Coffee is an essential part of the day.
For people from all walks of life - students, parents, professionals, coffee is fast and provides most with a great energy boost, especially a concentrated cold brew.
For some coffee enthusiasts though, it’s more than that. Well-crafted coffee brewed properly offers a complex profile of delicious flavors and pleasant aromas. Sometimes, it’s worth the extra effort to bring these out and most coffee lovers would agree.
Once you know how to make pour over coffee, you may never go back!
What is the Difference Between Pour Over and Drip Coffee?
No one denies the convenience of a fast, automatic drip coffee maker. These allow you to fill the water up, put the coffee in the machine, and push a button. A few short minutes later, you’ve got your coffee.
A drip 'java' maker brews your coffee by spraying water over the grounds and dispensing coffee into your chosen vessel. It controls the entire process and requires minimal effort from you.
An electric drip machine can save you a lot of time and headache in the morning, especially if you are running late and trying to get everyone in the car and make a cup of coffee to make it through the day. This brew method is not only convenient but effortless.
There’s nothing wrong with a drip coffee machine.
My issue is they only make your coffee one way.
This is why the pour-over coffee maker is so rapidly growing in popularity. A pour-over coffee maker requires more time and effort from you, but the results are worth it.
When it comes to drip machines or trying to find a piece of equipment to make a more flavorful cup of brew, you want to take your time. If there is one thing that is sure to ruin your day and set the wrong tone for the week ahead it is an off-putting bitter coffee that will make you want to run for the hills.
If you are completely stuck and unsure which of the many electric drip coffee machine models is the best, then read on. We look at pour-over vs drip coffee and simplify the brewing coffee process in this curated article, and you may just find the perfect drip coffee method that is the solution to your morning chaos.
What is Pour-Over?
A simple contraption
This coffee maker has you manually pouring water over your coffee grounds as it brews into the vessel below. Why bother doing it this way? Is there no automated brewing process to begin with, the answer is yes, but freshly brewed coffee made by hand tastes that much better.
Because of the control, it gives you. With this coffee brewing method, you control several things:
The coarseness of your grind.
The length of your pour.
The hot water temperature.
These all contribute to the final result unlike when relying on drip coffee machines to do all the heavy lifting. Therefore, tweaking them gives you different strengths and a more flavorful cup, and you can adjust the profile to your liking. Pour-over coffee often has a stronger and more vibrant flavor because of the longer brewing times and the independently managed pour speed.
What Grind to Use for Pour Over Coffee?
The general recommendation
For pour-over coffee, our suggestion is a medium-coarse grind. This is a little coarser than what you’d use in an automatic drip coffee maker.
Besides fresher and better-tasting coffee, control over the coarseness is a compelling reason to grind your coffee, if you don’t already. Of course, it’s convenient and more efficient to buy pre-ground beans, but it takes away from the experience and you want to experience the brewing process correctly.
For reference, coffee connoisseurs point out that a medium-coarse grind should be about the same texture as sea salt.
Adjusting the Grind
All of that being said, the coarseness of your grind is completely up to you. If you like your coffee on the strong side, go a little finer. If you like it sweeter, and less intense with a lighter flavor, go even coarser. That’s the beauty of great-tasting coffee, you can do whatever you want!
You can also adjust the pour-over coffee ratio of coffee to water. The baseline suggestion for a balanced brew is 18:1 for coffee: water but you can adjust this, too. Adding more grounds to the ratio will brew a stronger cup of coffee with a bolder flavor. Adding more water tones down the intensity of the coffee.
What Kind of Filter for Pour Over?
You have two options for the filters you use. Many pour-over coffee makers require paper filters, of which you must get the correct type. The coffee-makers or pour-overs tend to be cone-shaped, so you must be able to form the filter to fit. Thankfully, many companies make these and they’re easy to find.
Some companies even offer filters specifically for their brand, to ensure you get the best and easiest fit. Coffee drinkers highly recommend looking at this additional feature and perk when looking at pour-overs for a drip coffee brew.
Or you can go with a metal filter, like a French press coffeemaker. You’ll have to get a pour-over coffee maker that’s compatible with this. Most will come with the metal filter included.
Metal filters are much more eco-friendly as they produce less waste with very little extra effort on your part. Rather than throwing it out every time, you’ll just have to keep it clean for the next time you want to brew coffee.
Another benefit of a metal filter is the quality of your coffee. A metal filter better allows the oils to pass through and into your cup, without taking coffee grounds with them. Not only does this create a stronger and more vibrant aroma in the cup, but it gives you a smoother, creamier mouthfeel.
Is Pour Over Coffee Better?
While the consensus among coffee lovers is that yes, pour-over coffee is better, it ultimately comes down to preference.
Pour-over coffee has many things going for it:
It allows you complete control over the process, the water flow, and the coarseness of the coffee grounds.
