How to Perfect Your Pour Over

Pour overs may be having their day in the sun, but many of our favorites have been around for decades. Whether you’re a first-time Bee House brewer or a V60 master, brewing your best requires a few pro tips. Beyond that, always use fresh coffee, and adjust your grind and proportions to taste.

For a full demo, hop over to our Brew Guide where we’ll walk you through it step-by-step. 

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Rinse and Repeat.

Before you brew, place your filter in the brewer and rinse it with hot water. This rinses out the paper residue (which lends a kind of woodsy taste, seals your filter and warms up your brewer. Warming everything up keeps the brewing temperature stable. 

Grind right.

There are three main elements in the question of grind: when, how and what size. 

Grinding right before you brew is important because fresh coffee begins to oxidize and age faster as soon as you grind it. 

Grinding your coffee on the correct setting is also key – the size of your grind particles affects extraction, so getting this dialed in for your method is important. We have a basic guide to grind here.

If all else fails, you don’t have a good grinder at home, or you can’t seem to get yours dialed in properly, ask your barista at a Stumptown cafe or other local specialty coffee shop to grind it for you for your method. Be specific about which type of brew device you are using. If you do have a grinder, use this ground coffee to calibrate your grinder to match. Hint: putting ground coffee on a piece of white paper helps you really compare the particle size. 

And lastly, when it comes to type of grinder, burr is better. A blade grinder chops the coffee in irregular sized pieces, leading to uneven extraction. We love Baratza electric grinders for their quality, customer service and repair policy. 

Perfect Your Pour.

The first pour is known as the bloom pour. The bloom pour saturates all of the grounds and will help later with an even extraction. Pour about twice the amount of water to coffee and stir gently. This should take between 30-45 seconds. 

You should pour in slow and steady spirals to keep things even. A gooseneck kettle really helps you with precision – avoid the light spots, go toward the dark

Clean Water Act.

Don’t use water to make coffee that you wouldn’t drink. Clean water = clean coffee. You’ll want your water to be at around 205 degrees or about 30 seconds off the boil. 

Ratio Test.

Using a consistent water to coffee ratio will help you with your dose. Then you can adjust for taste. As a general rule, we suggest about a 1:17, coffee to water weight ratio. In other words, for the Chemex we use 42 grams of coffee and about 700 grams of water. 

And lastly, make adjustments! If your coffee tastes weak or sour, you should adjust your grind to make it finer. If it tastes too bitter, adjust your grind to make it coarser.

Burning brew questions? We’re here to help. Check out our full brew guides or reach out to us.