coffee for one? try the pour-over method!

Coffee Beans

pour over coffee recipe, how to pour over coffee
For a long time, I was on a search for the best way to make coffee in a small batch. I tried it in my regular coffee pot, no bueno. French press? Okay, but kind of a pain to clean and I would somehow always end up with coffee grinds floating around.

Enter my new obsession, the pour-over method.

Before being in New York, I had never even heard of this before. Gregg introduced me to it when I wanted to make coffee for myself at his place when I first moved here. He set me up with a grinder, and a little plastic drip cup situation that I had never seen before. I was like, we’re making coffee with this? How can …

The drip cup sits on top of the coffee cup. You place a filter in the drip cup and fill it with ground coffee. Then, you pour hot water over the coffee and it drips down into your coffee. Like magic!

It seems like the most obvious way in the world to me now, but if I didn’t know about it, I figured that some of you must not either. So here we are!

The pour-over method, first and foremost, makes a bad-ass cup of coffee. There’s been a lot of hype about it via the New York Times and Blue Bottle Coffee and such – true coffee aficionados say that this produces one of the best tasting cups of coffee you can make. They use a lot of special equipment – you can even get a special water kettle specially designed for it – but I use the basic stuff and it works just fine for me. The precise way in which you slowly add water to the coffee and the way it reacts with carbon dioxide is supposed to help it bloom properly and deliver the best results. I probably don’t make mine as technically perfect as the experts do, but guess what? It’s still a damned good cup of coffee.

The second best part being that there is virtually nothing to clean up. Toss out your filter, give the drip cup a rinse, and you are good to go.


Pour-Over Coffee Method

// what you need //

  • Coffee grinder
  • Good coffee beans
  • Hot water 
  • Drip cone
  • Paper filters
  • Coffee cup

Some notes: I use a Bodum grinder and electric teapot. You can also use an old-school teapot, or even a pot of water on the stove! (I would pour it into something with a spout if you do that.) This ceramic drip cone is supposed to be a good one, but I am still using the black plastic version shown in the photos that you can get basically anywhere for just a couple bucks. But, be sure to use the best coffee you can find! Here in NYC, I usually buy from one of the great coffeeshops near me like La Colombe, Everyman Espresso, or Bowery Coffee.

// what to do //

  1. Get your water heating. Using an electric kettle makes this happen faster.
  2. Grind your coffee beans. The amount you use is going to depend on the size of your drip cone and coffee cup and how strong you like your coffee. My standard size drip cup yields the right amount for one large cup of coffee. You will most likely need to experiment slightly once you’ve got your cup and drip cone in order. I like my coffee strong, and for me about 2 heaping tablespoons of coffee beans yields the perfect cup.
  3. Set up the drip cone. Rinse your paper filter with water and shake it dry before placing it in your drip cone. This allows for a better extraction through the paper. Place ground coffee inside the paper-lined cone.
  4. Start brewing! Once the water is boiling, remove from the heat. You don’t want to use crazy-boiling water or it could burn the coffee. Give it a second to stop bubbling and then slowly pour it over the coffee, in a circular motion until you’ve saturated it. After the water drips through to the bottom completely, give it one more minute to bloom. Come back and pour more water over the coffee grounds, pouring in a circle around the edge to moisten and then focusing on the center. Again, based on the size of my cup and drip cone, filling the cone twice gives me the perfect cup of coffee.



coffee for one? try the pour-over method!

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