How to Make Pourover Coffee at Home

Pourover coffee is a simple, way to up your coffee game and get the best taste out of your coffee. Discover more about pourover coffee with Waaqa.

Brewing good coffee is like a complex juggling act. It can be tricky to know what brewing method is right for you when juggling between different roasting styles, brewing equipment and coffee types. You might have seen all these different coffee brewing techniques and wondered, ‘which is best for me? Well, we’re here to teach you how to make pourover coffee. Being a coffee aficionado means knowing your pourover coffee from your drip coffee (yes, they are different), and knowing how to pull each method off to perfection. However, if you’re still in limbo about which method works best for you, to give you the flavour you desire, then you have come to the right place. Here, we will focus on pourover coffee, and the unique processes that make up the wonderful world of coffee brewing. Starting with one of the simpler brewing methods, pourover coffee. So, let’s get cracking with a step-by-step guide to pourover coffee brewing, as well as the best coffee equipment for you.

What is pourover coffee?

Pour over coffee, quite simply involves pouring hot water through coffee grounds in a filter (yes, it really is that simple). The water riddles through the coffee – (and the filter), into your vessel of choice, whether that be a mug or a carafe.

What sets the pourover method apart from its counterpart, the drip brewing method, is that the coffee is made by hand-pouring the water over your coffee. So, you may hear the term hand brewing, or manual brewing, these are just other ways to define the pourover method, we aren’t throwing new methods into the mix (confused yet?).

What equipment do you need to make pourover coffee?

We know that there is a never-ending list of coffee equipment, but that’s why we are here to help guide you down the right brewing equipment path. You can start with something a bit simpler, but don’t forget the filters! And then work your way up to a more expert brewing device. Below is a list of must haves for when you come to make your pourover coffee:

·        A digital scale

·        Gooseneck Kettle

·        Grinder

·        Pourover device of choice and filter

·        Filtered water

·        Coffee (duh, we know but best remind you just in case!)

What coffee should you use?

So, you have your equipment at the ready, and your ready for the next steps, so what now? There is a whole world of coffee out there and flavour wheel after flavour wheel, but which one should you choose to make your pourover coffee?

Well, let’s take a quick look. There are a few factors to consider when searching for the best coffee type for your pourover (its all on the label).

Roast Profile

As previously mentioned, the pourover method is great at pulling out subtle flavours and aromas, so choosing a light roast may be the best option for your filter. Coffee beans that are part of the light roast profile family are the brightest, and most acidic in flavour.

Please don’t let us sway you away from the dark and medium roasts, of course these can be used too, but the pourover brewing method compliments the subtle flavours of the lighter roasts just that little bit better.

Grind size

The bigger the coffee bean the better, is not the case with pourover coffee. The size of the coffee ground itself will affect the rate of extraction. The pourover method is known as an infusion method, meaning that the coffee and water interact with one another for a shorter amount of time, compared to an immersion method.

Therefore, you want your coffee to make up enough facet to extract correctly when the water filters through, too much facet and your coffee may over-extract and you will be left with a bitter taste in your mouth…from the brew that is. 

How to make pourover coffee

When it comes to the extraction process of pourover coffee, it is both intricate and satisfying – especially when sitting down with your freshly brewed mug. So, let’s take a little look at the process, so you know what to expect.

Pour over coffee ratio

When it comes to making good coffee, there are a plethora of different suggested ratios in the coffee-sphere, however 1:18 (or in lemans terms 1g of coffee to 18g of water) is a good starting point. Start making brews with the suggested measurement, whilst adjusting the factors that affect extraction such as the grind size (try to target a grind size resulting in a 2:30 to 3:00 minutes brew) and water temperature. After a bit of fiddling (coffee style), you’ll find the process and measurements that work for you.

Heat you water

This is an obvious one, yes. Hotter temperatures might lower the acidiy and accentuate a more bitter flavour (too hot and it will become harsh and bitter with no complexity), whereas cooler temperatures may not pull out the sweeter profiles in a light roast. So, start by finding the best temperature depending on the roast of coffee you prefer drinking.

