We recently met up with the gals from Lady Falcon Coffee Club in San Francisco and asked them to help us with the steps of how to make pour over coffee using our handy Rae Dunn by Magenta "Drip" pour over coffee drip.
They showed us that pour overs can be pretty easy, but if you make a little mistake your coffee will be ruined. You have to be precise, and respect the recipe and the technique. We spent the morning talking about the specifics of pour over coffee brewing in their mobile coffee bar that operates out of a vintage 1948 truck in historic Alamo Square, San Francisco.
Must-Have Items for Manual Drip Coffee:
- Freshly roasted coffee beans- (We recommend Lady Falcon, buy it here)
- Pour Over Coffee brewing device- We used our Rae Dunn by Magenta drip coffee maker found here
- Coffee filters – cone-shaped, wash out beforehand to remove any paper starch.
- Timer- to avoid under or over extraction
- Scale- to measure your quantity, a basic kitchen scale will totally do the trick for weighing your coffee and water.
- Grinder – a good grinder is mandatory, you can easily pick up a cheap blade grinder and still get a much better cup than by buying pre-ground
- Kettle – a pour over kettle helps a lot. We find that most kettles on Amazon are great quality and we don’t really have a preference as long as it is sturdy.
1. Start with Freshly Roasted Coffee
Buffy Maguire, a longtime coffeeshop owner and founder of Lady Falcon Coffee Club breaks down each and every step and tells us why each is so important*:
“Using fresh-roasted beans (preferably from Lady Falcon Coffee Club!) is the most important thing you can do. And while I believe that the ‘best’ type of coffee to use is simply your personal favorite, pour-overs tend to favor medium-light to medium roasts.”
2. Grind your coffee the same day as brewing
“I’m really not into the whole snobby coffee movement. It doesn’t necessarily create better-tasting coffee, and can alienate people from accessing great coffee. But there is one thing I am pretty persnickety about, and it’s only using fresh beans and grinding them immediately before use! Grind your coffee to the texture of small grains of sand to allow the most flavor of the bean to be unlocked.”
3. Weigh your Beans
“Personally, I prefer a dense cup of coffee—not tea-like—so I dose my coffee on the high side: 35 grams for one cup. This is a bit extravagant; you can get a similar effect with anything over 30 grams, which is about three heaping tablespoons of ground. But I like it strong!”
4. Get the Water Temperature Right
“I highly recommend using an electric swan-neck kettle to heat your water (and purified water is best). The swan neck allows for a consistent, slow stream of hot water and having it be electric is just so convenient. After your water boils, let it cool down for a minute or so. I use this time to pour some of the boiled water into my favorite mug, letting it sit there in there for a bit to heat it.”
5. Slowly Pour in Your Water
“First, gently wet the coffee to wake it up—in our coffee world, this is called a ‘bloom.’ This is a great time to smell the coffee and get to know it. When I am deciding about a new bean or roast, I spend a lot of time smelling the coffee at this stage. After the bloom, imagine you are watering a delicate plant. Starting in the center of the grounds, pour water in concentric circles, avoiding the edges. Most coffee ‘pros’ time this step at around 3-and-a-half minutes, a little longer than you’d probably prefer, but once you build the muscle memory, this step becomes meditative.”
You've worked hard for this cup of coffee. Spruce it up with cream and sugar, or drink it black.
The mug pictured comes in a set of six, and can be found here.
A big thanks to Lady Falcon Coffee Club for having us and sharing your tips!
*quotes from this article originally were published in Sunset Magazine.
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