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What Is Pour-Over Coffee Brewing

Pour-over coffee brewing refers to a classic yet famous brewing technique that is in use up to today. This technique aims to brew fresh coffee elegantly and simply. One thing to note is that its brewing process is different from the immersion method as it constantly saturates coffee grounds using fresh and new water.

Pour-over coffee is also called a filter or drip coffee. However, take note that the process is a bit different compared to the standard process used by the usually filtered drip coffee maker.

Benefits of Pour-Over Coffee Brewing

The pour-over coffee brewing method carries several great advantages, including but not limited to the following:

Lacks Grit

The fact that this method results in a coffee, which lacks grit, is a big advantage for those who intend to enjoy a smooth cup that is similar to the one you normally obtain from a normal drip-brew. It is a much better choice compared to the French press if that is what you prefer.

Easy to Clean Up

You will also find it hassle-free to clean up after making a pour-over coffee. While the dual coffee machine is fast and easy to use, you may spend more time cleaning it up because you may have to dismantle some parts.

With the pour-over method, you no longer need to dismantle anything when cleaning, making it perfect for you if you just intend to make around one to two cups of coffee every morning.

Ideal for Those Who Want Their Coffee to Be Less Intense

The coffee produced by this method has a less intense flavor because it lacks immersion. With that, it can benefit anyone who is in favor of light-flavored coffee.

How Does Pour-Over Method Work

This method works in producing your desired cup of coffee by requiring you to pour water over the coffee grounds first. It has a filter, which sits cylindrically, allowing the water to flow in circular motions around the coffee grounds before it finally settles at the bottom. Similar to drip coffee, a premium pour-over coffee maker makes it possible for hot water to penetrate the filter, thereby ensuring that coffee grinds do not reach the final brew.

Pros and Cons of Pour-Over Coffee Brewing

Pros

  • Produces a smooth-tasting coffee
  • Easy and quick to clean
  • Allows you to discover what makes various coffee beans uniquely different
  • Uses a filter, which catches oils and sediment, thereby ensuring that your coffee does not get too bitter

Cons

  • Not ideal for those who prefer full-bodied and strong coffee

What Is a French Press

What Is a French Press

Another effective yet simple brewing method you can use is the French press. Most people are already aware that instant coffee shouldn’t be overly consumed as excessive intake of this coffee can have a negative impact on one’s health.

With a French press around, you can make hot or cold brew coffee of quality beans and lessen or fully eliminate instant coffee from your diet. The good thing about this brewing method is that it works quickly without skimping on flavor. Expect it to produce a dark and rich brew.

Benefits of French Press Coffee Brewing

The use of a French press for brewing coffee can provide the following benefits:

Creates a Strong, Rich and Bold Coffee

If you prefer your coffee to be more intense, then the French press is perfect for you. It draws the oils of coffee from the grounds, thereby resulting in a more intense flavor.

Allows You to Customize

Another great thing about French press coffee brewing is that it allows customization. It is because this method lets you select any grind size. You also have full control over the richness and strength of coffee. All it takes is to alter the steeping times of the grounds.

Easy to Use

Another remarkable advantage of the French press is that it is easy to use. You do not have to spend time learning complex steps so you can start using and taking advantage of this coffee brewing method.

How Does French Press Work

The French press usually works with the help of its three vital components – the carafe, which is a cylindrical glass with an open-top, a filter often made of stainless steel, and a signature plunger. It steeps hot water and coffee grounds first in the carafe. The plunger and filter included in the French press are the things you will use to push the coffee grounds to the carafe’s bottom once you are done steeping. This can leave you with the brewed coffee that you can pour in your cup and enjoy.

Pros and Cons of French Press Coffee Brewing

Pros

  • Creates good coffee consistently
  • The French press machine is inexpensive.
  • Easy to clean and store
  • A versatile device as you can also use it for brewing other drinks, such as tea

Cons

Pour-Over vs French Press Comparison

Now that you know the individual benefits and drawbacks of both the pour-over and the French press, it is time to get to know more about what makes the two different. Note that these two brewing techniques usually differ based on the following factors:

Ease of Use

Both the pour-over and the French press methods require more involvement than when you brew fresh coffee in a Keurig machine or any other automated coffee machines. However, you have an assurance that even if both methods require you to be more involved in the process, you will never have a hard time using it.

Even if you are used to making a homemade espresso with a stovetop espresso machine, you will surely not mind exerting more effort in producing coffee using either the French press or pour-over method because the process is convenient. The French press, in particular, is very easy to use.

With that, even if you do not have a lot of experience making your own coffee at home, you will not have problems using the device. You will find the pour-over coffee maker convenient to use, especially if you are already familiar with the standard drip coffee machine.

Among the most crucial elements that you need to pay attention to when planning to brew using the pour-over method are the brewing time and grind coarseness. You might also need to invest in the world’s best pour-over kettle to make the most out of this method.

