How to Use the Most Popular Pour-Over Coffee Makers?


If you have read some of our past articles about pour-over coffee, you may already be aware that this is a coffee brewing method for making small batches that uses a stream of hot water and fresh coffee grounds. It is a simple and basic method for making coffee that only needs you, coffee, a filter, a funnel, water, and a cup. When you manage to pour a steady stream of hot water over the grounds, the resulting coffee is delicate but full-flavored. It’s also going to be subtler and more nuanced than the coffee you could get from a French press or a drip machine.

When you visit one of the local coffee shops around your town, you may notice they use many different techniques to create an excellent cup of coffee. Many of these shops use espresso machines for their lattes and specialty drinks. However, for those who want something a bit more traditional, pour-over is a brewing method that is gaining steam in the coffee house world.

The definition of pour-over coffee is an excellent start to understanding what this coffee is. Pour-over or hand-drip coffee is a technique using a typical coffee drip where water is poured over freshly ground coffee. The idea behind this coffee is that it will offer vibrant and fresh flavor notes that aren’t apparent using a typical coffee maker. At most serious coffee shops, this is the favored way to provide quality coffee to patrons. However, pour-over isn’t just seen in expensive coffee shops. You can make it at home to save a ton of money.

Today, we want to look at some of the top pour-over coffee makers and the process through which they make an exceptional cup of coffee. While they all do the same thing, each method is a bit different and offers a cup that has a taste and mouthfeel all its own. But first, let’s explore how pour-over coffee got its start.

The History of Pour-Over Coffee

 Most people don’t know that pour-over coffee has been present for many decades. It was seen in tons of third-wave coffee shops and in the homes of coffee lovers who want the best cup of morning coffee. However, the origin of this coffee making technique all started with a woman by the name of Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz.

In 1908, this woman woke up and was drinking coffee from her percolator when she began to feel unsatisfied with the brew. The coffee was bitter and over-extracted and not every tasty on the palate. Because Melitta was sure there has to be a better way to create coffee, she started to experiment with various brewing methods. Using blotting paper taken from her son’s school book and a punctured brass pot, Melitta made a cup of coffee and loved it so much that she released the brewer to the world at large.

During the 1930s, Melitta’s pour-overs took over the world. The cone shape design used is still in place today and has been on shelves since the 1950s. These were even more popular since the cone allowed much better filtration for the coffee. Even today, this brand is known for its filters and pour-over equipment. The start of pour-over coffee changed the world at large and continues to show a way to create quality coffee. It doesn’t hurt that it’s an innovative yet quick and easy way to brew a coffee beverage.

Using the Gabi Drip Master Pour-Over Coffee Maker

 The Gabi Drip Master coffee maker is a little different from most of the other coffee makers on the market. Even those with plenty of experience creating pour-over coffee have mentioned being a little stumped about how to use this technique without reading over the instructions first. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use this method. In fact, for a beginner, it can teach you a lot about how pour-over coffee works and you can easily transition to the more traditional methods.

Most pour-over coffee brewers are setup where you control the amount of water that flows over the beans so you can take charge of how light or dark the end cup is. The Gabi Drip Master does things a little bit different than the rest. It has a design where the water that is poured is collected and then evenly distributed, so the beans uniformly receive water. This is a plus for someone new to making pour-over coffee, but it does take some control away from those who are already experts at this technique.

Equipment with the Gabi Drip Master

 When you first get the contents of the Gabi Drip Master package, you might wonder how to put all the parts together. It is like putting together a puzzle. Each of the components is collapsible, which is why it can all fit into a small space. Unpacking and assembling the brewer will have to be done before you can make any coffee.

The first thing you want to do is open up the shell and start taking the parts away from each other. Some parts come apart again to create even more parts. In the end, you are going to end up with a dripper, a waterspout, a multi, and a water bottle. After you have all of these parts ready, all you need is a mug, coffee, and water to start brewing the coffee.

Measuring Out the Right Amount of Coffee

 You will also notice that the Gabi Drip Master comes with a scoop and it is labeled as 15 grams. Don’t take that seriously, because it only holds about six to seven grams of coffee. This might seem like the math will get complicated, but don’t worry. We’ll make sure you make a great cup of coffee without any problems.

