Ooooh… that pour over coffee smells de-lish. It looks pretty simple too. Tell me more!
You’re right: pour over coffee is simple to master and completely delicious. It’s clean and complex, bringing out every last note of flavour in a beautifully balanced brew. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at a pour over coffee maker!
Gravity – so good it’s impossible to put down
Pour over coffee became popular in the early 20th century. To save people from sediment-y, sub-standard percolator coffee, a German lady called Melitta Bentz invented the drip and filter brew. This simple method created a cleaner, brighter cup that was lightyears away from the muddy concoction coffee fans had been, umm, enjoying.
Melitta’s invention relied on gravity rather than immersion. There are three main ways of brewing coffee: immersion (cafetière), pressure (AeroPress, stovetop and espresso) and gravity. We never really got our heads around gravity at school (F = Gm1m2/r2, I mean, whhhat?), but in the coffeeosphere, it’s probably the easiest brew method to grasp. Pour over relies on gravity pulling the water through your coffee and filter and down into a container below. Simple! Why can’t they teach it like that at school?
We love pour over coffee for its tweak-ability. You have a lot of control over how you brew your pour over coffee. Variables like the coffee-to-water ratio, the extraction time and the water temperature are all in your control and can be adapted to suit your tastes. Of course, if you prefer to follow a nice step-by-step guide, we’ve got an awesome Coffee Brewing with a Filter guide to get you started. Check it out!
V60 – it’s far from tricky
The V60 is the pour over brew device that looks like a cup and saucer. But please don’t sip your coffee from it – you’ll find a big hole in the bottom. The name sounds techy, but there’s a lot of logic. The V comes from the V shape of the cone; the 60 from its 60° angle. Again, why couldn’t everything at school be this simple?!
You will find V60s in a rainbow of colours and a range of materials such as glass, ceramic, copper and plastic. We use this Hario V60 Coffee Dripper because we love its neat, white aesthetic and handy size. It’s a bargain, too: £10 for a top-quality device that’ll last a lifetime!
The V60 originated in Japan and sports a clever design that will help you to achieve a seriously barista-standard cup. The 60° conical shape is great for an even extraction, while the spiral ribs inside the funnel help to ensure a steady flow of water and air. Grind-wise, you’re looking for a rough sugar consistency. Simply pop your filter in the funnel and add your grounds, then sit the device on top of your mug. Sorted!
Charmed by a Chemex
Chemex refers to the stylish pour over coffee maker produced by the Chemex brand. Along with the V60, it is a very popular way of brewing pour over coffee. And with good reason! Chemex coffee is super-swish and utterly scrumptious.
The Chemex was invented in the 1940s and describes a whole vessel rather than mug topper device. It’s the brew method to go for if you like your coffee with a touch of class. And glass – every Chemex is made from high-quality, heat resistant glass. We can’t get enough of its sleek hourglass shape and find it far too fashionable to be kept in the kitchen cupboard. Own a Chemex and you’ve got a stylish piece of art right there in your home. Genuinely! There is even a Chemex on permanent display in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Fancy!
The V60 and Chemex brew methods are very similar. The extraction time will be a little longer in your Chemex (we’ll explain why shortly) and you might also like to try a coarser grind size. However you like to brew, you can be sure that you’ll find a lifetime companion in your Chemex.
Filters without faff
Filter papers are key, whichever device you prefer. You can find paper, metal and cloth filters. Each come with their own pros and cons; it all depends on how you like your coffee. Fancy a flavour-packed coffee with more texture and mouthfeel? Then give metal filters a go. With larger holes than you’ll find in cloth and paper varieties, metal filters allow more of the coffee oil and natural sediment to come through into the cup.
If you’re starting out with V60 and Chemex brewing, we’d recommend choosing paper filters. Brew a coffee in a V60 and another in a Chemex, and you’ll find the taste and texture to be slightly different. This is all down to the filters. Chemex filter papers are 20% thicker than V60 filters, meaning that they absorb more of the coffee oil. Remember the longer brew time we mentioned? The filter paper is the reason. The densely woven fibres of Chemex filters slow down the water flow and give you a slightly longer extraction. All these factors combine to create a coffee that has a lighter body and clearer texture. A V60 coffee is still beautifully clear and bright, but the finer filter papers give you a coffee with a bit of body. Ideal if you’re after a smooth, clean-tasting coffee with more texture.
Swan neck – so it’s not a teapot?
You say bread roll, I say cob. You call it goose-neck, I’d go for swan-neck.
Whatever you call it, these elegantly curve-spouted kettles will elevate your pour over brewing. You can use a regular kettle, of course, but they will tip a sudden gush of hot water onto your grounds. This isn’t ideal. Why? Because some grounds will get drenched while others will splash up the sides of the filter paper and barely get wet. Swan neck kettles solve this problem in an instant by allowing you to control the flow of water and saturate all the grounds at a steady rate. Use a circular motion to pour your water over the grounds, starting from the outside and going round and round and round… ?
Quick Tip! If you’d like a coffee with a bit more strength, try slowing down the pour to give your coffee more time to extract.
Who knew good things were so simple? And so stylish? And so entirely delicious we’re dribbling already? Now you’re clued-up on pour over coffee makers, we think it’s time to get brewing! Pop along to our online shop to find the pour over device that’s just perfect for you.
Need fresh coffee? Lighter roasts work wonderfully in pour over devices, but any of our single-origin coffees will be just grand. Check out the full range!
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