Pour-Over Coffee

Learn how to make pour-over coffee with this simple photo and video tutorial.  Plus, I’ve included recommendations of my favorite coffee equipment.

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee -- a step-by-step easy tutorial for how to make just the right brew! | gimmesomeoven.com

Have you ever tried making pour-over coffee before?

I got hooked on the slower brewing method about five years ago when I first moved down to the River Market neighborhood in Kansas City.  I happened to be unloading all of my things into a sixth-floor loft on the very same hot June day that Quay Coffee was having their grand opening.  I decided to wander down the next morning to check it out.  And I distinctly remember that, as I ventured in the door, feeling that familiar mix of nerves-excitement-adrenaline about having just woken up alone in my brand new neighborhood, this sudden wave of peace washed over me.  And I felt so at home.

The vibe of the place was tranquil and cool.  The baristas were warm and friendly.  The place was bustling with customers who were thrilled about the new neighborhood spot.  And I knew right away that this was going to become my “spot”.

Five years, and hundreds and hundreds of cups of coffee later, this place has been exactly that.  My home away from home.  ?

Ha, that said, I also have a very clear memory that day of walking up to the counter and having zero idea what to order, since there were only some random countries listed on the menu.  ?   Turns out that Quay was one of the first coffee shops in our area, back in the day, that had decided to focus primarily on pour-over coffee, ethically sourced from great brewers around the world.  As a French press girl, I had never heard of the method.  But as I chatted with the barista, and watched as the he slowly poured the water over the grounds, round and round, round and round, I quickly began to fall in love with the rhythm of pour-over.  And after my first sip, I was completely hooked.

For those of you who have never tried pour-over coffee, it’s a really simple hand-brewing method that — at least in my opinion — makes the most of good coffee beans.  The flavor is incredibly clean, bright and round, and avoids that slightly burned/charred taste that can occur in drip or French press coffee (when the beans spend more time in contact with the hot water).  It does require more of your attention than drip or French press coffee, but I actually really enjoy the rhythm of it in the mornings.  And it still only takes about 5 minutes from start to finish.

Admittedly, I still walk over to Quay most mornings and enjoy ordering a pour-over as I slowly wake up and chat with the baristas and say hi to neighbors and open my laptop to begin the day’s work.  But on the mornings when I’m at home, I love pulling our my Chemex and making a batch for myself, pouring the water round and round, round and round.  It’s just the best.  So if you’ve ever wanted to try it for yourself, here are all of my tips, plus a (new!) video to take you step by step through the brewing process.

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee -- a step-by-step easy tutorial for how to make just the right brew! | gimmesomeoven.com

What is Pour-Over Coffee?

Alright, let’s begin with the basics.  Pour-over is a method of drip coffee in which water is poured in a very steady and slow stream over a filter cone.  There are many benefits to the method, but I especially love it because the coffee tastes bright and clean and round, without the bitterness or charred taste that can come with traditional drip or French press methods.

Pour-Over Coffee Equipment

There is all sorts of fancy equipment that you can buy to make pour-over coffee.  But the basic essentials you need include the following:

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee:

Just follow these basic steps:

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee -- a step-by-step easy tutorial for how to make just the right brew! | gimmesomeoven.com

Step 1: Grind the beans

Fresh beans are always, always better with coffee.  So grab your scale and tare it out.  Then measure out 48 grams of beans, and grind them to medium-coarseness.

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee -- a step-by-step easy tutorial for how to make just the right brew! | gimmesomeoven.com

Step 2: Rinse The Filter

Place a filter in the top of the Chemex, and with the double-folded side of the filter facing the spout.  Use a slow-pouring kettle to pour the water all over the filter until it is completely soaked.  This “rinse” will help remove the paper-y taste from the filter and preheat it.  Once the filter is completely rinsed, carefully pour out the water in  the Chemex, and place the filter back in its spot.

