Pour Over

Nothing flashy here—just good, solid technique

Background

The ritual of the pour over is a minimalist’s meditation: There’s no machine in your way, no flashing green lights, no electric power cords. Just you and a few simple tools. The final cup is reminiscent of one from a drip coffeemaker (hey, 1970!), but noticeably more delicate and complex. Observe the bloom, experience the first trace of coffee-drunk steam, notice how the spiral of the pour alters the final cup. This simple experience gets you in tune with your coffee.


Step 1

Bring at least 600 grams (20 oz) of water to a boil.


Step 2

Grind 30 grams of coffee (3 tbsp) to a coarseness resembling sea salt. To enjoy the nuanced flavor of a single origin coffee that is lightly roasted, we recommend less coffee: 23 grams for every 350 grams water


Step 3

Place a filter in the dripper.


Step 4

Pour half of the hot water over the empty filter to remove any “papery” taste and warm your dripper. Discard rinse water.


Step 5

Add the ground coffee to the filter and gently tap it to level the surface of the grounds. Place the brewer on a carafe or cup, place this entire set-up onto a digital scale, and set it to zero.


Step 6

There will be four pours total for this coffee preparation. This is the first, and the most magical, because it is when you will see the coffee “bloom.” As hot water first hits the grounds, Co2 is released creating a blossoming effect—the grounds will rise up en masse.

Start a timer. Begin pouring water slowly over the coffee, starting at the outer rim and moving in a steady spiral toward the center of the grounds. Stop pouring when the scale reaches 60 grams. Make sure all the grounds are saturated, even if you need to add a little water. The pour should take about 15 seconds. Give the coffee an additional 30 seconds to drip before moving on to the second pour.


Step 7

Starting in the center of the grounds, pour in a steady spiral toward the outer edge and then back toward the center. Add roughly 90 grams, bringing the total to 150 grams. The goal during this pour is to sink all of the grounds on the surface of the bed. This creates a gentle turbulence that “stirs” the coffee, allowing water to more evenly extract the grounds. Allow 45–65 seconds to elapse.


Step 8

As the mixture of water and coffee from the second pour drops to the bottom of the filter, coming close to the level of the grounds, pour an additional 100 grams of water using the same pattern as the second pour. This brings the total up to 250 grams and should take 15–20 seconds.


Step 9

When the water and coffee from the third pour drops to the bottom of the filter, complete your fourth and final pour. Add 100 grams, bringing the total up to 350 grams of water. This pour should take 20 seconds.

Enjoy a fine cup of coffee.