June 22

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Can You Pour Hot Water Over Ground Coffee?

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With so many unique (and equally delicious) techniques to brew everyone’s favorite caffeinated beverage, it’s no surprise that pouring hot water over coffee grounds can produce a wonderfully aromatic pot of coffee. However, it’s not entirely that simple; a delicious pour-over pot of coffee requires patience and following a few crucial steps. Are you up to the challenge?

You can pour hot water over ground coffee to make a cup of steaming coffee. Pour-over coffee requires grinding coffee beans, wetting them, and pouring hot water over them in short intervals to allow the extraction of coffee solubles in the grounds. 

This is one of the fastest manual methods of brewing coffee but it requires regular supervision over the entire process. Regardless, pour-over coffee is a well-loved brewing technique among many coffee connoisseurs. The remainder of this article will discuss the tools you need to make pour-over coffee and the steps to the brewing process.

Tools and Ingredients for Pour-Over Coffee

Brewing pour-over coffee doesn’t require too many ingredients or materials. Also, those that you do need can be found at your local grocery store or coffee shop. 

Ingredients

  • Coffee – beans or ground
  • Boiled water
  • Coffee fixings (milk, cream, honey, etc.)

Tools

  • Coffee filters. You’ll need a filter to place into your coffee dripper during the brewing.
  • Kettle or stovetop pot with a heating device. Some way to heat and boil your water is necessary when making pour-over coffee. An electric kettle is the most accessible, but you can also use a stovetop burner or a microwave to get the job done.
  • Burr grinder. A burr grinder is essential because pour-over coffee requires ground beans, not whole ones. Thus, owning a burr grinder is vital to the process. 
  • Timer. While pour-over coffee doesn’t take that long, you’ll still need to time the brew to determine how long it takes for it to develop a flavorful taste.
  • Scale. As mentioned, this method of coffee brewing is precise. Hence, you will measure the amount of coffee grinds to water using a digital food scale. I use the Etekcity Luminary Kitchen Digital Scale (available on Amazon), but any functional food scale should work.
  • Coffee dripper. A coffee dripper holds the filter plus the coffee grinds and slowly drips the coffee extract into the pot throughout the brewing process.

As you can see, there aren’t too many essential tools for pour-over coffee. 

Now that we’ve discussed the tools and ingredients you’ll need to brew an excellent pot of pour-over coffee, let’s get into the steps to making it.

4 Steps To Brewing Pour-Over Coffee

There aren’t many steps to brewing pour-over coffee, but the ones listed below are critical to making a pot delicious enough to wake the dead.

1. Weigh Your Coffee and Grind Your Beans

Pour-over coffee tastes best when there is an appropriate coffee-to-water ratio. Remember that 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of whole coffee beans will produce a little more than 100 g of ground beans. For this reason, you should weigh the beans before grinding them versus after, as weighing them after could result in wasted grounds.

To understand pour-over coffee’s weighing process, you must first appreciate the coffee-to-water ratio. A standard coffee mug holds up to eleven ounces (325 ml) of brewed coffee, and most coffees are brewed at a ratio of 17:1 (17 parts water: 1 part coffee). 

To determine the specific ratio weights, then, you need to divide the number of grams of coffee you want to brew by the ratio of water (in this case, 17). So, 311 grams (11 ounces) of coffee (the amount a standard mug can hold) divided by 17 is 18.29 grams (0.65 ounces). Therefore, you’d need to weigh and grind 18 grams (0.65 ounces) of coffee beans.

You can skip grinding your beans if you’re using ground coffee from the start.

2. Heat Up Your Water

This step is, I hope, pretty straightforward. Regardless of the heating device you’re using, it’s wise to start the boiling process now as you set up the rest of your coffee equipment.

I love the Cosori Electric Kettle (available on Amazon). It heats up quickly, and unlike many other kettles I’ve gone through over the years, it’s effortless to clean. Kettles are also great for pouring because they generally have long, thin spouts. However, if you don’t have a kettle, there are other ways to heat up your water.

