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Brewing Pour Over Coffee: Top 8 Pro Tips

10 February 2021
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A common misconception about pour over coffee: pour hot water over coffee grounds, wait for the coffee to drip, and ta-da! A piping hot cup of delicious coffee! We hate to burst your bubble, but perfecting the pour over method requires some basic knowledge (and brewing time) to get the best cup of coffee.

Let’s dive deeper into the world of pour overs.

1. Use the Right Grind Size

Brewing a great cup of coffee begins with a consistent grind, regardless which brewing method is used.

The general rule of thumb: the finer the grind, the faster the extraction. Similarly, coarser grounds will reduce the speed of extraction, and may risk a bitter brew due to over-extraction.

For the pour over method, a medium-fine grind is ideal as it allows water to flow through the grounds seamlessly while ensuring a perfect extraction.

Use this infographic to find out which grind size is best suited for your brewing method.

Pro-tip: Grind your beans just before brewing for a fresher brew.

2. Roast Profile

Some brewing methods lose their flavours in light roasts. However, that’s not the case with the pour over method.

From dark to light, learn more about the different coffee roasts and their flavour profiles.

With its shorter infusion time, a medium to dark roast is recommended as their flavours are extracted more efficiently with this method.

3. Type of Filter

pouring hot water into a pour over from a gooseneck kettle
Paper filters are tightly woven and absorbent, filtering out the oils and fine grounds from your brew. Photo from Conor Brown.

Paper or cloth? The type of filter you choose can have a major impact on your overall coffee experience as it changes the way aromas and flavours blend together.

Paper filters are a hot favourite as they are an inexpensive option that brings convenience. Moreover, paper absorbs insoluble solids such as oils and fine particles, giving your brew a clean and delicate finish.

On the other hand, cloth filters produce a more robust and rich-bodied brew as the insoluble solids provide body and texture. The disadvantage lies in cleaning and maintaining the cloth as not doing so may contribute to bitter and sour flavours in your next brew.

Pro tip: Paper filters are available in different sizes. Ensure that your paper filter is the right fit for your pour over.

4. Coffee-to-Water Ratio

a bag of coffee beans, a pour over, and a gooseneck kettle
Use a coffee scale to measure your coffee beans and water. Photo from Kris Gerhard.

An ideal ratio for the pour over method is 60 grams of coffee beans for every litre of water. This gives us a 1:17 ratio (1 gram of coffee to 17 grams of water).

If you are using a roast that is lighter than desired, a ratio of 1:15 will do the job. Similarly, if you are using a coarser grind, ensure that you are using a lower coffee-to-water ratio.

Pro tip: Invest in a reliable coffee scale to perfect your coffee recipe.

5. Type of Water

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but water constitutes 98% of your coffee. That is why the type of water that you use is crucial.

When it comes to brewing coffee, not all water is equal. From mineral content to pH level, different types of water can either make or break your brew.

For starters, leave out distilled water as the absence of minerals makes coffee bland. You can use filtered water, bottled water, or even tap water (depending on which country you live in).

6. Water Temperature

Have you been using freshly boiled water for your coffee? That’s a big no-no from us.

The ideal temperature for water is slightly below the boiling point at 90-96 degrees. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, leave the water to cool for a minute or two before pouring it over your coffee grounds.

Nonetheless, we recommend investing in a reliable gooseneck kettle such as this, which heats up water to the exact temperature you set.

7. Pouring Stream

As the saying goes, “the key to success is consistency”. For the pour over method, pouring water over coffee takes finesse. Water is not only added gradually and softly but also tactically.

Whether you are using a gooseneck kettle or not, careless pouring of water can spoil your coffee as you will have a saturated or unevenly extracted cup of coffee.

For the pour over method, pour water over the grounds slowly in a circular motion for 15 seconds. Start at the outer edge, moving towards the centre, ensuring that all grounds are covered.

Repeat this step three more times, and you will have a delicious pour over coffee!

8. Importance of a Good Gooseneck Kettle

a black de'longhi gooseneck kettle
A gooseneck kettle gives you full control over the flow rate to consistently soak all the coffee grounds at the right speed. Featuring the De’Longhi Icona Café Gooseneck Kettle. Photo from De’Longhi.

What is a gooseneck kettle? While it may seem like it’s a fancy-looking kettle that has a long and narrow neck (similar to a goose), it is a simple coffee device that greatly eases the pour over process. It doesn’t only give you greater control of the pouring stream, but also provides proper extraction.

Although there are various gooseneck kettles available, have you heard of one that has five different temperature settings and a warming function? The newly launched De’Longhi Icona Café Gooseneck Kettle does it, and it is a game-changer.

Not only is it possible to easily control the water temperature, its design also gives you the ability to pour the exact amount of water at a controlled speed to ensure optimal extraction. Whether it’s for the pour over method or a hot cup of tea, this gooseneck kettle does its job right.

What more do you need when you have a chic and stylish gooseneck kettle to accent your kitchen’s design?

Shop now for SGD189.