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On the surface, making pour-over coffee seems like a simple way to brew coffee: Hot water meets grounds, and fresh coffee drips into the waiting vessel below. However, there’s more to the technique than meets the eye. Brewing pour-over coffee like the best baristas requires a nuanced understanding of time, temperature, and bean dynamics.

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What Is Pour-Over Coffee?

Pour-over coffee is made using a brewing method that involves pouring hot water over freshly ground coffee set above a carafe or mug. This unique brewing method offers the brewer complete control over the brewing process, allowing them to saturate the grounds evenly, timing pours in a manner that extracts the most flavor.

What Are the Benefits of Pour-Over Coffee?

The simplicity of a pour-over coffee is its strength:

  • Heat control. By controlling the brewing process with a single stream of water, the specific application of heat makes for more effective and faster extraction, with more nuanced flavor.
  • More efficient soaking. A pour-over allows for targeted soaking of the entire coffee bed and is more efficient than other techniques. For example, the French press relies on one pour to soak and extract the grounds, and an electric drip coffeemaker showers coffee grounds with a constant blast of hot water down the center of the filter.
  • More expressive flavor. Espresso machines force hot water through finely-ground coffee for a concentrated shot of coffee. A pour-over slows down the same essential technique and removes the element of pressure. The water takes its time as it passes through the beans, picking up more flavor as a result.
  • No bitterness. Timing the water application also allows the carbon dioxide contained inside each bean (a byproduct of the roasting process) to escape before the next pours, causing the swell and expansion of the grounds referred to as a “bloom.” If you rush the brewing process, the carbon dioxide gas becomes trapped and gives off a sour, bitter flavor, which blooming helps avoid.
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7 Tools You Need to Make Pour-Over Coffee

Brewing coffee using the pour-over method requires a few basic kitchen gadgets:

  1. Measuring sp