Keurigs are awesome because they are easy, fun, and brews just the right amount of joe: one cup. But coffee snobs would argue the newest appliances born out of the ‘single cup brewing’ fad leaves much to be desired. To the aficionados with a more advanced palate, Keurigs Tassimo, Nespresso, and the like tend to brew weak, stale, poor quality coffee. But what’s not to love about the single cup method? Zero waste, ensured freshness, simplicity. For the hoity toity single brewers, pour-over coffee is an attractive method that is becoming popular in local cafes.
What is it?
Pour-over coffee, also known as hand-pour coffee, is a method of single cup coffee brewing originating from Japan. The setup is simple: a coffee mug, a (cone shaped) coffee filter, good quality ground coffee, and a cone filter holder. The latter piece can be quite attractive and stylish. You also will need a kettle to heat the water. Many people use a swan-neck kettle for precision pouring (it also looks really neat). Medium-fine ground coffee is placed in the filter-lined filter holder which sits nicely atop your coffee mug. Water is heated (not quite boiling temperatures) and then slowly, VERY slowly, poured over the grounds which filter the coffee into the mug. The pouring (brewing) process takes about three minutes — you will have amazingly strong wrists if you pour over every day!
This is a time-consuming and meticulous method that doesn’t really jive with the blurry-eyed early morning coffee routine that I am used to. But there is a tipping point on
how to final product tastes. If it tastes a lot better than my countertop espresso machine (automatic but still takes about 4 minutes to heat and grind), I might be willing to adopt a nice wrist exercise to my morning routine. When compared to a normal, drip-brew cup of joe, the flavor is stronger, rounder, and cleaner. The longer the pour, the stronger the bolder the flavor because the water has more time to interact with the grounds. So if cutting corners is your thing, hand-pour might not be the ideal option. Have you ever tried the pour over method? If so, how did you like it?