Health & Wellness

The Beginner’s Guide to Pour Over Coffee

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Coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed around the world. Most adults cannot function without it.

From coffee shops to restaurants to your kitchen counter, everyone has a different way of serving this sacred beverage. Coffee lovers across the globe prefer to drink their coffee at various temperatures and use different techniques to brew their morning joe.

But today, we are going to dive deeper into how to make pour over coffee.

We will cover how to make it, the equipment, the ratio and tips on how to brew the perfect cup in our beginner’s guide to pour over coffee.

What is Pour Over Coffee and What Makes it Great?

Okay, so what is pour over coffee and what makes it so freaking special?

The answer is it’s all about the process. The process of making pour over coffee makes it taste better than regular coffee by giving it some extra love and attention.

Pour over coffee just means pouring water over the coffee grounds yourself that then drains into your brewer(we will cover that) or coffee cup.

This style of making coffee has become increasingly popular due to the complete control you have over the brewing process.

You control the grind of the bean, temperature of the water, strength of the flavor and most importantly, taste. Ultimately, pour over coffee is the best way to make delicious coffee.

What Equipment Do you Need for Pour Over Coffee?

First things first, to actually make pour over coffee, you will need a few pieces of equipment.

These 5 gadgets are essential for creating a cup of pour over coffee.

1. Grinder

We suggest using a manual grinder and grinding up the beans right before you make your cup of pour over coffee to ensure the coffee is fresh and full of flavor.

Some coffee connoisseurs might tell you a quality grinder is the most important purchase for the perfect cup of joe. And purchasing a quality grinder goes for all types of coffee brewing, not just pour over coffee.

2. Filter

Filters for pour over coffee are similar to your drip coffee machine. Just a little different in shape, these filters are more coned shaped at the bottom versus a flat rounded bottom.

They come in a paper, cloth or stainless steel. The choice is up to you, just make sure it fits correctly on your brew maker, every brewer is different.

3. Gooseneck Kettle

You might be wondering what the world is a gooseneck kettle? Basically, a gooseneck kettle functions them same as a standard tea kettle, except for as the name suggests, the neck is shaped like a goose’s neck.

A gooseneck kettle helps with controlling the manual pour of the coffee onto the grounds.

With a smaller output hole, you can control where the water is going and release it right where you want it. This precision helps with a balanced saturation, leading to a nearly perfect cup of pour over coffee.

4. Brewer

The brewer is the piece of equipment you probably don’t have in your kitchen cabinet yet and is the key player in the pour over coffee game.

Think of the brewer as the thing that holds the filter.

The brewer extracts the flavor of the coffee without the mess of the grounds. Similar to a standard drip coffee machine, but controlled manually.

There are a few different shapes and sizes of brewers to choose from depending on your pour over coffee needs. They are all a tad different. Some stand alone with a pitcher or carafe attached. Some are just the filter and you put them on top of your own coffee cup and some kind of look like an hourglass but instead of sand, coffee flows through the other side.

Things to look out for in a brewer: 

  • Filter Options – standard filters vs. custom filters
  • Set up Time – easy setup vs. multi-step use
  • Functionality – accessories vs. stand-alone
  • Brew Time –  quick vs. slow

Once you’ve narrowed down your ideal features in a brewer, then you can decide which one is right for you. Make it personal, you will most likely be using this little gadget every day.

Also, if you pick one that is too difficult to use don’t expect your significant other to surprise you with a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, just saying.

5. Scale

Scales are great for precision in the kitchen.

This can come in handy outside of your pour over coffee game. It’s important to weigh your coffee grounds for the perfect pour over coffee to water ratio.

6. Quality Water

This component cannot be stressed enough. Quality water isn’t just for taste; it will also help preserve your equipment for longer use. We suggest using distilled water.

Whether you want to buy pre distilled water or use a distilled water contraption at home that is up to you! Just make sure you are thinking about the water that is going into your pour over coffee.

Optional Equipment

There are a few pieces of optional equipment you could invest in to complete the perfect batch of pour over coffee.

1. Sifter

Sifter’s help refine whatever you put in them.

Sifters are commonly used in baking for flour, but they can be used to help perfect your coffee grounds as well. We definitely suggest you invest in a separate sifter for coffee. This is not the gadget you want to double-dip with.

Frankly, flour in your coffee sounds pretty gross to us.

