When making pour-over coffee, the two biggest factors are:
- Coffee bean quality
- Purity of water
However, every detail matters. Getting a consistent grind coarseness, using proper measurements, and having the right temperature water will also improve how your cup of joe tastes.
What you’ll need:
- Quality, fresh coffee beans (we gravitate toward beans from Guatemala and Ethiopia)
- Chemex coffeemaker
- Filtered water (we love this Berkey Water filter)
- Water kettle (something with a gooseneck spout is best for pouring)
- Paper filters
- Coffee grinder (the better the grind, the better the coffee. However, quality beans and filtered water trump grind, so just get what you can!)
- Scale (ensures accuracy)
Now, on to preparation. If you dig around enough, you’ll find varying recommendations on the ratio of coffee to water.
I’ve worked this recipe for a number of years and end up using 1g of coffee to 16ml of water.
So for a pot of coffee that yields about 2 big cups (250ml each), you’d use 32g of coffee + ~500ml water.
This assumes you’re using a high-quality coffee bean and filtered water. Sometimes coffee is made unnecessarily strong to hide bean or water imperfections.
I also tend to grind my coffee just a smidge finer (to the consistency of table salt) than what’s usually recommended (rough sea salt), which seems to balance well with a little bit more water to make a beautiful cup of coffee.
That said, don’t be fooled. This is going to be a bold cup of coffee! I make adjustments when using a different bean or system, but this process has held up well for me for years (and we drink coffee pretty much every day).
We hope you LOVE this coffee brewing method. It’s:
Tried and tested
Easy to master
& Delicious every time
Enjoy your perfect cup of coffee as is, or use as a base in beverages like our Mushroom Latte 2 Ways! It can also be used in recipes like our Coconut Coffee Ice Cream, Cold Brew Caramel Frappuccino (just cool your coffee first), Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches, and 3-Ingredient Vegan Mocha Milkshake.
If you try this coffee brewing method, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
How to Make Pour-Over Coffee
- 32 g whole coffee beans (as fresh as possible — we love Yirgacheffe)
- 500 ml filtered water
- Measure out roughly 1g of coffee per 16ml of water. For a 500ml / 2 cup pot of coffee, you'll use 32g of coffee and 500ml water.
- Grind beans to the consistency of fine sea salt or table salt and set aside. Also bring your filtered water to a boil (add slightly more water to the pot (~600 ml) as you'll need a little extra to wet your filter — see next step).
- Unfold your paper filter by separating it with 3 folds on one side and one fold on the other (see video for visual). Then insert the filter into the top of your Chemex, placing the side with three folds toward the spout.
- Wet the paper filter with just enough hot water to saturate it. This reduces any potential for a "paper taste" in your coffee. Then pour the excess water out through the spout.
- Add coffee grounds to the filter and shake gently to settle.
- Add just enough water to cover the coffee grounds (~66ml) so the coffee can "bloom." Then wait 45 seconds. This is a step that lets gas escape from the coffee to help improve the overall flavor.
- After the bloom, start pouring the remaining hot water over the coffee in small circles. Focus your pouring mostly in the inner circle, pouring near the edges occasionally to consistently wet the grounds. For the first round, pour about 200ml water.
- If you pour slowly enough, you can maintain a constant pour and let it filter at the same rate (which is ideal for optimal flavor). Or you can pour in ~200ml batches at a time. However, try to never let the grounds go completely dry. Total pour time should take 3.5 minutes.
- Once brewed, remove filter and enjoy coffee. Bonus tip: Before pouring coffee, warm your cup using any leftover hot water. Just be sure to dump the excess water before enjoying your coffee. Enjoy fresh, or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)
Why do you “bloom” coffee?
In short, before being brewed, coffee contains gasses produced during the roasting process. Blooming the coffee releases some of those gasses so your final cup has a cleaner taste. Plus, it helps level the coffee grounds to make pouring easier.
What are the best beans for coffee?
Most high-end local coffee shops will offer good beans. Small-batch single-origin (or specialty blends) are best. If you aren’t near a big city, looking for coffee beans from Portland or Seattle will usually set you straight. Or you can look into roasting your own at home!
Should I buy ground or whole coffee beans? What are the best beans?
Either will be fine if you get them to the right consistency. Most grinders at stores or coffee shops will have a pour-over setting you can try. Ultimately, you’re going for a consistency similar to table salt. If you have your own grinder, buy whole beans and grind right before you brew.
Does good coffee require filtered water?
Yes! This makes a remarkable difference in coffee quality. Strong brewing, great beans, or other tricks won’t make up for funky water.
What’s the best grind for a Chemex?
Table salt consistency. If your coffee ends up tasting dry or bitter, you probably need to use a coarser grind.
What’s the best grinder for a Chemex?
If bean and water quality are the two most important things in brewing a pour-over, the grind consistency would be #3. A burr grinder is the best for consistency and not changing the flavor (blade grinders can heat up the beans, causing quality issues). For the money, the Baratza Encore is a great value for getting the perfect pour-over grind. For travel, a hand grinder like this one is great. But be warned — it’ll take 5-10 minutes of grinding for a full pot of coffee!
What’s the best kettle for a Chemex?
Okay, now we’re getting fancy! Any kettle with a gooseneck will be preferred over a standard tea kettle as it gives you more control when pouring. I use an electric kettle and have been very happy with this one.