Why should you bother with brewing pour-over coffee? Because it’s the best way to get the most of the good parts of the coffee. If you’ve never used the pour-over method, it may seem a little intimidating. But here you are with a 12oz bag of Hakimson Estate Kenya Peaberry Limited Release that set you back $19. Certainly you’re not going to toss that into a plastic coffee brewing machine. Pour-over coffee brewing is the method of choice for such a fine thing.
Maybe you’ve watched a YouTube video on the subject where a barista was demonstrating his complicated pour-over coffee technique. Or maybe the idea of spending $30 on a Hario v60 cone dripper, another $45 on a gooseneck kettle, up to $130 on a burr coffee grinder, a $40 scale, yikes. It’s all a little much.
Pour-over coffee brewing is about simplicity
Brewing pour-over coffee may be trendy right now, but pour-over coffee brewing is really about simplicity, more than anything else. Just coffee and water to bring out the best in a well-sourced and craft-roasted bean.
I’ve been brewing pour-over coffee since the 80’s. I was not trying to being stuck-up about it; it was a necessity more than anything else. All I needed then was an affordable Melitta plastic drip brewer from the grocery store, paper filters, an inexpensive blade grinder and some good coffee beans and voila, cup of coffee! Back then Mr. Coffee, Brun or Krups were the main makers of coffee brewing machines: Mr. Coffee was considered a joke and Braun or Krups brewers were not cheap for the college student and later under-paid professional.
I had my share of machine brewers and French Presses*, but at some point they get stinky or the beaker would break, and i’d pull good ‘ol cone dripper out of the cupboard. Besides that, I liked brewing pour-over coffee. It was easy and convenient for a single cup. And I was never brewing for the crowd, so manually brewing pour-over coffee was not a hassle.
Pour-over coffee brewing became trendy
Fast forward to the mid 2000’s and suddenly Pour-over is the rage and touted as the method best to extract flavor from a well-sourced and craft-roasted bean. I’m not arguing with that at all, it happens to be my practice now. Being all artisan and precious about it is not the be-all end-all for brewing pour-over coffee.
Pour-over coffee brewing is simple because all you need is coffee, hot water, a paper filter in a cone dripper. That’s it. If you strive for better, splurge on some nice tools and refine your technique. You can brew great coffee with a $10 plastic Melitta cone coffee dripper you purchased from the local grocery store, DON’T LET ANY AFFICIONADO TELL YOU DIFFERENT (99% of whom will drink gas station swill in a fit of road trip desperation). So while the Melitta may not be the ultimate system, it is 90% of what you’ll get with a Hario v60, gooseneck kettle, water perfectly heated and a slow-poured over evenly sized coffee grounds, and light years better than a pot of coffee brewed in a Mr. Coffee machine.
Don’t worry about the hipster pour-over barista with the man-bun at your local to-cool-for-you cafe. Pour-over coffee brewing is the best way to get an amazing cup of joe. So go out and get a Melitta cone dripper, some filters, good beans, rush home and make a cup. It’s a great start, worry about the refinements later.
*I’ve tried to love French Press as my chosen method but I never could get past the residue at the bottom of the cup, too much like bong water for me, blech.
How to brew pour-over coffee. Getting a great cup of coffee requires the right brewing equipment, fresh roasted coffee and a perfected pour-over coffee technique. This post covers the basic elements for success. Once mastered, pour-over coffee brewing is simple and easy to repeat. Having the right beans and equipment is key as well, but it starts with technique. A $40 100% Kona Peaberry can be ruined by too fine of a grind, so a good burr grinder set to the proper grind setting is important, as is using a goose-neck kettle, for better control of the pour, it makes a big difference.
Goose-neck drip kettle
Cone style coffee dripper
Digital kitchen scale
Burr coffee grinder
A cup or decanter
Heat the water
Bring the water to a boil then remove from the heating element. If you are using a temperature controlled electric kettle, just bring it up to a preset temp and hold. The optimal temperature is in the 198-201 degree range (depending on altitude, water will boil at a lower temperature).
Rinse the paper filter
Place the filter in the cone. Be sure to fold the seams over flat to make the filter sit better in the cone. Rinse your paper filter with the some of the heated water.
