How to make great pour over coffee

V60 coffee

There is nothing more satisfying than brewing a crystal clear, smooth tasting pour over coffee on a lazy Sunday morning.

The range of flavours available can be really surprising when you brew this way and some baristas claim it is the only way to truly enjoy speciality coffee.

This post is aimed at beginner brewers or those who are more confident, looking to hone their filter skills.

The pour over method is a style of brewing coffee where gravity draws fresh water through the bed of coffee before passing through a filter. This differs to full immersion brewing (such as with a cafetiere) where all the water is added at the start.

Pour over is also known as filter or drip coffee and equipment like the V60, clever dripper and Chemex can be used.

Pour Over coffee highlights the finer qualities of the bean

What does pour over coffee taste like?

The taste of pour over coffee is more subtle than an espresso-based drink, but with the interest in speciality coffee always increasing, so is the notion that coffee isn’t always about that caffeine ‘hit’.

Speciality coffee is known for its unique flavour profile, hence why you will often see taste notes of ‘strawberry, jasmine and cacao’ on bag labels. Extracting coffee via the pour over method is the ideal way for these nuanced flavours to express themselves.

Unlike espresso, there is no pressure involved in the extraction process, creating more room for the lighter delicate flavours that would otherwise be lost.

In some cases, espresso still offers a fruity or floral taste, but this is accentuated with pour over and individual tastes are easier to be identified. It is also a more consistent way of creating delicate flavour as long as the coffee is extracted properly.

How to make pour over coffee – before we start.

Firstly, if you are anticipating that pour over will create the best taste you’ve ever had, then buying some freshly roasted, quality coffee is a good place to start.

What Coffee to use for Pour Over

Pour over is a great way to sample how the land, process and geographic location can change the taste of coffee. Speciality, single plantation coffees are prone to having more detailed taste profiles because they grow in such a small area (often known as micro lot) and therefore have more potential when brewed with a pour over method.

Blend coffees are created to be balanced and smooth (and will certainly taste great in a V60) but their unique tastes won’t be as wide ranging as speciality coffee.

Some of our favourite coffees to try as a pour over method have been Ethiopia Gelana, India Hoysala and Rwanda Kinini which won 2 stars in 2020’s Great Taste Awards. Speciality coffee is also roasted much lighter than espresso blends, the brew ratio used (which we will talk about later) means that coffee can be roasted less but still extracted correctly when brewed.

Coffee roasted for espresso is roasted a little higher so that a standard dose of 17g-18g can be extracted without tasting sour/under extracted. Lighter roasted coffees hold on to their typical taste profile for whichever origin it has grown in and is one of the most exciting aspects of speciality coffee – you get to taste the distinct difference each country has to offer!

How to Grind Coffee for Pour Over

So, now you have chosen the correct type of coffee it must now be ground correctly.

Use a flat burr or conical burr grinder if you have one to ensure that your grind size is consistent (if you need grinding tips then follow this link for our recent post regarding grinders).

It is important to only grind as much coffee as you need to avoid coffee going stale or it being wasted.

The 'no pressure' extraction process brings out the lighter flavours in the coffee

Brew Ratio for Pour Over

Working out your brew ratio is a good way to find out how much coffee to use. The brew ratio is the ratio of coffee to water used.

Typically, a ratio of 1:16 is used for most drip methods, meaning that for every gram of coffee you should use 16ml of water. Therefore, for a standard 8oz cup of joe you would need to use 14g of coffee.

Making a pour over coffee with a V60 – step by step

  1. Heat water to 97°C
  2. Place filter in V60 and rinse to remove any paper dust.
  3. Zero the scale and add the ground coffee.
  4. Zero the scale again and add 60ml of water, stir with a spoon – try not to touch the paper.
  5. Pour the rest of the water slowly in intervals, replacing the coffee that drips through the filter.
  6. Move the V60 slowly in a circular motion to allow all the coffee on the sides of the filter to brew before the water runs through.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Single Plantation Coffee at Adams + Russell

Pour over coffee leaves a lingering taste and the clear brew gives it a light body, perfect for easy to drink coffee all throughout the day. For more information about brewing check out our brew guides here. Listed below are some of our favourite single plantation coffees to try as a pour over.

Ethiopia Gelana – Washed

A fine example of Ethiopian high grade arabica, Gelana is packed with jammy apricot notes and has a moderate acidity that adds bite.

Brazil Fazenda Miaki – Semi Washed

Our latest Brazilian addition to the roasting house, Miaki has a rich body and chocolate flavour, perfect for all filter coffee lovers.

Rwanda Kinini – Natural

If you want to discover intense fruity flavour then look no further than our Great Taste 2020 winner.

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