What Is Pour Over Coffee And How Is It Different From Drip


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Pour over coffee is a simple coffee made from extracting coffee flavors using pour-over method. By pouring hot water evenly and slowly over the grounds, you can create a rich and smooth coffee.

Pour over brewing is a popular method of making coffee that’s heavily used by most experts and coffee geeks out there. It is simple, cheap and fast to implement. Pour Over doesn’t require machines to speed up the brewing process. It’s all about manual brewing.

But even though this method is at its most basic, creating that great tasting brew isn’t always easy. You need to do it right, being persistent and passionate to which you may prepare it.

Let’s take a look at this post to walk you further on the things you need to know about pour-over coffee brewing.

What’s so Special About Pour Over Coffee?

There’s no really special about it. The main reason why most people prefer this method is because it doesn’t need expensive scientific instruments to measure or calculate all the variables that affect the overall flavor. All in the pursuit of having the perfect cup of coffee.

But if you’ve done it right, expect that this type of brewing technique will produce a delightful cup of coffee with more nuance than what you’d get with French press or Aeropress.

The good thing about this brew is it gives you control over each step of the brewing process. You have control over the factors that directly (or indirectly) affect the overall flavor. You can adjust the temperature or amount of water concerning the grounds to release the certain flavor that you need.

You can also control the amount of ground to directly influence the caffeine content in your coffee. If you want more caffeine kick in your coffee, just add more grounds to your brew.

What is the Difference Between Drip and Pour Over Coffee?

The pour-over coffee brewing is also similar to filter or drip method. Both involve hot water, a ground coffee and a filter.

Their process of extracting coffee flavors is the same. In a pour-over, drip coffee, or filter coffee, the hot water saturates the coffee grounds, extracts the flavors inside, and drains through the filter into your mug or carafe.

The only difference is the equipment. Pour over only requires filter and some sort of dripper. Drip coffee, on the other hand, needs a drip machine to brew coffee. You also have little control over how the machine brews your coffee. In a pour-over, you can only produce a single cup or mug of coffee in a single process. So, to serve a coffee for several people, you need to do this method several times. But in drip method, you can brew more than one cup of coffee, depending on the type of machine.

What Do You Need in Brewing Pour-over Coffee?

Here are what you need:

  • Pour-over/ coffee cone or funnel
  • Filter
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cup, mug, or pot
  • Kettle for hot water

But even though you likely to have these tools, making a pour-over coffee doesn’t require fancy or any expensive equipment. You can DIY it too with improvised tools. As long as you know what to do or you know how to extract the good flavors, you’re ready to go.

What Coffee Roast is Best for Pour Over?

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to the specific type of roast in a pour-over. It depends on your personal preference.

If you want to choose a light roast, then so be it. The flavors in light roast coffee will not change if using a pour-over method. You can still taste its unique and more acidic flavors. In fact, some people recommended to use light roast beans to taste the unique flavors of the coffee.

On the other hand, if you want a dark roast, there’s no problem with it. The filter (especially paper filter) in a pour-over brewer strains out the unwanted oils and compounds, which results in a pure and clean cup of coffee.

What Grind is Best for Pour Over Coffee?

The grind should match the method of your brew. It’s important to get the correct setting to get the right flavor in your cup because the size of your grind affects extraction.

The best grind size recommended for the pour-over method to get that rich and smooth coffee flavor is below medium-coarse. A grind size that is similar to regular sand.

But why medium-coarse? Since the pour-over method involves infusion technique, the ground coffee should have enough surface area to extract. But once the coffee ground and water are in contact, the thing we should avoid is over-extraction or under extraction. That means you’re going to be right in the middle.

While it is the closest grind size, in my opinion, you can still explore the preferred grind that suits your taste. If your coffee tastes sour, your grind size is too coarse, so try to grind your beans a little finer. And if it’s a bitter brew, your grind size has the opposite issue, so, try to go coarser.

What is the Coffee to Water Ratio for Pour Over?

There’s always a preferred ratio between the ground coffee and water to follow. There are a lot of different suggested ratios out there. But as a general rule, you can brew coffee with the weight ratio of 1:17. It means in every 1g of coffee, you can use 17g of water.

Or assuming that you will brew coffee in a single mug, using the Hario v60 Ceramic dripper, 2-3 tablespoon of the ground coffee is already enough to have that tasty coffee.

However, it seems everyone has a preference for it, the volume of grounds may depend on your taste preference or the type of coffee dripper you’ll going use. Like for example, you want more caffeine kick in your cup, then you might need to add more grounds to your brew recipe.

In the end, I think there’s no exact, right, or wrong coffee-to-water ratio to which will bring out the best aroma and good coffee flavors effectively. It’s still best to find your own recipe.

Find Your Own Recipe

You can always follow whatever you think is the best. But at the end of the day, you will need some adjustments and tweaking to find that perfect ratio that works for you. Sometimes, you need to find your own recipe.

All you need to do is evaluate if it tastes just right or better. Then it’s easier for you to make necessary adjustments in the future, or replicate the perfect brew once you find it because you already have the guide to the taste you can expect.

