How to Make Perfect Pour Over Coffee at Home

Making pour over coffee doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming. You can enjoy barista-quality coffee at home with minimal equipment and a few simple steps. Done correctly, this method of coffee brewing can produce an incredible cup of joe that emphasizes aroma and flavor notes often drowned out by other brew methods. Learn how to make a delicious cup of pour over coffee every time with our step-by-step guide. Want to read more articles like this? Check out everything we have to say about pour over coffee on our blog.

1. Gather your coffee brewing materials

Gather together all the essentials you need for a perfect cup of pour over coffee. You will need ground coffee beans, a kettle, a carafe, paper filters, and a pour over coffee maker such as the Big Joe coffee maker. Make sure you have your coffee grounds ready to go before you start brewing. We broke down everything you need for a successful pour over experience in this recent blog article.

2. Grind and measure your coffee grounds

Begin your pour over coffee prep by first grinding and measuring out the desired amount of coffee grounds into the filter using a coffee scale. We recommend a coarse grind setting that resembles the look of kosher salt; some coffee grinders have a setting for drip-style.  You can use pre-ground drip-style coffee but we recommend fresh ground for the best results, if possible.

If you ground your beans too coarse, your coffee will be too weak; too fine and it becomes over-extracted and bitter. As a general rule, coffee ground to a medium-course size will produce better quality brew, as it optimizes the total extraction time. To find your perfect grind size, experiment with different settings on your grinder until you get a balanced cup.

To brew 12 ounces of coffee, you should use 20 grams and 12 fluid ounces of water or approximately 4 tablespoons per cup of coffee. Use the chart below to see our recommendations for brewing larger amounts of coffee.

3. Boil your water in a kettle

Next bring your water to a boil on the stove or an electric kettle, preferably one with a  gooseneck. Allow it to cool for 30 seconds before pouring in order to ensure that the temperature of your brewing water comes out correctly. We recommend a temperature of 205 degrees Fahrenheit for the best flavor extraction, so just under the boiling point. Electric kettles that allow you to heat your water to specific temperatures will give you the best results.

If you find that your cup of coffee is too acidic, then try decreasing the temperature slightly, or if you like your coffee acidic, you may want to aim for higher temperatures. In addition to adjusting the temperature, you can also alter timing and flow speed as necessary to further customize each cup of pour over coffee to match your desired taste preferences.

4. Pre-wet your paper coffee filter

Before you start brewing, it is recommended to “pre-wet” the filter and pour-over device. This is done primarily to eliminate any paper-like taste that pre-folded filters can yield. To pre-wet the filter or device, simply fill it with some of your hot water and discard the water before starting. Doing this step may enhance the flavor of your coffee.  We don’t really find this step necessary with our premium Big Joe filters, so you can decide for yourself if you need this step.

5. Add your ground coffee beans to your pour coffee maker

Once you have the filter ready, you can begin adding your favorite roast of coffee beans to the device. Make sure all of the ground beans are evenly dispersed in your pour over coffee maker. You can give it a side-to-side shake or use a spoon to distribute them. With the Big Joe coffee maker, you can add up to 112 grams of coffee to the device and make up to 75 ounces of your very own brew. 

6. Slowly pour water over coffee grounds in a circular motion

Once ready, begin pouring the hot water over the grounds in a slow and steady circular motion, starting from the outside edge of the filter and working towards the center. Then pause, allowing the coffee to “bloom” for approximately 30 seconds. This releases trapped gases and stabilizes the pressure within, and essentially wakes up the coffee before extraction.

Then, pour the remaining water in even circles. Be sure to cover all of the grounds with water while still maintaining a slow pouring speed. The pouring process will take between 1 and 4 minutes depending on how much coffee you’re making. Once complete, wait for all the water to drain from your coffee maker before removing from your carafe/thermos. Discard the remaining grounds in your compost bin or trash can.  The Big Joe Coffee Maker can be cleaned in the top rack of your dishwasher.

7. Enjoy your pour over coffee

With these tips, you’ll be able to skip the expensive coffee shops and make amazing pour over coffee at home! Want more insights on homebrewing coffee? Check out all of our blog articles on homebrewing. If you’re just getting started with pour over coffee, you’ll want to read our recommendations for the best gear for pour over coffee. Have any tricks for making pour over? Leave them in the comments below.

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