Let Me Tell You About Pourover

kaffee und kuchenSo, I think I’ve got this one figured out.

I mean, I’m not an expert, by any means. My palate really isn’t that distinguished when it comes to coffee. Heck, just drinking black coffee is a struggle for me. And then there’s the problem of trying to distinguish between grinds. That’s obviously not going to work–I only have one Bee House dripper, which means that tasting between can’t be adequately compared. Not when one cup is at least four minutes off the brew, and that much cooler.

But part of growing up–part of turning thirty, I guess–is coming to understand that some things in life it’s okay to just settle for. Which, in the case of coffee, means that I now know how to confidently make a decent cup of pourover without consulting the internet, and therefore, I consider myself having mastered Thirty Before Thirty Line Item #18.

Will my coffee ever be as good as what a Master Barista at a Big, Distinguished Hipster Coffee Spot might pour out? Probably not. But it will be close, at least–and it won’t cost $8, either.

So without further ado, I give you:

Emily’s Non-Illustrated* Guide for Fairly Decent Pourover

Before you begin, you’re going to want the following:

  • A water kettle, preferably one with a thin nose. (That’s probably not the official term, but OH WELL.)
  • A decently accurate electronic kitchen scale
  • A Bee House coffee dripper
  • A #4 paper filter
  • A burr grinder
  • A good, fresh bag of beans (unground)
  • Some form of a timer

Getting Started

The first thing you’re going to do is put water on the boil. Duh. Make sure you’ve got more than enough, but don’t over-fill it. Use filtered water if you like, but I always just take mine from the tap. (Oops…)

While it boils, get your setup assembled. Fold back the crimped ends of the filter to make it sit better (optional), stick it in the Bee House, stick the Bee House on top of either a cup or the vessel you’re letting the coffee drip into, and stick all that on top of the electronic scale.

The Grind

Now take all that off the electronic scale. You don’t need it just yet. What you do need to do is measure out your coffee. Stick a small bowl on the scale and tare it off, then, making sure it’s set to measure grams, measure out 21 grams of coffee beans.

Next, dump them beans in the grinder. Grind away. According to the Stumptown guide, which is really much more succinct than this and probably better anyway (plus, you get to watch the guy awkwardly read a book for like, thirty seconds), you want the grinds to be about as course as sea salt. “Medium fine.”

The Filter Rinse

By now, your water should hopefully be thinking about boiling. If it is, and you  have boiling water to spare, pour some over the (empty!) paper filter, still in the Bee House, over the sink. Not too much is needed for this–just enough to rinse away the paper taste and heat up the filter.

Post-rinse, stick your grinds in the filter, put the whole thing on the scale, and tare it to zero.

The Bloom

Now’s when the timer comes in. Pour enough water over your grounds to saturate them. Stumptown has you stir them, but usually I forget and the cup is a-okay. This step is done to degas the coffee. Because that’s somehow important. (Look, I don’t ask, okay? But according to the tattooed Stumptown guy, coffee is a little grumpy and gassy in the morning. Needs to wake up. Um.)

The Pour

At the 30-second mark, start your pour. Pour slowly and evenly in circles, making sure to focus on the dark spots and avoid the lighter ones. At 1 minute on the timer, you should be up to 380 grams. Stop the pouring and leave ‘er to drip!

At 2 minutes, the dripping should be nearly complete, leaving you with around 10 ounces of coffee. Take the Bee House off the receptacle pot, even if it’s still dripping a little, and stick it in the sink to finish up. You don’t need that coffee. You really don’t. It’s okay. Focus on the incredible cup in front of you.

The Sip

I don’t think I need to tell you how to do this one. Enjoy.

*Look. It was going to be illustrated. But then it got to be 4PM on a Wednesday, and I just wanted to keep my promise of blogging regularly, K? Some things in life you just have to settle for.

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