Learn to brew the perfect pour over cup of coffee!

coffeedripperOk, ok, I might sound like a coffee snob, but what can I say, I love coffee!  Besides, learning the nuisances and flavors of the food you love doesn’t make you a snob does it? In my opinion, the more you learn about the flavors and descriptions of a particular food, the more you can enjoy it.  This is one of the beautiful things about language and human culture; they’re gifts God has given us to enjoy life.  Without qualifying my praise of pour over coffee further, read on to learn the ins and outs of pour over coffee and how to brew the perfect cup.

Pour over coffee has been around for a long time, it’s essentially what an automatic drip coffee maker does.  The beauty of using a manual pour over is that it brings out the full spectrum of delicious flavors contained in whatever type of coffee you are brewing.  It accomplishes that by achieveing the best possible extraction of the coffee beans.  Pour over brewing also provides the flexibility (for advanced coffee brewers who are so interested) to experiment with adjusting water temperatures and coffee grind coarseness to achieve the perfect brew for a particular type of coffee bean.  To begin:

First you’ll need a pour over device, such as the Hario 60 glass brewer depicted to the right.  Hario’s brewer is particular good because it allows an even and fast extraction of the coffee grounds, which helps bring out the sweet notes of the coffee without extracting too many of the bitter flavors.

After you have a dripper, start the brewing process by getting your water boiling (the ideal water temperature is about 200° F or just under boiling).  You’ll need about 12 oz of water for an 80z cup of coffee.

After boiling the water, put the filter in the funnel and rinse it with hot water. This helps the water flow more smoothly thru the dripper once you begin the pour.  Rinsing also washes away any remaining paper residue flavor and preheats the cone.

Next grind your beans to a medium grind.  It’s best to use a burr grinder, as this will ensure the smoothest and best tasting extraction of coffee.  A blade-style grinder can result in an uneven grind, with some beans ground to small (causing increased bitterness) and some too coarsely (resulting in weak flavor).  For one 8 oz cup of coffee, you’ll need about 1.5 – 3 tbsps of beans.

After you add your grounds to the pour over cone, pour just enough water onto the grounds to wet them, then let them rest and “bloom” for 30-45 seconds.   The blooming process is critical for achieving the best possible extraction of flavor.  It’s called “blooming” because when freshly roasted beans are used, pouring hot water over them will cause a release of CO2, which lifts the grinds and make them look like they’re blooming.  It’s importnat to let all the gas escape before pouring the rest of the water over the grinds, as the escaping gas will actually keep the water off of the grinds and prohibit optimum flavor extraction.  Once the coffee grinds have bloomed and collapsed (having released all the CO2), then the hot water can surround the entire surface area of the grinds and extract all those good flavors and oils.  If you don’t use freshly roasted and ground coffee, you’ll notice that you won’t be able to achieve the blooming effect; all the CO2 has already escaped the roasted beans.

Avoid beans that aren’t freshly roasted.  They go stale and don’t taste nearly as good as beans that were roasted within the last three weeks (not to mention you won’t get the cool blooming effect).

After you’ve let the coffee bloom, pour the remaining 12 oz of hot water over your grinds, circling the edges of the pour over funnel.  You may have to let the water drain then pour again.

Enjoy!

To see how it’s done, watch this video:

Originally posted 2013-06-11 23:31:11.

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