Pour-Over Coffee – Everything You Need To Know

Pour-over coffee is one of the most popular ways to brew your coffee. This utilizes a cone-shaped dripper and paper filter that results in bright and clean flavor notes. As compared to other methods, the pour-over is easier to work with and also allows your freedom over the variable used in the coffee brewing process.

Lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos: these are recurring coffee drink orders baristas make for their customers every day. And while maneuvering an espresso machine isn’t easy, their skills do not solely revolve there. Try getting something new on your next visit to the coffee shop. Probably a more traditional cup handcrafted with skill and creativity. How about a pour-over coffee?

If you’re a coffee drinker who is interested in going into the world of specialty coffee, this is just the perfect avenue to begin your journey. The pour-over may look simple, but it’s one of the greatest ways to up your coffee game and bring the best out of your cup!

In this article, let us delve into what makes pour-over coffee so special and compare it with our other favorite brewing methods. Let’s learn more about its story as well as get some tips on how to brew your own pour-over coffee at home!

What Is Pour-Over Coffee?

What Is Pour-Over Coffee

The pour-over is very similar to drip coffee in terms of appearance. Both are types of gravity or drop brewing method, which involves pouring hot water over a bed of coffee grounds–the main difference lies in how the brewing is done. While drip coffee uses automated brewers to produce the coffee beverage, the pour-over is manually handcrafted.

Aside from the clean and delicious coffee flavors it is able to produce, what’s really exciting about the pour-over is its versatility when it comes to controlling the brewing variables. You are allowed to manipulate almost every element in the process, from proportions and extraction time to the pouring technique and type of water used.

What Is A Pour-Over Coffee Made Of?

Making coffee on a pour-over is very easy. At the same time, it allows you to have total control of the variables and the process of brewing. All you need is ground coffee, hot water, and your pour-over brewer.

There are many kinds of pour-over devices available today. We find them in specialty coffee shops all around the world. The most popular ones are the Hario V60, Kalita Wave, Chemex, and Origami.

Hario V60

This pour-over was invented in Japan and is probably the most popular among home brewers today. This device has a 60-degree cone shape and a unique spiral ribbing design which is important for airflow during the brewing process.

The Hario V60 continues to amaze coffee lovers with its excellent clarity when it comes to flavors and aromas. Every cup will allow you to savor even its subtlest notes.

Kalita Wave

The Kalita Wave made its debut on the coffee market in the early 2000s. This dripper is popular among professional brewers because of the rich and crisp flavors it can produce. The wavy contours allow less contact with the filter, which ensures quick dripping before bitter-tasting compounds are developed. In addition, its flat bottom and three holes help guarantee a more even extraction to produce a remarkably balanced cup.


The German chemist, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, invented the Chemex brewing method in 1941. This elegant brewing device was inspired by laboratory tools–a glass funnel and an Erlenmeyer flask.

Chemex is a combination of both infusion and gravity brewing methods. Just like the other pour-over brewing techniques, you simply pour water over a bed of coffee. However, the coffee will be submerged in the water for a much longer period which will develop its flavors and yield a clean and bright taste.

Origami Dripper

The Origami method of brewing coffee was developed by Tetsu Kasuya, a Japanese company. The name says it all; this method involves the Japanese art of paper folding, called origami. The Origami dripper is a cone-shaped filter and has three slits on its sides which allow hot water to evenly saturate coffee grounds. Brewing coffee using this type of brewer will result in clarity of the coffee’s flavor and body.

What kind of beans are used to produce a great cup of pour-over coffee?

You can actually use any type of coffee when brewing with your pour-over. However, you should make sure to adjust your variables accordingly to ensure you achieve your desired flavors.

For example, if you’ve decided to brew dark-roasted beans, make sure to adjust your coffee-to-water ratio and have the extraction time shorter than usual to avoid producing a bitter-tasting cup. While pour-overs brew best with a medium grind, you can always experiment and move the grind size a notch finer or coarser depending on the type of coffee used and your personal preference.

What roast profile to use?

