Pour-Over Coffee

How to Make Pour-Over Coffee

Publish Date November 15, 2022 4 Minute Read

How to Make Pour-Over Coffee

Making pour-over coffee is a precise way to craft a custom cup of coffee that perfectly pleases your palate. While it requires more attention than drip coffee or French press, this method offers more control in the brewing process, which allows you to truly customize your drink.

You only need four things to make pour-over coffee:

  • A dripper - the brewing device that holds the filter and beans, and funnels the brewed coffee into your mug or carafe.
  • A filter to go into the dripper.
  • Freshly ground coffee beans.
  • Water.

Pour Over Coffee

Learn how to make your own pour-over coffee at home!

What is Pour-Over Coffee?

Pour-over coffee is exactly what it sounds like: coffee that’s made by pouring water over grounds in a filter. Because it’s poured by hand, it’s sometimes also called hand brewing or manual brewing. It’s typically made cup-by-cup, with a precise coffee-to-grounds ratio that ensures the best flavor. Since there are only two ingredients in pour-over coffee, it makes sense that the most important factors in creating the perfect cup are the quality of the coffee beans used and the purity of the water (coffee enthusiasts swear by filtered water to reduce any mineral contaminants found in tap water). You’ll also want to achieve a medium-fine texture grind that you’ve just freshly ground right before brewing, and use the proper temperature of water. This grind should fall somewhere between sea salt and table salt.

What Are the Benefits of Pour-Over Coffee?

Why go to the trouble of making pour-over coffee? There are many reasons. In the pour-over method, water is continually poured over coffee grounds, so the grounds remain submerged throughout the entire process. This heightens the coffee’s flavor, making it a great brewing method for single-origin coffee beans since it allows the intricate flavors of that particular coffee to shine. For the same reason, this technique works well for light roasts, since light roasts come closer to the original flavor profile of the bean when compared to medium and dark roasts.

Plus, the equipment needed is less expensive than automated coffee machines, widely available and easy to use.

Because pour-over uses a scale for precise measurements, it’s easy to customize each brew by tweaking the amount of coffee grounds or water used, or adjusting the grind of the beans. For instance, if your resulting flavor is too sour for your tastes, try a finer grind. If it’s too bitter, use a coarser grind. Similarly, if your coffee turns out too watery or weak, try using more coffee in your next brew. Just remember to track your changes so you can replicate your choices next time.

What’s the Difference Between Pour-Over Coffee and Drip Coffee?

The concepts of pour-over and drip coffees are virtually the same: Hot water is poured over ground coffee beans and filtered into a cup or carafe. The difference is that drip coffee is fully automated, resulting in a replicable brew time after time (assuming you use the same amount of beans each time), but pour-over coffee is a completely manual process that results in a truly customizable brew. This also means there’s opportunity for user error, and it’s more difficult to replicate the exact flavor profile each time you brew. But for coffee enthusiasts, it’s a tried-and-true method of achieving their particular preferences, because they can choose the grind of the bean, the temperature of the water and how long the water stays in contact with the beans. While pour-over requires more attention than drip coffee and it’s a slower process, it can achieve a far more customized cup of joe.

For more coffee inspiration, check out our favorite At-Home Coffee Recipes, or learn more about the types of coffee you can make in different Types of Coffee Makers. For more meal inspiration, visit our Blog, The Fresh Lane.