What Is Pour-over Coffee?

What is pour-over coffee? Many of us have heard about pour-over coffee and its popularity in urban areas. It is also known as a filter drip method or a slow brew process. Pour-over coffee has been gaining in popularity for the past three decades, until now it has become one of the most popular brewing methods.

What Is Pour-Over Coffee?

Pour-over coffee is a method of brewing coffee that uses a filter (called a “pour-over”) to slowly drip hot water on the ground coffee. This lets the user slowly and gently pour water over the grounds and slowly release it through the coffee bed.

The concept of pour-over coffee was invented by Chantal Bertrand, a French woman who served as NASA’s first female engineer. She had been working in Paris during World War II and followed news stories about German rocket scientists who were using a similar brewing technique to create their v-2 rockets’ fuel.

In the 1960s, Bertrand visited the NASA Ames Research Center in California, where she saw that the engineers there were using a similar technique to brew coffee. She brought her method back to France and began serving pour-over coffees at some of Paris’ best restaurants, including Le Cinq.

How Pour-Over Coffee Distinguish From Drip Coffee

1. Brewing method

Drip coffee is made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans that are placed in a filter. The water flows through the grounds, absorbing their flavor and aroma, and then drips into a carafe or pot. The proportion of water to beans depends on the desired strength of the coffee.

Pour-over coffee is considered a type of drip-brewed coffee, but it’s often used to describe a specific brewing process. To make a cup of coffee using the pour-over method, coarsely ground coffee beans are placed in a filter and hot water is poured over them in small batches. The entire process can take several minutes as opposed to the few seconds required for standard drip machines.

2. Grind

The grind size for drip coffee and pour-over coffee is similar; both require medium to coarse grinds, but each method has its own unique requirements.

Drip coffee makers require a medium-fine grind to ensure the water flows through the grounds evenly. Using a coarse grind may cause the filter screen to clog and could result in grounds being left behind in the machine, which could ruin a brewer.

Pour-over coffee is made using a porcelain chamber that resists grinding, so rinsing does not need to be done after brewing. A coarse grind can overflow into the chamber and cause sediment to accumulate at the bottom of your cup, which is unappealing.

3. Time

Drip coffee brews quickly because it requires little effort on your part. You just have to fill up the machine with water and coffee grounds and push a button. This doesn’t require as much time or attention as pour-over brewing.

Pour-over takes a bit longer to brew than drip coffee because it requires more steps in order to make the cup of joe. However, this time is well worth it when you get to enjoy your delicious cup of pour-over coffee!

4. Equipment

Both are great options for brewing a cup of coffee, but they do vary from one another.

Drip coffee is what you might associate with the automatic machines that often sit in dining rooms of offices, restaurants, and hotels. It’s a more automated way of brewing coffee.

Pour-over coffee is a slightly more hands-on approach to brewing, but still very easy to do at home (and you don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment).

5. Taste

There is a significant difference in the taste of pour-over coffee and drip coffee. This is because the extraction method differs.

In pour-over coffee, the water is released in small increments and takes some time to absorb all the coffee grounds. On the contrary, when it comes to drip coffee, once the water begins dripping over the coffee grounds, it runs through them quickly. As a result, you get a more intense flavor from pour-over coffee.

While making drip coffee, you can control the level of intensity by choosing how much water will flow through the grounds. The more water you use, the less intense your brew will be. However, this doesn’t apply to pour-over coffee since its extraction process is pre-determined and cannot be altered. Therefore, if you are looking for a stronger brew or milder brew than what is typically produced by a specific brewing method, then pour over won’t be able to fulfill your requirement.

Why Pour-Over Coffee Is Favorable?

Why Pour-Over Coffee Is Favorable

1. It’s convenient for one person.

This is a big plus for single people, especially those who live alone. You don’t need to worry about brewing a whole pot of coffee that you’ll have to drink throughout the week (or waste).

2. You have more control over the end result.

Generally, pour-over coffee gives you more control when it comes to water temperature and brew time. And if you want to experiment with different beans or grinds, it’s easy to do so without any special equipment. You can also adjust your ratio of coffee grounds to water depending on how strong you like your coffee, which makes it easier to cater to different palates within the same household.

3. There are many different ways to do it.

You can use a paper filter (which is disposable), or you can use a reusable metal filter that’s washed and reused over and over again. The former is great for those who don’t want anything too complicated while the latter is better for people who like having more control but still want convenience as well.

4. It’s more environmentally friendly.

Pour-over coffee is less wasteful than coffee machines. A lot of coffee makers use disposable filters, which means you have to buy them in bulk and toss them out every time you make a pot of coffee. Over time, that ends up costing you and your wallet — and it’s not good for the environment either.

With pour-over, you’ll use a reusable filter, which means less waste and no extra cost to you.

5. It tastes better.

It’s also just flat-out better. Pour-over coffee is made by hand in small batches, so the person making your coffee has total control over the process — water temperature, extraction time, etc. This means that every cup will be made with care and precision, ensuring an excellent cup of coffee every time.

