Jun 3, 2017 @ 12:55 am

There is nothing better than relaxing on a weekend afternoon listening to the birds chirping, squirrels scurrying or the neighbor’s dog yapping, with a cup of pour over coffee in your hand. Let’s rewind for a second, though. Before we have the cup of pour over in our hands, we need to brew it first, right? And to brew it we need the right pour over coffee ratio, now, don’t we?

 

pour over coffee ratio - cover photo

 

The pour over coffee ratio is just one part of the equation, though.

 

Once you have that figured out, you need to make sure you get the right grind level, the right temperature of water, and you can’t forget about the WHOLE process itself either.

 

Whew!

 

We know we know.

 

That’s a lot of information to wrap your head around, especially when you’re first starting out and when we first started we had no idea what to do either.

 

Funny story, but when we first had the idea to launch a pop-up coffee bar, we wanted to do cold brew only.

 

You know, keep it easy. This way all we had to do was cold brew the coffee well in advance (for those of you that don’t know, the cold brew has a much longer shelf life than regular coffee) and bring it to where ever we were popping up. Didn’t even have to worry about boiling water!

 

BUT.

 

The more we researched, the more we realized how the cold brew method doesn’t 100% encapsulate the coffee brewing lifestyle and art form.

 

It’s really just another quick grab and go coffee experience.

 

Not pour over though.

 

The frustrating, yet wonderful thing about pour over is that you have to slow down, take your time and try to be in the moment.

 

You have to and want to get that perfect pour over coffee ratio.

 

And you have to and want to get that perfect pour over brew; one which lasts exactly 3:30 minutes on your timer.

 

Trust us when we say this if it sounds frustrating or time-consuming at first it can be, but you’ll end up loving the pour over after you’ve tried it a couple of times.

 

Look at us! Our business got its start as a pour over bar!

 

Alright, enough chatting, let’s get this Ultimate Pour Over Guide started.

Here is what we have for you today!

 

Quick + Easy Pour Over Guide Final - Pour Over Coffee Ratio - blue penguin coffee

 

 

What Equipment Do I Need?

Ok, before we even get started on how to make the best pour over of your life and even before we figure out what’s the best pour over coffee ratio, we need to get you fitted for the right equipment first.

 

Making a good pour over without the right equipment is possible, but it’s like trying to roast a large batch of beans on a skillet.

 

Both ways are definitely possible and both ways can give you a fine end result, but the right tools will make your life a whole lot easier.

 

So what will you need?

 

If you’ve noticed at all from browsing our blog or our Instagram profile, we’re all about minimalism and keeping it simple.

 

Plus by keeping it simple, it will not only make the whole brewing process easier, but it’ll also lighten the load on your wallet.

 

So what does the most basic pour over setup look like?

 

We’ll show you!

 

Really, you’ll need 4 main things. The kettle, the grinder, the pour over maker and the scale.

 

Minamalist Set Up Final - pour over coffee ratio - blue penguin coffee

 

Of course, for each piece of equipment, there is a huge variety of different choices you have, but let’s keep it simple here.

 

Remember, a more complicated set up does not necessarily mean a better cup of coffee.

 

Quite the contrary actually as you’ll be spending more time setting up your equipment than learning how to use it right.

 

With that said, here is what our recommended minimalist set up looks like and what we think will get you brewing the quickest.

 

the Kettle.

 

Hands down the easiest kettle to pick up and use right out of the box is the Bonavita Electric Kettle. We’ve used this one since the beginning and it has been our trusty sidekick at home and at all of our pop-up events. If you don’t like the look and feel of this kettle don’t worry. We’ve put together a handy review of our 10 favorites and we’re sure you’ll find one there.

 

the grinder.

 

So so many choices here for a good grinder. First and foremost, go with a burr grinder if you can. Really, although the price tag is over $100, it is worth every penny. If you still have a hard time with spending this much, here’s a trick for you. Calculate the grinder price on a per use basis. Then you’ll be talking in cents versus dollars! Out of all the burr grinders out there, we’d recommend the Baratza Encore. A good value for your money, durable, classic design and consistent grind levels for all your brewing methods. We’ve also had this one since the beginning of Blue Penguin and without it, we would not be where we are today. If you don’t think this is the one, be sure to check out our EPIC burr grinder review. It’ll give you a good idea of what else is out there.

 

the pour over brewer.

 

Next up, the pour over brewer itself! Again, with the choices ranging from a Chemex to a kone, the choices seem endless. To keep it simple though, we recommend the Kalita Wave for its awesome design, unbreakable steel model and clean cup of coffee it makes. The Kalita Wave is one of the best and one of the few flat bottom pour over brewers. The shallow bottom is more difficult to use than a cone filter at first, but it encourages a more even extraction.

 

the scale.

 

The scale. In our opinion, this is the most overlooked piece of equipment in anyone’s coffee making arsenal; especially when you’re first getting started. You might think you can just eyeball your measurements but in order to get the pour over coffee ratio consistently right, you need a scale. Spend the extra money if you can on a scale. When we first started out, we opted for the $10 scales on the market. However, once we started to brew more and more, these scales frustrated us to no end. Finally we caved and got the Hario Drip Scale. It was love at first site. The scale not only has a nice sleek modern look and feel to it, but the base is large enough for even a Chemex. Plus it has a built-in timer so you can dial in your brew times after getting your pour over coffee ratio just right. If you don’t like this Hario or if you want to see what’s out there, be sure to check out our coffee scale review containing 10 of our favorites in 2017.

