Sunday, April 10, 2011

How Do You Pour Over? And Why? - A Running Pour Over Technique List

Yes, this entire post is about the ways you can pour water over coffee. I've heard (and forgotten) more of these techniques than, well, actually gotten to try them. It seems no gathering of coffee nerds is complete without an extensive discussion of technique that usually far outpaces the number of actual pour overs consumed (which may not be a bad thing for our collective caffeine levels).

The problem arises when attempting to replicate the bomber technique previewed at the local confab on one's home brew bar. With conversation flying thick and fast, I find it difficult to pick up the nuances of brewing technique face to face. Hence, this list, and (hopefully) your help. The idea is to have a handy and growing list that can be referenced, updated and linked to easily.

Below I'll start off with two techniques I practice. Yes, only two. I've seen many other methods, but since I don't practice them myself, I'd rather let actual practitioners do the explaining.

Pour over maestros who append their recipes (or link to videos) below shall be included (with full credit) in a full and updated listing here at a time TBD.

1. Continuous Low Disturbance Pour
Container: V60 into 3 cup press
Filter: what else but?!
Metrics: volumetric, 12 oz
Dose: 23-24g
Time: 2:25

Summary: It's as easy-hard as it sounds. Let bloom for 40 seconds and then pour slowly and continuously in the center, keeping the top of the bed about even with where it was during the height of the bloom. Shoot for hitting 12 oz right around 2:25 and then switch in a drip cup and let the dregs drain out.

2. Continuous Circular Disturbance Pour

Container: V60 into 3 cup press
Filter: ours
Metrics: volumetric, 12 oz
Dose: 22-23g
Time: 2:15

Summary: I may be wrong, but the circular pour seems to extract a bit more quickly than the zen center pour in #1. I tend to bloom for 30-35, and then gently pour in continuously expanding and contracting circles shooting to hit my volume for a 2:15 pull out. Bed height is kept low, about where the top of the bloom is. The idea, if any, is to spread the poured water around to increase evenness of extraction and eliminate the possibility of an over-extracted center. In my very limited experience, it seems a bit trickier than #1, but maybe slightly juicier and brighter?

Ok, now it's your turn. How do you pour over? And why?


  1. I've tried several methods when pouring over (which I usually only do when I need a pot and don't have my siphon at hand), including the low disturbance and a circular style.

    Here are the concerns I've had with the various methods.
    The low disturbance method seems to offer me the best chance of not clogging the filter, but I worry that the grounds around the edge won't get properly extracted.

    The Circular method allows you to make sure that everything gets extracted, but there's a much greater chance of all the fines floating to the top and blocking water flow.

    What I seem to prefer is a low disturbance method using a clever dripper where I can let the coffee steep then it will drain properly. Too much disturbance though, and it always seems to take too long to drain.

  2. I'm a big fan of the Clever too! I like that the K250 for Clever drains so quickly for that very reason.

    Currently my rubber valve in the Clever is sour, so I need to get a new one and get back to brewing.