5 Easy Steps To Make Pour-Over Coffee At Home

Easy Steps To Make Pour-Over Coffee At Home

Step 1: Heat the water

For best results, heat your water to between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (91 and 96 degrees Celsius). There’s no precise temperature control on most kettles, so some experimentation may be required before you know exactly when it’s reached that temperature. It shouldn’t take more than three minutes to heat up enough water for one cup.

Step 2: Prep the coffee grounds

Add your favorite coffee grounds to the bottom of your pour-over device. Place your pour-over over your cup or carafe and give it a rinse with hot water to preheat it and get rid of any unwanted flavors that might be lingering in the filter. Discard this water before brewing. Grind your beans immediately before brewing for maximum freshness.

Step 3: Bloom the coffee grounds

Bloom the coffee grounds. Once you’ve heated your vessel and added your ground coffee, add just enough water to saturate all the grounds (about 30-60 seconds depending on how much coffee you’re making). The “bloom” is what happens when carbon dioxide escapes from the grounds and causes them to rise and fall like a wave. This is an important step for creating an even extraction as it allows for gases to escape from the grounds and makes sure none of your precious flavor gets trapped inside. You’ll know it’s done blooming when you see lots of bubbles on top of the coffee bed.

Step 4: Add the remaining water and stir

Add remaining water in a slow, steady stream. The idea behind a slow, steady stream is that it saturates all the grounds equally. Pour in a spiral motion to make sure every part of the grounds has access to water. This creates an even extraction, which means there is an equal amount of flavorful coffee in every last drop.

Step 5: Remove the filter from your coffee maker and serve.

Remove the filter and serve. It’s ready to drink!

Tips For The Best Pour-Over Coffee

1. Use the right beans.

No matter how much work you put into making the perfect pour-over, if you don’t start with quality beans, your coffee won’t be good. It’s best to use freshly roasted beans from a local roaster or purchase them online from a reputable seller.

2. Grind by hand.

Buying pre-ground coffee may seem like a time-saver, but it can’t compare to the flavor you get from grinding whole beans by hand. A burr grinder gives a consistent grind for even extraction and better flavor than a blade grinder does. And it’s not that difficult. Just measure out the whole beans you want to grind and toss them in the grinder before pouring hot water into your pour-over device.

3. Use a little less water.

Most people fill their pour-over devices with too much water. This can result in weak or sour coffee because it doesn’t allow the grounds to brew long enough to extract all the flavor from them. The typical ratio is 15 grams of ground coffee to 235 grams of water. As a guideline, start by pouring about half that much. It’s better to pour the water in stages than to put more in the beginning.

4. Boil at the right temperature.

For delicate pour-overs, like the Chemex, a lower temperature is better. Some baristas say it should be between 195 and 205F, but I prefer to go a little higher because it’s hard to keep the water that low for long. If you’re using an electric kettle with variable temperature control, set it between 205 and 212F. If you have an old-fashioned kettle on your stovetop, bring the water to a boil, then let it cool until it stops bubbling and steaming. This can take 2 or 3 minutes.

5. Don’t let the coffee bloom too much.

The bloom is what happens when carbon dioxide trapped in the coffee escapes as soon as the hot water hits the grounds. It’s often recommended to let this happen for 30 seconds before pouring more water through the grounds, but if you do that with a pour-over of fresh-ground coffee, you’ll end up over-extracting the grounds and making bitter coffee. So instead of letting it bloom for 30 seconds, do about 15–20 seconds and then pour again immediately after pouring (or “agitating”) through the first time.

6. Soak, don’t splash.

When you add the water, gently pour over the grounds in a circular motion until they are soaked. This helps release their full flavor. Then slowly add more water in concentric circles without going past the halfway point on your cone. Always use hot water — between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit — which helps bring out the best flavor from your beans.

7. Pour in a circular motion.

When pouring water into your cone, do so in a slow, smooth circular motion from one side to another until all of the grounds are thoroughly saturated with water. Continue moving in concentric circles until you reach about halfway up the cone before stopping to let the coffee “bloom.”

8. Shake gently at first.

To ensure an even distribution of grounds, start by shaking the filter gently back and forth as you pour. Hold the filter in place with one hand and slowly pour water over the grounds with the other. If you notice that some areas of the filter have fewer grounds than others, give them a gentle shake to make sure they’re evenly distributed across the filter before continuing to pour.

9. Stir gently after pouring.

It’s important to remember that coffee extraction is an imperfect science, and sometimes some particles will take longer to soak up water than others. To make sure all the grounds are equally moistened, give them a gentle stir after you’ve poured all your water over them. This will also help make sure that any dry coffee particles aren’t floating on top of your coffee like sediment, which can affect its flavor.

10. Fine-tune your recipe with time and practice.

As you brew more pour-overs, you’ll get a feel for how much coffee to use (or what ratio of coffee to water), how long to let it bloom, and how much water to pour in each round. If you’re using a scale and timer, you can also adjust your dose (the amount of coffee used) to suit your taste buds!


To sum up, although the pour-over method does take a bit of extra time, the results are well worth it. As with any brewing method, there are tricks such as the right grind and right water temperature that change the taste of the coffee. At Ad Hoc, they roast and brew their own beans to bring out more of an earthy taste that is more comparable to a French press. If you’re looking for an alternative to your standard drip brew or instant coffee pots, pour-over is a great place to start.

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