Coffee has, and probably always will be, an essential part of our day. For our personal daily fix, our go-to is our very own next-door neighbor, Blacktop Coffee. When looking for tips on the perfect pourover, we naturally turned to Blacktop owner and all-around coffee expert Tyler Wells. Read our step-by-step guide, complete with visuals.
1. Decisions, Decisions
First things first– how much coffee do you want to make?
A good ratio for coffee brewing is 16 parts water to 1 part coffee, or 2 tablespoons per 6 oz. cup.
For example, if you want to make a 12 oz. cup of coffee, start with 25g of coffee beans. (It’s helpful to use a scale!) You’ll want to use 415g of water for this recipe.
Start off with filtered water that is just off boil (between 195 & 200 degrees).
Rinse the paper filter to prevent any flavor/aroma of paper from affecting your brew (believe it or not, it makes a world of difference). Tip the Chemex to dispose of the rinse water that has collected at the bottom – no need to remove the filter before doing this – it’ll secure itself to the glass!
Set your Chemex on a scale and be sure to tare to zero.
Grind your coffee on a medium to medium-to-large size grind.
Add the ground coffee to your filter and check the scale to make sure you haven’t lost or gained any coffee while grinding (it happens!). Tare the scale to zero again and settle the grinds by giving the Chemex a little shake so they’re nice and even.
Use your gooseneck kettle and just-off-boil water to pour an initial saturation of 2x as much water as there is coffee. If you used 25g of coffee in your recipe, you’ll be looking to pour about 50g of water. Start your pour in the center of the coffee bed and gently work your way outwards in a clockwise motion to about a centimeter from the edge. Look for a nice, even saturation over the entire coffee bed.
But why the painstaking detail? The reason for this bloom process is to allow the coffee to release gases that have been introduced during roasting. These gases will prevent the necessary contact time between the grinds and water if they aren’t expelled.
This typically doesn’t take longer than a minute. The fresher the coffee, the longer the bloom. As soon as the gases are released – the bed settles and is no longer bubbling – it’s time to brew.
In the same pouring fashion as with the bloom – clockwise from center – work your way outwards to ensure full, even saturation. Continue with a controlled, gentle pour concentrated towards the center.
Get real zen here, guys. Pouring too harshly can over-agitate the grinds and cause a not-so-tasty brew. Keep an eye on that scale and pour to your desired brew weight.
When there is no longer a pool of water on your coffee bed and drips of coffee are falling off the bottom of the filter every second or so, your brew is finished!
If you’ve poured properly and bloomed just long enough, the whole process should take 3 1/2 to 4 minutes.
5. Serve & Enjoy
Oh, sweet nectar of the coffee gods.
Some Extra Tips
- If your brew tastes bitter, salty, or ashy, try a slightly larger grind size.
- If your brew tastes chalky, vegetal, or watery, try a smaller grind size.
- Have fun!
Process written by Roxie Romo,
Images by Kourtney Jackson
Thanks to Blacktop Coffee & Tyler Wells