Small World Coffee

Home Coffee Brewing: Perfecting the Pour-Over

By Jacqui | Monday, March 26th, 2012 at 10:28 am

Pour-over or cone coffee brewing

Pour a little water in and let the coffee 'bloom' for 10-15 seconds.

Pour-over coffee brewing is our preferred method for making coffee at home.  You’ll find a fuller flavor in your cup, as this brew style allows for a more complete extraction than a standard automatic coffeemaker, for example.  Making a great cup of pour-over coffee at home isn’t difficult, and with some finesse, you can master the process and brew a truly high quality cup of joe.

There are many opinions in the ‘coffee world’ about the art of pour-over brewing, and our years of research (and coffee drinking) have enabled us to fine tune our pour-over style.  Visitors to our Nassau Street cafe can enjoy coffee brewed pour-over style, and we sell the home brewing equipment at both locations if you’re looking to start brewing it at home.  Here we’ve assembled a step-by-step guide for brewing your pour-over coffee the Small World way!

Tools you’ll need:
Coffee
Plastic or ceramic cone
Paper cone filters
Spouted kettle
Spoon
Measuring cup
Scale
A vessel to brew into (your mug works fine, or our Melitta sets come with handy glass coffee pots)

Get started:
Place the filter in the cone, and set the cone on top of the brewing vessel.
Pre-wet your coffee filter and heat the vessel by pouring a little hot water through your brewing set up.  (This will also remove the faint ‘papery’ taste that the filters can leave.  Be sure to discard this water before you start brewing!)
Place your spoon in the rinsed filter, so that it rests at an angle.
Weigh out the coffee you will be using. *
Grind your coffee for an ‘automatic’ coffee maker. ** ***
Pour the ground coffee into your cone, over the spoon, and gently shake to level the bed of grinds.
Measure boiling water into your kettle. *

Brewing:
Make one ‘pass’ over your grinds, pouring roughly 2-3 ounces across the bed of coffee.
Allow this first pass to settle and ‘bloom’ for 10-15 seconds.
Draw the spoon upwards through the grinds, and rinse with another pass of water.
(Removing the spoon will unearth the coffee grounds that are still dry, exposing them to the water.  This will allow for a fuller extraction as you continue to brew.)
Maintain consistent flow as you pour more passes, keeping the water level in the cone even.
Attempt to complete a minimum of five passes over the surface of the grinds.

This brewing process should take roughly 3-4 minutes.  As you pour, the coffee will release CO2 gasses and seem to ‘rise’. (The fresher or more recently roasted the coffee is, the more gas there will be.)  Be sure that as you pour, you are moving across the surface of the grinds and distributing the water evenly, at a steady pace.

* We use 1 oz. (28g) of coffee for 12 fl. oz. of water in our single, and 1.5 oz.(42.5g) of coffee for 19 fl. oz. of water in our double.
** We suggest that you do not grind your coffee until you are ready to brew.  Grinding in advance drastically alters the freshness of the coffee, and therefore, the quality of your final cup.   If you can avoid pre-grinding, you should!
*** Our pour-over recipe calls for a generous amount of coffee – more than the average home brewer might use.  Grinding the coffee for standard pour-over brewing could create over-extraction (bitterness) and so we opt for a coarser grind when using the volume of coffee that we use.  We’ve found that this produces a perfect, fully extracted brew.

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