What is Pour Over Coffee?

What is Pour Over Coffee?

History of Drip Coffee & Ways to Improve Your Brew

Written By: Caighlen Brady

Pour Over

What is a Pour Over?

When visiting your local coffee shop, you may be aware of some techniques barista's use. Most coffee shops use an espresso machine for specialty drinks and lattes. There is a unique brewing method for customers who prefer a more traditional cup of coffee.

You may have heard the word “pour over” tossed around, but what exactly does it mean? Well it’s pretty basic:

Pour over. (hand-drip coffee)
An original technique that uses a standard coffee drip where water is "poured over" ground coffee.

The idea is to create fresh and rich flavor notes that you may be missing out on with a normal coffee maker. Most coffee shops follow this trend to provide quality coffee to their customers. The pour over is not only limited to coffee shops. You can have access to handcrafted coffee in the comfort of your home and even save money.

History of the Pour Over

Let's explore how the pour over became the top brewing method in the coffee industry.

The pour over has been around for decades in third wave coffee shops and homes of coffee enthusiasts. The origin of the pour over is a lost tradition within the coffee culture. It all started by a woman named Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz.

One afternoon in 1908, Melitta was unsatisfied with the dreadful taste from her percolator. The coffee was over extracted and bitter. Melitta began experimenting with different ways to brew. Melitta began with some blotting paper from her son’s school book and a brass pot punctured with a nail. Pleased with the outcome, Melitta released this new pour over brewer to the public.

Her Melitta Pour Overs took off in the 1930s. The cone shaped design that we are familiar today, hit the shelves by 1950s. These became a huge hit due to the better extraction the cone offered by a larger area for filtration.

Melitta is a known brand in the coffee industry today for their pour over equipment and filters. Melitta’s influence went international, and changed how we define quality coffee. One that develops a new, yet simple, innovative way to brew coffee.

How to Get Started and Improve Your Brew

There are many brands you can get started on brewing the perfect cup of coffee. I saved you some time by suggesting a few of my top choices we use at Anchor Coffee Co. (Priced by Amazon.com)

Brewing Method and Steps

When crafting the perfect cup of coffee, there are many key components you must consider. Brewing method is very important, and a pour over is easily adjusted to your taste.
  • The Filter can produce off-flavors.
    To avoid this, place you filter in the glass or ceramic top and rinse with hot water before brewing. This will wash any paper residue that could affect your brew.
  • The Grind is also a key in how it changes your coffee.
    Grind size and freshness of coffee will affect the extraction and blooming process. The fresher, the better. If buying a grinder is out of your price range, or you can’t seem to get yours dialed in, do not fret. A barista at Anchor Coffee Co., or a local specialty coffee shop to can grind it for you.
  • The Water Quality, believe it or not, can change your coffee experience.
    Don’t use water that you wouldn’t drink in your coffee. Clean, filtered water makes the texture more enjoyable, and won’t affect the flavor of your coffee.
  • The Water-to-Coffee Ratio is generally around 1:16.
    For one cup of coffee, it is 21 grams of coffee to 320 grams of water. Depending on your taste, you can adjust if your coffee taste weak or over extracted. If it is too bitter, try to adjust your grind coarser. Using a sensitive scale will make you more accurate, and produce a better cup.
  • Water Temperature is key to perfect extraction.
    It should be around boiling point, or 205 degrees Fahrenheit. 


    1. Heat water up to boiling temperature (205 degrees).
    2. Place filter in brewer and wet with hot water.
    3. Tare the scale clear with the pour-over brewer on the scale and make sure it is set to grams.
    4. Measure out 21 grams of ground coffee in the filter and tare the scale again to zero. Or measure 21 grams of coffee beans on scale and grind (on a Handground grinder, recommend on 4.5 setting).
    5. Begin pouring hot water in a spiral motion. Use about 100 grams of water and let the coffee bloom for 30-45 seconds to allow gases to escape.
    6. Add more water as you go in the same spiral motion till you hit 320 grams of water.
Use the other end of a spoon to stir or “agitate” the coffee
  1. Let the water brew through the coffee. This should take up to 3 minutes for it to complete the brewing process.
  2. Dispose of the brewed coffee & filter. Then pour into your desired mug.
  3. Enjoy your perfectly brewed pour over coffee!

Benefits to Switching from Coffee Makers to Pour Over

If you want to enter the world of specialty coffee, then this is a perfect way of getting started. Pour over is a simple method into upping your coffee game and getting the best taste out of your coffee.

When going up against a coffee maker, pour over brings out flavors that may be missing in a coffee maker. Coffee makers run hot water through a chamber and straight into the pot. This does not allow the coffee to brew thoroughly and can result to under extraction.

Gasses also become trapped and don’t allow the coffee to bloom. This causes your coffee to taste acidic, gassy, and bitter. Pour over allows you to be in control of water flow and quality of your coffee.

Conduct an experiment: taste a sample of pour over coffee and another from your coffee marker. Keep in mind of the difference in taste, body, and overall experience. It could be time to ditch your automatic machine and try a more elegant and fun way to brew coffee!

A great coffee to brew pour over style is our Captain! It is a rotating single origin that is roasted on the lighter side and roasted to bring out its country's unique flavor profile.