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Gear Guide For Making Pour Over Coffee

Coffee is life to those who love it. It falls under their absolute essentials list somewhere just below air. Anyone who isn’t a serious java drinker often has difficulty understanding why someone would be so excited about a beverage. The reason is rudimentary: they’ve never tried pour-over coffee, and therefore they still walk in the land of shadow, where only drip machines dwell, producing sub-par sludge day after day. If you’re ready to liberate yourself from that nightmarish drudgery, you’re prepared for our gear guide to everything you need for that perfect cup of coffee.

Hand-brewing the way you do with a pour-over coffee-maker is old-fashioned, but it’s exponentially more satisfying than using a device. You can control each variable at every stage of the process, giving you the chance to conduct your own sensory symphony by changing grind size, the temperature of the water, the dose, and the bloom duration at will. When you’re in the driver’s seat, you can make coffee into whatever taste you adore, all with this simple guide to the 6 essentials for making pour-over coffee.

Hario Coffee Drip Scale Timer

Hario Coffee Drip Scale/Timer

Measure Twice: Before you even think about starting up your carafe of fine pour-over coffee, you must have the proper amount of beans to grind up so you can determine the proper ratio. 1:16 (that is one part coffee to 16 parts water) is about average and a good place to start. If you prefer weaker or stronger, add more or less water as you please, but always keep the ratio constant. Using a ratio allows you to make more or less by doing simple multiplication. The Hario coffee scale aids you in this quest by keeping the weight of your beans accurate thanks to single gram incremental measurements. Make a single cup or a whole vat, just keep the ratio static while you do by using this every time you mix up your brew. The black body on the scale goes with any decorative layout, the readout is clinical and simple, and the timer lets you walk away while the grounds are soaking, more like a drip machine.

Purchase: $41

Chemex Pre Folded Circle Coffee Filter

Chemex Pre Folded Circle Coffee Filter

Ideal Blend: When you have your coffee measured out, it will need a place to sit. Unlike drip machines which use a kind of predictable saturation where grounds are just soaked to death with the filter acting as a goalie that tries to keep them from slipping into the pot; when making pour-over coffee your filter plays a much more noticeable role. It is the place where coffee and water meet to mingle. The better the filter fits into your carafe or coffee maker, the more water/coffee interaction happens, which makes for a stronger brew with flavors transferring from the bean to the final cup. You can get these filters in a few common shapes, though we’ve found the circular ones tend to offer the best venue for coffee and water to make their sweet music together. The filters are made of absorbent fibers that will sift out harmful chemicals and keep your coffee’s flavor smooth and mellow, even if you are forced to pour quickly.

Purchase: $16

Chemex Classic Series Glass Coffeemaker

Chemex Classic Series Glass Coffeemaker

The Chalice: Here is the carafe where your potion shall languish when it is finished. The Chemex uses glass for its interior body because glass is a chemically neutral medium that will not absorb flavors, scents, or toxins which it then passes on to future brews. Keep it clean and it will always be ready to whip up a steaming pot of Jamaican blend or your daily Colombian standby without the taste of earlier mixes tainting it. The body has a striking wood collar complete with thong tie that allows it to be used without your grip slipping or your hands leaving fingerprints to mar the glass. It’s made to get the most out of the Chemex filters above because they will hit a precise saturation point when used with this coffee maker that avoids wet or dry spots. Designed by a chemist, the Chemex Coffeemaker is easy, simple, gorgeous, and scientifically crafted to release the flavor of the beans with less oil and no adulterating flavors.

Purchase: $57

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill

Twist of Fate: You have your beans weighed and measured, along with the filter and the pot ready to accept them. Now it is time to get them ready for their watery grave by giving them a spin around the grinder. This is when it helps to remember that you aren’t making some mud out of a machine, you are interacting with your coffee. Using a manual grinder lets you choose how clean to get your grind, while a mechanical one will just chew the beans up and spit them out. The clear body lets you see how your beans are turning out, and uses conical burrs to give you the proper structure for getting the most rich, complex flavors your beans have to offer. Plus, when you finally drink, the reward is well worth the effort.

Purchase: $28

Bonavita Electric Kettle

Bonavita Electric Kettle

Control Top: As the name implies, what truly makes pour-over coffee unique is the method in which the water meets with the coffee, and that is through your own hand, not a device. The Bonavita is a modern kettle which heats up water quickly, and is constructed specifically to make this kind of concoction. The long gooseneck holds the key to a more accurate pour and therefore a better pot in that it only allows for small amounts of water to pass through at a time, so you can’t easily dump it like you’re cleaning out the grease trap. Along with avoiding oversaturation through fast, impatient pouring, the Bonavita also helps you hit the precise places where water is needed, without flooding your grounds or leaving them high and dry while you drink ruined java.

Purchase: $60

Fresh Coffee Beans - Just Coffee Cabin Fever


Energy Pack: If you have everything listed above, then the stage is set, the water is piping hot, the grinder sits ready, and all it needs is a little elbow grease. We’re not going to presume to tell you what kind of coffee to put into your carafe (although Just Coffee’s Cabin Fever is a great choice for winter’s darkest months), but it is important that you select whole beans and then grind them yourself to maximize flavor. The longer grounds sit, the more their jolting attributes and unique tastes wither away. The same way freshly squeezed juice will always be superior to anything out of a bottle, so too are fresh grounds going to profoundly alter the way you drink your morning pick-up. If you’re acclimated to store-bought or pre-ground coffee that comes out of a machine, then going the pour-over route is going to alter the flavor dramatically, so you might consider branching out and trying new brands and bean blends until you find your secret serum for making pour-over coffee perfectly.

Purchase: $14