Pour over coffee

Why does manual pour over coffee taste better than coffee from an electric drip machine? The biggest reason is cleanliness.

The problem with electric drip coffee machines is that the filter basket, karaffe, and all the other plastic bits are impractical to clean on a regular basis. Need proof? Walk over to your electric drip machine and take a wiff of old, musty, stale coffee remnants. Pretty gross huh?

Manual pour-over brewing consists of a one piece ceramic filter funnel, which is super easy to clean with a tiny bit of soap and a thourough rinse.

The coffee gear list

Make sure you have the right gear. The full setup costs about $250:

If you want to save money get a Hario gooseneck kettle and burr grinder, which would bring the price down to $140. The $140 package also happens to be a great for camping.

Do not substitue a burr grinder with a blade grinder. If you use a blade grinder, the water from the kettle will likely clog and not brew properly.

Also, do not use a plastic travel mug. They usually smell bad, just like electric drip machines. Ceramic or glass mugs are great options because they’re easy to clean.

Preparing a cup of pour over coffee

It takes ten steps to make an awesome cup of coffee. This might seem like a lot of steps, but it gets pretty easy after you do it a few times.

  1. Fill the kettle with water. Set the temperature up to 205°F.

  2. Weigh 30 grams of whole coffee beans on the scale.

  3. Place the paper filter into the ceramic funnel and place on top of the mug. Place the mug on top of the scale.

  4. When the water reaches 205°F pour it on the paper filter until wet. Then pour in a little more, swirl it around, and let it heat up the mug. This keeps your coffee hotter for longer.

  5. Pour the warm water in the mug out into the sink, then place the mug, funnel, and filter back on top of the scale. The mug and funnel should feel warm to the touch.

  6. Dump the 30 grams of coffee beans into the grinder. You want a medium grind size so set it to the middle of the grinder. Actually you want it slightly finer then medium, so dial it down a notch and begin grinding the coffee.

  7. Zero out the scale. Pour the grounds into the paper filter. The weight should be 30 grams, but don’t worry of its not exact. Sometimes you get a little extra and sometimes you don’t.

  8. Zero out the scale again and pour 30 grams of water out in a clockwise direction. If the coffee was roasted within the past week or two it will start foaming and expanding, also known as “the bloom”.

  9. Once the bloom settles down, continue pouring slowly in a clockwise direction until the scale reads 300 grams.

  10. That’s it! Throw the filter and coffee grounds into your compost. If you’re in an office fill up the kettle and heat up some water for the next lad who wants to make a pour over.

To strong?

30 grams is a safe bet for an average size coffee mug. Dial this up if you have room left over in your cup, but maintain a 1 part coffee to 10 part water ratio. 40 grams of coffee with 400 grams of water will fill a larger mug.

If the coffee is too strong after the brew you can pour hot water directly into the mug to dillute. You can do this after the brew or increase the amount of water from 1 to 10 all the way up to 15.

I recommend finding a ratio and sticking with it. It makes the experience of picking out flavors in new coffee roasts much more apparent and enjoyable.