The pour-over is known to bring out the subtlest flavors and aromas in a coffee. Ideally, it’s best to brew light-roasted coffees with this method because they possess the most authentic qualities, such as bright flavor and crisp acidity. Medium-roasted coffee beans for the Latin American region are also deemed perfect for the pour-over.

The History Of Pour-Over Coffee

The pour-over is one of the most popular brewing methods in the coffee industry. Not only is this offered in third-wave coffee shops, but it can also be found on household countertops today. But did you know that this brewing technique has already been around for more than a century?

Who invented pour-over coffee?

The pour-over story all began in 1908 when a German housewife named Melitta Bentz was brewing a cup of coffee one afternoon. She was not satisfied with how her percolator coffee tasted as it seemed over-extracted and too bitter. She decided to experiment with a brass pot and some blotting paper she found at home–and voila! The first ever pour-over was made.

Where is pour-over coffee from?

Pour-over drippers were originally made in Dresden, Germany–the Melitta Pour overs. The first model took off in the 1930s, and improvements were made year after year. The familiar cone-shaped design we have today was released in the 1950s and became an instant hit.

The pour-over’s simple yet innovative brewing process continues to be recognized in the coffee industry and all over the world. Melitta is now a very well-known brand to many home brewers because of their various pour-over equipment and filters.

How Much Caffeine Is In A Pour-Over Coffee?

How Much Caffeine Is In A Pour-Over Coffee

The caffeine content in a cup of coffee can vary depending on essential factors such as proportion and the type of coffee used–most especially with a pour-over where you can have the freedom to alter the brewing variables. On average, a serving of pour-over coffee can have about 80 to 185 mg of caffeine.

How Many Calories Are In Pour-Over Coffee?

Coffee is 99% water, and since water has no calories, it is expected that a plain black coffee will have low calories. In fact, a 300 ml cup of pour-over coffee only has 1.5 calories. However, we should take note that adding sweeteners and milk, just like other coffee beverages, will add to the total calorie content of the cup.

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee

Brewing pour-over coffee is easy–all you need is a little practice! Here is a descriptive guide for you to understand each step in brewing with a pour-over.

Heat the water.

Heat up your filtered water until it begins to slightly boil. If there is a way to monitor the temperature of the water, make sure it reaches 195 to 205 °F before turning the heat off.

Grind your beans.

Using a scale, weigh your coffee (ideally 25 grams) and grind it in a medium-coarse consistency.

Position the filter.

Position the paper filter into your cone. Make sure it completely fits to filter coffee properly and avoid it from collapsing during the brewing process.

Preheat the cone and cup.

Pre-wet your filter and cone by pouring a small amount of water, ensuring that the filter is completely saturated. This will also preheat your cone and ensure that ideal temperatures are achieved at all times. Preheat your serving vessel with hot water as well.

Add your coffee.

Transfer your coffee to the cone and tap the dripper to level the grounds.

Ready your weighing scale.

Tare your scale to zero before starting to pour. If you are using a scale with a timer, start the count once the pour begins.

Bloom the coffee.

Pour a small amount of water to wet the grounds and pause for 10 to 15 seconds. This process is called blooming, wherein coffee is degassed to allow water to penetrate more thoroughly during brewing. This is essential to bring out the coffee’s best flavors and aromatics.

Make the subsequent pours.

Make the next pours depending on your recipe and technique. Make sure to monitor the amount of water being added and maintain a slow, consistent pace in pouring.

Allow coffee extraction.

Once you achieve the desired amount of water, stop the pour until the coffee finishes brewing. If you are using a timer, it is ideal to stop the brew once you get to your desired extraction time.

Serve the coffee.

Serve the coffee hot, and enjoy! Add sugar and milk according to preference.

What tools and equipment do you need in brewing?

Here are important tools you will need in brewing a cup of pour-over brewed coffee.

Pour-over Dripper

This is where the entire brewing process will take place. The cone-shaped dripper shall hold your coffee filter and ensure it keeps in place during the brew. Popular drippers you can try are the Hario V60 and Kalita Wave.


