Kaitlyn Wallace

I’m excited to share my all-time favourite home brew method with you – Pour Over! This weekend might be a great time to experiment with new brew methods as it looks like winter is going to officially commence in SK. Heck! It happens every year… but man there’s nothing like that first round of subzero temperatures & driving snow or rain that always hits a little different.

Pour over

What is it? Why do we use it? How is it done?

The pour over method involves pouring hot water over a bed of coffee grounds through a filter into a carafe or mug. It sounds pretty simple right? Well it is… and it isn’t. That’s the cool thing about coffee, the more you learn and experiment with all of the relevant variables the better your brew will be! Today we’re going to keep things incredibly basic though so stick with me.

What is it?

Pour over can be referred to as drip or filter coffee, although this language can be used to describe traditional batch brewers. What sets pour over apart from your old, dusty coffee pot is that the water is poured by hand.

Why pour over?

The pour over method is relatively inexpensive when compared to other brewing methods and it best highlights complex flavours. Quality pourover is clean, clear & consistent. The water is able to extract the coffee oils & aromas at an ideal time & pressure.

Not only is it also a superior brewing method when compared to other homebrew options like percs, presses & moka pots, but it has become a therapeutic morning ritual for many coffee fanatics. Thankfully it is highly unlikely that there are any old Italian men reading this blog as they would be threatening to have me sleep with the fishes after so casually discounting their love for the moka pot.

What do you need?

Among our ever growing collection of coffee brewing apparatus we presently have a Chemex & a Kalita Wave. We use our chemex to brew for both of us or company (back when company was a thing) and our Wave is just a single cup. My caffeine parole officer, aka my husband, uses it mostly for that extra Saturday afternoon coffee now that I am trying to ration my daily caffeine intake. Perhaps I should title my next blog the woes of the pregnant barista. Thankfully my coffee aversion only lasted for several weeks, but July was the longest 156 days of my life. 😀

Other brands to check out are Melitta & Hario. We prefer to use paper filters but there are cloth options as well. You’ll need a digital scale, a stopwatch & a grinder. It’s best to use a burr grinder over a blade grinder as it’ll produce a more even grind. A more consistent grind reduces over or under extraction of your coffee. A gooseneck electric kettle to heat your water will allow you greater control over your flowrate and if it has temperature control even better! But if you’re just starting out on your coffee journey, any kettle will do, but be sure to use filtered water.

How to brew

  1. Preheat your water between 195 – 205F.

  2. Weigh your coffee.
    • 1:16 – 1:19 brew ratio. We are using 1:17 today. That’s 1 gram of coffee for every 17 grams of water. For a 6 ounce cup of coffee (170grams) we are going to use 10 grams of beans.

  3. Rinse your filter (gets rid of paper taste, also preheats carafe or mug).

  4. Grind your beans.
    • Medium to medium-fine grind (sea salt or sand).
      • Experiment with grind size by making small adjustments to your settings. Too bitter? Go coarser. Too sour? Go finer.

  5. Pour water (Bloom + Brew)
    • Start your clock
    • Bloom: pour a little water, just enough to wet the grounds & wait 30 seconds for the grounds to finish rising/bubbling.
      • You’re removing CO2.
    • Brew: pour remaining water over the grounds slowly, starting in the centre and working out widening the spiral. Stop once you’ve reached your ideal brew ratio.
      • There are other pour over techniques to explore but this is a good place to start!
    • Note your time. Adjusting the grind will alter your extraction time.

  6. Inhale. Sip. Enjoy!