Pour Over Coffee Basics – Brewing the Best Cup of Joe at Home!

Coffee is an integral part of most mornings around the world. The beverage has been around for many years, jump-starting people’s days as far back as 800 A.D.

One method that started to be used since early on and is still popular is to make coffee pour-over style. Have a look at the pour-over coffee basics you need to know to make a delicious brew at home or order it at your favorite coffee shop!

Basics of making coffee with the Pour Over method

Coffee has many benefits, but what people like it most for is that caffeine kick needed to wake them up. You can get all sorts of coffee and prepare it in many ways; whether you prefer a home-brewed drip coffee, a straight espresso shot, a hip French press, or a traditional pour-over cup of coffee, you’re going to get what you need the way you like it.

This traditional method of brewing coffee pour-over uses an age-old technique to brew a fresh cup of Joe using ground beans, a coffee filter, and some heated water. Here is everything you need to know about this technique and what it means:?

What Is Pour Over Coffee?

Pour-over coffee is a slow and slightly complex way to make coffee that takes a lot of practice because it is done manually with no machines to help. This method of coffee making leaves no room for human error; which means you might get a slightly different cup of coffee every time you brew it.

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Delicious Coffee made pour over style

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With this method, practice makes perfect-ish. Your coffee will differ, depending on the temperature of the water, the quality of your bean, and the way you pour the water. So what exactly is coffee made with the pour-over brewing method?

It is as simple as it sounds. It is a method of making coffee that requires no machines; just you, your choice of coffee, a filter, some hot water, and a funnel. This method cancels out the need for any machinery or complicated equipment that can make the process a little bit intimidating. The pour-over method to brew coffee is meant to yield an unadulterated, subtle yet flavorful cup of delicious and flavorful coffee

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How Do You Make Pour-Over Coffee At Home?

Before making coffee pour-over at home, you need to make sure you have the right tools to start the process. First, decide on your coffee maker for your pour-over. Because the method has picked up traction in recent times, many coffee-related manufacturers have launched their own version of the funnel-shaped piece of equipment, each with their own benefits and yields.

What Equipment do you need to make Pourover at home?

Some of the most popular pour-over equipment is made by

Once you have picked your equipment of choice, then you need to go on to pick your coffee beans. Most coffee lovers already have a preference for coffee beans; if you don’t, go to a few different coffee shops and have a taste to determine your choice of beans – What is Coffee Bloom? – Does it Affect Taste and Aroma?.

To brew the perfect coffee with the pour over method, there are a few additional pieces of equipment that are required. You need a coffee grinder to grind the beans, coffee filters, a slow pour kettle (these are made specifically for manual coffee brewing), a scale to determine consistency, and a thermometer to keep an eye on water temperature.

Steps to make your Cup of Java

Make coffee pour-over by using steaming water and a filter basket.

The basic technique of brewing coffee this way starts by rinsing your funnel with hot water to get rid of any residue. Then, place the filter into the brewer and add your desired amount of coffee grounds.

Pour about 15% of your hot water evenly over the grounds and give them 30 seconds to soak it in to ensure an even pour later on. Then, continue pouring the water over the ground coffee in a spiral starting from the center going outward.

Continue pouring the water until you have reached your desired amount. The perfect ratio lies anywhere from 1:15 to 1:17 coffee to water. Let the water flow through the filter completely before stopping the process.

Will you get consistently brewed Coffee?

Keep in mind that each piece of equipment will have slight variations in the technique of making a pourover coffee. This could be the way you brew, the grind of the coffee, or the filters you use.

Read up on your equipment before starting the process. Each funnel, electric kettle, etc. works slightly different and impacts the final outcome of your pour overs. For example the flow rate of the funnel can be slightly different, the temperature of the kettle can differ, etc.

Yet, it’s not only the equipment that can and will influence the taste. You can set up everything correctly and your java might still not taste the best it could. If it tastes weak then you can try a finer grind size. This allows more contact between the ground beans and the water. Similarly, if your coffee tastes bitter or even sour, then using a more coarse grind size can help.

Even your paper filters can have an impact on taste. Bleached or unbleached filters can alter the taste of the beverage.

What Equipment do you need to brew Coffee Pour-Over Style?

Brewing a good cup or carafe of pour-over luckily does not require a lot of equipment. You only need:

  • Hot Water
  • Coffee Grinds
  • Funnel
  • Coffee Filter
  • A cup or carafe
  • Time to enjoy your delicious brew!

A good cup of pour-over is pure craftsmanship. It’s individual and delicious and will allow you to kick back and enjoy your cup of java.

Brewing Pour-Over coffee at home

Should You Use Boiling Water?

Before talking about boiling water, let’s take a look at the quality of the water you are using for brewing coffee. See, it is essentially just coffee and water.

Since we give so much importance to the coffee, then why not the water too? In reality, the water you use has an impact on the taste, so you should take that into consideration when brewing your favorite drink in the morning. If you want to know more about water for coffee brewing, you can read about it here.

Use Distilled Water?

Water that we get from the tap contains minerals and other microscopic elements that can help with extracting the flavors from the grounds. But, they also have downsides. They can build up in electric coffee makers and cause limescale. You then have to clean the machine to keep it in great shape.

