How to Make the Perfect Pourover Coffee

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all photos in this post by Victoria Morris for Living Minnaly

You guys know I love me my coffee. There is nothing quite like the smell of freshly ground coffee beans and then coffee in the making. I'm non-discriminatory when it comes to my coffee too-- I appreciate a classic drip, french press, espresso, cappuccinos, and pourovers. They all have different characteristics! I used to primarily do french press at home in my old apartment because I had zero counter space to keep a grinder or other equipment, but when I moved into my new place, my housewarming gift to myself was a full pourover set and it quickly became my favorite way to brew at home. I've instagrammed this so often on Stories, and I've gotten enough messages asking how to do a proper pourover that I thought it was time to do a formal blog post!

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Pourovers are not only the best way to really taste the quality and notes of the coffee beans, they are also just a nice ritualistic thing to do in the morning.  I truly depend on my healthy morning routine to set the tone for my day (SEE: 5 healthy hacks for a better morning routine), so whenever I do a pourover, I'm typically oil pulling without my phone around so I take that opportunity to really use all my senses to be present. For those 3-4 minutes that a pourover takes, I really savor the dizzingly delicious smell of those fresh coffee grinds, watch the steam rise from the boiling water, and listening to the soothing sound as the pourover drips down into the little pot.

I know it can seem intimidating to get the measurements precise, and there are a million coffee snobs out there that will be insistent that their method is right. Coffee experts also say that using single-origin beans are the best way to experience pourovers, which I do agree with, but I also have some blends that I love just as much. Ain't nobody gonna tell me how to love my coffee!

Everyone has different preferences though, so I'm sharing a pretty solid and basic method here that I learned through the gurus at Stumptown Coffee, and then you guys experiment to see what ratios of beans : water, grind size, etc work for you-- because ultimately it depends on the beans you're working with, but unless you're planning on entering the barista championships, this standard method below will have you very happy.

How to make the perfect pourover

Equipment needed:

Coffee Beans (21 g for one person, 42 g for two people)
Grinder (this burr is the one I use)
Hario V60 Brewer (+ stand - complete set here)
Hario V60 Filter
Scale (this is the one I use)
Thermometer (I recommend a gooseneck kettle with a built-in thermometer-- mine here)
Water
Mug


Directions

1. Boil water to 205ºF in a kettle. Place filter in the Hario cone and fold it to fit flush. Pour hot water in the dripper to wet/rinse the filter and heat up the carafe. Discard the rinse water.

2. Grind beans into a medium-fine grind and place it into your brewer.

3. Wet the grounds with hot water (205ºF) with just enough water to cover the grounds-- this is what they call the "bloom" period. Let it sit and bloom for about 20-30 seconds. This degasses the coffee (fresher beans will be bubbliest).

4. Pour water slowly in an even spiral motion, aiming for the dark areas. If using a gooseneck kettle, you can evenly pour the whole time to keep the water controlled and level-- if not, you'll want to add water every 10 or so seconds.

5. Continue pouring until you reach 360g (for one cup) or 7200g (for two cups). Once the coffee is done brewing, remove the brewer and pour into a mug-- enjoy!

Some additional tips to really hit it out of the park:

  • Make sure you're using the right size capacity of a pourover for the amount of cups you plan to consistently brew. Mine is the Hario size 02 (cone, pot, filters, and stand included in this set). Too little grinds in a big cone and too many grinds in a small cone don't result in ideal distribution of grinds in water and a less quality brew. Mine does well for 1 or 2 servings.
  • Use Hario filters-- they're not bleached, they're compostable, AND many baristas agree it is the one that will impart the least flavor on the coffee itself, which is what you want.
  • Use good water. My Berkey filtered water just tastes better (and is sans fluoride to protect my endocrine system too)
  • Use a gooseneck kettle to be able to control the flow of your water. I adore my Fellow kettle-- was an investment but it comes with a thermometer, looks gorgeous on my stove, and it makes me happy every single morning.
  • Keep your grounds off the side of the filter-- even extraction is key. As you get more practiced, try to keep the grounds off the filters (but don't pour water on the side of the filters, pour on the grounds).
  • Pour slower with newer coffee (more freshly roasted) and more aggressively with older coffee-- you'll notice there is less bubbling and degassing in older coffee beans and it can make for an uneven extraction, so get those grinds swirling with a more aggressive pour. With fresher beans, take it easy as there will be plenty of action on their own.
  • For more tips, check out this kind of intense but detailed barista's guide I learned a lot of this from!

Some of my favorite coffee beans