Grind and measure the coffee grounds
Weigh out the fresh beans to a 1:16 ratio, in grams, coffee to water. Experiment with ratios to suit taste. Grind to a medium-fine texture, the ground coffee grains should be about the size of sand. Note: A courser grind will cause the coffee to under-extract, resulting in a watery cup of coffee, too fine of a grind and the grounds will over-extract and taste bitter. Place your cup or decanter on the kitchen scale and zero (Tare) it. Add the coffee to the filter, level and slightly indent the center.
Zero the scale.
Bloom the coffee
Pre-infuse the coffee first. Pour 40-60g of hot water into the center of the grounds and work your way out, in expanding circles, until you reach the edge of the grounds. Some people recommend that you stop short of the edge leaving a 1/8 inch or so of the coffee dry. It probably doesn’t make a difference.
Let sit for 45-70 seconds. Note: the fresher the beans the more the grounds will expand as they release gases, older roasted coffee may not bloom at all. Let the bloom deflate before adding more water.
Start the main pour
After blooming, start the main pour, beginning from the center, pour the remaining water into the cone. Some like the do this in stages, pour, rest, pour, rest, etc. This should take around 2-3 minutes. Try to keep the water level above the coffee grounds, keeping oxygen from coming into contact with the coffee before you finish the pour. Take your time
Enjoy your cup!
Practice makes perfect! With good fresh coffee, proper equipment and technique you’ll be a pour-over master in no time.
You know the situation; it’s a workday and you woke up late and now there’s not enough time to do a traditional pour over coffee, forget picking something up on the way to work, the lines are always too long! Wouldn’t it be nice to have an coffee brewer that made pour over coffee, and even better, automatically? Lo and behold! There are a few pour over coffee brewers available. They range in price from $180 to $570, and these brewers meet the SCAA Certified Home Brewer standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). So you know you’re not wasting your money.
Why bother with a brewer that specializes in the pour over coffee method? Besides being the best way to brew coffee, pour over coffee brewers offer a simple hassle-free way to brew pour over coffee. Since they are automatic, you just set it at night and wake up to a fresh cup of pour over coffee. What could beat that? Other than a personal valet who makes pour over coffee for you, nothing obviously.
Bright notes and floral aromas finishing in smooth cocoa flavor.
If you’re looking for a good well-rounded everyday drinking coffee, Guatemala Casi Cielo is a good choice and right now it’s 25% off on Starbucks.com. EXTENDED: Ends March 27. Shop Now! Guatemala Casi Cielo®, Whole Bean
If you saw Death Wish Coffee’s Super Bowl TV Commercial, you might wonder what makes Death Wish Coffee so strong.
Is it the roast level?
Turns out it’s not the roast level, exactly.
They tell the story themselves. Their beans are a mix of Robusta and Arabica beans that they dark roast, resulting in flavor hints of cherry and chocolate. Additionally, you brew it a little stronger for the full effect. So what makes the coffee so strong?
It’s the caffeine.
How do you get a higher-caffeine coffee bean without some sort of hybridization, GMO, or discovery of a special high-caffeine bean from the deep, dark rainforests of Ethiopia? Actually, the Death Wish beans are sourced from India and Peru.
Is the caffeine manually added, maybe by soaking the beans in liquid caffeine? In reality, the blend of Robusta and Arabica beans increases the caffeine level. Robusta coffee beans contain almost twice the caffeine as Arabica, but the extra caffeine makes the Robusta bitter. When the two are blended, you get more caffeine than our average coffee, but a better flavor than you would with just Robusta beans.
According to Caffeine Informer, the caffeine content is 660 mg per 12 oz cup. Wow! Put down that meth pipe! That is strong. If you have a pre-existing heart condition or a hair-trigger temper, at least get the O.K. from your cardiologist or parole officer.
For reference a typical 12 oz cup of brewed coffee contains 260 mg of caffeine.
Death Wish Coffee, not for the faint of heart, literally, but if you’re looking for a kick in the pants before you head out into the cruel world, brew a cup of Death Wish Coffee, it’s probably very popular on Bering Sea crab fishing boats.
Death Wish Coffee Roasters also offers a less caffeinated version called Valhalla, for the more sedate coffee lovers among us.
UPDATE: We reviewed the Hario V60 Drip Scale 3 years ago. This is an update.
