If you buy coffee often, you might have heard people order pour over coffee. You might have wondered how it is made or if you can make it at home. Pour over coffee is not only for coffee shops as you can make it at home. Keep reading to learn everything you need to start brewing pour over drip coffee at home.
What is Pour Over Drip Coffee?
This type of coffee gets its name from the way it is brewed. Pour over drip coffee is brewed by pouring hot water over coffee grounds that are held in a filter. As the water passes through the coffee, the flavor and other constituents are extracted, it is filtered, and the coffee drips into a mug or carafe. This type is also known as filter coffee or simply drip coffee.
When making pour over coffee, you have total control over the strength and the resulting flavor. This is done by pouring the water at different rates, varying the amount of time you let the coffee drip, controlling the water’s temperature, and using different types of filters.
Pour over coffee has been around since the 1800s and it has only recently resurfaced in many parts of the world.
Why Use This Method
There are lots of ways to make coffee, the most popular one being to use an espresso or coffee making machine. There are other methods such as boiling the coffee beans. To make this kind of coffee, you need to learn how to boil coffee beans correctly.
One of the reasons you should try the pour over method is because it improves the flavor of the coffee compared to the other methods. This ability to improve a coffee’s flavor is the reason it is a great option for single origin coffee since this method allows this coffee’s aromas and flavors to come through more clearly.
The pour over method also produces clean coffee. Normally, coffee contains oils and fragrances that you might not want in your cup. The filter used catches these oils leading to a lean, clean, and consistent cup of coffee.
Lastly, the pour over method is efficient at extracting all the soluble components found in coffee. An espresso machine does this better, but the pour over method beats other methods such as using a French press.
The Equipment You Will Need
If you check online for the equipment you need to make pour over coffee, you will be overwhelmed by the options. You do not need to buy all this equipment as you can get started with a simple device and a filter.
The Brewing Device
The brewing device is an essential piece of equipment because it holds the filter and the coffee grounds. There are lots of opinions here, but you only need to find one that can fit your filter and holds enough coffee grounds. These options are interchangeable, and you can use the cheapest one you can find.
The brewing device, also known as the dripper, is placed on top of a mug and then the filter and grounds are put inside. While all drippers essentially work the same, there are varying designs to help with extraction and make the water flow as it is supposed to. Some drippers have filters specifically made for them, so they are both a great fit for each other.
If you have a hard time finding a dripper, ask a barista at your local coffee shop what they use. Do not forget to ask them why they chose that particular dripper.
You cannot make pour over drip coffee without a filter. While it may seem like any filter will do, there are some options to think about here too. There are paper and cloth filters as well as bleached and unbleached filters. Cloth filters have been around longer than paper filters and they are preferred because they do not introduce any flavors into the coffee. Also, they have less environmental impact than paper filters.
Paper filters trap more of the oils found in coffee. Because of this, the coffee is leaner, cleaner, and smoother than the one made using cloth filters. One thing to keep in mind is that bleached paper can introduce an unwanted taste. To avoid this, rinse the filter before use.
When using a filter, make sure it fits the dripper you use correctly. If the paper or cloth is crumpled, it will impede water flow and trap the coffee grounds thus affecting the consistency of different cups of coffee.
Even when you have the right coffee beans and great equipment, your coffee will still taste average if you do not know how to grind the coffee. Investing in a good grinder is worth it, especially if you prefer your coffee strong.
The types of grinders to consider are blade and burr grinders. Blade grinders have a blade that grinds the coffee, but their big issue is that the coffee grounds are usually too coarse, and there is also the issue of consistency.
If you are just learning how to make coffee with ground coffee, you want the coffee grounds to be small enough to enable better extraction but not so small that they pack tightly and impede the flow of water. Burr grinders help you get grounds of the size you want, and you can even experiment with different grinds to see how the flavor of the coffee changes.
A medium grind will work for most people because they allow for better extraction, so the coffee is neither too lean nor too bitter. Finer grinds will produce watery coffee that tastes sour and very coarse grinds will produce bitter coffee that does not have any sweet tones.
Although any kettle will do when making pour over coffee, that does not mean you can make a good cup of coffee this way. The reason baristas use special gooseneck kettles is that they keep the water at the right temperature while you pour. The necks are also made to ensure a consistent pour that goes exactly where you want it to.
A good kettle is used in conjunction with a thermometer. The thermometer is to help you reach and keep the right water temperature during extraction. The correct temperature for pour over coffee is 92-95 degrees Celsius and will vary for other brewing methods.
Scales are not essential equipment, but they can be handy in measuring the weight of the coffee and water. They can help you make the perfect cup of coffee or tweak the amounts of water and coffee to end up with a good cup of coffee.
Choosing the Coffee
Now that you have your equipment, it is time to choose your coffee. There are several things to keep in mind here, the first one being the roast. The pour over method is great for extracting flavors, taste tones, and aromas and so you need a light roast. These beans can be a little acidic though and so you might want to experiment with different roasts to see which one works best for you.
The next thing to think about is the grind size. The size of the grounds affects the extraction process. You want the grind to be fine enough that the coffee has a large surface area for extraction. A coarser grind can lead to under-extraction which is not great.
If you already know how to make ground coffee, it is likely that grind your own beans. However, if you are just starting, you can buy coffee of different grinds. This is not usually the best option as this coffee does not taste as great, but it is still a great option to consider.
Lastly, look at the type of coffee beans you use or buy. The two main types of coffee are robusta and arabica and you might want to experiment with both to see which one you like better.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
The cup of coffee you make is influenced by your pouring technique. It can be affected by human error, and this is why practicing can make you better at making coffee this way.
A common problem is channeling where the water you pour goes around the coffee. Channeling is caused by coffee that has not been ground properly. The coffee could also be in clumps and thus water is not able to go through correctly. To avoid these issues, learn how to use ground coffee with a filter, keeping an eye on how consistent the grounds are and how you pack the grounds in the filter.
There is always the option of using a batch brewer. This brewer can replicate a pour over and over again, thus leading to a consistent cup of coffee every time.
While you can buy an expensive espresso machine to brew different types of coffee, using the pour over method is cheap and easy. It also gives you a lot of leeway to experiment with different flavors, extraction methods, and pouring techniques so you can personalize your cup of coffee.