Pour the ground coffee beans into the bottom of the filter, and give the Chemex a small shake to even out the grounds.  Then place the Chemex on a digital scale and tare it out so that it begins at 0 grams.

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee -- a step-by-step easy tutorial for how to make just the right brew! | gimmesomeoven.com

Step 3: Pour, pour, pour, pour

Pour #1: Using a zig-zag motion, pour water over the grounds until they are completely wet (and the scale measures approximately 80 grams).  Wait 30-45 seconds for the grounds to puff up and “bloom”, which allows the gasses to release from the coffee grounds.

Pour #2: Then starting from the center and moving outward in slow concentric circles, continue pouring water in a steady stream to rewet the grounds, careful not to pour directly along the edges of the filter.  Pour until the scale measures 300 grams, then wait for the water to mostly drain.

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee Chemex

Pour #3: Pour another round of water over the grounds in concentric circles until the scale measures 600 grams, then wait for the water to mostly drain.

Pour #4: Then pour a final round of water over the grounds in concentric circles until the scale measures 750 grams.

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee Chemex 5

 

Step Four: Remove The Filter & Serve!

Once most (not all) of the water has drained from the final round, carefully remove the filter.  (Be careful, it’s hot!)  Don’t wait until all of the water has drained out, or else some of the final drops can be really bitter.

Then pour the coffee into your favorite serving cups, and enjoy!

Video Tutorial:

Here’s a step-by-step video, just to take the guesswork out of the whole pouring process. ??

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How To Make Pour-Over Coffee

Learn how to make delicious pour-over coffee with this easy recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 cups water
  • 48 grams good-quality whole coffee beans

Directions:

  1. In an electric kettle, teapot or water heater, bring about 3.5 cups water to a *boil (see note below).  Meanwhile, use a digital kitchen scale to weigh 48 grams of coffee beans.
  2. Grind the beans using a hand or electric grinder to medium coarseness.
  3. Place a filter in the top of the Chemex, and with the double-folded side of the filter facing the spout.  Use a slow-pouring kettle to pour the water all over the filter until it is completely soaked.  This “rinse” will help remove the paper-y taste from the filter and preheat it.  Once the filter is completely rinsed, carefully pour out the water in  the Chemex, leaving the filter in its place.
  4. Pour the coffee grinds into the bottom of the filter, and give the Chemex a small shake to even out the grounds.  Then place the Chemex on a digital scale and tare it out so that it begins at 0 grams.
  5. Using a zig-zag motion, pour water over the grounds until they are completely wet (and the scale measures approximately 80 grams).  Wait 30-45 seconds for the grounds to puff up and “bloom”, which allows the gasses to release from the coffee grounds.
  6. Then starting from the center and moving outward in slow concentric circles, continue pouring water in a steady stream to rewet the grounds, careful not to pour directly along the edges of the filter.  Pour until the scale measures 300 grams, then wait for the water to mostly drain.
  7. Pour another round of water over the grounds in concentric circles until the scale measures 600 grams, then wait for the water to mostly drain.
  8. Then pour a final round of water over the grounds in concentric circles until the scale measures 750 grams.
  9. Once most (not all) of the water has drained from the final round, carefully remove the filter.  (Be careful, it’s hot!)  Don’t wait until all of the water has drained out, or else some of the final drops can be really bitter.
  10. Pour and serve!

*For best results, use water that is 195-205°F.  But if you do not have a thermometer, bring water to a boil.  Then remove from heat and let it rest for 30 seconds, and then use immediately.
**For iced coffee lovers, be sure to read this article about iced coffee and cold brewing from Prima Coffee.

