The pour-over methods

The pour-over methods

Today’s article is going to be dedicated to other brewing methods that are known as pour-over (also called filter brewers).

This term is used to describe different methods that all brew by percolation. This means that the water simply passes through a “bed” of coffee, extracting its flavour along the way.

Cup-top filters -usually made by cloth- were probably amongst the first and most common ways to brew coffee in its beginning, before leaving that place to other methods. Only in the early twentieth century paper filter appeared and allowed innovation in the filter brewers field, developed originally by Melitta Bentz and now the company bearing the same name is still present and selling coffee machines and filters.

How to pour-over

The main principles of this method are universal and quite simple. They can be summarised as follow:

  • The finer the ground coffee is, the more its flavour will be extracted as water will pass through it more slowly, allowing more time to the extraction.
  • The contact time also depends on the speed with which the water is poured. If water is poured slowly on the ground coffee, then the extraction time will increase as well.
  • This one may seem logical, but the more coffee there is, the longer the water will take to go through.
  • The bloom: this practice consists in adding a bit of water to the coffee at the start, to get it all wet. This is more a ritual than anything else, but some believe that by doing so and causing the carbon dioxide in the beans to be released, the flavours will be extracted more easily.

Coffee Filters

There are three main types of coffee filters used in the pour-over methods, each affecting in its own way the final result:

  • Paper filter: the most common type of filter, they produce the cleanest cup of coffee. Straining out all the suspended material and oils, the cup will result in a clear liquid.
  • Cloth filter: As mentioned before, this is the oldest filter that has been used for these methods. Like the paper filter, all the strains are stopped but as some oil still goes through, the final cup will have a richer mouthfeel.
  • Metal filter: Like the French press we talked about in a previous article, the metal filters only stop the largest pieces of ground coffee. This will cause some sediments and oil to be in the cup, creating a final result with more body.

We hope you enjoyed this article and you may try out some of these methods at home to discover new tastes your coffee has to offer!

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