To start, let’s brew up 10 ounces of coffee. Three scoops using the Gabi scoop will give you around 20 grams of coffee. Ten ounces works out to just about 300 milliliters, so your brew ratio is 15 parts water to one part coffee.

Something else that is cool about this design is that the top chamber is engineered to hold 150 grams of water. That means you need to fill it up twice rather than having to do a bunch of weighing. If you prefer to use the recipe included with the instructions, that’s fine too. The important thing is to adjust based on that first cup, so every cup is to your taste.

The Right Grind for the Coffee

 This pour-over brewer has a flat bottom, which means a medium grind is the best option. This is the same grind as you might use for a Stagg Dripper or a Kalita Wave.

How to Brew Your Coffee

 The first step you want to take is fitting the water bottle to the top of the waterspout. The water bottle is what holds the water until it goes down into the waterspout. After you’ve connected these parts, you can set them aside for the present time.

This machine uses the 155 series filter, the same one as is used for a Kalita Wave. Take the filter and put it into the dripper before rinsing it with hot water. Make sure to discard the water after doing so. Some people choose not to rinse the filter since it is fairly thin, so this is optional but suggested.

Next, you want to add three scoops of your medium ground coffee into the filter. The filter will go into the dripper, and then the dripper should be placed over a jar or mug. Now we can talk about the multi which comes with the brewer. This is used if the dripper doesn’t fit your mug. If it does, you can put this part aside.

At this point, you can take the water bottle and connected waterspout and put them onto the dripper. By the time you reach this part of the instructions, you will have the entire brew stack set up and ready to go.

The next thing you want to do is heat water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and fill the water bottle to the top. It will slowly exit into the waterspout at which point you want to fill it up again. This gives you 300 milliliters of water, which is perfect for the 10-ounce cup of joe.

After everything has brewed, you can remove the stack and enjoy your coffee.

A Bit About the Waterspout

 What makes the Gabi so different from other pour-over options is the waterspout. Instead of putting all your effort into evenly and gently pouring water on the grounds, the waterspout does all of that for you. The water is slowed down and drops gently to hit all the grounds in an even manner. The only thing you have to do is add water to the water bottle.

Making Pour-Over Coffee with the V60

 Even those who know very little about pour-over coffee may have heard about the V60, considering it is one of the most popular options for making this sort of coffee. As a beginner, don’t worry. This method is fairly simple, although it might take some practice to learn how to pour the water in just the right manner to get the coffee that you want.

The brew of the coffee with a V60 ultimately comes down to your two hands. You are in control of every variable, even if you aren’t fully aware of that. As you know now, with pour-over brewing, the water extracts all the goodness of the coffee while it goes through the grounds. The most significant variable for control is typically the grind. That means you can adjust the size of the coffee grounds and move on.

The V60 is different in that manner because the flow of water is not restricted in any way by the vessel. The flow is also something that you are required to control for the tastiest coffee. When you choose a different grind size, the surface area that the water goes over is also going to change. That means the amount of time the water hits the ground is going to vary.

The point is that using a V60 is easy but mastering everything about it can take some time. Understanding the nuances of brewing can have a lot to do with spreadsheets, timers, and videos, so be prepared to get obsessed if you decide to go with this method.

What You Need to Brew with a V60

 The first thing you will need to have access to is a slow pouring kettle. A gooseneck is considered the best option. Adding water to the coffee with a consistent speed and delicacy is crucial to great coffee. Don’t try using a traditional water kettle because it is just going to slosh water around and make a mess. Look for a good gooseneck kettle for the best coffee.

You also need a scale to make coffee with a V60. This doesn’t have to be anything expensive or overly complicated, but it might be able to weigh both your coffee and your water accurately.

Of course, you also need the actual V60 along with filters and a container for brewing. Keep in mind that not every V60 is the same. They come in many materials and you can choose the one you prefer. The most significant impact it will have is on the temperature of the water and coffee. If you go with something delicate like copper or porcelain, preheating will take longer since you want to make sure the temperature doesn’t drop as you start brewing.

You also want to use a very good coffee if you’re going to put the time and effort into this handcrafted brew. Don’t just grab something off of the store shelves. Pick something that tastes great, which you can grind yourself every time you make a cup.