After daily multiple uses, this scale is still going strong. Everything works as if it was just purchased. One notable item to mention is this, do not let the liquids run over the brim of your cup. The liquid will get inside the scale and make it stop working. Occasionally a suction formed around the rubber collar and the cone of the Metal Hario V60 Dripper, and caused the coffee to run down the side of he cup and into the scale. But don’t panic, remove the batteries, pour out any liquid got inside the scale and place, on end, in a sunny window to evaporate the coffee from the scale, take care to be certain it’s 100% dry before replacing the batteries and using. This happened several times and every time the Hario V60 Digital Scale worked perfectly. This is not to suggest that you should make a habit of this act of carelessness, take care of your digital scale.
Original Hario V60 Drip Scale post:
After going cheap and trying a standard kitchen scale it became apparent it was fairly useless for accurate pour-over coffee brewing. Why? The one we tested shut off after two minutes, the proper brew time for pour-over coffee is at least 3 minutes. The second issue is the lack of a timer. When brewing pour-over coffee you need to time the bloom and then the remaining pour. Hario V60 Drip Scale has a built-in timer which is pretty handy for the groggy mind in the wee hours.
Hario V60 Drip Scale is easy to use
After unboxing you’ll find the unit compact and well designed. It was refreshing to see the controls simple and easy to press. The scale uses the metric system, measuring to the 1/10 of a gram if needed, an extra push of the ON/OFF TARE button was needed.
Place your cup or carafe and Hario V60 Dripper with a moistened filter on the scale then press TARE button until it reads zero. Add freshly ground coffee to desired measurement, usually 24g. Press TARE again. Bloom coffee with 30-60g of hot water, start timer, bloom for around one minute. The add water in increments for 3 minutes totaling 385g.
We thought the Hario V60 Drip Scale was a sharp-looking device. Kudos to Hario’s industrial design team and general aesthetic. The construction is plastic and the finish is flat black. Stains will show, but wipe off easily.
The unit is compact, light-weight and easy to handle. We found it felt a bit on the light side after using a heavier kitchen model.
The display is a typical LED, no back light though, we don’t know if this is a problem, figuring that not many people brew pour-over coffee in the dark, but maybe people with vision issues will find it difficult to read.
On the back is a wall hanging hole for wall storage. The plastic will scratch when finding the hook with hole, as we regrettably found out. So be careful.
We are very happy with the Hario V60 Drip Scale, with only one regret: that we didn’t get one sooner! Pour-over Coffee World gives the Hario V60 Drip Scale 4 1/2 stars. Buy one now. A great Father’s Day gift idea.
Metal Coffee Drippers offer something plastic/resin, glass and ceramic drippers can’t: being unbreakable. Granted, they can be bent, dented, scratched and squished, but if you knock a metal coffee dripper off the counter they will not break. As we painfully found out on the second day of brewing.
The Hario V60 is made from stainless steal so you can be assured that they are as flavorless as glass and ceramic. Hario recently introduced the V60 Metal Dripper, available in copper, silver and black. Copper and black have a clear coating on the surface, the silver which is not coated.
Hario V60 Metal Coffee Dripper
Recently acquired by POCW we tested the Hario V60 Metal coffee dripper and find the steal cone nicely manufactured as well as visually pleasing. The construction was a spun metal cone seated on a black rubber base. The V60 Metal Coffee Dripper comes in metal-copper, metal-silver and metal-black. Shop Here (Amazon)
Hario also makes a solid copper V60 Coffee Dripper, but it is at a considerable cost increase. Available Here (Amazon)
Choosing the right digital scale for pour-over coffee brewing. A great cup of Pour-over coffee requires technique and the proper equipment. A digital kitchen scale is an integral component for success. But what kind of scale? Not all kitchen scales work for pour-over coffee brewing. It’s not enough to be able to weigh the coffee grounds, you also need to weigh the water, and you need to time it all perfectly.
A digital scale that has auto-off might shut off before brewing is complete. Leaving you hanging. The scale must stay on for at least 5 min., most scales turn off after a few minutes. Stick to the digital scales you find on specialty coffee shops and suppliers. Going for the least expensive digital scale will result in bad pour-over. Spend a little more and you’ll be satisfied with your pour-over brewing results
Features to look for:
Metic or standard weighing to 01 gram or 1/10 of an ounce