Photo by CaseyHillPhoto via Getty Images

I love coffee, but I can’t drink more than a cup and a half a day. Once I get past the 12-ounce level, it’s full-on Matt Foley mode. So, being the sole weekday coffee drinker in my house, I had to figure out how to make a single-ish cup so as not to mess with the bulky multi-cup coffee maker and without investing in an expensive one-cup brewing machine. Hence, the pour over coffee. At first, it seems intimidating, but once you boil it down to a handful of steps, making pour over coffee at home is easy like Sunday (or Monday, or Tuesday) morning.

First, make sure you have the following supplies:

  • I use this one cup Melitta pour over brew cone, but they have more expensive ones with varying designs. Many baristas and coffee lovers prefer the Hario V60 for single-cup brewing. Maybe I’ll treat myself to one with the money I earn from writing this article.
  • Correct filters to fit inside your brewing device
  • High quality, whole-bean coffee
  • A coffee grinder. The handheld, blade ones will suffice, but if you’re ready to graduate, might I suggest this Baratza Encore conical burr grinder? The latter really helps give a consistent grind according to your brewing method.  
  • Water
  • A kettle
Photo by Amber Ambrose

Making coffee by hand has become a comforting part of my weekday ritual. It’s not only that steaming cup that awaits at the end, but the full process that helps me make sense of every Monday through Friday morning.

How to Make It

Step 1

Measure 12 ounces of cold, fresh, preferably filtered water. Pour into kettle. Get that kettle onto the stove and c’mon baby light that fire.

Step 2

Put those beans in your grinder. If you don’t have a fancy conical burr grinder, pulse the beans until they’re the texture of raw sugar or sand, which in some circles, is referred to as a “medium” grind. If you do have a fancy grinder, set it to about a 14 (for the aforementioned Encore model). 

Step 3

Place your brewing device atop your coffee mug, place the filter inside. Optional: You can wet down the filter pre-brewing. I don’t know what this is supposed to do, but barista-types say it’s a good thing. I trust them, but once again, I don’t usually have time for extra steps. If you do this, make sure you empty out the water in the cup so as not to dilute your final cup.

Step 4

Dump your two coffee scoops full of ground beans into the filter.

Step 5

Let the kettle come to a boil.

Step 6

Pour enough of the water over the grounds to let them swell up a bit.—enough to wet the entirety of the coffee inside the filter. If you want to feel smart, like I do, you’ll call this step the “bloom.”

Step 7

Wait until the water has receded, and pour once again. I like a zig-zag pattern, but you might be more of a circular kind of human. Whatever floats your boat. Just make sure you get those grounds nice and saturated.

Step 8

One more pour over, to finish up the water in the kettle.

Step 9

Wait for the final drips of coffee to make it into your mug.

Step 10

Taste sweet triumph.

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