The Brewing Process Itself

 The first step is going to be grinding up your coffee. This method does best with a medium-fine grind. The V60 can grind anything from coarse to fine but to start, a medium-fine grind is the best option to see what kind of coffee you get which you can adapt in the future.

The next thing you want to do is rinse out the filter used to brew the coffee on the V60. This helps preheat the vessel itself and removes the paper taste from the filter. As far as preheating goes, the various V60 methods will work with the brewing heat in specific ways. Sometimes the brewer might pull too much heat and lead to poor extraction. As such, you want to start with water that is almost boiling but not quite.

Now it is time to add in the coffee grounds. Consider your preference here, but in general, a ratio of 16 parts water to one part coffee tends to work well. No matter how much coffee you choose to use, the below instructions will work just fine. If you want to follow a specific recipe, try using 400 grams of water with 25 grams of coffee grounds.

The first time you pour, you are going to be creating what is called a bloom. That means the water hits the grounds and the gases are released. This causes the bed or brew to puff up and look like it is blooming. It’s crucial to remove the gasses during the brewing process to create the right situation for full extraction.

The process of extracting coffee involves the water pulling out all the soluble compounds in the grounds. When the grounds are saturated, the compounds release easier. You can think of this like pouring water on a flower bed. The dry flower bed is going to cause the water to pour off while a water flower bed will suck in the moisture.

For the bloom, you may want to add about two times the water that there are coffee grounds. So, for 25 grams of coffee, 50 grams of water can be used to bloom the grounds. After the entire bed of grounds is wet down, stop pouring and let everything sit for about 30 to 45 seconds.

Now we can move onto the rest of the pours. Most people do two to four sets of pours depending on preference. This type of pour lets you do things a bit more casually without stressing over exact measurements of the pour. Once the bloom is done, pour concentric circles evenly over the grounds. Pouring straight into the middle will make things uneven and create a coffee that isn’t as good.

Pour until around 2/3 of the brewer is full of water and then step back for a second. Next, you can pick up the V60 and spin it a bit, removing the groundsfrom the sides. This will make sure the water saturates everything.

After the spin, let the water go through the coffee before you pour more. You can eyeball this and start pouring when the water is about to meet the grounds. Make sure to do this gently, so you don’t disturb the grounds more than needed. Keep doing this over and over until you are down to the last bit of water.

When you add the last bit of water, you can do another spin to make sure the extraction is even throughout the entire process. At that point, you are done and can enjoy your great coffee.

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Using a Nee Coffee Dripper to Create Pour-Over

 Those who want a simple way to brew pour-over can’t beat the Nee Coffee Dripper. It’s a simple manual coffee brewer made of porcelain. In addition to the dripper itself, you will also need to have a #2 size paper filter and a kettle so you can heat the water for the coffee. A kitchen scale is also useful for weighing the water and coffee. Even if you don’t have a scale, you can still make a great cup of coffee, though.

Steps to Make Coffee with the Need Coffee Dripper

 The first thing you want to do is heat enough water to make a single cup of coffee along with enough for you to rinse out the filter. The #2 filter will be placed inside of the Nee Coffee Dripper at this point.

Rinsing the filter is optional, but most coffee professionals recommend you do so. When you rinse the filter, it removes the taste of paper residue and starts to preheat the dripper itself. If you prefer not to do it, you don’t have to. Some people don’t notice a paper taste, and if you are one of them, skipping this step can save you a little bit of time.

The next thing you want to do is add the ground coffee. For this method, a medium drip grind is considered the best option but keep in mind that you can make it as strong or as weak as you like. Our recommendation for this is to use a 17 part water to one part coffee radio. For every gram of coffee, you use 17 grams of water.

Those who do not have a way to weigh the coffee can use a little tip we know. If you have a 12-ounce mug to fill with coffee, that is 340 grams. When you divide that amount by 17, you get 20 for 20 grams of coffee. If you have a coffee scoop from a can, that is going to hold 10 grams, so you need two scoops for this size mug. Those who have a 16-ounce cup should add an additional half scoop while those with an eight-ounce mug can subtract half of a scoop instead.

