Ah, the pour-over. Loved by many, produces the best flavors, but also the most manually intensive.
The concept is simple – it’s the manual version of the auto-drip. Coffee grounds are held in a filter, hot water is poured over the top and drains through, extracting coffee solubles as it drains. So what makes it different?
Because it’s manual, you can keep direct control over all the factors that impact the flavor: the right coffee to water ratio, the right water temperature, the flow of the water, the grind…everything.
There are a couple of different basic styles, one is cone shaped and simply sits on top of your mug, the other is shaped kind of like a science beaker, holds the filter and grounds in top and drips the coffee into the base.
Grinding: you’ll want a medium coarse grind, a little finer than kosher salt, but not as fine as standard table salt. You want the water to be able to be able to flow steadily but slowly through the grounds.
Water: while you can use any vessel to heat water, I recommend a gooseneck kettle with a thermometer. You’ll be able to maintain the best temperature, and with the gooseneck, you can ensure the grounds get evenly saturated.
It’s not the fastest method, but if you have the time, it’s an almost meditative method. Watching the water flow slowly, hearing the dripping coffee, the fragrance filling the room, then the taste – unmatched by any other method.