Steve Klise

How I Make Pour Over Coffee

This is how I make pour over coffee at home and at work. It’s relatively simple and doesn’t require much expensive equipment (though you can spend tons on a grinder).

Pour Over

I’ve settled on Kalita Wave when I make pour over. There are many others and I have not done an extensive study of the differences.

The Steps

  • Heat up water to 93 Celsius
  • Weigh 22 grams of coffee beans
  • Grind beans to table salt size
  • Wet the filter with hot water
  • Pour 50g of water coating grounds
  • Wait 45 seconds
  • Steadily pour 300g over grounds

Buy Whole Beans

The single biggest improvement I made to how I make coffee was to grind the beans just before brewing. It’s akin to grinding pepper only when you use it versus a bottle of ground pepper that never tastes that great. Oils (flavor) are released from the beans when they are ground. When you use fresh ground beans those oils have a higher chance of making it to your coffee.

Burr Grinder

Please don’t use a blade grinder. Your beans will alwasy be part over-ground and part under-ground. Conical burr grinders pass the coffee through the cutting element once yielding a more consistent grind.

At work I use the Hario Mini Slim. It’s perfect for making one cup of coffee and keeping stashed in your office without taking up too much space. If you are making coffee for more than one person the Hario Skerton is a great choice. If you get tired of hand grinding your coffee I’d recommend starting with the Baratza Encore. There are cheaper electric grinders out there but from what I’ve read and the various grinders I’ve used over the years this is the best grinder for less than $200. I grind beans to about the same size as table salt.

Measuring

It’s important to use a scale to weigh both the beans and the water that make your coffee. You’ll get a great cup of coffee that isn’t too watered down and isn’t too intense. And you’ll get consistent results.

I use 22 grams of beans and 350 grams of water. There are lot of opinions about what the proper ratio is, 22:350 is mine. I’d suggest experimenting with the amount of beans until you find the ratio that is right for you.

For a small coffee scale I recommend (and use) the Hario Coffee Drip Scale/Timer. If you want a scale with a higher capacity that can also be used for cooking and baking go with the Oxo Good Grips.

Water Temperature

If the water you use is not hot enough you’ll get weak coffee. If it’s too hot then you will get burnt tasting coffee. A temperature of 93 Celsius/200 Fahrenheit is the best. You could purchase a water kettle with temperature control. Alternatively you could boil water, remove it from heat and let it cool for about 10-15 seconds from boiling.

Brewing

Once the water is hot and the coffee is ground put a filter in the Kalita Wave over a mug and pour a bit of water to wet the filter. After the water has dripped threw, pour it out in the sink.

Add the grounds and level them off in the cone as much as possible. Pour 50 grams of water evenly wetting all of the grounds. Wait about 45 seconds during which time the coffee should “bloom.”

Finally, steadily pour the remaining 300 grams of water keeping the water/coffee level no more than three quarters full. The entire pouring process should take between 2 and 3 minutes.

Iced Coffee Variant

Using basically the same steps you can make iced coffee. Place 175 grams of ice cubes in your glass under the Kalita Wave and then pour 175 grams over the top, 50 grams first and then 125 after 45 seconds. For a more detailed description, check out this video from Counter Culture.

Finally, some brew guides from some great coffee shops: