Brew Guide: Pour-Over
Invented as a process back in1908, the pour-over is the oldest of all the modern brewing methods. They come in so many shapes and sizes these days that it's not uncommon to find individual brew guides and recipes for each variation (such as the Chemex, the cone-shaped v60, the flat-bottomed Kalita Wave, and so on and on), but they're all brewed in similar ways. This guide will take you through some of the basics of using a pour-over with a paper filter.
The paper filters used in pour-overs are designed to hold back more of the natural oils found in the beans, which results in a cleaner taste: less bitter, more crisp, and often more flavourful. It can take some practice to find consistency with this brewing method, but there's a lot of room for experimentation too! You'll need some scales and a slow-pouring (goosenecked) kettle for this method.
Because pour-overs can be so different, we'll use an example: A Kinto Al-fresco 4-cup Brewer, pictured above, which is a v60-style cone-shaped brewer. We'll use 24g of coffee and 360g/ml of water. Your measurements might change depending on your pour-over capacity, but we recommend using 1g of coffee per 15g/ml of water.
Coffee: 1g per 15g/ml water
Time: Variable on filter/brewer size, read below
Boil your water to about 95 degrees Celsius. If your kettle doesn't have a temperature control, we recommend bringing it to a boil and letting it sit for about 30 seconds.
Fold the edge of the filter over and place it into the dripper or top of the brewer. Give the filter a rinse with the water you've boiled, and discard the rinse water. This prevents any papery tastes from filtering into your coffee.
Place your pour-over onto a scale and set it to zero. Add your ground coffee into the filter, shaking it so the coffee sits nice and level. Remember that it's 1g of coffee per 15g/ml of water!
Slowly begin pouring your water into the coffee in a circular motion. You only want to wet the coffee at this stage, usually using about twice as much water as you did coffee. In our example, we're using 24g of coffee, so we'll wet it with 50g of water. This allows your coffee to "bloom", thereby releasing any carbon dioxide that's left in the beans. Once you've finished this pour, allow it to sit for about 25-30 seconds.
Slowly pour the remaining water over the coffee, using the same circular motion as above - the key word here is slowly. How slow relates to the size of your brewer and the amount of coffee you're using. For our Kinto brewer or a v60, this will take about 60-90 seconds. For a larger apparatus like a Chemex, this could take as long as three minutes. Yes, three minutes of pouring. Sorry, we don't make the rules.
Allow the water to finish filtering through into the cup.
Discard the filter, give your cup/flask a swirl, and enjoy!
Brew Guide: AeroPress
An ideal travel companion, the AeroPress is also a worthy contender for home brewing: it's quick, easy to use, and virtually cleans itself.
Brew Guide: Cafetière (French Press)
Easy to use but often overlooked, a cafetière can produce rich flavours and a good body.
Brew Guide: Pour-Over
Pour-overs require a lot of attention and it can take some time to find consistency with them, but they result in a nice, crisp cup. There's a lot of room for experimentation with them, too!