Use a Measuring Device

On the other hand, it’s sometimes difficult to adjust the factors that affect the extraction. Always changing your recipe to perfection is not a good idea either, especially in the pour-over method.

To have an at least accurate coffee-to-water ratio, start it to always weigh your coffee. You can use a measuring device to guide you with the right amount of grounds. Also, at least initially measure the right amount of water. You can use digital scale like the ERAVSOW Coffee Scale to measure the right amount of coffee grounds. Besides, a scale is a must have tool for anyone who loves brewing pour over coffee.

What Temperature Should Water be for Pour Over Coffee?

Aside from the coffee-to-water ratio and grind size, you also need to consider the quality of your brewing water and its temperature.

Avoid using tap water that contains chlorine as it takes away a lot of essential coffee flavors. Distilled water is not recommended either as it lacks some minerals. You need some mineral content to properly extract the good flavors from your coffee grounds.

It’s always recommended to use filtered water or bottled water. Moreover, when it comes to the water temperature, the ideal temperature is somewhat 195-205-degree Fahrenheit, since the coffee grounds react to water at a near-boiling temperature.

How Long can You Brew a Pour Over Coffee?

The extraction time for the pour-over method is typically about 2-3 mins. An optimum of 3 minutes is already enough to achieve the most balanced flavors after you poured the hot water over the grounds.

The rule of thumb here is don’t steep your coffee grounds for too long as well to steep it for too short. Set a specific time to how long you brew the coffee, then just give necessary adjustments and evaluation. Maybe next time you already know the time needed to perfectly brew a pour over coffee.

The Difference Between Continuous Pouring and Pulse Pouring

There are different ways to pour the hot water over the grounds. And applying the best pouring technique is the best way to achieve a great-tasting cup.

Being gentle and careful is always the key, and it applies to all brewing methods. You may find it exciting but it’s best to start simple. You can still experiment and explore how to pour the hot water over the grounds. Just always maintain your consistency.

What is Continuous Pouring?

Continuous pouring is where you pour the desired amount of water over the grounds with a constant flow rate. It’s all about saturating the grounds in a constant or consistent manner. So, it may take more focus and patience because you need to maintain that flow without stopping as possible.

Typically, you apply continuous pour after the coffee is bloomed. Once the grounds are settled, the remaining water is poured at a continuous and constant flow rate as possible. The problem however, it can’t agitate the coffee grounds that much and there’s a possibility to get a less extracted coffee flavor.

What is Pulse Pouring?

Pulse pouring is where you pour the water multiple times in certain intervals, but maintaining the equal amounts of water in each pour.

This technique prevents the water from overflowing or grounds from rising the top or side of the filter. You can avoid messy or dirty-looking equipment.

Important: You can stir or swirl the coffee grounds to make sure that all grounds are dispersed and saturated evenly. Sometimes you need to include agitation to make sure an even extraction, putting the coffee grounds into motion by shaking or stirring it.

What is a Coffee Bloom?

When pouring the hot water, most of us will just pour a little water over the grounds. Then wait for a few seconds before continuing the process slowly.

In that first pour, it creates what we called “the bloom.” It’s where the coffee grounds swell and bubble. This quick bubbling effect is due to the release of gases and vapors (Carbon Dioxide) that is built up in the previous processes.

The bloom helps the gases to come out and eventually escape. This is where you can achieve an even and consistent extraction.

How Do You Make Coffee Bloom?

To make your coffee bloom, pour a little amount of water over the coffee until the grounds rise and bubble. Make it simple while being gentle and careful. You may also stir or swirl it if you want. Then wait for about 30-45 seconds for the grounds to settle.

After the rest period, pour the rest of the water slowly and steadily over the grounds to keep things consistent. Be sure to cover all the grounds with water evenly to achieve that even extraction. Then just stop when you reach your preferred amount of water concerning the grounds.

Is a Pour Over Kettle Necessary?

If you want help with precision, it’s all down to the kettle you’re using. It’s highly recommended to use a gooseneck kettle as it is made specifically for pour-overs. Aside from its design that keeps the water temperature stable, you can always easily control the flow of water in a perfect manner.

Speaking of kettle, we recommend the Hario ‘Buono’ Gooseneck Coffee Kettle. The Hario Buono has also the ability to retain heat because it is made of stainless steel. And with a comfortable design, this kettle is not that complicated to use. However, remember that there are so many choices out there. The most important thing is simplicity. The simpler the kettle is, the better the pour over coffee is.

Final Thoughts

Pour over coffee is indeed a delicious coffee. If you’re having trouble making coffee at home, the key is to make it simple. In a pour over brewing method, you can make your coffee simple, cheaper, and faster while having the control over it.

Keep in mind tough that there are many versions of pour over, give the effort to try the Chemex, V60, and so on to gain mastery in these kinds of brewers. Here’s a list of the best pour over coffee makers to try.

Like this Article? You Might to Read: French Press Coffee: Brewing Guide and History