How-To & Diy

How to Use a Pour Over

November 27, 2013

Here at Food52, we're serious about our coffee. So we got our friends over at Stumptown Coffee to teach us everything there is to know about it -- and to make our morning (and afternoon) routines a little bit brighter.

Today: How to brew coffee in a pour over device.

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There are dozens of different types of pour over brewers that all generally operate in the same way: you put a paper filter inside a ceramic or metal cone or flat-bottomed brewer and brew into a cup or glass pitcher. We can thank the German housewife Ms. Melitta Bentz for this, who first developed the paper filter using a piece of blotting paper from her son’s school notebook in 1908. 

Many people love the Hario V60, a sleek Japanese dripper with a large opening in the bottom. A newcomer that we have been experimenting with a lot at Stumptown HQ is the Kalita Wave. We love 'em all. But the tried and true foolproof brewer we all have sitting on our coffee shelves at home and in our offices is the Bee House coffee dripper. It's a little more convenient than some of the others because it takes Number 4 Melitta filters, which you can pick up at just about any corner store. It's quick and consistent -- and an easy, inexpensive way to make a fab single cup. 

Bee house from Food52 Bee house from Food52 

To brew the Bee House:  

Grind 21 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of coffee for a 10-ounce mug -- the ground coffee should be about as fine as table salt. 

Next, place the filter inside the dripper and put it on top of your mug or pitcher. Pre-rinse your filter and cup. This rinses out the paper flavor and preheats your brewer and mug. Discard the rinse water and add ground coffee.

Pour enough water (30 seconds off the boil or about 200° F) to saturate grounds and let them bloom for 30 seconds. 

Pour water evenly in a spiral over the coffee bed and slowly fill to the top of the brewer. For an even extraction, try to pour over the dark spots and avoid the light ones.

When the mug is full (this should take about 2 minutes), remove the dripper from the mug, place it in the sink to catch the last drips, and drink it up! 

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Katie Bernstein

Written by: Katie Bernstein

Forever barista and current social media tweep at Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Born in the South; at home in the Northwest. Hard-nosed recipe reader. I like a good shelf. Soup for days.