Pour Over Coffee

If you have been Instagram for longer than 5 minutes, you have seen pour over coffee.

Pour over coffee is all the rage these days, and for good reason. It's simple to do at home, requires minimal equipment, and produces a great cup of coffee, which is probably why people have been using the pour over brewing method for over a century.

The first time I experienced pour over coffee was in London in an Honduran girl's house with two Argentine guys (most of what happens in my life sound like the start of a bar joke, welcome aboard). My buddy Adri asked if I wanted coffee and after a midnight flight from Spain, a two hour bus ride into town and a contemptibly short nap, I was quick to accept. He proceeded to make a pot of pour over coffee using a cloth bag and a stove top pan. "What in the world is that?" I thought. "I guess they make coffee like tea in England." Wrong. But I learned, that's the important thing. 

So let's make some coffee! First off, equipment. You are going to need the coffee dripper, a coffee filter, something to pour the water from, and I highly recommend a coffee grinder.

For the dripper, I love the Hario V60 which you can get on Amazon for about $15. There are metal, ceramic, and glass coffee drippers, choose whichever you like best as they will all produce a great cup of coffee.

Let's talk for a second about grinders and why you should get one. You can use a simple blade grinder not only for pour over but for regular drip and French press as well. I promise you will noticeably taste the difference in your coffee if you grind your own beans at home versus buying pre-ground. Plus, who doesn't love the smell of fresh ground coffee? You can get the Krups blade grinder I'm using today for about $20 on Amazon. 

As far as pouring the water, nothing special is needed. Most professionals will use a gooseneck kettle because it gives you a lot of control while pouring the water and will evenly brew the coffee (it also looks cool on Instagram). These will run for between $35 and $70, so if you don't want to shell out the extra cash just to pour water, a tea kettle or literally anything else that will pour the water and has a relatively thin spout will work just fine.

For the filter, you can use paper or cloth. Paper is easier to find and clean up, plus you don't have to worry about flavor contamination or molding as you do with cloth filters. There are filters specially designed to fit pour over drippers, but your standard coffee filter will work just fine.

Set up your coffee dripper on top of your cup or coffee receptacle and put the filter in place. Before you add the coffee, pour some of the hot water through the filter. This will eliminate any papery taste from the filter and also warm up your coffee cup.

Grind your coffee (about two tablespoons of whole beans for one individual cup should be fine) and place into coffee filter, using a brush if needed to get the coffee out of the grinder. You want a relatively coarse grind that will feel gritty like sand to the touch.

Slowly pour the water over the coffee, moving the spout around in a circle to evenly drench all the coffee. 

At this point the coffee will rise to the top. Stop pouring the coffee and wait about 30 seconds. You will see bubbles in the coffee and it will look kind of foamy, this is called "bloom" and is caused by the releasing of carbon dioxide gas when the ground coffee reacts with the hot water. The fresher your coffee, the more "bloom" you will see.

Continue slowly pouring the water over the coffee, pausing as needed to allow the water to drip down into the cup, until you have finished brewing.

One of the great things about pour over is that you can make a single cup and not waste any coffee. To really get a great coffee experience, try buying whole beans at your local roaster (ask the barista for help if you aren't sure what kind to get). If you want to order online, Madcap is one of my favorites. They have a great selection of seasonal coffees and ship the day after roasting ensuring that everything is really fresh. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the coffee.

Serve with breakfast, pastries, or your favorite book

Pair with American Girl, Ta-Ku fr. Wafia