Take Your Pleasures Seriously - Filtered Pour Over Coffee

The title is a quote from Charles Eames.

This is my go to filtered coffee prep process. It may seem overly complex but once you've done it a few times it's easy enough and produces repeatable results; which is the whole point. All the equipment I use is listed at the end of this post.


First, weight the beans. I use 1g of coffee beans to 15g water. My 16-ounce thermos holds ≈ 500g of water so I use 33g of beans (500/15 ≈ 33). Experiment to your liking.

Heat up your water. You want it to be about 205° F (96° C). Just let your kettle sit for a minute or two after it boils/turns off to let it cool down. I also like to preheat the thermos and mugs by pouring some hot water in them early on.

Grind your coffee beans finely. This is one of the variables you'll have to experiment with. Too fine and it will taste over extracted and acrid, too coarse and it will be watery. The best test I've found is to rub the coffee grounds between your fingers. If the grounds easily sit between your fingerprints it's too fine. You want it just a tad more coarse than that. If you have a good burr grinder your grind should be pretty consistent. If you see a large variance in grounds something is wrong.

Fold the flap on the filter, put it in the dripper, wet it with hot water, let it drain, and pour in the grounds.

Pour in 50g of water into the center of the grounds. You want it to saturate the grounds and not run past them. I've started to mix the water and grounds with a spoon. I feel like I get more consistent results doing it that way, but maybe I'm just adding a step for no real reason. Oh well, I could be wrong about worse. Wait about 30-45 seconds.

Pour slowly into the center of the grounds. Hario makes a special pouring kettle that makes this part easier but I already own lots of stuff. The trick to pour over coffee prep is to form a thin coat of grounds on the walls of the filter and then pour water through it without disturbing the grounds too much, so everything after this is a bit subjective. Once the water is about two-thirds of the way up the sides stop pouring. Keep adding water until you hit (in my case) 500g, and be careful not to go over the original line of grounds set in your first pour. The whole process should take three minutes. Pouring directly into the center, swirling it slightly, and how fast you pour will have an effect on the taste. Experiment to your liking.

If you really want to get nerdy you can geek out about the type of mugs you use like these 6-ounce Victor mugs that were once made by the same company that made the ceramic insulators at the top of telephone poles.

Coffee Equipment:

Good coffee (Intelligentsia House Blend) - Intelligentsia sells their coffee for $2 off on Tuesdays in Chicago and Stanley's on North & Elston has it cheaper than anywhere else. There are some other good roasters in Chicago like Big Shoulders but thus far Intelligentsia is my clear favorite.

Grinder (Hario Mini Mill Burr Grinder)(Similar alternative) - good electric burr grinders are expensive. I've used this guy and really liked it but even that's $130.

A thermos (16-oz Thermos) - so good I own two.

Electric hot water kettle (I use a utiliTea Electric Kettle but this Hario electric kettle would work better). You can probably pick up something like this at Target for $30. 

Pour over coffee dripper (Hario V60, Hario also makes a ceramic version) and filter (Hario 02, they also makes a brown version which costs more for some reason) - I like the plastic version as it's more tolerant of my hubris.

Digital scale (OXO 10lb5 lb) - good for mailing packages and making repeatable recipes like hummus and fancy drinks. The screen on mine pulls out so you can put large bowls on top of it. I use this much more than I thought I would. Not accurate enough for drugs so hold your comments children.

For more coffee gear suggestions check out reddit/r/coffee's list.