Pour over coffee has become the new trend in the coffee world, even though it’s actually existed for decades. While it may look simple to some coffee enthusiasts or too much of a hassle for others, there's an art to perfecting the right ratio for pour over coffee.
When crafting your pour over coffee, why does the ratio matter? Well, the right ratio makes the most significant difference in the quality of your coffee. Other factors include water quality, grind size, time, and pressure, but the pour over ratio is most important. We'll provide you with a simple guide to getting the perfect pour over ratios.
Before You Start
Rinse your filter while it's inside your brewer with hot water. Rinsing your filter helps clean off the paper residue, seals your filter, and warms up your brewer.
Keep Your Equipment Clean
The equipment you use is ultimately up to you, but do make sure that your equipment is cleaned thoroughly after each use. You don't want any leftover built-up grounds, as this will throw off the taste and measurements of finding your perfect pour over ratio.
The Right Pour Over Cone Size
Pour over cones come in multiple shapes and sizes. You want to make sure you have the appropriate size when brewing. Having too small of a cone could create coffee that tastes flat. Having too big of a cone could create coffee that tastes muddy or could cause over-extraction.
When in Doubt, Use a Gram Scale
Using a gram scale when measuring your coffee grounds and water will ensure correct ratios of both. Incorporating a scale into your coffee-making process will also help you perfect your pour over ratio. It gives you the precision to not waste coffee beans; it also gives you consistency and enables you to cut back on time. And when using a scale, you will know the ratio you used if your coffee turned out perfect.
How You Grind Matters
When grinding your coffee, there are three things to keep in mind: when to grind, how to grind, and what size to stop grinding. Grinding your coffee right before you begin to brew is an important step in achieving your perfect pour over ration.
Fresh coffee begins to age and oxidizes as you grind it. When grinding your coffee, size matters because it affects the extraction process during its brew time; you want to grind your coffee to have enough coarseness that water can pass through the coffee grounds. To achieve this, your grind size should be the size of table salt. Using a hand grinder is a good way to get a consistent grind.
Water Quality Makes All the Difference
Make sure you use water that you would drink on its own. Using clean, filtered water makes excellent and pure coffee. When trying to get the perfect pour over, your water temperature makes a difference too. You want your water to be at approximately 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If your water doesn't taste great, your coffee won't either.
When pouring, try creating a whirlpool. It helps increase extraction and reduces the physical labor needed to brew the coffee. Begin pouring slowly. You want to start at the outer rim and work your way toward the center, essentially creating a whirlpool.
You want to make sure all your coffee grounds are saturated. If needed, you can also add more water to ensure your grounds are entirely covered. Depending on the date the coffee was roasted, you may want to consider pouring slow or fast.
Your Coffee-to-Water Ratio is Vital
When testing your ratio, the coffee to water measurement is important. The NCA, or National Coffee Association, suggests using one to two tablespoons of coffee for every six ounces of water, known as the "Golden Ratio." Most suggest a 1:17 coffee to water ratio. You could also use a 16:1 or 15:1 ratio. These measurements are usually in grams. The "Golden Ratio" or other ratios for pour over coffee may be perfection to some, but it's ultimately up to you to determine how you want to brew your coffee.
It's okay to make adjustments. There are many techniques used to make pour over coffee. Finding the right combination can create the perfect pour over ratio for you and your taste buds. If your coffee tastes weak, sour, or too bitter, consider adjusting your grind.