You probably love your morning coffee and look forward to going to your favorite coffee shop to get some. What you may not really consider is that you can get a great cup of coffee that’s much better tasting and cheaper right at home. This means you no longer have to wait in line to place your order and then wait while they make it for you. At home, you’re able to make great pour over coffee that will rival any coffeehouse, and you don’t have to worry about someone getting your order wrong.
Why Should You Choose Pour Over Coffee
Before getting into the best methods for making great pour over coffee, you may be wondering why you should choose pour over coffee to begin with. Pour over coffee is a manual form of brewing that’s becoming a popular choice these days. This is because a pour over method allows the brewer to have more control over the brewing process. You’re able to pour it at a slower pace, which means that the water is able to have more contact with the coffee grounds. Because of this, you’re going to get a brew that’s richer and more flavorful. This method of brewing has become so popular that some coffeehouses have decided to use this as well.
Making the Perfect Pour Over Coffee
To make pour over coffee you do need some things to start with. You will first need to have ground coffee, though it is preferred that you have freshly ground coffee for optimal flavor. You also need to have a filter and a filter holder, which is often referred to as a “pour over dripper”. There are a few steps to this process that is common in brewing, including wetting, dissolution, and diffusion.
Pour over coffee requires a constant replenishment of liquid surrounding the grounds of coffee, preferably with fresh water. This will help to promote a faster and more efficient brew. The fresh water extracts more parts of the surface layer of the grounds. This method, as with other brewing methods, temperature and water quality will have an impact on how fast this process will occur. Let’s take a look at of these steps to see how each of them affects the process of coffee brewing.
The wetting stage of this process is exactly what it seems like it would be. This is the process of wetting dry coffee grounds. However, there’s a lot more to it than merely making the coffee grounds wet. What you may not know is that carbon dioxide gas is the byproduct of roasting coffee. For coffees that are lighter roast, the carbon dioxide is trapped within the cell structure of each of the coffee beans, which leaches out slowly over a timespan of a few weeks. For dark roast coffees, this carbon dioxide is released after only a few days. This is important to know because when you pour hot water over the coffee, carbon dioxide can bubble and escape out. This is a problem because if the carbon dioxide is leaving, there’s no water getting into the grounds. So what you need to do is slowly add just enough water to wet the grounds. After all of the grounds are wet, you should stop for 30 seconds to allow for the gas to come out. You will end up seeing the coffee grounds start to “bloom,” which means that the grounds are going to swell and expand.
After the wetting process has completed, the hot water will start to dissolve the solutes, which are the solubles, inside of the cells of the beans. This process needs to be stopped at exactly the right moment to get the optimal flavors. Falling too short or too late of this stopping point will result in a lesser coffee.
Diffusion is a process that involves what is left over from the brewing process. Osmosis plays a role here. The cell walls of coffee beans are semi-permeable membranes, which have some highly concentrated flavors that are floating out in the watery environment that these beans have been sitting in.
When you extract around 19%-20% of the roast, this is the optimal point. If you get to a point that is more than that, you are going to get flavors that will make the coffee taste too bitter. If you go any less than that, the coffee will end up lacking in flavor and will be unbalanced. This means that the timing of this process is incredibly important and will make the difference in the perfect cup of coffee. In order to master this, you will need to take into account the size of the grind as well as the ratio of coffee to water and the brew time.
While this may seem to be a long and complicated process, it can be worth it especially if you’re a fan of coffee. Nothing beats a nice cup of coffee. And the pour over method produces an amazing cup of coffee that you can brew at any time from the comforts of your own home.