All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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64 comments on “Pour-Over Coffee”

  1. There is NOTHING better that a perfect cup of coffee! Love this!

    • We totally agree, and thank you, we hope you enjoy this method as much as we do! :)

  2. My favorite local spot makes coffee this way – it’s the best!! Worth the wait!

  3. Awesome post! We miss our Quay so this would be great to have around!

  4. I don’t even drink coffee, but this post kind of made me want to!

  5. I need to try this method! I simply MUST HAVE my coffee first thing each morning…and again later…and sometimes in the afternoon…you get the picture!!! xoxo

  6. BIG COFFEE FAN HERE!! Oh my gosh I want to try this!! Great post Ali :)

  7. I love a good cup of coffee. I’m sitting at my work desk drinking a weak cup of “pourly” (sorry, had to) made coffee and I want to go home and make some good strong and rich coffee stat!! These pour overs have always intriguided me. I’m a french presser, so I think I would love this!

    • Yes, we hope you can give this method a try sometime soon, Megan, we think you’ll love it as well!

  8. I am a coffee freak and I believe this method gets the better flavor, I still use the press though just because its quicker in the mornings :)

    • We think so too, and we still love using the French press from time to time as well. :)

  9. Living in Seattle, I have heard of pour over coffee and the rich flavor that it gives but havent tried it yet. Doesn’t seem as complicated as I thought though.

    • Yes, not complicated, just takes longer (but is soooo worth it)! :)

  10. I feel like you wrote this post for me. I’m a happy owner of Chemex since a week and I’ve studied many websites and watched many websites over this time. Anything for a good coffee :)

  11. Intelligentsia coffee = my heaven on earth. Was just in Chitown last weekend and made my mandatory stop at the Randolph location! It’s so cool to see this pour over method broken down. I always watch the baristas with facination and now totally feel like recreating this at home. (Just don’t tell my husband…I already own two coffee makers.)
    PS. KC River Market is incredible! So jealous you live there (my two sisters live in KC and whenever I visit, I insist we make a little trip to that area)
    PPS. I just wrote you a novel. Sorry about that :)

  12. I’m pretty sure a saw a write-up about this method and possibly this exact brand of equipment in the current issue of Bon Appetit! It looks like it would be amazing coffee!

    • Yes! It really is a killer way to make coffee, we hope you can try it!

  13. Hmmmmmmm. When I was in college, in the 70’s, it was just called “coffee” and the brand for the pastic thing that held the filter and coffee that you put right over your coffee cup was Melita. Lawsuit?!!!

  14. Melita has had pour over coffee for years. I have been doing this since I was a teenager and that was many many years ago. Mind you their’s is not nearly as fancy but serves the same purpose. GREAT coffee beans makes a great coffee

  15. We used to use a regular Mr. Coffee drip machine until we stayed at a bed and breakfast in New Orleans where we were introduced to coffee the old-fashioned way (using an enamel percolator). After not being able to find one in good condition, we switched to french press. But this pour over method sounds very similar to using a percolator… and easier to find!

  16. Hee hee, I’ve always thought of this as the simplest way to make coffee, so needing a tutorial seems silly to me, but clearly other commenters are happy to see it.

    I’ve been using a plastic cone (that gets a regular scrubbing) on top of a mug and have been pouring with a pyrex measuring cup of microwaved water for years, in case there are folks who want to try it without spending much money or dedicating cabinet space to new equipment.

    I mostly use this method because I don’t have to make room on my kitchen counter for a coffee maker, and my little plastic cone is way easier to clean than a french press or coffee maker.

  17. Hi Alley, thank you for publishing this because I’ve learned something here today. What are the advantages? (i.e. better taste, more control over strength, etc.)

    • Hi DB! We just think this method yields the richest and best flavor. :)

  18. Awesome tutorial :) seems simple enough and it looks great!

  19. I have been so curious about this too. I’ll do anything for the perfect cup!

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  21. I love coffee in all it’s glorious forms!

  22. I’ve never seen coffee made quite like this, but I think I’d easily fall in love with it!! :)

  23. LOVE pour over. So much tastier! Great tutorial.

  24. I have made coffee like this before and it is wonderful. I didn’t realize all of the special equipment was available, great tips!

