How To Make Pour-Over Coffee

The uniqueness of the pour-over method is well-described by its name. Brewing pour-over coffee involves using a special kettle with a long, curved spout to pour a thin stream of hot water over ground coffee resting in a paper filter.

It may sound simple, but your coffee won’t turn out right if you don’t follow specific techniques and recommendations. But don’t fret! We’ve prepared an article with important details and brewing instructions for you.

Let’s get started!

What You Need

  • Pour-over funnel/cone
  • Kettle with long, thin spout
  • Burr coffee grinder
  • Scale
  • Timer
  • Paper filter
  • Tablespoon
  • Fresh coffee beans
  • Clean drinking water

Professionals use a special kettle/teapot with a long, thin spout instead of a conventional kettle. This helps to control pouring.

Your funnel and cup should be on a scale so you can ensure the right ratio of coffee to water, but if you're a beginner coffee lover and you don't have scales, then you can use a regular tablespoon to measure the ground coffee. One tablespoon holds about 5 grams (0.17 oz) of ground coffee. You can also use an AeroPress scoop, which holds 14 grams (0.5 oz) of coffee in a rounded spoonful.

Brewing Steps and Important Details

Before making coffee, select the correct ratio of coffee to water—the taste of the drink depends on this ratio. 1:15 is optimal.

1. Preparation

Grinding

You need to grind freshly roasted coffee.

Do not buy ground coffee, because almost all the essential oils will have already evaporated from it and the coffee will be tasteless and unsaturated.

Use a manual grinder that can control grind size, such as the Hario MSS-1B. We recommend that you use a medium grind.

Water

Boil water in a kettle and cool slightly to your desired temperature.

We recommend that you use a light roast for your pour-over coffee because light roasts are both sweet and acidic.

A light roast requires a fairly high water temperature, around 205°F (96°C). To get this temperature without a professional temperature-controlled kettle, remove the lid from the kettle after the water boils and let sit for 30 seconds, then close the lid again.

If you like medium to dark roasts and more bitter coffee, then the water temperature should be lower, around 187°F (86°C).

2. Pouring and Heating

Pour water through the paper filter to remove any dust or odors. If you skip this step, the coffee may have a papery flavor.

Pouring boiling water will warm up the funnel so the coffee won't cool down during brewing.

Be sure to pour out all the boiling water from the funnel before brewing.

Spread out the filter and smooth it with a spoon so that it fits snugly against the walls of the funnel. This will prevent air bubbles during brewing and help the coffee flow evenly down the funnel.

Add coffee grounds and smooth them. The surface of the coffee should be flat.

3. Pre-Extraction or "Blooming"

Pre-extraction or "blooming" is the pre-wetting of the ground coffee with water. This is how extraction starts and carbon dioxide escapes. If CO2 is not released, the water won't pass through the grounds correctly and the coffee will be watery and tasteless.

Start the timer and pour water in a thin stream, spiraling from the center to the edges.

Scott Rao, a professional barista and pour-over guru, suggests using a spoon at the bloom stage. The idea is to moisten absolutely all the coffee in the funnel as quickly as possible to start the bloom as quickly as possible.

4. Topping Up

Top up with water 40 seconds after blooming starts. By this time, most of the CO2 should have evaporated, and the water will flow freely and extract delicious flavors and aromas.

Pour the water in slow, circular motions to a total volume of 5 oz (150 ml).

5. Final Pouring

Add water slowly until you reach a final water volume of 15 fl oz (450 ml). Add water at the same rate as it is exiting the funnel. It is important that the temperature inside the funnel remains constant. Don't interrupt the stream while you pour.

6. The Last Step

When you have poured all 15 fl oz (450 ml) of water from the kettle, stir the coffee in the funnel 3 times and let the remainder drain out.

Aim for a time of 2:45 for the entire brew.

If extraction is taking too long, try shaking the funnel a little bit.

Your coffee is ready! Enjoy!