If you like your coffee black or are willing to experiment some more with coffee flavours and aromas, think no more, take the leap into pour-over coffee.
Pour Over Method involves extraction from coffee grounds held in a filter. As hot water passes through the grounds and filter, liquid containing aromatic compounds and oils run down under the effect of gravity into a carafe or a cup. Although this method is popular amongst coffee experts or specialty coffee shops, it can be easily adopted by home brewers (as fancy as it might look).
As opposed to the immersion method such as French Press, where contact time between coffee and water can be controlled, the brewing time in Pour Over method relies on fineness of coffee grounds and pouring speed. To ensure proper extraction, it is critical to make sure that coffee grounds are uniformly wetted throughout the process. This is where the goose neck kettle helps. It gives you a much better control of the flow of water than a traditional kettle.
Coffee lovers not only enjoy the subtleties of coffee that are heightened by this slow brew method, but also thoroughly enjoy gently pouring hot water from their goose neck kettle on the coffee grounds watching the coffee bloom while it smells like heaven! This makes Single Origin Specialty Coffees a popular choice for this brew method as it brings out qualities and characteristics of that origin allowing the flavours to stand out. Although some roasters offer blends (Highland by Halflight Coffee Roasters) for this gentle brew method to develop a richer range of flavours.
Now what kind of equipment do you need for this brewing method? There are many but we’ll talk about the most popular ones – V60, Chemex and Kalita. These coffee makers a.k.a drippers are instruments where a filter is placed for brewing coffee. All 3 coffee makers are V-shaped with their own unique design that affects extraction. A container – carafe or a coffee mug is placed under V60 and Kalita, while Chemex is self-sufficient and has a container as a part of its design.
Sold by a Japanese company called Hario, V60 is V-shaped coffee dripper with V forming at angle of 60 degrees, hence its name. It produces a neat, bright cup of coffee with good clarity of flavour and comes in many materials – ceramic, glass or even plastic if you don’t want to spend too much. A well fitted paper or a cloth filter that is placed on the V60 also affects the taste of coffee. To avoid that papery taste, it is advisable to rinse the filter prior to brewing or some people may use reusable cloth filter for all the good reasons – no undesirable papery taste and of course it is kinder to the environment.
Another Japanese gem – Kalita Wave Dripper is a flat-bottomed coffee dripper that gives a more even extraction than a V60. You don’t need stellar pouring skills for this method as the three holes in the flat bottom allow for an even extraction and a consistent cup of coffee.For this method, you need the pretty looking Kalita Wave Filters – patented “Wave” filters that are slightly thinner than those for V60.
Another really good-looking pour over coffee maker – Chemex is a complete coffee maker in the shape of an hourglass. Some people use it as a flower vase. Yes, we have seen it. However, it can be put to better use as it makes a delicious cup with excellent clarity of flavour. The paper filter used in Chemex is thicker which retains majority of oils resulting in a very clean cup of coffee with less body.
Although you can’t go wrong with any of the 3 Pour Over methods, you have to choose the one that suits your ‘coffee needs’. For someone who is new to this method, we recommend a kick off with Chemex or Kalita and then gradually move to V60 to explore more flavours and subtleties of coffee. Although following the recipe to the T in all 3 methods results in a perfect cup of coffee, V60 requires more precision than others. You need proper grind size, appropriate water temperature, goose neck kettle and definitely a scale.