2. Thermometer

Thermometers aren’t only used during Thanksgiving to check on the bird.

Utilizing a thermometer while making pour over coffee ensures the water is the right temperature.

The perfect water temperature for pour over coffee is between 195° to 205° Fahrenheit.

3. Coffee Server

This is a great investment if you entertain and are serving more than a few guest’s coffee or if you plan to drink a few cups yourself.

They also look pretty cool and are bound to win some brownie points with your guests.

Steps to Make Pour Over Coffee

Now that you are familiar with all of the equipment needed to make pour over coffee, we will dive into the steps on how to actually brew a batch of it.

Be prepared, there are a lot more steps than your standard drip coffee machine. There is no magic button or automatic timer that will brew a cup for you, sorry!

Practice and patience is the key to the pour over coffee game.

Step One – Get Organized

Getting everything organized and in place, before you begin is essential for anything with a multi-step process.

We suggest laying everything out on the counter before you begin so you can see everything and easily access it.

Step Two – Grind and Weigh

How much coffee are you planning to make?

This will determine how much coffee you need to grind up. The ratio affects tastes, so the more beans you add, the more flavor your coffee will have.

The coffee to water ratio is critical to making the perfect cup of coffee. Taste is obviously subjective, but very important.

But the experts suggest a ratio of 1:17 coffee to water. That math is pretty difficult to do in your head, so we suggest you have a food scale to measure out perfectly.

Most scales measure in grams, which would equate as 1 gram of coffee and 17 grams of water.

Grams and milliliters are converted equally for water so if you are using a measuring cup, it would be 17 milliliters of water for every 1 gram of coffee.

Step Three – Add Filter to Brewer and Rinse

Now you can add your paper or reusable filter to your brewer.

We suggest a quick rinse of your filter before putting your coffee in there. Pour a little bit of water in the filter and let it drain into your coffee cup/pot then dump out the water after.

This step will keep your coffee from having any filter residue.

This is only important if you use disposable filters. But trust us, rinsing the filter before you dump your coffee in there will improve the taste immensely.

Step Four – Add Coffee to Filter

Next, add your measured out and ground up coffee to your filter.

Step Five – Heat Water and Add to Vessel

As we mentioned, the experts suggest heating your water to 195° to 205° Fahrenheit.

Depending on how you heat up your water, you may or may not need a thermometer.

A pretty easy indication is if your water is boiling. So you can definitely use your tea kettle to heat up your water if you do not have a thermometer.

Once water is ready, pour the water over coffee grounds and make sure all of the grounds are soaked.

Step Six – Set Timer and Wait

Your brewer will dictate the time you need to actually brew your coffee.

This can range anywhere from 2 minutes to 4 minutes, depending on the roast for your pour over coffee.

Step Seven – Remove Filter & Enjoy

Remove the filter and pour it into your coffee cup. Now enjoy that perfectly brewed cup of pour over coffee.

Why it’s Important to Clean your Gear

When it comes to coffee, most people think coffee beans are the most important part of a good cup of coffee. While beans are a vital component quality water is equally as important.

Not only will clean quality water make your coffee taste better it will also keep your equipment cleaner and last longer.

If you are going to splurge on your bean quality make sure your water is up to snuff as well.

Related: How To Clean A Dirty Coffee Maker (Safe & Natural)

Tips for Brewing the Perfect Cup


Here are a few tips to remember when brewing the perfect cup of pour over coffee.

  • Invest in a Grinder – this is the first step to making the best cup of coffee
  • Heat water to the right temperature – 195° to 205° Fahrenheit
  • Wet the Filter – no one wants filter residue in their cup of coffee
  • Use a scale – this will help with the perfect coffee to water ratio
  • Water quality – don’t forget to use high-quality water with your high-quality beans
  • Listen to your taste buds – remember this cup of pour over coffee is for you, adjust what you need for your perfect cup of coffee
  • Clean Everything – this is so important, we want your coffee to taste good and your equipment to last a long time

So there you have it, the beginners guide to pour over coffee. It’s all about accuracy and control.

Making a cup of coffee may seem quite simple, but there are so many tiny tweaks and factors that change the taste and ultimately the outcome.

Even caffeine addicts deserve to have the best cup of coffee they can make. And once you start making pour over coffee you won’t turn back.

Experiment with it, have fun and enjoy your brew!

Christine Devereaux Evangelista

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