You are going to want to bring water to a boil and then let it cool for about 30 seconds. Next, you are going to pour coffee slowly over the grounds just enough to cover them before allowing the grounds to bloom. After about 30 seconds, you can start pouring more hot water over the coffee grounds. Those with a scale will know precisely when to stop adding water. If you are not, you can slow down and pause to lift the dripper and see how full the mug is, so it does not become overfilled.

After done, all you have to do is take off the Nee Dripper and serve the coffee. Cleanup is super easy since all you need to do is remove the filter and rinse out the brewer for it to be ready for the next time you brew.

Pour-Over Coffee Using the Java Maestro

 Another option for pour-over coffee that is a little different from the ones above is the Java Maestro. This is a stainless steel coffee filter rather than using the paper ones that are so common with pour-over. The dripper itself acts as the filter for less waste and parts to keep track of around your home.

There are both benefits and drawbacks to using a metal filter instead of a paper one. The first is that it’s more economical. You aren’t going to need to keep stocked up on paper filters, which means you spend less money. The other benefitis that with a metal filter, all the oils from the coffee end up in the cup. This can add additional richness to the coffee that isn’t present when using a paper filter.

However, paper filters also have benefits. The largest one is that no coffee grounds end up in the cup, which results in cleaner coffee. Thankfully, the Java Maestro Pour-Over Coffee Dripper is excellent at filtering, so you get a rich cup which is also clean and free of excess debris.

Creating a Fantastic Cup of Coffee with the Java Maestro

 When you use this brewing method, you are going to want a good quality gooseneck kettle. One of the most recommended is the Bonavita 1-Liter Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle. As with other pour-over coffee methods, you want to be sure the coffee grounds are fully saturated with hot water. Having a kettle that makes controlling the water easy will make the entire process a lot less stressful.

The Java Maestro itself is made from stainless steel, and you will want to rinse it out using hot water in the sink before you begin to brew coffee. Doing so will help minimize heat loss when the dripper is preheated.

This coffee dripper is made to create a single mug of coffee at one time. However, you also need to consider how big of a cup you are going to be using. If you don’t weight the water you are going to add, you can add too much, which can lead to a big mess. Keep in mind that this brewer has a small hole that you can look through to see the progress of the pour-over, but it can be hard to use, so you need to be careful.

You want to grind up your coffee to a medium-fine for the best results. In the package for the Java Maestro dripper, you are going to see a scooper which can also be used as a clip for a coffee bag. If you have a 12-ounce mug, you will want to use three scoops. Those who wish to use a gram scale can do that too. A ration of 15.5 parts water to one part coffee is excellent, which means 310 grams of water and 20 grams of coffee.

Using your kettle, you want to add water between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to the initial pour, you want to add just enough water to cover all the grounds so they can bloom. If you prefer to weigh things out, you want to double the weight of water to coffee. So, if you use 20 grams of coffee, the first pour should be 40 grams of water.

After that, let the coffee hang out for around 20 seconds before you start to pour in the rest of the water. As always, with pour-over coffee, you should pour using a circular method in smooth and even actions. After all the coffee has left the brewer, you are done and can enjoy drinking your coffee.

Understanding How to Use the Kalita Wave Dripper

 The Kalita Wave Dripper is flat bottomed and made for pour-over coffee. The design of the bottom helps facilitate a more even extraction of the coffee. Unlike some of the other pour-over models in the market, this one doesn’t make you sit and wait. The entire process is hands-on and will require your assistance.

This dripper comes in two different sizes: #155 and #185. The first is smaller and works for a single cup while the other is larger. It comes in either stainless steel or glass while the #185 is ceramic.

You will quickly realize that the Kalita Wave doesn’t use standard filters. You are going to need to buy filters specifically for the size you buy. You also may want to have a glass server, a kitchen sales, an electric kettle, and a timer available for the best results.

How to Use the Kalita Wave Dripper

 The first thing you want to do is take the proper filter and place it into the brewer. Next, the dripper should go over the carafe or mug where you want the brewed coffee to go. As with other paper filter methods, it’s best to rinse out the filter first to prevent paper residue. This also helps the filter stay inside the brewer properly. Pour water right into the middle and do so quickly. Pouring on the sides can make the filter lose its shape. Using hot water is the best option since it preheats the server. The water can be tossed out after you are done.

