We’ve had our love affair with the stovetop percolator, the electric coffee maker and the French press. But we discovered that the most low tech brewing method yields the best cup of coffee.
Pour over coffee has been our default for the past year and a half. It began when my brother’s family gave us pour over coffee drips two Christmases ago. We have acquired more drips since.
What’s so special about the pour over method?
The flavor. Can you image enjoying a very strong brew with very little bitterness? Oh. My. Goodness. It’s the most wonderful coffee experience!
What makes pour over coffee less bitter than other strong brews? The absence of pressing. With most espresso machines and even the French press, you press the ground coffee prior to pouring the brew into a cup. I never imagined until we switched to the pour over method that it is the pressing that is responsible for so much of the bitterness.
What you need to make pour over coffee at home
Is it too much work to have pour over coffee at home everyday? Oh, no. Not at all. Like I wrote earlier, it’s a such a low tech method. Grind the coffee, dump into the pour over coffee drip, pour in water slowly and voila! But, of course, you need the right equipment.
You may buy ground coffee and do away with the grinding. But did you know that coffee beans lose their flavor and aroma fast once they are ground? It doesn’t matter if you keep ground coffee in an airtight container. It will go bland fast because it has already been ground. Oxidation.
What we do is buy whole coffee beans and grind just enough for a day’s need. We have a manual grinder (see sample) but, in the past, we had not been averse to electric grinders especially when we needed to make coffee for a lot of people. Of course it’s July 2020 and “a lot of people” is something we can’t have in the house for obvious reasons, so, we’ve been using the manual grinder exclusively.
Pour over coffee drip
It’s a conical cup roughly the size of a small coffee mug with holes at the bottom.
You just position the drip over your coffee mug or cup. The wide mouth allows you to pour water over the ground coffee then drip through the holes and into the cup.
There are two kinds of pour over coffee drip that I have come across. The kind that requires the insertion of a paper filter and the kind that does not. We have both. We were fine with the kind that needs paper filter until we started having problems sourcing… because, you know, it’s 2020. So, we bought the reusable kind. Use, wash and rinse, and reuse.
If you have a pour over coffee drip that needs paper filter, read on.
Paper coffee filters (for drips that require them)
Paper coffee filter comes in different sizes. But they all have two ridged seamed edges.
To make sure that the filter will fit snugly into the drip, you need to fold those ridged seamed edges. Start by folding the bottom. Turn the paper filter over then fold in the side going toward the opposite direction.
Gooseneck pour over kettle
It’s the kettle that you see partially in the first photo on this post. It’s not really a must for making pour over coffee but, unless you have a really steady hand, it’s a great convenience as it allows you more control.
Making pour over coffee
Once you’ve got all your gadgets and equipment, you’re ready to make pour over coffee.
Position the paper filter into the drip the place the drip over your coffee cup. Pour hot water into the drip. No coffee yet at this point. You’re warming up both the drip and the cup.
Pour your measured ground coffee into the paper-lined drip. How much ground coffee? That depends on how strong you want your brew.
Slowly pour hot water over the entire surface of the ground coffee. Leave for 30 seconds. This is the “bloom pour”, something that Alex and I picked up at a coffee class in Vietnam. You’re really just moistening the ground coffee at this point. You will get a better-tasting brew if you don’t skip this part.
When the 30 seconds are up, start pouring water again. Pour just enough to cover the ground coffee then stop. Wait for the water to disappear as brewed coffee in the cup underneath. Pour water again as before. Repeat until you have enough in your cup.
So, there. Never mind those pricey electric coffee machines.