You can customize your coffee to your liking by choosing coffee beans that are homegrown, organic, or unroasted so you can personalize your taste to light, dark, or medium roast.
It creates a stronger and more vibrant flavor. This is especially relevant to those who enjoy their coffee black and who will appreciate a higher quality coffee.
These are all excellent reasons to learn how to make pour-over coffee. But there is one thing that turns many off of the process, and that’s time. Not only does this brewing method take longer, but you have to do more for a simple cup of coffee. You can’t just press a couple of buttons and walk away like with auto-drip coffee makers, you must take part in the process.
For some, this isn’t a problem. Many find the ritual relaxing and enjoy the powerful aromas that fill the room as they take part in the coffee brewing methods. However, the time commitment may be too much for those with an extremely busy morning where a drip coffee machine takes a fraction of the time to create a delicious cup of caffeine heaven.
If this is the case, your quick and easy drip coffee maker is perfectly adequate and you can save the pour-over for a quieter weekend morning and enjoy the brewing process rather than feeling rushed.
The Best Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Though simple, not all pour-over coffee brewers are made equal. Several factors go into finding the best pour-over coffee maker. When it comes to coffee pour over and drip it's also important to remember that a drip method that's good for someone else may not also be what’s best for you.
All coffee drinkers will agree that the brewing process comes as an art form whether it be a simple press of a button electric drip coffee maker or the increasingly popular pour-overs.
With that said, consider the following when choosing the best pour-over coffee maker for you:
Filter Type - If you want to use a metal filter (like the French press plunger version), you’ll have to buy a specific type of coffee maker.
Insulation - A double-walled cone maintains better heat while brewing than a single-wall cone. This offers a more balanced flavor during drip coffee brewing but is more cumbersome - a consideration for those thinking of traveling with the coffee maker.
Built-In Vessel - You do have the option of a coffee maker which comes with a carafe attached, but some don’t. Having one attached is convenient, but it’s also nice to brew right into your mug. This one is all about your preference and how you like to brew coffee.
Material - Most pour-over coffee makers are ceramic, stainless steel, or glass. If you have an insulated vessel to catch the coffee it will help to keep your coffee warm until you tend to it. This way you always have a hot or at least warm cup of delicious coffee.
Temperature regulating - Some of the best electric drip coffee makers come with a built-in thermometer which for some people is a deal breaker for brewing coffee. Many people like to know the water temperature at which their coffee is dripping.
But with the pour-over method, unless you use an actual thermometer in the water, you won't know the water temperature. According to the National Coffee Association, the brewing process should be done at an average of 195-205'F.
Water flow - If you have a gooseneck kettle you will know all about it. Using a gooseneck kettle not allows you to regulate and take control of the pour speed, but you can opt for boiling hot water or less if you don't want to burn off all your taste buds.
Electric Drip Coffee Maker
If you just don't have time first thing in the morning or even during the day because you are constantly on the road or usually have back-to-back meetings or appointments at the office, then this brew method may be just the solution you have been looking for.
Having looked at various brewing methods for drip coffee such as the pour-over method, we delve into the world of electric drip coffee makers. Drip coffee brewing can be made in many ways, as long as you have some form of filter and coffee grounds you can enjoy drip coffee.
An automatic coffee maker, however, can take your pre-ground coffee beans and significantly reduce the brewing method and brew time and you won't end up with coffee stains on your work shirt.
It is no secret that electric coffee makers create brewed coffee essentially on their own unlike the pour-over method
Embrace the Flavor Of Pour-Over Coffee
If you’ve decided pour-over coffee is for you, you’re in for a treat. It’s an aromatic experience, full of flavor!
But it also requires practice. Try it a few times and record details like the coarseness of your coffee grounds, how long it took to brew coffee, and if the brewing process was all you expected it to be. Was the final cup worth the effort and was the (some consider) intricate brewing process all a little too much?
What we do love about the pour-over is using a gooseneck kettle to regulate water flow is a purchase we can splurge on if we have the budget. There are some wonderful gooseneck kettle models and brands that look great even just sitting out on the counter.
The famous saying 'each to their own' is what the coffee brewing process is all about. Whether you enjoy the convenience and simplicity of regular drip coffee or have you taken a new liking to pour-overs.
Sure the pour-over method is considered a more vintage, somewhat retro version of drip brewing coffee when compared to the almost hands-free efficiency of electric coffee-making equipment, but you should always do what you want and that makes you happy.
If that means it happens to be an electric drip coffee brewer with a quick brew time then so be it, if not, that is perfectly fine too. Why not try a cold brew if you aren't sure? And if all else fails, grab your grandmother's moka pot, pop it on the stove, and wait for the gentle rolling bubble to save the day.
At the end of the day what matters is finding brewing methods that suit you, or a drip method that works for your family dynamic. As long as you get to sip on a decadently rich and aromatic brewed cuppa that is made with love.