Hacking a Pour Over Coffee

Don't let a lack of equipment prevent you from enjoying a pour-over coffee. A few years ago, I poked a hole into the side of a paper cup and poured hot water into it to simulate a gooseneck kettle! Here are some other tips for when you don't have the right equipment:

Don't have a scale?

15 grams of properly ground coffee for a pour over is about 2 tablespoons. Try using that, along with 8.5oz of water (a little more than a cup).

Don't have a grinder?

Buy a grinder.

Okay, okay, we get it. You're not quite committed to this just yet. And you don't want another appliance in the kitchen. And it's loud. And your significant other will kill you. 

Before we say "sure, buy the pre-ground coffee," we must explain why a fresh grind is important. Coffee starts to "de-gas" after it is roasted. Degassing is the process by which carbon dioxide is released from the beans. Simply put, it's the process through which coffee grows stale.

When you grind beans, you increase the surface area of the beans, causing them to degas significantly faster than when they are whole. Thus, it is almost impossible to have a "great" coffee that is pre-ground. It's possible to have a perfectly okay coffee that is pre-ground. If that is indeed the direction you are going to go, we recommend that you buy your beans from a local shop and ask them to grind them for you at the time of purchase. Okay, stepping down from the soap box now.

Don't have a gooseneck kettle?

Use a regular kettle, use a tea kettle, use anything that will allow you to pour hot water in a consistent way. Sure, gooseneck kettles look cool, but at the end of the day, the goal is to pour hot water onto coffee. Period.

Now, with those obstacles removed, let's get brewing!