8 Ways You’re Ruining Your Pour-Over Coffee

Pour-over coffee, more than any other method of brewing coffee, is more prone to human error. Whether you’re brewing with a Kalita, Hario, Chemex, or another type of brewer, there are numerous ways to contaminate your cup of joe. Here are eight points to bear in mind. If you’re going to make the effort to make a pour-over, avoid making one of these mistakes.

Using excessively hot water
We all enjoy hot coffee, but if you use too hot water, you risk burning your coffee grounds. We tend to associate burnt flavours with bad coffee, so avoid drinking subpar coffee by heating the water to between 195°F and 205°F, as recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association’s pour-over protocols.

Grinding beans to an incorrect size
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to coffee grind size. To ensure proper extraction, pour-over coffee requires a medium-coarse grind. Too fine grounds result in over-extracted, bitter coffee; too coarse grounds result in under-extracted, sour coffee. A medium-coarse grind resembles coarse sand, and different beans may require some fine-tuning to achieve the desired taste.

Using your filter without rinsing it
You are not deluding yourself about the papery taste in your coffee. Chemexes, Hario V60s, and other paper filter-based drippers can impart an unpleasant flavour if not thoroughly rinsed first. If you use a dark roast bean, you may not notice the papery flavour, but the unsavoury flavour will be prominent in light roast brews. Before adding water to the bean, place your filter in the dripper, pour over hot water, and drain the excess water. Additionally, removing the papery taste with hot water kills two birds with one stone, because…

Brewing into a chilled vessel
When you’re ready to serve, pouring hot coffee into a cold container will result in lukewarm coffee. Reheating your carafe (and mug, if you’re slightly insane) will ensure that your coffee stays hot for longer.

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