Weigh your coffee

Weigh your coffee to the suggested measurement of 1:18. If you don’t use enough coffee, there won't be enough matter to extract and also there won’t be a deep enough bed to slow the process of the flowing water, and you may end up with a weak looking and tasting brew (no body wants that). But, if there is too much coffee, it may become unbalanced and there is also the risk of overflowing the brewer as the water can’t fight its way through the depth of coffee grounds. By using a digital scale, you can measure exactly how much water is being added to your coffee, as well as the amount of coffee you’re putting in.

Grind your coffee

Every coffee aficionado will have a state-of-the-art coffee grinder, or you may be thinking about getting yourself one, a bit of advice from us to you…do it.

The size and uniformity of the coffee grind is the most important part of the pourover brewing technique. As the size of the grind impacts the coffee flavour and strength.

Set up your brew equipment and filter

By making sure you set up the filter and dripper correctly, and rinse it with hot water prior to brewing your coffee, this will make sure you rinse away any paper flavour that may be pulled from the filter into your brew, and will help the filter to sit snuggly and hold its shape whilst you pour.

Prepare your pour, time your bloom

When you have ground your coffee, add the ground coffee (after placing your brewing pot on your scales). Once you’ve added your coffee to the brewer you are now ready to kick off the process, hooray!

When you add the first amount of water you should notice the coffee start to expand as it releases the CO2 gas. This is the coffee wetting or blooming stage. This is when you need to allow your coffee to bloom, a good starting point is around 30-60 seconds, to allow the bloom to take place.

Continue to brew, and let it drip

Try adding more water in pulses (2-4 pulses), and allow each pulse of water to drain before adding the next pulse of water. Do not allow the coffee bed to be fully exposed. When you have added your chosen amount of water, the coffee will continue to filter for a few seconds.

The final stage is whether or not the final brew is delicious. Is it too strong, too weak or too bitter? The end result should be satisfying and relaxing. Sit back and sip away on your pourover coffee achievement.

The Pourover Extraction Process


The wetting process (also known as the blooming phase) is exactly what it sounds like, make your dry coffee wet. There is a valuable reason why you need to take this step as seriously as any other, and that is all down to the CO2 in the coffee. You want to release the CO2 from your ground coffee at the beginning of the brew. Lighter roast coffee will generate less CO2 during the roasting process but the ‘degassing’ speed will be slower. On the other hand, when roasting the beans to a darker colour, a significantly higher quantity of gas will be generated inside the beans. This gas will also be released faster due to the fact that the beans cell structure is more distorted and cracked. When you pour hot water over your ground coffee, the CO2 escapes and bubbles out. This causes a barrier and slows down the water to get inside the grounds whilst the CO2 is going out. So, pour over your hot water until wet all over and then allow it to sit for 30 seconds until the gas has escaped. This will start the blooming process, if you are a true coffee connoisseur, you’ll know what that is.

Wetting also helps the coffee grounds to fully saturate, extracting the soluble matter optimally from each ground particle. 


This is an easy one to get matched up with the word ‘dissolve’, but you would be right to assume that they are the same because, well they are. After the coffee grind has been fully ‘wetted’, the hot water will dissolve the solutes from within the bean ground particles and it’s cells. The dissolved coffee is then transferred to the vessel below by the gentle water flow, which at the same time brings new water to dissolve even more delicious coffee.

Tip: if your dissolution time is too short, your coffee may be a bit weak and lacking complexity. On the other side if it's too long, you will start dissolving less soluble compounds which will increase the bitterness. Control your dissolution with your grind size.

Why the Pourover method for making coffee?

The pourover method creates more flavour than regular drip coffee. Due to the difference in the brewing processes, you have more control to homogeneously and optimaly extract the flavours and oils from the coffee grounds, giving you a more rounded and fuller mouthfeel...we aren’t biased. Due to the pourover method pulling the intricate flavours from the bean, it makes it a popular choice for single origin coffee, as it allows the individual flavours and aromas to excel.

We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to make pourover coffee, and hope it’s given you reason to get your brewing caps on! We’re sure you’ll be the creator of delicious home brewed pourover coffee in no time. Check out our article on speciality coffee, next.