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.