The 17 parts water to one part coffee ratio will work well with this dripper. Since there are two sizes of brewers, that can make things a bit more complicated. If you have the #155 model, you should use 300 grams of water and 17 grams of coffee. Those who have the #185 model will want to use 500 grams of water and 30 grams of coffee. The grind should be a medium-medium coarse.

Having a timer lets you be sure that the right grind size is being used. The ideal time for the brew is around 3 minutes to 3.5 minutes. Notice that it goes faster? Make the grind finer next time. If it’s too slow, make the grind coarser the next time.

Now you are going to need to focus for the next step. Those using a scale will want to take the dripper with the filter of ground coffee onto the server and zero it out. There are two different ways in which you can add the water to this brewer. Some use a slow and steady technique, while others use a pulse method where you pause and pour and then do the same over and over again in a circular pattern.

Most people pour water into the coffee grounds until the coffee blooms and then start to use a circular method to extract the coffee evenly. However, everyone will find that their technique is different, so do not be afraid to switch things up and experiment as you like until you create the perfect cup of coffee for yourself.

After you’re done, remove the dripper, pour, and you have a great cup of coffee. Those who don’t have a fancy kettle or kitchen scale can still use this method, but more practice may be needed. Keep in mind that canned coffee comes with a 10-gram scoop which can be used instead. Those who have no gooseneck kettle should pour slow and low to make the best possible coffee.

Wrapping Up 

These are not the only pour-over brewers on the market, but they offer a great representation of your options. Some are easier to use than others, while some make coffee more quickly than the alternatives. Now that you have an idea of what is out there, you probably found one or more fits your lifestyle. Give the one you like most a try, and you might find that you want to experiment with others down the road.

Bonus Questions:

1. What is the difference between pour-over and drip coffee?

With a pour-over device, you get control over the way the water is poured while drip coffee makers do that automatically without your help. Getting an even pour of water is much easier when you have a kettle in your hand as opposed to using a drip brewer that takes that control from you.

2. Is pour-over coffee stronger?

It depends on how you pour it. While pour-over coffee takes longer to make than drip coffee, you get to choose the speed at which the coffee flows through the coffee. Those who want a light flavor pour quickly, while those who prefer a strong flavor can pour more slowly.

3. What is needed for pour-over coffee?

To make pour-over coffee, you will need freshly ground coffee, a filter holder, and a filter. Pour-over involves pouring water over and through the coffee grounds to extract the taste of the coffee into your cup or mug.

4. What does it mean at Starbucks that coffee is a pour-over?

When Starbucks offers pour-over coffee, that means that a barista will grind up just enough beans for a single cup of coffee. A cone brewer and filter will then be used to custom make a cup of coffee by applying hot water to the beans.

5. Is pour-over coffee healthy?

One of the perks of a cup of pour-over coffee is that the brewing helps traps the oily coffee substances called diterpenes. There is plenty of debate over whether coffee is healthy for the human body or not, but it remains true that filtered coffee is better than coffee that has never been filtered.

6. Is pour-over coffee better than French press?

Saying one is better than the other is difficult since there are major fans of both methods of making coffee. The biggest difference between the two is that with a pour-over, there is a filter, so the grounds do not touch the finished coffee. That means pour-over may not be as strong as the French press, but it also lacks the sediment present with a French press.

7. What kind of coffee grind is best for pour-over?

Most people will find that a medium-fine grind is the best option for pour-over coffee making. This is a grind that is finer than sand but not quite as fine as the grind for espresso beverages.

8. Does pour-over coffee raise cholesterol?

Studies show that espresso contains moderate amounts of cholesterol while the amount in drip coffee and instant coffee is negligible. However, drinking five cups of French press each day can lead to a 6 to 8% increase in blood cholesterol levels.

9. Is Chemex a pour-over?

The Chemex does count as pour-over coffee, but it’s different from the others on the market. It has a vessel and filter instead of being a cone that rests on a cup. It also includes bonded filters which give it a distinct taste.

10. How hot should water be for pour-over coffee?

Having the right temperature of water is crucial when making pour-over coffee. It should be between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results. Check with a thermometer or let the water boil and then cool down for 30 seconds before you brew the cup.

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