One thing you also don’t want to taste in your cup of joe in the morning is chlorine. So, in short, you should use tap water if the water by itself tastes good. Otherwise, you can try to use bottled spring water for the brewing process. Using distilled water might not be the best option as you will be missing some of the dissolved minerals and other components that help with improving the taste of your cup of java!

Don’t use water that’s too hot!

Do you need boiling water for a pour over

As for temperature, you should never boil your water for coffee. Boiling water over coffee results in burnt, bitter, over-extracted coffee because of the broken down flavor compounds in coffee when boiling water is poured over it.

Many baristas and professionals argue what the ideal temperature of the water is for coffee-making purposes; their ranges vastly vary, depending on who you ask, from 80°C to 100°C.

Because of the huge difference, it is clear that you will have to experiment with the temperatures to find the one for your ideal brew.

What Is The Difference Between Pourover And Drip Coffee?

To know which kind of coffee you prefer, you should know the differences between these two popular methods of getting a great cup of coffee. There are many different ways to brew coffee, but these two ways have many similarities; but what are the major differences?

Equipment for Drip and Pour-Over Coffee
Making coffee pour-over style at home

Probably, the biggest difference in the two brewing techniques is the equipment used. The equipment is an essential part of how the coffee is made and what makes it so different.

Drip coffee requires an electric drip coffee maker, coffee ground, and filters. Pour-over also needs filters and coffee grounds, but it needs a specialized funnel, a scale, a thermometer, and a slow-pouring water kettle.

The coffee maker does not know or understand the differences in the coffee beans that you use. It’s basically mass-production for coffee which makes it easy but does not allow for any personality.


The process of making drip coffee is fairly simple because your machine will do everything for you. You just need to put in your desired amount of ground coffee and water, set the settings according to your preference, and let the machine work its magic.

Pour-over coffee is a little fussier. The process requires some expertise and practice as we have described above.


Drip coffee and pour over get different flavors out of your coffee because of the brewing methods. Drip coffee brews coffee a lot faster than making coffee pour-over style, so it does not get the full flavor from the coffee grounds as the water pours through it. Pour over water fully saturates the ground coffee as it gets a lot more flavor out.


You have a lot more control over the variables when you are brewing your coffee using the pour over method. You can adjust things like temperature, brew time, and amount of water, depending on your preference. With electric drip coffee machines, you are giving up that control to the presets of the machine.

Is Pour-Over Better Than Dripped?

Drip Coffee Maker

There is a reason so many people are turning to make pour-overs their preferred method of brewing java even though it is so fussy and takes so much practice to perfect. The first advantage of making pour-over coffee is, of course, the control you have. You can brew your coffee exactly how you like it; this means temperature and intensity.

The most important reason why people prefer coffee brewed pour-over style over drip is because of the flavor differences. As you slowly pour the water over the ground coffee, it extracts all the oils and flavor from the coffee grounds, leaving you with a rich, vibrant cup of perfect pour-over coffee.

An additional advantage is that you can brew pour-over coffee even if you don’t have any electric machines around. You can, at least technically, heat your water over a campfire and then pour it over the coffee grounds in the paper filter. You can’t do that with an electric drip brewer. Not using electric equipment adds some sense of ‘roughing it’ to brewing your cup of coffee this way.

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Drip brewers were intended to brew coffee in volume, meaning they have to work fast with minimal total brew time possible. The water is not given enough time to pull the entire flavor from the coffee grounds, thus, it does not give you as flavorful a cup as brewing with the other method.

Is Chemex Coffee the same?

Making coffee with a Chemex brewer

Both are very similar. Chemex is pretty much the same as pour-over coffee except that you have some specifics with regards to the equipment. Chemex coffee is exclusively brewed with a glass carafe and funnel. You will usually also use a thicker coffee filter for Chemex vs. Pour-Over.

Chemex-style coffee will filter out more oils and cafestol from the coffee grounds. The taste of a Chemex brewed cup is somewhat smoother but by no means does that mean that it will taste better. Try it out for yourself!

What is Starbucks Pourover?

Using a filter dripper to make coffee pour-over style.

Starbucks introduced the method of making coffee pour-overs into its shops in March 2010. They started the way initially to make a quick cup of delicious coffee when there wasn’t any coffee brewed already.

The method soon picked up recognition amongst coffee drinkers and became a popular choice on their menu. The famous coffee shop says that their pour-over java gives a clean, flavorful, and aromatic flavor.

They use the same simple technique mentioned above to make the specialty brew for their customers. 

Final Thoughts

Using the traditional method to pour hot water over the coffee grounds to brew a cup of joe!

Though the pour-over method seems to be a bit of a hassle and requires too much effort in the morning, once you get started on making your java this way, it might be hard for you to switch back to your boring old drip coffee.

A more gratifying brewing experience

Pour-over coffee will give you more out of the same beans you would have used in your electric drip coffee machine. Plus, brewing pour-overs is a much more gratifying experience when you brew your coffee manually!

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Basics of making coffee with the Pour Over method
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