Pour-over coffee is a brewing method that’s a great introduction to specialty coffee*. It’s simple and familiar, and it doesn’t require plug-in machines of any sort! Pour-over coffee literally means trickling hot water over a bed of coffee held by paper filter. But the process is made special by the use of a drip cone, a piece of spouted glassware for pouring, and your favorite mug. Read on and be your own barista!
What you’ll need: specialty coffee, a pour-over cone, matching filters, a spouted pourer like one used for syrups, a source of hot water, and a mug.
STEP 1. Put together your brew assembly.
Stack your wares in this order, from bottom to top: your mug, the pour-over cone, and the filter. Fold the bonded sides of the filter, then lay it open and snugly on the cone.
STEP 2. Pre-wet your brew assembly.
With your spouted pourer, pour some hot water onto your brew assembly. Soak the filter twice. Leave the hot water in your mug, so everything is preheated.
Dispose of the hot water that was in your mug when you are ready to brew.
STEP 3. Grind your specialty coffee.
Have two spoonfuls of roasted, specialty coffee. Put these through a medium grind, which will give you grounds about the size of rock salt. If you had your coffee ground a day prior, or even a week prior, that’s okay. Let’s go for it!
Tap coffee grounds onto the damp filter. (Note the ratio! Two spoonfuls of coffee to one cup of hot water.)
STEP 4. Brew your specialty coffee.
Pour just-boiled hot water into your pourer.
Trickle some hot water over the center of the coffee bed. This is similar to the pre-wetting we did in Step 2. Depending on the freshness, the coffee will bloom like a mushroom. You have to wait and whiff the scent for 30 seconds.
Then let hot water trickle towards the sides, like you’re doing a spiral, then go back to the center. The key is to keep the water level rising moderately. If you flood everything, the coffee will rise to the edges of the filter and will lose its brew contribution.
Keep doing this until you’ve poured one cup of water. And then you’re done! Congrats! You have just treated yourself to a low-calorie beverage that has been treasured and traded into different cultures throughout the centuries.
STEP 5. Enjoy!
Drink your specialty coffee. Sip slowly, so the flavors aerate and sing through. If you used a darker kind of coffee, it can be bold and nutty. If your coffee was roasted lighter, then it can have a sourness or sweetness reminiscent of fruits, caramel, or brown sugar. In any case, the coffee’s taste will reveal itself better as it loses some heat. Your coffee gives a final adios when it has become cool.
* Specialty coffee is the slow-mo artisanal dedication to harvesting the ripest coffee, putting it through the best processing procedures, sending it through a clean supply chain, roasting it with mastery, and brewing it. You have just been a part of that very final step, which is a salute to the coffee, the distance it traveled, and all the hands that had touched it.