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A Brew Guide Series: Pour-ing Over Great Coffee

The experience of a cup of coffee made using the pour over method is truly unforgettable. It is hailed by coffee enthusiasts for a clean and controlled cup that allows you to taste all of the subtle notes in the coffee bean. Some consider it the best form of morning meditation, while others consider it the easiest and cheapest way to step into the “fancy” brewing methods. Most simply, this method involves, as the name suggests, pouring hot water over coffee grounds in a filter and allowing it to drip into your cup. 

Pour over coffee

Tools of the Trade: 

A pour over set-up can range in price from around $10 to over $500. It can truly be customizable to your preferences, and upgraded little by little.


For the basic pour over, you will need:

  • A pour over dripper: Comes in a variety of different materials from plastic, glass or porcelain. 

  • Available at grocery stores from the Melitta brand, or from kitchen specialty stores/online like Hario or Fellow.

  • Filters: Available in different sizes, shapes and material. Two common shapes are cone or flat bottom. The materials can be either a reusable metal or plastic mesh, or paper. 

  • A kettle: For the most control and precision, a gooseneck kettle is best, but any kettle will do.

  • A stopwatch or timer

  • Scale: Any kitchen scale will do, but you can get scales from brands such as Fellow or Acaia that are specifically made for brewing coffee and have timers built-in.

  • Grinder: Preferably a burr grinder, which crush the coffee more evenly than a blade grinder. 

  • Coffee: For best results, purchase fresh and whole, five days to three weeks after roast date. 

Pour over coffee using Chemex
Pour over coffee using Chemex. Photo by Krysta Norman Photography

The Process:

  1. Measure out your coffee. A good starting point is around 20 grams, or a heaping tablespoon. You can adjust this to your personal taste preferences. 

  2. If you are grinding your beans, grind them right before you plan to brew.! You want them to be slightly finer than you would grind them for a traditional drip coffee. 

  3. Put your paper filter into your dripper and pour plain water or boiling water over the filter so that it will stick to the sides of the dripper. Discard any rinse water.

  • A fun fact to show off to coffee snobs everywhere: this is actually not to preheat the brewer or get rid of any paper taste, it is simply so that water goes into your coffee grounds and not down the side and waters down your cup! 

  1. Place your dripper on your cup and add your coffee grounds. Gently shake the dripper so that the grounds are flat—this is called the “bed.” 

  2. Start your timer and gently pour enough water to wet all the coffee, going in a circular motion. If you’re using a scale, this is about 45 grams or 3 tbsp. Wait for 45 seconds. This is called the first “bloom” where the coffee ground is releasing CO2, resulting in a sweeter cup. 

  3. (Stopwatch time: 45 seconds) Pour another 45 grams or 3 tbsp to agitate the grounds. This second bloom makes sure that all of the grounds are getting the opportunity to release some CO2. Wait for another 45 seconds. 

  4. (Stopwatch time: 1 minute 30 seconds) Gently pour another 45 grams or 3 tbsp. You guessed it, wait another 45 seconds. Take a few deep breaths, do a little jig, give somebody a high five (optional).

  5. (Stopwatch time: 2 minutes 10 seconds) In slow circles, pour 250 grams or around a cup of water and wait until it has all dripped into your cup. This should be around the 3-4 minute mark. 

  6. Enjoy!

Any of our coffee varieties are fantastic as a pour over, but our current Burundi Giku and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe are especially fantastic! 

Find us and our coffee at the Westover Farmers Market every Sunday and at Cherrydale Farmers Market on Saturdays, both from 8 to noon.

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