An Awesome Guide To Pour-Over Coffee

An Awesome Guide To Pour-Over Coffee

Welcome to our awesome and in-depth guide to pour-over coffee. In this article, we’re going to be diving into the history of coffee, explaining how best to prepare pour-over coffee, the different utensils and accessories you’ll need to make the perfect cup, and much more.

Coffee is universally loved and is a drink which is enjoyed all around the world - but do you really know as much as you think you do about the pour-over technique and all of the other methods that can be used to brew this tasty beverage?

If you love drinking coffee, you’re going to want to take a look at our expert tips and in-depth guide. Let’s dive right into the first section where we’ll be explaining how exactly coffee drinking became so popular and where it all first started.

History Of Coffee Drinking

Soldiers Drinking Coffee In War

In terms of credible and reliable evidence, coffee first originated in Southern Arabia in what is now known as Yemen. The coffee seeds themselves were imported from East Africa, which was once the only place they could be found. Traders from Yemen brought it back with them in the 15th century and began brewing what we now know as coffee.

From Yemen, coffee drinking spread throughout nearby countries, such as; North Africa, Turkey, and Persia. Once Middle Eastern countries began trading with Italy, it didn’t take long for the whole of Europe to adopt this new drink.

There is a lot of written evidence about these early days of coffee trade and how fast it became a popular beverage for many. It did not, however, become instantly successful in North America once global shipping companies started importing it.

It took a little longer (and the British cutting off tea supplies after the War of 1812) for the USA to come to love coffee. Because so many countries have fallen in love with coffee over the years, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of ways that the drink can be prepared, brewed, and consumed. 

Whether it’s prepared in a traditional Japanese connaisseur drip-fashion or made on a Norwegian mountainside (with an added egg to help filter and coat the grains), coffee is accepted and adored all around the world.

We’ll take a look at the wide variety of brewing methods a little later on in this guide. First, though, let’s see how coffee is generally roasted, ground, brewed, and extracted - as this is a common process which the vast majority of methods employ.

Coffee Preparation

If you want to make the perfect coffee, it’s important to understand each step in the process. Although you might not choose to roast and grind the beans yourself, you’ll still gain valuable insight into how and why it’s done.

Here are the four main steps to making yourself a beautiful cup of coffee:

  • Roasting: It’s important for coffee beans to be roasted before you can make anything out of them. Roasting removes chlorogenic acid and changes the taste of the raw coffee. Various brands and styles of coffee require different roasting temperatures to achieve desired results
  • Grinding: You might buy your coffee pre-ground but taking the time to do it yourself adds a whole new element to the process and a deeper appreciation to the techniques used. You can buy coffee grinders to do this or go old school and use a mortar and pestle
  • Brewing: Depending on how long - and at what heat - the coffee is roasted (as well as how thinly it is ground) the brewing process can produce many different tastes. Brewing usually involves inserting the ground coffee into the water and allowing it to mix, but we’ll cover the various ways of doing that shortly
  • Extracting: Extraction of the grounds from the coffee is the last part of the process. Unless, of course, you’ve used a filter or a method which doesn’t involve leaving the grounds in the liquid while they brew

In the next section, let’s explore one of the most common methods of making coffee and see how it originated. We’re talking, of course, about pour-over coffee.

What Is Pour-Over Coffee?

Pour Over Coffee

We’ve explained where coffee came from and how it’s prepared - but what are the origins of pour-over coffee and how exactly does it work? As we’re sure you know, it’s one of the most popular methods of coffee brewing because of how simple and clean it is.

This particular method of preparing coffee basically involves pouring hot water through a filter (usually a paper cone). The cone is filled with coffee grounds and as the water passes through the grounds and the filter it acquires that special coffee taste and colour.

This method dates back to 1908, where a woman named Melitta Bentz came up with the paper filters and process that has made pour-over coffee such a widely-accepted and loved technique. It’s simple, elegant, easy to clean afterwards (you can simply throw away disposable filters and grounds in one go), and tastes amazing.

Over the years, different methods and techniques have combined and various scientific studies have helped determine the best ways to prepare coffee and what exactly can affect the taste. Filtered coffee has remained the top dog this whole time.

Let’s take a look at a few other methods of preparing coffee that have proved to be quite popular over the years.

