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I would like to know how to make decent coffee using a drip (pour over) coffee.

The kit I bought was from Japan and I observe in espresso shops they tend to use a thin spout (or gooseneck) water kettle to control the rate of delivery of water.

What else is important here aside from the fineness of the ground coffee?

Are there a recommended set of steps?

Should I pour from the middle outwards or edge towards the centre?

Should I 'wet' the coffee first?

Is there a recommended pouring time to perform all of this?

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I highly recommend anyone looking at a pour over to take a look at the Clever Dripper. It's a pour over brewer with a plate at the bottom that restricts flow unless the unit is resting on a cup. You can use it as a regular pour over or you can use it off a cup to steep your coffee. It allows all the control of a press and the grounds free cup of a paper filter.

To answer your question, it depends on how you like your coffee. Grind finer and/or pour slower and you will get a stronger cup of coffee. Grind courser and pour more quickly and you will get a weaker cup of coffee. Pouring from the center sometime results in a raised edge around the rim, which isn't ideal when I am trying to fill the cone as full as possible, but in a true pour over, may be fine. Pouring from the side seems to sometimes result in a small island of dry grounds floating in the middle of the cone. For that reason, I generally vary my pour around the cone to minimize either effect and then stir some for good measure.

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From this site:

  1. Start with a grind size around that of coarse sugar. (Think Sugar in the Raw.)

How much: Most pourover drippers work best when they're between one half to two-thirds full of coffee grounds. Any less than that, and there won't be enough coffee to restrict the flow. Any more, and your dripper may overflow. You'll also want to make sure you're dripping into a large enough vessel. If you're the more precise-measurement type, a good coffee-to-water ratio is between 60-70 grams of coffee per liter of water (a mass ratio between 1:16 and 1:14.)

  1. Get your clean (filtered if you need it) brew water ready. You'll be using water that's about 30 seconds off boil if you're pouring straight out of your boiling kettle, or immediately off boil if you're pouring into a second pouring kettle. I like about 207°F for medium to light roasts, and about 10° lower for dark roasts.

  2. Start your clock and add enough water to soak all of the coffee (a little premature dripping is okay). Wait for the coffee bed to stop the initial swelling (about 30 seconds) before adding more water.

  3. Continue your brew. Try to pour quickly, gently, and evenly across the surface of the coffee, pausing between pours to pace your brew to your target brew time (see below). The distance that your brew water drops can affect brew temperatures, as well as increase or decrease the amount of agitation that the falling water creates wherever it falls in the coffee bed. In general, the lower you pour from, the better, if for no other reason than it's the easiest to create and maintain consistency.

When you stop adding water, your dripper will continue to drip for between 20 and 60 seconds.

Your target total brew time is about 2.5 to 3 minutes for dark roasted coffee, and 3 to 4 minutes for medium to light roasted coffees. This includes the dripping time after you stop adding water.

  • did you immediately answer your own question? – Justin C Feb 4 '15 at 23:23
  • @JustinC yes the idea here is that this question I think will be useful for others, I was hoping for more answers which if better than my copy and paste effort I will accept – EdChum Feb 4 '15 at 23:25
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I'm not sure what the citation standards for this site or if a "hey this worked for me, why don't you try it applies" so please downvote accordingly and point me to the correct meta articles.

But, what I've done, ever since I started making pour over coffee after watching Alton Brown extol it's virtues on Good Eats, is to use a tea pot with the lid closed and just pour slowly through the whistle-hole.

It kind of skunkifies the tea pot if you've got sort of hard water (even happens to me with reverse-osmosis water), but it hasn't ruined the whistle-hole of the teapot and it does a good job to control the flow and it's cheap and a multi-purpose solution.

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