Paper filters trap unwanted oils and bitter compounds to consistently yield a clean, balanced cup with more distinguishable flavor notes.


The gooseneck kettle will contain the water that will be used during the brewing. At the same time, its curved narrow neck will allow more control in doing more accurate pours.

Weighing Scale

Utilizing a weighing scale will make way for more precise proportions. While a normal food scale is acceptable, a pour-over scale that features a timer is ideal for monitoring the pour rate and extraction time.

Variables in brewing pour-over coffee

Visits to a local coffee shop is now an essential part of many people’s daily routines. This is why we should know that coffee is actually an incredibly complex beverage. Before it turns into a delicious brewed form, coffee has been handled by many pairs of hands. From cultivation and processing to shipping and roasting, each stage has contributed to the overall flavor experience of the coffee. And most especially during the final stage of brewing.

Here are five important brewing variables to consider in order to maintain the preserved coffee quality up until it reaches our cups.

Grind Size

This variable refers to how coarse or fine your coffee granules are. It’s important to grind correctly, as this will largely affect your cup’s overall experience. Always remember that the coffee’s quality is affected by the total duration of the brew and how fast flavor compounds are extracted from the grounds.

Grinding your beans coarser will result in less surface area, which will allow water to move more freely but take time in extracting the flavors. Meanwhile, finer coffee has a bigger surface area that slows down the flow of water, which then results in a more sustained contact with and a quicker extraction.

In conclusion, prolonged brewing after the coffee’s extraction will result in a bitter brew. This is why it’s ideal to use a fine grind setting if we choose to make our coffee using faster brewing techniques. For pour-over coffee, we generally grind our beans to a medium coarse consistency.

Water Temperature

The basic principle on the temperature of the water is that the hotter the water, the quicker the brewing time. Let’s cite cold brew coffee, for example. The water we use in this method is cold or at room temperature, which slows down the process of brewing and takes as much as 12 hours to finish. On the other hand, your water should be about 195 to 205 ºF (off-the-boil) when brewing hot coffee with a pour-over.


This refers to the coffee-to-water ratio you’re using when brewing coffee. This variable is commonly static when there are changes in the other coffee variables. In simpler terms, you may keep a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:15 even if you make adjustments in grind size or brewing time.

In brewing a pour-over coffee, most coffee experts suggest using the golden ratio (1:18) for those who are just starting to experiment with their proportions. This recipe generally results in a smooth taste and cup balance.


This refers to the mild disturbance of the coffee during the brewing process. In simpler terms, it concerns how much movement is enacted on the grounds. It helps break up clumps on the grounds to allow water molecules to fully saturate the grounds and extract flavors more evenly.

Agitation is always present in every brewing technique; the tamping pressure when queuing an espresso shot or the pour rate when brewing your pour-over coffee.

Brewing Time

This refers to how long the coffee is exposed to water. The total brewing time is highly dependent on your other variables. For example, brewing in a French press will usually take five minutes to brew since you’re using a coarser grind. Meanwhile, cold brew coffee takes 12 hours to complete because of the temperature of the water used.

Finally, brewing coffee with a pour-over involves continuous agitation, which will shorten the brewing time–a delicious cup done in three minutes!

Pouring Techniques In Brewing With A Pour-Over

Pouring Techniques for Pour-Over Coffee

The way you pour water over the bed of coffee is essential in producing a delicious pour-over coffee. Here are easy techniques you can try practicing to hone your pouring skills.


Blooming is important to degas the coffee of carbon dioxide and allow water to easily penetrate the grounds during brewing. This involves pouring a small amount of water into the coffee and pausing for a few seconds. Blooming is also essential to bring out the best qualities of the coffee, such as the flavors and aromatics.

Circular Pouring

Pouring in concentric circles allows a more even water distribution that will help extract flavors better. In doing this, you can start pouring in the middle of the coffee bed and making your way outwards.

