Pour Over Coffee

If you are interested in a great cup of healthy organic coffee consider making pour over coffee. This is a traditional way to make small quantities of coffee and has now caught on with the likes of Starbucks. The short version is that all you need for pour over coffee is ground coffee, boiling hot water, a filter and a cup. And then there are the more complicated versions. Here are a couple of examples followed by our own “down home” method learned from the in-laws in the Eje Cafetero, Manizales, Colombia.

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Manizales, Colombia

Simple Ways

Health presents the simplest way to make pour over coffee with a plug for a few products available on Amazon.com.

Grind the coffee

I use a hand-crank Burr grinder ($20, amazon.com) because I think the coffee comes out better, and there’s something satisfying about grinding it by hand. (Plus, I get a quick little arm and shoulder workout in, first thing-no joke.) But you can skip this step and use pre-ground or make it quicker by grinding yours in an electric grinder.

Transfer it to a filter

Because I use a porcelain Hario ceramic coffee dripper ($17, amazon.com), I use their paper filters ($7, amazon.com), too. You can buy other drippers, of course, but I prefer not to use plastic, and I think the coffee tastes cleaner with these filters than others I’ve used. Once the coffee is in the filter in the cone, give it a little shake to even out the grinds.

Heat up the water

Do this while grinding the beans. Here’s where I deviate from the die-hards. A true coffee expert would tell you to use a special kettle with a thin spout for precise pouring. I just use my regular kettle; the same one my husband uses for (gasp!) tea.

Pour over

Time to brew. Pour in just enough water to wet the grounds, then let it stand for 30 seconds to a minute. This allows the grounds to “bloom,” resulting in more even coffee extraction for the rest of the brew (you’ll see the grounds kind of puff up slightly). After the bloom, continue pouring, a bit at a time (just cover the grounds, don’t fill the filter all the way), until your cup is brewed.

This looks like a workable approach and there are more who want to have their say.

Must Have Gear

The Cheat Sheet offers lots of must have gear for making pour over coffee. These folks participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program so you can guess where to buy their suggested products.

You can make great-tasting coffee a number of ways, but one surefire method is to use a pour-over brewer. Unlike a traditional drip machine, pour-over brewers let you evenly infuse every granule of coffee with hot water. That way, the flavor is perfectly extracted from the beans, minimizing bitterness and ensuring a full-bodied cup of coffee. If that sounds appealing, then you’ll definitely want to give a pour-over brewer a shot.

Making great coffee with a pour-over brewer is surprisingly simple. Here are a few key pieces of gear to get you started.

These folks are promoting lots of products. The one I do like is the paperless coffee dripper because it reduces waste. Or you could go with what my in-laws use in the Eje Cafetero where they grow the good stuff.

Back to the Basics

In our article about coffee bloom we mentioned how pouring hot water over freshly ground coffee beans releases both carbon dioxide gas (the bloom) and healthy antioxidants as well.

Making Coffee the Pour Over Way

What is a coffee bloom and is it a good or bad thing? The coffee bloom is the release of carbon dioxide gas when hot water is poured over ground coffee beans. Carbon dioxide gas is trapped inside coffee beans when they are roasted. Darker roasts contain more carbon dioxide and lighter roasts contain less. Roasted whole beans retain the carbon dioxide longer than roasted and ground coffee and storing in a cool environment keeps the carbon dioxide longer. The antioxidant compounds that give coffee its health benefits and flavor are trapped in the carbon dioxide as well.

Coffee Bloom the Pour Over Way

At home I typically use the pour over coffee method to make coffee for three at breakfast and anywhere from three to six at lunch. We heat water in an old tea kettle. The filter is a white cloth bag that stains with use. It is rinsed after each use and washed once a week. The receiving coffee pot is older than the tea kettle and was purchased from a street vender on Avenida Santander in Manizales, Colombia. Our coffee is either from Panama or Colombia, preferably organic but any export quality coffee works for my family.

And Enjoy Your Pour Over Coffee


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