Pour Over Coffee
Brewing Great Coffee at Home is Still One of Life’s Most Economic and Simple Pleasures
In recent years, methods for pour over coffee have become popular; but the first step is still buying your coffee.
The coffee aisle has become a mosaic of cans, bags, boxes and bins offering a seemingly endless variety. But if you’re truly interested in enjoying an excellent cup of pour over coffee at home, your choices may not be as overwhelming as they appear. You want your coffee to be fresh roasted, and that’s hard to come by at the grocery store.
You want coffee that blooms like a flower in fast motion when the hot water hits it. Most people won’t admit it, but that’s half the fun of the pour over coffee methods, watching fresh roasted coffee bloom as you pour. Make sure the coffee you buy includes a roast date on the package so you know it’s fresh. You don’t buy old bread do you? Then don’t buy old coffee either, and make sure you grind your coffee at home just before you brew.
A pound of Batdorf & Bronson’s famous Dancing Goats Blend will cost you $15.95 a pound, and brewed correctly a pound of coffee will yield around 50 cups. That’s about 32 cents a cup. And you don’t have to be a scientist, just remember at least 2 tablespoons for every 6 ounces of 200 degree water (just off boil)!
Coffee chemistry can be unforgiving, offering only a small window of opportunity for producing the ideal cup: 98.5%-99% of your finished brew should be water. Most home electric coffee makers (But Not All!) deliver a poor balance between what the coffee people in lab coats call solubles concentration and solubles yield. This is technical jargon for what ends up in your cup: coffee.
But you don’t need to be a scientist to get it right when using a pour over coffee method because pour over coffee allows you to control and properly balance the “Three T’s”. The key elements of the brewing process are TIME, TEMPERATURE, and TURBULANCE, and GRIND is just as important.
To brew a perfect cup at home, you can set technology aside and hand craft your coffee using any number of pour over coffee methods and equipment. Grinders were once the most expensive piece of equipment for proper home brewing, but a new generation of hand-crank grinders and home electric burr grinders is changing this. The advantage of pour over coffee methods is that they allow you to control the three T’s, which are, controlling the temperature, controlling how long the coffee is in contact with the water, and controlling the turbulence while pouring.