Of all the ways to brew coffee, one of the ways we had yet to conquer was making pour-over coffee at home. Without any fancy coffee gadgets or futuristic looking machines, it’s a deceptively simple brewing method — but one that requires a sense of timing and a steady hand.

But why deal with pour-over coffee anyway? Isn’t it kind of the same as drip coffee? Absolutely not, coffee-lover. By pouring the water offer the grounds, your coffee is brewed with new, fresher water. Plus, you have control over every aspect of the coffee-making process, and it’s easy to experiment with different amounts of water and coffee to find what tastes best to you. Finally, pour-over is brewed fresh to order, and the slower pour gives you a richer, bolder flavor (so next time you go to a coffee shop, ask for a pour-over — it takes a few more minutes, but it’s well worth it).

After all this research, we found ourselves salivating at the thought of a fresh pour-over coffee. Luckily, with the help of our friends at Bow Truss, we learned how to make the perfect pour-over. Bow Truss is a Chicago coffee roasting company with several outposts in the Chicago area. Their mission? Make thoughtful, high-quality coffee available (and approachable) to the masses — which blends perfectly with our dedication to solving your everyday problems with meaningful design.

We visited their sunny Old Irving Park café for some pro tips on how to make our best at-home pour-over coffee. We left fully caffeinated and fully capable of making our own pour-over to take to work in our travel mugs. Take a look below to learn how you can make pour-over coffee at home too!

You’ll Need:

  • Brew basket or cone
  • Carafe or cup

(Psst… got a Chemex? Skip those first two supplies. The hourglass shape of the Chemex combines a pour-over cone with a glass decanter for your finished coffee)

  • Filter
  • Measuring spoon or scale
  • 50g freshly ground coffee beans

(Wondering what grind size works best with pour-over? Bow Truss advises a coarse grind size — kind of like sea salt)

  • 800g hot water in a slow-pouring kettle (use spring or filtered water — clean water is the base of a great coffee)

Here’s What You Do:

  1. Place your filter in the cone.
  2. Pre-wet the filter with hot water — according to our friends at Bow Truss, this gets rid of any woodsy, papery taste.
  3. Dump out any water and add 50g (or about three tablespoons) of freshly ground coffee to the damp filter.
  4. Crucial tip from Bow Truss: make sure the grinds are evenly distributed, so they’re flat across the surface (no peaks or valleys, please)
  5. Using an electric kettle (preferably with a gooseneck), slowly pour hot water over grounds in a steady, controlled spiral, starting in the center and spiraling your way out. It should take about 15 seconds for all the grounds to be saturated with water.
  6. Wait while the coffee “blooms” — about a minute.
  7. Repeat for a total brewing time of 3-4 minutes, keeping the water level in the cone between 1/2 and 3/4 full.
  8. Brewing is complete when 800g of water has been added (or the drip becomes irregular).
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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