  25. Oooh, interesting! I don’t drink coffee and neither does my husband but my occasional baking partner drinks coffee and so I’ve been thinking about what to do. I have a grinder, those filter thingies, and a funnel. I think I might do some experimenting. :D Thank you for making this post! It’ll probably be a disaster but it’ll be a fun disaster.

    • Thanks, Erin, we hope you enjoy this method as much as we do! :)

  26. I have a ceramic cup dripper and I love it! It’s great for only brewing one cup of coffee. I usually fill my cup half way up with coffee and I fill the rest with frothy milk. I have a simple milk frother for the stovetop that you warm the milk in and then pump the lid to froth the milk.

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  31. What’s your view on French Press vs the pour over method? I find the pour-over-method inconsistent at best, while the French Press seems to work well, especially if you prefer a richer flavor.

    I wrote up some instructions on using a French Press at: http://www.consumertop10.com/home-garden/kitchen-and-food/brewing-the-perfect-cup-of-coffee-a-beginners-guide.php

  32. Thanks for the article!

    I’m with you on that one, I prefer the pour over method for its more intimate experience.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts about stainless steel pour over filters oppose to ones that require paper filters, that prevent full bean extraction. I’ve seen two brands that carry them Grosche (www.grosche.ca) and Able (www.abel.com) and would love to hear yours and your readers opinions on them.

    Thanks! 
    Liz W

    • Oooh, I actually haven’t tried the stainless steel filters yet. If I do, I’ll be sure to post my thoughts. (And would love to hear yours if you try them!)

  33. I started using this method because my french press broke and I was too cheap to buy a new one, and I hate the hassle of using a big machine or a peculator. My friend gets these single serving espresso packs that you pour over, so I figured I can scale it up.

    I get those bricks of espresso coffee and dump some in without measuring it, then pour the water to the very top and let it drain while I do other stuff, like make toast. then if there’s room in the mug i’ll top it off with some more.
    At first I was using like a little net thing (from a tea pot?) I had lying around plus a filter… and then I discovered pour over coffee was actually a thing and I got a cheap plastic cone thing from Sur La Table that works pretty well 
    http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-340/Coffee+Filter+Cone;jsessionid=235DB40AFE94C4126AC71D5B779425D7.slt-app-02-p-app3

  34. I just found your blog through your cold brew coffee post, so of course I was reading through and enthralled by all your coffee posts, and when I read River Market I, like, squealed a little bit! I’m so glad to hear you’re from Kansas City! Quay Coffee will be visited by me soon. Like, THIS weekend. So exciting!! I love your posts, they’re very informative and the photography is beautiful! Keep up the great work!

  35. I like the hario Pourover dripper, I have a Glass and a Stainless steel, the stainless steel tastes better than the Glass, I dont like the taste of paper Filters at all, even the Brown natural ruin the taste for me, I use a HEMP reusable filter, they have absolutely ZERO taste from the filter, and produce the best tasting cup.

  36. I have never had pour over coffee, but for a simple, inexpensive (~$30) way to make a cup of coffee that is far superior (IMHO) to drip or French-pressed coffee get an AeroPress. It makes a cup much faster than a French press or pour over, is much easier to clean than a French press, and it makes very smooth tasting, low acid coffee due to the limited amount of time the hot water is in contact with the grounds. 
    The only disadvantage is making more than a cup or two is cumbersome and time consuming. 

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  42. Wow, I’ve been doing this for years with my Melitta coffee pot and didn’t even know it. Everyone who tastes my coffee says how great it is, but I thought they were just being nice. :) There must be more to it than I realized.

  43. I’m currently in survival mode with a 2 year old and 10 month old and heavily rely on the self timer button on my coffee machine-BUT I’m intrigued!

  44. Cool tutorial! Thanks for sharing =)

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  46. OMGosh…Coffee is my life, so i just had to try this, got all of the items from amazon, was super happy with my decision! Best cup of coffee EVER!! Thanks!

  47. Oooh, thank you for explaining what it is. I never even bothered to find out. Can’t believe something so fancy only takes 5 minutes to prepare!

    Charmaine Ng