For instance, you can place a small pot of water on the stove and turn the burner on until the water begins to boil. The downside to this method is that pots don’t have spouts to make for easy pouring, so you’ll need to transfer your boiled water to a container with a spout or neck prior to pouring.

3. Prepare Your Coffee Dripper and Filter

While your water is boiling, you’ll need to prepare your coffee dripper, filter, and ground beans for brewing.

Place your coffee dripper on top of your pot with the filter lining the inside. The coffee dripper I use is the Hario V60 Glass Coffee Dripper (link to Amazon), which comes with a convenient handle for removal after brewing (glass gets hot, people!)

Transfer your ground coffee from the scale to the filter and ensure it is evenly distributed throughout. Now, your coffee is ready for brewing.

4. Slowly Wet the Coffee Grounds Thoroughly

When your water gets ready, remember that you will not be dumping it into the dripper. In fact, pouring the water slowly and carefully is one of the most critical parts of the pour-over process!

Your coffee grinds will brew as hot water seeps through them, dripping into the pot and extracting the solubles and compounds inside the ground beans. To do this properly, the ground beans need to be wet to release carbon dioxide. 

Once the water is hot, begin to pour it slowly in a circular motion into the coffee dripper. After all the grinds are wet, stop pouring and allow the ground beans to sit (and release CO2) for thirty seconds. This is called the bloom, and it appears like the coffee grounds are taking a deep breath in– they may rise and fall as CO2 gets released.

You must repeat this procedure incrementally (roughly every thirty seconds – good thing you have a timer – until the water is completely gone. After completing this process, allow your coffee dripper to work its magic for the next minute. Once the minute is up, it’s time to enjoy your coffee!

Brewing pour-over coffee, therefore, generally takes about five to ten minutes maximum, from start to finish.

Do you know why some coffee beans are more expensive? Are they really worth it? Click on the link and read my guide to learn more about whether you should buy expensive coffee beans.  [Are Expensive Coffee Beans Worth It? How to Decide]

Pour Over Coffee FAQ

If you’re a first-time pour-over coffee brewer, it’s natural to have some questions about the brew – especially if yours has gone wrong somehow. Below are a few questions I had when I first began brewing coffee using the pour-over method.

Why Does My Coffee Taste So Bitter and Unbalanced?

Coffee beans contain acid and sugar compounds. These get extracted during the brewing process. If more acids than sugars are removed, this will result in a bitter-tasting cup of coffee. When pouring the water for your coffee, make sure to wet all the grounds. Doing so encourages full extraction in the brewing process.

Does Grind Size Matter in Pour-Over Coffee?

Grind size does matter when you’re making pour-over coffee as fine coffee grounds can also contribute to a bitter flavor. On the other hand, with grounds that are too coarse, there will be little space for water to flow, resulting in a sour cup of coffee.

Can You Re-Grind Your Coffee Grounds if They’re Too Coarse?

You can only re-grind your coffee grounds if they are very coarse. Also, only if you feel there’s a massive difference between how you want your grounds and the way they came out of the burr grinder. Otherwise, a second go through the grinder will result in grounds that are too fine.

What Happens if My Grounds Are Too Fine?

Coffee grounds that are too fine will seep through the filter and into your beverage, making the resulting taste gritty and unpleasant. To control the size of your grind, change the setting on your burr grinder, which usually sports a number of different sizes. 

Pour-over coffee is best ground at  50 -75 mm ( 5 -7.5 cm)

Does My Water Have To Be Boiling Before Pouring?

Your water should be boiling – or super close to it. You see, water temperature is another factor that affects the coffee’s brew. If the water is too cold, it won’t extract the compounds correctly from the coffee grounds and your brew will taste extremely weak.

Conclusion

In summary, you can pour hot water over ground coffee if you’re using the pour-over method for brewing coffee. It’s simple, flavorful, and produces a truly unique beverage. 

The pour-over coffee brewing method is done by boiling water, pouring it in increments over your ground coffee, and allowing the water to drip into the coffee pot to extract the appropriate compounds.

With these steps and tips in mind, brewing your first pot of pour-over coffee will be a breeze!


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