Pour-Over Coffee Dripper Brewing Guide
Why Use a Pour Over Coffee Dripper?
The pour-over coffee brewer, such as the Hario V60 dripper, produces an elegant and clean brew that brings out the complex flavours of the coffee and is somewhat ritualistic in process. Because of these reasons it is the favoured method of coffee aficionados worldwide.
This simple guide will walk you through the steps required to maximise the quality of the coffee coming from your favourite pour-over drip brewer. There are many different types of pour-over, but the Hario V60 is the most common and quite a cheap way of achieving some truly exceptional results. The V60 commonly comes in two sizes: the 01 size, which is suitable for one cup of coffee and the 02 size, which is suitable for two to three cups. The 02 size, because it is larger, is slightly easier to use but will use more of your precious coffee up. Be sure to get the correct size filter papers for the V60 you are using. The filter papers come in two types also: bleached and unbleached. I quite like the unbleached ones but it's a matter of personal taste.
As with all brewing methods the ambient conditions, water purity and the fineness of the grind all have a bearing on the end result. So don't be afraid to experiment in order to find your perfect brew! This is only a guide to get you started so you may want to adjust the quantities to achieve something you're happy with. Be scientific about it and you'll soon find something that you like.
The best grind setting for this method is medium-fine. A coarser grind and the water runs through too quickly, resulting in a weaker brew. A grind that is too fine results in the brew taking longer and you end up with a stronger coffee. Of course, to get your perfect cup of coffee you may need to adjust the grind setting and the quantity of coffee grounds you use. Therefore to obtain the best results, and so you can experiment a little, get your hands on a grinder, buy your coffee in whole bean form and grind it yourself. The coffee also lasts longer when stored as whole beans so it's definitely worth the investment.
- Pebble and Pine freshly roasted coffee beans or medium-fine ground coffee
- A V60 dripper or similar pour-over coffee brewer (e.g. a Chemex)
- Your favourite cup or mug
- Filter paper for the dripper
- Grinder (for the beans)
- A kettle
- Digital scale (with tare function)
The brewing method
The method is quite straightforward and should take approximately 3 to 4 minutes in total. What you'll end up with is a much cleaner and less cloudier brew than with, say, a cafetiere (french press) because the brewed coffee is passed through a finer filter and the water is in contact with the grounds for less time.
Step 1 - Put the kettle on
Fill the kettle and boil. Make sure you have more water than you require. We do this first so that the boiled water has a little time to cool before it is poured on the coffee. Never use boiling water on fresh coffee - it has a tendency to scorch and the flavour will be affected.
Step 2 - Prepare your gear
If you have whole coffee beans, while the kettle is boiling grind them on a setting between medium and fine. You should allow about 6 to 8 grams of coffee per 100 ml of water.
Place your pour-over coffee dripper on the cup/mug and on to the scales. Fold the seam over on the edge of the filter paper and place the filter paper in the dripper.
If you don't have scales then it's a little harder to get a consistent brew - but it'll still be good!
Step 3 - Wet the filter paper
Pour a little of the hot water into the dripper to preheat and moisten the filter paper. Discard the water and put your coffee dripper, complete with wet filter paper, back on the cup.
Fully saturating the filter paper before brewing makes for a more even extraction and a much better result.
Step 4 - Weigh out the coffee
If you're scientifically minded then weighing out your coffee will ensure you get the same result every time. The measurements here are a guide to get you started.
With everything sitting on the scales, reset them to zero and then measure out the ground coffee into the filter paper. Approx. 6 to 8 grams of coffee per 100ml of water. Make sure the coffee is distributed evenly.
As a rough guide, if you don't have scales to hand, the dripper should be filled about half-way with the coffee grounds. If your coffee is more coarsely ground then you will need more and if it's more finely ground then you may need a little less than the recommended quantity.
Step 5 - Wet the grounds
Now for the fun part. Pour about twice the weight of your coffee dose on to the ground coffee in the filter. Watch it swell and bubble. This is the bloom and is caused by CO2 being released creating the bubbling effect. It proves your coffee is fresh!
You should wait about 30 seconds for the swelling to subside before continuing on to the next step.
Step 6 - Start pouring
Once the bubbling has subsided, pour the remaining water over the coffee in batches. When pouring, you should start from the outer edge and move in a spiral motion inwards towards the centre. This technique makes sure all of the coffee has been saturated by the water.
After each small batch, allow the water to drip through before adding more water in the same spiral motion.
This process should take about 2 to 3 minutes to complete. If the water seems to go through too quickly and you end up with a weak brew, it means your grounds are too coarse or you didn't put enough in the dripper. Try grinding the coffee beans on a finer setting or adding more ground coffee. If the opposite is true: the brew is too strong, then try grinding on a coarser setting or reducing the amount of coffee in the dripper.
Step 7 - Drink and enjoy
Once all the water has dripped through, remove the dripper and enjoy your clean and fresh tasting coffee. If you've got it right you'll achieve a wonderful cup of coffee. If it's not quite right then feel free to make adjustments. Everyone's taste is different so you really do need to experiment.
If you're grinding the coffee beans yourself, then the first port of call would be to adjust the grind settings. Failing that, alter the quantity of coffee used in the dripper. Remember, more coffee/finer coffee = stronger brew.
Step 8 - Freshly roasted is best
In order to get the absolute best results, use freshly roasted coffee that has a roast date on the pack. The coffee is at its absolute best approximately a week after roasting. When stored in whole bean form it'll last around a month. Once it has been ground it begins to lose its flavour, due to oxidation, after a few days.
If you want some lovely coffee to go in your pour-over coffee dripper, please visit our shop here for a selection of coffee that is always freshly roasted to order.
We also offer a subscription service to keep you topped up. View our selection of subscriptions to see what we have to offer.
Find out how to use a cafetiere.
Learn more about why freshly roasted is best.
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Pebble and Pine Coffee Roasters