Different Coffee Brewing Methods

Here are a few of the different methods for brewing coffee. We don’t have room to name each and every technique (that’d take years) but most methods fall under one of these four umbrella terms:

  • Boiling: Although the coffee isn’t exactly boiled, it’s common for this technique to be referred to as coffee-boiling. This is a method similar to how tea is made; simply put the grounds in the bottom of your cup (or whatever vessel you’re using) and pour hot water in too. Either strain away the grounds left at the bottom or just be careful not to get it in your mouth
  • Steeping: Steeping produces a bold, flavorful cup of coffee. A French press (or Cafetière) is used in this method. The coffee is pushed to the bottom of the vessel and hot water is poured in. Because the coffee grounds retain contact with the hot water for longer, a much stronger taste with more oils is produced
  • Filtering: Filtering is one of the more common ways of preparing coffee. Although devices such as percolators aren’t as commonly used nowadays, the same basic principle applies. Hot water is passed through the coffee grounds and drains through a filter (usually a paper cone). This is a simple and fast way to make a great cup of coffee
  • Pressure: The most famous and well-known method of pressure-brewing coffee would be the popular coffee, espresso. This is created by a machine utilizing pressure and pushing nearly-boiling water through coffee grounds. This produces a strong and rich tasting beverage

It’s interesting to learn about new techniques you might not have known about. We hope that this section provided you with a little context to terminology you might have heard thrown around your local coffee shop.

Despite there being so many options, the most common method of making coffee is definitely the pour-over technique - but why? Let’s explore what makes it stand out above the rest in the next section.

Making Coffee

What Sets Pour-Over Coffee Over Other Methods?

There are several reasons the vast majority of people prefer a well-made pour-over coffee to some of the other methods listed above. The main reason would probably be just how easy it is to make a good pour-over coffee in no time at all.

When using a filter, there is hardly any mess to clean up at all. The filter is thrown out (if it’s made of paper and disposable) or cleaned (if it’s a reusable, solid filter). No machines have to be taken apart and nothing has to be scraped out.

It’s also an extremely intuitive process and one which many people find to be simpler than the more complicated and tedious methods that have been developed over the years. Placing a filter in a brew cone isn’t exactly rocket science.

Utensils Used In Pour-Over Coffee

In its most basic form, pour-over coffee requires very little prep and minimal equipment. If you grab a pack of filters then you’re pretty much already halfway there. It is possible to hone your technique with a variety of utensils and equipment, though.

Here’s a list of a few of the utensils you might need to use if you’re considering switching to pour-over coffee:

  • Grinder: Although grinding your own beans isn’t necessary, some people prefer being more involved in the process and purchasing beans which aren’t pre-ground. A good grinder can help make the right texture and size grounds to suit your taste
  • Timer: If you’re really wanting to make the perfect cup of pour-over coffee, then a timer could be exactly what you need. Pouring over water and letting it rest for just the right amount of time is a surefire way to improving taste. Of course, we all have phones now, which work just as well
  • Measuring Spoon: Another entry which isn’t an absolute necessity but could definitely improve the taste and consistency of your pour-over coffee. Using a measuring spoon ensures you’re using exactly the right amount of ground coffee
  • Boiling Water: Only an idiot would forget about water but we’re going to include it anyway. Always remember to stop your water boiling completely (or use it after it’s cooled down a little) as freshly boiled water can burn the coffee and produce an awful, bitter taste
  • Filter: There are several different types of filters that can be used in the pour-over coffee method but the most commonly used are paper filters. These allow the water to pass straight through with little resistance while leaving the coffee grounds behind. More solid, non-disposable filters are also available
  • Brew Cone: Simply put, a brew cone is just the cone which your filter is placed in. It holds the filter and grounds in place while you pour hot water through. This is an essential part of the process and shouldn’t be skimped on
  • Automatic Pour-Over Coffee Maker: If you're serious about making the perfect pour-over coffee and don’t trust yourself to be able to get the job done right, an automatic pour-over coffee maker might be the right choice for you. These machines heat up water to the perfect temperature and carefully drip it through coffee grounds until the perfect cup is just seconds away

In these next two sections, we’re going to compare two different methods and take a look at how they stack up against each other. First, however, let’s take a look at the difference between hot brew and cold brew coffee.

Hot Brew VS Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Vs Hot Brew

As you can probably guess from the names, the difference between hot brew and cold brew coffee is temperature. Specifically, the temperature of the water you use to brew your coffee.

  • Hot Brew: It’s the traditional way - it’s tried and tested. Who doesn’t love a steaming hot cup of coffee? Whether it’s first thing in the morning or after a long day of work, a hot cup of coffee is the perfect remedy for your ailments. Plus, it tastes damn good too
  • Cold Brew: Certainly not the right choice for everyone - it does produce an amazing flavour, though. Cold water doesn’t draw out as much acidity as hot water, so the coffee actually tastes less bitter. Cold brew coffee can be a refreshing and tasty treat, with near-enough the same levels of caffeine (if that’s what you’re worried about)

We love a good cold coffee every now and again but hot brew takes the crown for sure. Now that you know the difference between hot brew and cold brew (and what we prefer), what’s the difference between the French press and pour-over methods of coffee brewing?