Brewing Time

The pour-over and the French press methods also differ depending on their brewing time. If you are using a French press, then expect the brewing time to take around three to eight minutes. If you are using a pour-over coffee maker, then expect to spend around ten minutes to complete the process of making one pot of coffee.

As for the actual brewing time required for the coffee, the time needed is around 3-4 minutes if you are using light-roasted beans and 2-3 minutes for dark-roasted beans. You may find a coffee brewing alarm clock for a bedside table useful when brewing using any of the two methods to ensure that the coffee will not end up being overly brewed.

Control of the Brew

Pour-Over vs French Press Comparison - Control of the Brew

Another factor that differentiates pour-over and French press brewing methods is the control of the brew. If you are using a French press, then you may find a thermometer handy. Use it to ensure that the hot water’s temperature gets close to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour just a bit of water, instead of pouring it entirely to the coffee grounds. Wait for the bloom, or the frothy substance, to rise on top. You can control and improve the flavor by allowing it to bloom for around thirty to forty-five seconds then slowly pouring the remaining water.

When it comes to the pour-over brewing method, you also need to pour the hot water slowly and gradually to the coffee grounds. Let the coffee bloom after pouring water the first time before you slowly pour the remaining water. In the pour-over method, you need to be more patient but avoid doing the process too slowly as it might dry out the coffee grounds.

Brew Quality

The pour-over and French press brewing methods may also vary depending on the quality and flavor of the brew they produce. If you are using the French press, then take note that the resulting brew will have a flavor based on the actual extraction time.

To ensure that the brew comes with a more pronounced flavor, it is advisable to steep the coffee grounds for up to 8 minutes. Start at around 3 minutes, then increase the steeping time by 30 seconds each so you can change the coffee’s boldness or bitterness.

As for the pour-over brewing method, expect the quality and flavor to be smooth without any leftover coffee grinds. You will most likely notice a flavor, which is not extremely overpowering, bitter, and bold.

Materials

In terms of materials, the pour-over and French press also vary. The two methods need a different set of materials and equipment to produce coffee. The good news is that both do not require you to spend excessively on the equipment. For the French press, you will need the coffee maker specifically designed for it. You also need to have coffee grounds and hot water on hand.

If possible, use an electric or manual coffee grinder to grind freshly roasted coffee beans on your own. It is also advisable to invest in a measuring cup, thermometer, timer and scale to improve your chance of brewing a great cup of coffee.

As far as the pour-over brewing method, take note that you might need a bit more materials and equipment than the ones used in the French press method. It is important to have coffee beans, hot water, scale, and electric or manual grinder, too.

What makes it different, though, is that it requires the use of a filter. You will also need a stand, container, dripper, and gooseneck kettle to increase your chance of getting a delicious cup of coffee.

Sizes Available

In terms of available sizes, take note that the two devices offer a wide range of choices. As for the French press, you can see it is available in various sizes – among which are the travel-sized, single-cup presses as well as 12-cup presses that are perfect for use on large gatherings and parties.

You will also love the numerous choices in terms of sizes provided by the pour-over coffee maker. The sizes range from the single-serve machines to those that can supply at least one liter of coffee.

Portability

Some makers of French presses create their products in a way that one can bring them when traveling. For instance, you can find the Java Press in the market, which refers to an insulated carafe with a double-walled structure and a built-in silicone ringed plunger. You can go for this one if you are looking for a portable French press that you can bring with you on your trips. However, be prepared to spend a bit more as the portable ones also tend to be pricey.

The pour-over devices, on the other hand, are naturally portable while maintaining their durability. Most of the pour-over coffee machines are created for portability, so investing in one is surely a wise move if you are someone who is interested in traveling often.

Price Range

The good thing about the pour-over and French press machines is that both are available at affordable prices. The prices of these devices vary depending on the materials used in constructing them as well as the brand.

On average, the French press usually costs around $10 to $70. The average price for pour-over coffee machines, on the other hand, is $30 to $70. The pour-over coffee maker also differs in the sense that you need to spend a bit more for its additional filters.

How to Brew Pour-Over Coffee

How to Brew Pour-Over Coffee

Step 1 – Prepare all the needed ingredients

Measure the required amount of water as well as coffee beans. A wise tip is to stick to the ratio of using 28 grams of coffee for 12 ounces of water.

The measurement should be in volume – around four tablespoons of ground coffee for every one and a half cup of water. You can make the necessary adjustments based on how strong or weak you want the taste to be. It is similar to when your preferred syrup determines your coffee’s taste.

Step 2 – Grind coffee

The result should be coarsely ground coffee. After that, you can pour the required amount of water into the kettle. Let it boil.

