of dripping time after you finish pouring the hot water.

Pour gently and evenly across the coffee bed, pausing every now and then to meet the best brewing time.

Let it drip. And you’re done.

A bit more science: Two-thirds of a coffee bean is insoluble, and the remaining one-third contains the flavors (both good and bad). What you want to do is get the first 20% of the extract. Less than that means weak coffee and more means bitter or sour coffee.

How about water temperature?

Because of the length of the blooming phase, lighter roasts require higher temperature (about 207°F) while darker roasts need 10° lower than that. Give your boiling water a 30-second rest before you pour because boiling water can burn your coffee.

Does the kind of grind matter?

The finer your coffee grounds are, the quicker they will brew. So that is something to consider when adjusting your brewing time. A good place to start would be grounds the size of raw sugar. If you can’t grind your own coffee, you can find coffee stores that offer coffee in different grinds.

How much coffee do I use?

Fill half up two-thirds of your dripper. Even if you have a bigger catching container, you don’t wanna use more coffee that as water might overflow in your dripper during the brewing stage.

What if it’s too weak?

Try using finer-ground coffee next time.

If it’s too strong?

Use less coffee or simply add more hot water to the final brew.

Kettle recommendations

It’s best to use a kettle with a narrow spout for better control of the water flow.

That’s it. Now you can have really good coffee made in your own kitchen in under five minutes. Do you still find five minutes to be too long? Then maybe AeroPress coffee is more of your thing.

 

 

 








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