Tips for Making Barista Quality Pour Over Coffee (Part 1)

pour over coffee, filter coffee, ground coffee

When you think about it, your coffee brewing method is more straightforward than preparing pour over coffee. You take some ground coffee, you add it to a filter and pour over some water - job done, a cup of filter coffee.

In which case, why is it that the filter coffee prepared by coffee professional baristas is in a completely different league to the stuff you make at home? The same brewing method is used, but the results are worlds apart - why is this the case?

The answer - as usual - could be one of a thousand different things. But rather than going into each and every one of them in detail, we thought we’d provide definitive rundown of tips, tricks and guidelines for making barista-quality pour over coffee at home.

Let’s get started:

1) Use the Best Coffee Money Can Buy

Oftentimes, the difference in coffee quality and enjoyment has nothing to do with the brewing process. Instead, it has everything to do with the quality of the coffee beans you use. Even with a simple pour over brewing process, you simply must use the best coffee money can buy…period.

2) Adjust the Variables for Different Types of Coffees

Remember that the ratios you use to brew a perfect cup with one type of coffee might not be appropriate for a different variety. Each time you use a different type of coffee with your pour over coffee equipment, take notes of the ratios you use and make adjustments accordingly.

3) Get the Water to Coffee Ratio Right in the First Place

Adjustments may be necessary to reach your own preferred result, but a good starting point is to use approximately 370g (i.e. 13oz) of water for every 22g (i.e. 0.78oz) of coffee.  Both of which can subsequently be tweaked each time you make filter coffee, until you find the perfect ratio.

4) Take Coffee Weight Measurements More Seriously

If you make the mistake of attempting to eyeball the right amount of coffee, you’ll almost never get it right. What looks two identical measures of coffee on the surface could actually have quite different weights, depending on the beans used, the coarseness of the grounds, the oil content of the coffee and so on.

5) Adjust for Lighter Roasts

If brewing pour over coffee using lighter roasts, use slightly more coffee and a little less water, while targeting a slightly coarser consistency for the grounds.  Again, taking notes and experimenting until you get things just right.

6) Grind Your Beans at the Last Moment

As in literally at the last moment - aim for a gap of no more than 1 minute between grinding your beans and pouring over the water. This will result in a noticeably higher quality result with a far more appealing aroma.

7) Use a Quality Manual Grinder if Possible

While low-priced electric coffee grinders are fine, they don’t tend to produce grounds that are nearly as consistent in shape and size as a traditional manual grinder in the same price range.

Stay tuned for the second half of our two-part guide to brewing impeccable pour over coffee, coming soon…

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