From picking the perfect beans to brewing the perfect cup for yourself.
Coffee has always been a part of our lives for centuries. Nowadays, with so many different ways to make coffee at home, it could be a nice hobby and a challenge to expand your coffee-making skills. Considering as of now, making your own coffee is also considered a lifestyle.
There are many types of coffee brewing methods out there, including pour over, French Press, Aeropress, Siphon, Coffeemaker, and Cold Brew. But in this article, we will be more in-depth about the pour over method.
Pour over is a method of coffee brewing that involves pouring hot water over roasted, ground coffee beans over a filter and the result is a series of personal preferences, techniques, and perfect measurements of quantities and time.
The pour-over method is a simple yet intricate brewing process that gives a clean and vibrant cup of coffee; Capable of highlighting the more complex, bright acidity of the coffee compared to say French Press which gives a more bold and dense flavor.
Here we have laid down a few essential tips on making the best cup of drip coffee yourself:
Using High-Quality Coffee is a Must
There are very few pleasures in life as wonderful as freshly roasted beans.
A great cup of coffee always starts with great beans. Superior quality coffee beans have all the interesting flavors captured and packed in them waiting to be released through the roasting and brewing process.
When choosing coffee beans, it’s highly recommended to go for Arabica beans over Robusta due to its character and growing process which gives it a higher complex acidity and flavor profile.
The altitude at which a bean is grown matters too! Due to the colder climate in higher altitudes, coffee fruits that grow in the region tend to develop a more complex and high acidity flavor due to the slower growing process to a point where the high altitude is sometimes associated with high quality (which is not entirely true). An example will be Ethiopia coffee which has great floral and sweet character. In the lower altitude, however, due to the less harsh growing environment, the coffee fruits develop a more mild, humble, down-to-earth character as shown in Brazil coffee which can be smoother to the palette.
Freshers are not always better. Like wine, freshly roasted coffee beans perform better when left to age for a couple of days or even up to 21 days depending on the beans. This is called the resting process. Coffee beans that are aged offer a coffee experience that will be far superior; better flavor clarity, more integrated acidity, and less bitterness.
Taste is very personal; however, having some basic knowledge of coffee fruits and beans will help you tremendously next time when you are selecting the right beans that suit your taste bud for any occasion.
Choosing the Right Grind
Grind sizes affect the flavor extraction.
Even if you are using the finest coffee in the world, if the grind size is off, or uneven, the coffee will taste subpar regardless of the filter you use. Try to get a consistent grind coarseness, using proper measurements. The problem is if you grind finer, you will prolong the steeping time as water will pass slower through the more tightly compact coffee body. Too coarse and the water will pass too fast, resulting in under-extraction. Make sure you know what type of result you want because there are several grinds for coffee depending on what type of method that you use.
A coarse grind will have the size of commercial bread crumbs. This is an ideal grind for making French Press coffee and brewing coffee in percolators. A medium grind about the size of granulated sugar and is the most common in pre-ground coffees. They are best for vacuum and some drip coffee makers. Next is a fine grind, also known as espresso grind. It’s perfect for espresso machines with very high pressure yet short extraction time which produce very dense cups with high crema. An extra-fine grind is pulverized coffee that feels like flour. It requires a special grinder and is mainly used in niche brewing such as Turkish coffee.
For pour-over or drip coffee, we recommend a grind size resembling sea salt. Grinding your coffee is recommended as well as it means you can have full control of your grind coarseness.
Choosing the Right Gear
Your coffee gear is your weapon to your coffee game.
Each step or process is equally important when it comes to pour over method. As we have mentioned above, grinding your own coffee is recommended. Because then, you will have full control over your grind. Using a burr-style grinder will give you a consistent grind because burr-style has the mechanical capacity to grind coffee uniformly.