Spiral Pouring

This involves pouring the water in a spiral pattern to agitate the grounds to bring out the coffee’s flavors. Do this by starting from the center of the coffee bed and slowly working your way outwards in a spiral pattern.

Pulse Pouring

In this technique, we pour small amounts of water at regular time intervals. This allows more time for the coffee to fully absorb each pour to extract flavors more evenly and produce a smoother end cup. On your next brewing activity, try pulse- pouring 50 to 100 ml of water over your coffee.

Why Is Pour-Over Brewing Different?

With the numerous brewing techniques we have today, it’s a continuous struggle to weigh each one’s advantages and decide which is the best. And to help broaden your knowledge about the matter, we’ve created this guide that will identify what differences pour-over have from other methods.

Pour-over vs. other brewing methods

Let’s compare the pour-over to other popular coffee brewing styles–drip, French press, espresso, and Chemex.

Pour-over vs. Drip Coffee

While both coffee drinks appear to be the same, drip coffee utilizes automated coffee makers or brewers, while pour-over coffee is brewed manually with a cone dripper. Pour-overs give you total control over variables like the rate of pour and brewing time. In terms of flavor, pour-over brewed coffee tends to have more vibrant notes, while drip coffee offers a smoother taste.

Pour-over vs. French Press

Pour-over is a type of gravity brewing method that comprises the pouring of water to the grounds to produce a filtered cup of coffee. The French press is an immersion technique where coffee is steeped in water for an amount of time to develop stronger characteristics. In terms of flavor, coffee presses produce richer and stronger tasting notes, while pour-overs highlight cleaner and more distinguishable qualities.

Pour-over vs. Espresso

A brewed espresso shot is very easy to distinguish from a pour-over brewed coffee. Firstly, the espresso has a dark brownish color with a fluffy foam on top called the crema. On the other hand, coffee brewed in a pour-over is black. Espresso utilizes pressurized extraction to produce coffee, while pour-over is a type of gravity brewing method. In terms of flavor, a shot of espresso has a rich and intense character with notes of roasty sweetness. Meanwhile, pour-over coffee offers a friendlier cup experience with its clean and bright flavors.

Pour-over vs. Chemex

Both are examples of gravity brewing methods. However, Chemex combines this with immersion, as the dripper’s functionality allows a longer brewing time. While both are quite similar in taste, the Chemex highlights more of the bitter components and tangy acidity of the coffee.

The Benefits Of Pour-Over Coffee

Should you buy yourself a pour-over dripper? We’ve enumerated the benefits of brewing coffee with this method to help you make up your mind.

It produces quality flavors.

Pour-over coffee is pretty known for its clean flavors. The method of preparation includes the use of a paper filter which helps remove the oils and residues that may contribute to a bitter-tasting cup. Furthermore, this technique is a very careful approach to brewing but entails the freedom of altering its variables to achieve one’s desired taste.

It’s easy to make.

Making coffee using highly complicated equipment like the espresso machine, siphon brewer, and coffee makers requires numerous hours of training and reviewing of manuals. On the other hand, a pour-over requires less work as long as you have the right tools and ingredients. All you need is coffee, hot water, and your coffee brewing set!

It’s practical and inexpensive.

First and foremost, a pour-over cone is a hundred times less expensive than buying yourself a brand-new espresso machine. Also, you won’t need to spend on random parts or maintenance services when the equipment gets faulty. In addition, you won’t be wasting coffee that is made in batches with drip coffee makers–you can brew a single cup at a time. Finally, a pour-over cone is easy to clean!

It’s handy and convenient.

The pour-over cone won’t require the usage of electricity when brewing. At the same time, all the equipment you need is very handy which you can bring anywhere. This isn’t the case with an espresso machine or a drip coffee maker.

It’s healthier.

While coffee has a lot of nutritional benefits, too much consumption will take a toll on your health. Research says that coffee oils have some compounds that may compromise the regulation of cholesterol levels in one’s body. However, the utilization of paper filters in the pour-over brewing method traps these oils to avoid getting into your cup.

