Friday, December 25, 2015

Pour Over Coffee

I found one of these in my stocking and immediately put it to good use. Really, I don't know why I never bought one. They really aren't expensive...maybe $10...and they do make the best cup of coffee you can have. 

The real advantage of pour overs is that you can control the temperature of your water and the speed of the brewing. And if you periodically end up buying beans that "aren't your favorite" because you couldn't get to your regular purveyor, you can fool around with the grind, temp and pour to make it work. After all, if you popped $12 for the convenience of getting beans at your grocery store, you don't necessarily want to throw them away when the coffee sucks. Granted, sometimes you have to. I threw away a pound of organic, free trade beans marketed by a local grocery store chain once because there was just no redeeming quality to them that I could find. But this morning I brewed a cup of a major coffee chain's "Breakfast Blend" that I think is roasted too dark, and it was a lot less bitter than it was yesterday through my drip maker.

Do you really need this ceramic pour over cone to do a pour over? Not really. I have done pour overs using the brewing basket from my small Black&Decker coffee pot (Mine doesn't have one of those shut-off things that stops the water from coming through if you pull the carafe out). I just put a filter in there, set it on top of my coffee cup, and pour over that. But the basket of my coffee pot has a flat bottom, so while it makes a pretty good cup, a cone makes a REALLY GOOD cup.

Cones work better because, when you pour the water in and wet the all the grounds, it runs down through more grounds before landing in your cup. Flat bottoms allow the grounds to cover a wider surface area in a thinner layer, so you end up extracting less coffee from each square millimeter of grounds.

As to the temperature, my trusty Black&Decker doesn't heat the water all the way to 212 degrees. Again, it makes a pretty good cup of coffee, but when the water is at boiling and poured, I find I get a better cup. For me. Other people might prefer it cooler.

Do you need a fancy schmancy pour over pot, with it's curvy spout? No. My electric kettle works just fine. Just pour over the grounds in a thin stream, wetting all the grounds, and wait for it to go through. Repeat a time or two, and then enjoy!

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