Step 3 – Add the coarse coffee grounds to the filter while boiling the water

Once the water boils, make sure to wait for around half a minute prior to pouring it to the coffee grounds. This will allow the water to settle down a bit from the active temperature.

Step 4 – Let the coffee grounds bloom

You can complete this step by pouring the right amount of water to the coffee grounds. It should be enough to wet all the coffee. One sign that it already blooms is when it bubbles. If that happens, stop adding more water. Let it bloom for half a minute more.

Step 5 – Start the brew pour

It is possible by pouring water evenly and steadily over the coffee grounds. A wise tip is to do this step with a clockwise motion. Begin in the middle, then move to the edge then back to the center. Do this pattern repeatedly, but make sure to pour water in a way that it does not flood the coffee grounds. It should just let them get submerged in water.

Step 6 – Remove the filter

Just make sure that you let all water drip through the filter prior to the actual removal. Remove the coffee grounds, too. Once done, you can pour the remaining coffee to your mug or cup and enjoy it.

 

How to Brew Coffee in the French Press

Step 1 – Add enough water to the French press

It should be enough to fill it up then let the water boil if you are using a French press with a 17-oz capacity, then add around 12 ounces or 350 grams of water.

Step 2 – Start grinding the coffee while waiting for the water to heat up or boil

Make sure that you focus on getting an even and coarse ground.

Step 3 – Balance the water coffee ratio

Pour two times the amount of water than the amount of coffee you have gently on the grounds. For instance, you need around 60 grams of water for 30 grams of coffee.

Step 4 – Gently stir the coffee grounds using a chopstick or bamboo paddle

Let the coffee bloom for half a minute.

Step 5 – If there is still water left, pour it to the French press

The lid should then be gently placed on top. Avoid plunging yet. Allow the coffee to steep for exactly four minutes.

Step 6 – Put French press on the counter

Press down the filter. After completing this step, serve coffee right away.

 

Do’s and Don’ts With Pour-Over vs French Press Coffee Methods

  • If possible, use a gooseneck kettle when brewing using the pour-over method. Note that while you are allowed to use any kind of kettle, the gooseneck type is better because it gives you full control once you start pouring the water.
  • Grind your own fresh beans. This tip is especially applicable if you intend to follow the French press coffee brewing method. It is because this method requires a coarse grind. The size of the grind should be around .75 mm to 1 mm. If you have too coarse coffee grounds, then these might only result in a weak coffee flavor. If it is too fine, then the coffee might be too strong or bitter.
  • Do not go over the required brewing times. Ensure that you stick to the recommended brewing times for the pour-over and French press methods. For instance, if you are using the pour-over method, then your target should be a brewing time of around two and a half to three minutes for dark-roasted coffee.
  • Do not store your coffee beans just anywhere. Remember that it tends to absorb foul odor and deteriorates upon contact with the air. With that in mind, find a cool and dry location for it. Do not store it in your freezer or fridge. When storing, the coffee also needs to be rolled in tightly in a valve bag or sealed container.

FAQs

What type of bean should you use for the French press?

If you intend to use the French press for all your coffee brewing needs, then it is highly recommended to go for dark and medium roast coffee beans. It is because these coffee beans can produce a rich taste when brewed using the method.

What type of bean should you use for the pour-over?

For the pour-over method, the best type of bean you can use is the light or medium roast. Using this type of bean can produce a cup of brewed coffee that you can easily and smoothly drink.

What is the ideal coffee-to-water ratio when using the French press method?

It would be best to use the ratio applicable to all kinds of immersion coffee. A wise recommendation is to stick to the ratio of 1:17 if you intend to brew a typical cup of coffee. Go for the 1:11 ratio if you want your cup of coffee to be a bit stronger than usual.

What is the ideal coffee-to-water ratio when using the pour-over method?

For the pour-over method, you can use the ratio applied to standard drip coffee makers. If you are making a standard or typical cup of coffee, then the 1:17 ratio will work. If you want the coffee to be stronger, then the highly recommended ratio is 1:15.

Is it possible to keep my brewed coffee hot?

To retain the warmth of the brewed coffee you prepared, pour it to a well-insulated tumbler or container. You may also pour the coffee in your cup then warm it up with the help of a can warmer. Another wise tip is to invest in a mug warmer.

Conclusion

If you are a coffee lover, then you will surely love to know the fact that you can make your own coffee at the comforts of your own home. You can brew a cup of coffee every time you feel the need to drink it using the pour-over or the French press method.

Just make sure that you have all the things needed for the brewing. It is also wise to have reusable K-cups around as these are also convenient to use when making your own coffee. Invest in the equipment needed for the brewing technique you prefer and you will surely have a constant supply of your beloved coffee anytime. 

Photos from: VitalikRadko / depositphotos.com, Daxiao_Productions / depositphotos.com, Sandralise / depositphotos.com and gregorylee / depositphotos.com.