It’s environmentally friendly.

The production of electricity generates a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Espresso machines and drip coffee makers require the use of electricity, which contributes to that. K-cups are contained in plastic containers and take years and years to break down. Brewing with a pour-over is mainly more sustainable and environmentally friendly. You won’t use much power aside from boiling your brewing water, and paper filters are easier to decompose.

Pour-over Coffee

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Prep Time: 3 minutes


  • Pour-over dripper
  • Paper filter
  • Gooseneck kettle
  • Weighing scale
  • serving vessel


  • Filtered water
  • 25 grams of coffee


  • Heat your water to 195 to 205 °F and transfer this to your pouring kettle.
  • Grind your coffee medium-coarse.
  • Position the paper filter into the cone to ensure proper fit and filter coffee completely.
  • Place your cone on top of the serving vessel.
  • Prewet the entire filter with hot water. This will also preheat your cone and serving vessel.
  • Discard the water from the vessel and position it back beneath the cone.
  • Transfer the coffee into the cone and level the grounds.
  • Set up the scale and timer. Tare the scale to zero and only start the countdown once the pouring begins.
  • Pour a small amount of water into the coffee and bloom it for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Start pouring again at a slow and consistent pace until you achieve the desired amount of water.
  • Wait until the brew is completely finished.
  • Once done, serve your freshly brewed pour-over coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a pour-over and drip coffee?

There are two main differences between a pour-over and a drip coffee. Firstly, a pour-over coffee is brewed manually, while a cup of drip is made using automatic coffee makers. Second, the pour-over tends to be cleaner and more flavorful.

Is pour-over stronger than drip coffee?

While a pour-over can produce high-quality coffee, its concentration isn’t that strong as compared to other brewing methods. However, pour-over coffee generally has more caffeine than a shot of espresso or drip coffee.

Which is better: French press or pour-over?

People who love the stronger concentration and the presence of coffee oils would prefer the French press. Those who are looking for a sweet cup with cleaner flavors would primarily choose the pour-over.

Can you use pre-ground coffee in a pour-over?

While you can use pre-ground coffee in brewing, freshly ground beans would give you the most out of its flavors.

Can you use pre-ground coffee in a pour-over?

It depends on preference. Many coffee drinkers prefer the pour-over better than drip coffee because it produces more flavorful characteristics.

Why is pour-over better than espresso?

Pour-over has a cleaner and distinguishable flavor than espresso. However, if you’re looking for a more concentrated taste, espresso offers straightforward boldness and character.

Should you add milk to pour-over coffee?

You can add milk to your pour-over coffee if you want to tone down the bitterness and produce a creamier coffee drink.

Do you use boiling water to brew pour-over coffee?

It’s ideal to use hot water that’s just off-the-boil which is about 195 to 205 °F.

How long do you steep pour-over coffee?

The pour-rate and extraction time are important factors in brewing a pour-over coffee. You can achieve the coffee’s sweet spot if you brew the coffee for about three to four minutes.

Why does my pour-over taste sour?

A sour taste in your coffee is usually produced when the brewing time is too short. You need to allow more time so all the delicious coffee flavor compounds can be extracted into your cup.

How do you make pour-over coffee less watery?

There are a few ways to make your pour-over coffee less watery. You can manipulate variables such as grind size, water temperature, coffee-to-water ratio, and the coffee beans’ roasting profile.

How do you reduce bitterness in pour-over?

In order to avoid producing too many bitter components in your coffee, you can either use less coffee, grind your beans coarser, or shorten the brewing time.


A cup of freshly brewed pour-over coffee is always a great way to begin one’s day–and with what we’ve run through in this article, it shouldn’t be that complicated. We’ve learned that through understanding basic coffee concepts, we can achieve a decent brew that we can continually improve over time.

Anyone can experiment with different coffee elements and techniques to make more exciting coffee experiences. Countless things are just waiting to be explored. So what are you still waiting for? We think it’s time to get yourself a pour-over and discover endless opportunities in coffee brewing!