Then you need to think about your dripper. A pour-over device ultimately gives you just more control over your drip coffee brewing. However, filters designed differently bring out distinct parts of the character and flavor profile. Hario V60 for example is an elegant brewer with relatively large opening and ribs structure which allows for a faster brew and requires an exacting technique and a steady hand. When it’s done well, it can make a beautiful, bright, and crisp cup with stand-out citrus notes. The Kalita Wave wins over coffee and design enthusiasts alike. The flat-bottom filter helps with the even extraction when brewing for a richer and full-bodied cup. The Chemex has a thicker patented filter that brews a clean cup while maintaining body and balanced floral notes.
Next is a gooseneck kettle. Different from a normal kettle, a gooseneck kettle has that bendy, thin spout that enables a more controlled pour when brewing to achieve a more consistent and even extraction.
Add a weighing scale to enhance the precision of your pour! A scale gives you complete control over how much coffee and water you use. This means you’ll never have to guess with scoops again!
Lastly, use a paper filter for your drip. Paper filters are much finer, meaning they trap the micro-fines and usually capture most of the oils giving you a very clean cup of coffee.
The Golden Ratio
The game-changer is when you can master the right brew.
So you have nailed down the beans, the grind size, and the set-up. It is time to make the coffee! Everyone has their own golden ratio based on their own personal preference. However, the standard coffee to water ratio is 1:17 for every 1 gram of coffee, use 17 grams of water. This ratio is optimal for manual and automatic drip coffee methods. If you like your coffee a tad stronger, you can always adjust the ratio to suit crafting your own golden ratio designed by you, and for you!
The ideal temperature for drip is between 90.5 and 96.1 degrees Celsius. But if the coffee you are using is a light roast, using a higher temperature somewhere in the range of 96.6 to 97.7 degrees Celcius will help to get the ideal extraction—the process of dissolving soluble flavors from coffee grounds in water. If it’s dark or medium roasted it would most likely be lower, somewhere in the range of 82.2 to 87.7 degrees Celsius, to avoid over-extracting resulting in bitter flavors.
Perfecting Your Pour
It is an extraordinary skill when you can master the pour.
Like learning how to drive, an easeful pour over technique requires practice. In just a few tries, you can be a master home brewer yourself! For pouring there are a few things to remember:
- Blooming – known as the first pour that is enough to wet the coffee powder. The bloom pours serve to release trapped carbon dioxide so extraction can take place.
- Flavor extraction – the first 2-3 pours are for extracting the flavors which should take between 30-45 seconds each pour. You should pour in slow and steady spirals to keep things even.
- The balance – the last (bigger) pour, is to balance the coffee so it’s smooth to the palette. This is the pour to adjust the strength and the balance to suit your preferences.
We recommend you use a gooseneck kettle to help you with precision. Gooseneck kettle can help focus your pouring mostly in the inner circle, pouring near the edges occasionally to consistently wet the grounds. Once brewed, remove the filter and enjoy your perfect pour-over drip cup of coffee.
Have You Considered Drip Bags?
Drip bags are easy and convenient!
Doing the pour-over method with a bunch of tools can be cool and fun to do, but it does take time and effort! Many people want an easy way now. Something quick, sufficient, and convenient, so because of that, drip bag coffee is gaining popularity.
Drip bag is an innovative way to brew filter coffee and it does not require grinding, weighing and skillful brewing technique. Each drip bag is portioned and packed for single serve coffee which is easy to carry around and offer a great cup of coffee anytime and anywhere. Be it on-the-go, work from home or to fix your sudden caffeine crave! In morningFirst coffee we have freshly roasted high-quality coffee from Brazil and Ethiopia which are perfect for your morning caffeine fix and afternoon caffeine crave.
To use the drip bag coffee, simply tear off the drip bag along the perforated line, shake it lightly to level, hang it on your cup, and pour hot water over the coffee a little at a time. The coffee then drips out the base of the paper filter and you’re ready to enjoy delicious fresh hand-drip coffee, easy to brew, anytime and anywhere.