Skip to main content
Kitchen & Cooking

How to make pour-over coffee

Tips, tricks, and more from a coffee pro.

A person pours hot water into a pink pour-over coffee maker lined with a coffee filter and filled with coffee grounds. Credit: Getty Images / Artit_Wongpradu

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Coffee professionals and home-brewers agree, when you want to enjoy a quality cup of black coffee, a pour-over is the way to go. While brewing using a pour-over takes more effort than using a drip coffee maker or a French press, the end result is a clearer and sweeter cup of coffee. Pour-over coffee is also an excellent choice for brewing small batches of coffee to drink alone before work, or larger batches on the weekends.

How does a pour-over coffee work?

The science behind brewing pour-over coffee is very similar to how a drip coffee machine works. Hot water seeps through the coffee grinds, extracting the flavor as it goes.

After setting up, the brewing process should take between three and five minutes. The grind size and consistency is very important in this brewing method, as grinds that are too fine, too coarse, or too inconsistent will result in an overly bitter or acidic cup of coffee.

What you’ll need

A half full glass Chemex pour-over coffee maker sits atop a light wood cutting board next to a spread of coffee beans and a blue coffee mug.
Credit: Reviewed / Lindsay Mattison

The Chemex 8-Cup Classic and the Hario V60 Coffee Dripper 02 Ceramic are the best pour-overs we've tested.

Step by step

A barista in a tan apron and white t-shirt pours hot water from a silver electric gooseneck kettle into a white ceramic pour-over coffee maker, which is perched atop a clear glass carafe.
Credit: Getty Images / Tichakorn Malihorm

An electric gooseneck kettle is ideal for making pour-over coffee, but a standard electric kettle will suffice in a pinch.

Step 1: Measure the beans

First, measure out your coffee beans. To make one to two cups of coffee, you can use 25 grams of coffee beans. (For larger recipes, see our basic recipe notes at the end of this article.)

Step 2: Grind the beans

Next, use a burr grinder to grind your coffee to medium-fine, a little bit finer than drip coffee.

Step 3: Heat water

Fill your kettle with filtered water and heat to 200°F. If your kettle doesn’t have a thermometer, you can just boil the water and then let it sit for about 30 seconds.

Step 4: Pre-wet the filter

If you’re using a paper filter, open the filter and set it in the brewer. Follow the instructions on the filter packaging for setting the filter. Then, pour a small amount of hot water over the filter. This will help it stick to the walls of the brewer, as well as rinsing the filter a little bit.

Step 5: Add grinds to pour-over

Pour the coffee grinds into the brewer, and give it a shake to make sure the grinds are evenly distributed. This will help make sure the brew is consistent.

Step 5: Set up

Place your pour-over on your scale. If you’re using a brewer that needs to be placed on a cup, make sure the cup or carafe below it is large enough for two cups of coffee. Tare your scale.

A white ceramic pour-over coffee maker sits perched on top of a glass carafe as water slowly drips through the coffee grounds and into the vessel below.
Credit: Getty Images / tarikkaanmuslu

The first pour in pour-over coffee making is called the bloom.

Step 6: Bloom

Pour hot water in using a spiral motion from the center of the grinds outward, making sure to wet the entire surface of the grinds. This pour should be about 50 grams (keep an eye on your scale).

Pro tip: The first pour is called the bloom, and it’s important because it releases a lot of carbon dioxide from the coffee.

Step 7: Second pour

After about 30 seconds, pour in a spiral again until you reach 200 grams.

Pro tip: Swirl or stir the grinds after pouring to make sure they’re all wet and you have no dry pockets.

Step 8: Final pour

After another 30 seconds or so, pour in a spiral until you reach 400 grams.

Step 9: Serve

Once all the water has drained through the grinds, your pour-over coffee is ready to serve!

How to clean a pour over

Pour-overs are pretty quick and easy to clean. Toss or compost your coffee grinds and filter, and then rinse your brewer with hot water. You can use a little soap to remove the oils from the brewer every couple of brews.

Can I brew more than one or two cups in a pour-over?

Yes absolutely! With a Hario V60 or similar brewer, you can brew up to four to five cups. With a Chemex 8-cup or a similar brewer, you can brew up to eight cups.

When brewing larger recipes, it's important to allow more time in between pours for drainage. Here are some basic recipes for larger pour-over brews:

4-cup pour-over coffee recipe

  • 40 grams of coffee
  • Bloom: 80 grams water
  • 2nd pour: 320 grams water
  • 3rd pour: 640 grams water

8-cup pour-over coffee recipe

  • 55 grams of coffee
  • Bloom: 110 grams water
  • 2nd pour: 450 grams water
  • 3rd pour: 900 grams water

Related content

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Up next