How to Make the Perfect Pour-Over Coffee at Home
If your quarantine beverage rotation goes from coffee to wine and back again, we’re right there with you. Here’s how to craft the perfect cup of pour-over at home.
Quarantine got you crazed for caffeine but unsure how to craft that just-right cup of coffee that your local café used to make you every morning? Before you go into panic mode and splurge on a zillion-dollar espresso machine, make yourself a pour-over. All you need is a kettle, a filter, and a pour-over cone—PSA: my favorite from Melitta costs $4—in addition to fresh ground beans of your choice. If you have a kitchen scale, even better, but you can measure your coffee out just as well (just be sure to follow the amounts below).
“Pour-over brewing is a simple way to brew a clean, bright cup,” says Patrick Main, the beverage innovator at Peet’s Coffee. “It brings out subtle nuances in coffee, particularly those with bright, sparkling flavors.” Here are Main’s simple, step-by-step instructions for brewing a balanced cup of pour-over coffee at home.
1. Heat fresh water to 200°F. To reach the right temperature without a thermometer, bring water to a boil and then let it stand for 30 seconds.
2. Measure 25 grams of freshly roasted coffee beans. This is about 5 tablespoons or 2.5 standard coffee scoops.
3. Fold down the seam of the paper filter and place it into the pour over cone so it lies flat. Then rinse the filter with hot water. Grind coffee to the coarseness of sand. “Rinsing the filter helps eliminate any paper flavors and preheating cone and carafe can help keep temperature consistent throughout the brewing process,” says Main. “Grind size also affects drip time and extraction. If your brew is too slow, try a slightly coarser grind. If it drips through too quickly, try a little finer.”
4. Discard the hot water and place the pour-over cone and carafe or mug you’re brewing into on your scale. Add ground coffee and then zero out or "tare" the scale. Pour just enough water (50 grams, or twice the weight of the coffee grounds) in a spiral motion to saturate the grounds, then wait 30 seconds. When hot water meets coffee grounds, CO2 escapes and expands, creating a "bloom." Once the off-gassing is complete, the grounds are more receptive to absorbing water, resulting in a better extraction of flavors.
5. At the 30 second mark, resume pouring water over the grounds until your scale reaches 400 grams and your timer reaches 2 minutes. Pour first in a spiral pattern, and then straight down, keeping coffee grounds fully saturated from start to finish.
6. Give the coffee in your carafe a final swirl and enjoy.