Coffee drinkers around the world agree on one thing, that the way you brew your coffee can make a difference to the aroma, texture, freshness, and taste you end up with, in your cup.
The nutritional value and amount of antioxidants in your brew can differ according to the method you use to brew your coffee even if starting with the exact same beans. whether you use expression, immersion or saturation there is a right and wrong technique to it, but which one produces the best coffee?
Pour over Coffee or drip coffee is one of the oldest and simplest ways to brew a good fresh cup of coffee. It basically involves pouring hot water over your coffee grounds and letting the water percolate through the coffee and filter into your coffee cup. It’s been commonly used in Europe since the 1900s but been widely embraced by the specialty coffee scene in more recent years because it captures all the goodness and flavor of the coffee in an easy setup. The process really accentuates the full detail of flavors when compared to other brewing techniques like french press cafetiere or expressing machines. The french press cafetiere, for example, steeps the coffee in the water (immersion) so the water saturates the coffee and takes a lot of the oils into your cup. So the coffee drinker benefits from all the goodness and aromas of the coffee.
The 4 main things to consider, are coffee roast, the texture of the coffee grinds, the pouring technique, the filter used, and the water.
You want to mix the coffee grounds or you will get what we call channeling where the water finds the same route through the coffee and so you get an uneven infusion. You get this when there are clumps of coffee or the grounds are unevenly distributed, so it’s important to agitate the grinds whilst you are pouring.
It’s important to mention “blooming” here, which is when trapped carbon dioxide that is built up in the roasting process escapes. Light roasts and fresh coffee are likely to produce a big bloom because they usually contain more gases. The gases can prevent even extraction because it repels water, and the disturbed grounds can sit at different heights. These gases and the puffing up is why we refer to it as blooming, so give time for these gases to escape and so allow for a more even extraction.
Gently pour twice the measure of coffee in water over the grounds. So, if you have a 15 g dose of coffee, pour 30 ml of water. Then wait for 30 to 45 seconds until the bloom has ended and the grounds have settled
Filters are getting more important because cheap paper filters can have chlorine or other contaminants in them, plastic ones can give a taste or bpa leakage, metal ones can also give an undesired metal taste, so cloth filters are best, as they are clean and give no additional taste to the coffee.
There are drip coffee kits out there that do away with the expensive dripper or having to grind and weigh the coffee beans. The top one we found for convenience, taste and quality was the MezzoX Thai drip coffee. It uses clean, eco-friendly, cloth filters, premium grade thai coffee and brilliantly each pack comes with full instructions anyone can remember the right method.
When it comes to the quality of the coffee bean and how it is ground is also very important so it should be coarser because the coffee and water are in contact for a shorter amount of time than in an immersion method, but longer than in an espresso machine. So you want the coffee to be coarse enough to give the flavors but not too much surface area that the water saturates the coffee grinds
Think of the same texture as brown sugar granules.
When it comes to how much water, you’ll see varying recommended ratios out there, between 1:16 to 1:20g (1g of coffee to 20g of water) is a generally accepted good starting point.
The beauty of it is, you can play around with the measurements of coffee, water amount and temperature, one at a time until you find a flavor that you most enjoy. Not something you can easily achieve with other methods of brewing.
If the coffee strength tastes watery or weak, add more coffee without changing other factors and evaluate whether it tastes better. If you find your brew too strong, maybe reduce the amount of coffee or pour the water quicker. But remember to keep track of what you’re changing so you can replicate your perfect brew when you find it.
Lastly, don’t forget about the water. Water from your household tap can contain metals and minerals that affect flavor, so best to use filtered water.
Pour over coffee is a great way to make your daily cup and it can be done quickly and with little mess, especially if you use the disposable sets. By understanding these key things, you’re well prepared to make a great brew and be able to tweak it until it suits your own personal taste.