French Press VS Pour-Over Coffee

As two of the most popular methods of brewing coffee, the French press and pour-over method have long shared a rivalry of sorts. We think it’s about time someone pitted them head-to-head and said which was better, don’t you?

  • French Press: The Cafetière really is a neat little system. With just one little vessel, you can easily brew a strong and mighty cup of coffee, with minimal prep. Of course, the French press requires cleaning after use, and if your tastes tend to gravitate towards a smoother and weaker coffee, this might not be the right technique for you
  • Pour-Over: As we’ve already discussed, pour-over coffee is elegant in its simplicity and beautiful in results. You won’t find a cleaner and easier method. No clean-up and a killer taste. Perfect

If you can’t already tell from what we’ve previously written, pour-over coffee is the clear winner for us. French press coffee is great if you love a strong taste - but not having to clean up afterwards (and keeping a smooth flavor) is the dealbreaker for us.

But how do you go about making the perfect pour-over coffee?

Brewing The Perfect Pour-Over Coffee Requires Precise Control

Making Pour Over Coffee

To you, it might just be a convenient way to keep yourself going through the day - to certain people, however, pour-over coffee is an artform. Knowing how to brew the perfect pour-over coffee requires precise control and knowledge about the exact process.

Check out some of our top tips below to find out how you can make sure every single cup is perfect:

  • Temperature: What temperature the water you pour over the coffee grounds is can massively affect the overall taste and texture of the final product. The ideal water temperature is somewhere between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer to keep track of this then perhaps consider investing in a smart kettle - these can keep the water at a consistent temperature until you’re ready to pour
  • Filter Rinsing: Whether you’re using a solid filter or just the paper kind, rinsing them with hot water before use is very important. It’ll result in a cleaner, smoother taste and allow the filter to properly stick to the sides of your brew cone. Make sure it’s hot water you rinse it with and heat up your cup too, while you’re at it
  • Blooming: Blooming is just a fancy word for waiting, basically. There is science behind the process, as what you’re doing is allowing carbon dioxide to escape and the water to pass through the grounds at a steady rate. What it boils down too, though, is essentially just waiting for a little after you’ve filled the filter with water and letting the water run through your grounds

These are just three tips which can help you make a pour-over coffee that tastes amazing, looks good, and is consistently flavorful. Keep on reading to discover even more ways to hone your coffee-brewing experience and create something you can truly be proud of.

Pour Over-Coffee Accessories

Like any preparation technique, you can find an absolute goldmine of accessories out there to make your coffee drinking experience even easier and more pleasant. Here are just a few pour-over coffee accessories you can get your hands on if you want to ensure you make the perfect cup:

A Carafe 

Set Of Glass Coffee Carafe

These are super simple and not exactly the most high-tech of items. It’s basically just a big glass jug that you can filter your coffee into instead of a mug. Perfect for those of us who prefer pre-brewing a few cups’ worths for those busy mornings. You can even get carafes with built-in brew cones.

A New Kettle

Stainless Steel Kettle

Yes, you’re probably wondering why this is on the list. If you’re serious about good coffee you’re going to want to invest in a new kettle, though. Smart kettles can maintain the perfect temperature for your water and “gooseneck” kettles allow you to pour in a slow and circular fashion. Both are great choices for taking your pour-over coffee to the next level.

Digital Scales

Digital Kitchen Scale

If you want to ensure your coffee is consistent each and every day, then a simple measuring spoon just won’t cut it. Ensure each cup is exactly the same by grabbing a set of digital scales and weighing your grounds before placing in the filter.

A Coffee Grinder

Manual Coffee Grinder

If you fancy yourself a connoisseur of coffee, you might want to grind up your own coffee beans every morning. Coffee grinders can be purchased fairly cheap nowadays and they come with a whole host of features and tech. You’ll be able to choose just what size you want your ground coffee to be to fit your taste.

Obviously, there are many more pour-over coffee accessories out there to be discovered. If this is your first time exploring this new world, though, we know you won’t want to be overloaded with information and product names.

Conclusion

So, we’ve reached the end of our awesome guide to pour-over coffee. If you’ve read this far then you’re probably already a big coffee drinking fan and maybe you wanted to know more about pour-over coffee. If so, what do you think of it? Ready to become a convert?

Using the pour-over method is guaranteed to give you a gorgeous cup of coffee every time. It’s quicker than many of the other techniques out there and involves a whole lot less hassle, mess, and cost. Plus, starting off, all you really need is a cup, filters, a brew cone, hot water, and coffee - it’s simple.

What’s great about pour-over coffee, though, is that you CAN get complicated if you so desire. You can grab a bunch of fancy coffee gear and automatic coffeemakers. You can create your own rituals and make it a true experience.

It’s all up to you how you consume your coffee and the pour-over technique allows you to do as little or as much as you desire. Enjoy your brewing!

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