The Pour Over Coffee at home – How I make mine
The third wave has provided us with another luxury besides the usual coffee maker at home. We now have various coffee equipments such as the French Press, Chemex, Coffee drippers and Aero Press to make coffee with our own hands. Together with quality beans and better roasts, we can now have some of the best coffee right at home.
In this post, I’ll introduce the steps I take to make my perfect cup of coffee at home using the pour over method.
Off we go.
My personal choice, as you may know from my previous blogs, is dark roast somewhere around full city and vienna roast. I use beans from my local roaster cafe, especially Marugo Blend which I am obsessed with. I talk about Marugo Blend here.
The Dripper pot:
I have a Hario V60 dripper at home so I use that. What do I like about it? It’s light, the pouring tip is quite far apart from the body which makes it a lot easier to pour hot water gently into the coffee drippers. The handle is not particularly comfy, but I don’t mind.
The Coffee Dripper:
I’m not sure if you can find this in the US or other countries, but I use a one-holed coffee dripper produced by a reputable company known as Sanyo Sangyo. The shape is trapezoid, much like the Kalita. The hole is slightly larger than what you would find in the Kalita dripper. At present, I love using this coffee dripper.
The Coffee Grind For Pour Over:
I don’t use an electric mill even though I should. For now, I use a hand-powered mill. This one is also a Hario make. I adjust the space between the grind stones so that I have coarser grinds rather close to the ones you’d find in the French press. It’s just what I prefer now since this prevents or at least limits the micro coffee fines produced when grinding.
The Paper Coffee Filters:
I use an oxygen-bleached paper filter. I talk about why I prefer this type of paper filter here.
I keep a thermometer inside the dripper pot, and so I know when I want to remove the dripper pot from the heat. For dark roasts, I prefer a temperature range between 82°C/180°F to 84°C/183°F. For lighter roasts something much higher between 86°C/187°F to 88°C/190°F degrees.
For consistency, I like to use a simple kitchen scale(the better one) to measure my beans and extracted coffee. It’s totally up to you if you really want to use the scale or just go with the feel. I use grams since volume can slightly differ depending on the day and water.
The extraction steps for the pour over coffee:
1. Pre heat
I preheat the coffee drippers (when ceramic) and the collecting pots, to prevent the coffee from cooling down. I simply use the hot water I plan to extract coffee with. That way the temperature is pretty much the same for everything. I sometimes pre wet the paper filters, and sometimes I don’t. Does it really change anything? I don’t know and I don’ think so.
You’d probably have to pre wet the paper filter if it’s unbleached though.
2. The Bloom
I pour the grinds into the coffee drippers. Level them out a little if it’s leaning to one side. Then I gently try to ‘place’ hot water onto the grounds. All I try to do is to wet the grounds so that they’re ready for extraction. Once they’re wet, depending on how fresh they are from their roast date, you’ll probably hear some gas escaping. I do, which tells me that the roast date isn’t too far off. I also see the gas pushing upwards towards the center and forming this little hill. People call it the bloom. In Japanese coffee books, they say Hanbaagu no youna ハンバーグのような which translates to ‘ like a burger ‘. I guess people love to compare things to food in Japan.
3. Before the first extraction
The bloom can last from 20 to 40 seconds, maybe more. What I usually do is keep perceiving the scents and fragrance of the coffee. There’s a point where it stops giving off the sweet and fragrant scents. The gas-escaping noise also reduces and is replaced by sounds of bubbles popping. And that’s when I go in for my first extraction. I like to think of this whole process as creating an anthill. The ants create airways in the soil to allow air to flow in. That’s all we’re doing here.
4. The first extraction
I like to take it very easy with my first extraction. Starting off with little drops and then a thin stream of water. Nothing more and nothing less. This method is quite common among the baristas I’ve seen. This phase is usually considered important since you’re pretty much extracting the essence of what is to become your perfect cup of coffee. I usually pour until I pour in about 1/3 of the coffee I plant to extract and then stop.
5. The Drop & Stop and Final Extraction
After the first extraction, it gets a lot easier. I pour, this time a thicker stream of water, and then stop once I see the water level rising above the highest level of coffee grinds on the side. Once the last of the drops fall, I repeat the process until I reach the required extraction amount.
Eguchi-san from COFFEEMAN inspired me to try this method and I’ve been using this method for about three weeks now. The coffee is clear and crisp, and very gentle to the palate which makes it easier to taste the unique features of the coffee at hand whether it’s single origin or a blend. The amazing thing also is that the mouthfeel is round and smooth with a good amount of body. It really is a coffee pour over method refined for the palate.
I usually pour a little extra for my last pour and then move the coffee dripper away from the collecting pot so that the last of drops, which may contain over extracted coffee, don’t fall with the rest of the coffee.
Coffee ( 20 grams or 0.7 Ounces )
Water ( about 450g or 16 ounces in total) – 200 grams or 7.1 ounces for pre heating, 250 grams or 8.8 ounces for extraction and 210 grams or 7.4 ounces for actual extraction
One thing I’d like to include here is the amount of water. There are two things I consider which should be included when considering how much water to pour.
First, the water absorbed by the coffee grinds. Even if you pour 100 grams (3.5 oz) of water, the collected coffee isn’t going to be 100 grams but maybe 85 grams(3 oz). So that’s one things to consider. Another is if you plan to take away the coffee dripper before the last of the final extractions drop. It’s thought that the last drops usually carry over extracted coffee and so the coffee drippers are removed at some point. So even if your scale shows 300g(10.6 oz), the collected coffee maybe 270g(9.5oz) since you decided not to include the last 30g(1 oz). That’s why there is a difference in term when I say the amount poured for extraction and the actual amount extracted.
So there you have it. My guide to making pour over coffee at home. What did you think of it? How do you make your coffee at home? If you own a cafe, how do you serve coffee to your customers? Leave a comment down below and let us all know.