 

Best Pour Over Coffee Ratio

 

pour over set up 2 - pour over coffee ratio - blue penguin coffee

 

Once you have your equipment figured out and are ready to get to brewing, the next step is to figure what the best pour over coffee ratio is for your pour over brewer type.

 

Although our favorite is the Kalita Wave, we understand you all have your own preferences.

 

Some of you might prefer the Able Kone, Chemex or v60, it’s really up to you and they all produce a great tasting cup.

 

However, in order to get the best brew out of these brewers, you need to understand what pour over coffee ratio is optimal for each brewer in addition to grind level.

 

Since each brewer is designed differently, the amount of coffee, water and even the overall time it takes to brew is different.

 

Ok Mr. Blue Penguin smarty pants, then what is the optimal pour over coffee ratio for each brewer?

 

Great question!

 

Let’s go over a few of the different pour over coffee ratios each brewer requires.

 

As a heads up, we DID NOT include brewing instructions for all these different brewers.

 

It’s not that we didn’t want to, it’s because an easy Google search will get you a good number of results.

 

Plus, remember what we’ve been saying.

 

Brewing coffee is as much art as it is science, so the final brew will depend on you!

 

With that said, we do include a step by step guide on how to brew with a Kalita Wave, since that is our go to pour over set up 🙂

 

Hario V60 Brewer

 

Hario v60 - pour over coffee ratio - blue penguin coffee
Source: Stumptown Coffee

 

Brewing Specs:

  • Amount of Coffee: 21 grams of coffee. About 3 Tablespoons (this is just a starting point and will change based on the type of coffee you are brewing and your preferred strength)
  • Grind Level: About as fine as kosher salt. In other words a grind level between fine and medium
  • Water Level: 360 grams of water which is about 13 ounces
  • Optimal Brew Time: 3 minutes

 

Chemex

 

chemex - pour over coffee ratio - blue penguin coffee

 

Brewing Specs:

  • Amount of Coffee: 50 grams of coffee. (this is just a starting point and will change based on the type of coffee you are brewing and your preferred strength)
  • Grind Level: About as coarse as sea salt. In other words a grind level between medium or medium coarse
  • Water Level: 700 grams of water which is about 25 ounces
  • Optimal Brew Time: 3.5 – 4.5 minutes

 

Kone

 

able kone - pour over coffee ratio - blue penguin coffee
Source: Marrow Magazine

 

Brewing Specs:

  • Amount of Coffee: 45 grams of coffee. (this is just a starting point and will change based on the type of coffee you are brewing and your preferred strength)
  • Grind Level: Grind level between medium fine to medium
  • Water Level: 750 grams of water which is about 25 ounces
  • Optimal Brew Time: 4 minutes

 

Bee House Dripper

 

bee house dripper - pour over coffee ratio - blue penguin coffee
Source: Stumptown Coffee

 

Brewing Specs:

  • Amount of Coffee: 25 grams of coffee. (this is just a starting point and will change based on the type of coffee you are brewing and your preferred strength)
  • Grind Level: About as fine as table salt. In other words a grind medium fine grind level
  • Water Level: 370 grams of water which is about 13 ounces
  • Optimal Brew Time: 3 minutes

 

Clever Coffee Dripper

 

clever coffee dripper - pour over coffee ratio - blue penguin coffee
Source: Prima Coffee

 

Brewing Specs:

  • Amount of Coffee: 25 grams of coffee. (this is just a starting point and will change based on the type of coffee you are brewing and your preferred strength)
  • Grind Level: Medium to medium coarse grind level. The Clever Dripper is a full immersion method so your grind should be about the same coarseness as you use for your French press brews
  • Water Level: 450 grams of water which is about 16 ounces
  • Optimal Brew Time: 4 minutes

 

Hario Drip Pot

 

Hario Drip Pot - Pour Over Coffee Ratio - blue penguin coffee
Source: Hario UK

 

Brewing Specs:

  • Amount of Coffee: 45 – 50 grams of coffee. (this is just a starting point and will change based on the type of coffee you are brewing and your preferred strength)
  • Grind Level: Medium to medium coarse grind level. This brewing method also called the “Nel Drip” needs a grind coarseness about the same as your French press, like the Clever
  • Water Level: 450 grams of water which is about 16 ounces
  • Optimal Brew Time: 4 minutes

 

Step by Step Brew Instructions

 

Cool, now you have an idea of what pour over coffee ratio to use depending on the pour over method you choose.

 

As we’ve been saying all along, though, the final pour over coffee ratio you choose to use will depend on your own taste and preferences.

 

Needless to say, if you want a stronger cup of coffee, use a coffee heavy ratio. If you want a weaker cup of coffee, use a higher water to coffee ground ratio.

 

Even with the ratio perfected, though, you still need to brew your cup in the right way.

 

Although we could get into the intricate step by step details of each and every brew method listed in our pour over coffee ratio,  we’re going to focus on the Kalita Wave method of brewing.

 

Not only because its the first brew method we ever learned, but also because we love the final cup it makes.

 

Kalita Wave Step by Step Brew Instructions

 

Kalita Wave Pour Over Set Up - pour over coffee ratio

 

Step 1

 

Start boiling your water. If you have a stovetop kettle, place your kettle on the stove to start the process. We highly recommend the Bonavita Electric Kettle which makes boiling water as easy as flipping a switch.

 

Boiling water - pour over coffee ratio

 

Step 2

 

After you start boiling the water, the second step in any good pour over is to measure out precisely the amount of coffee you will be brewing with. For us, we like a more balanced tasting pour over so we don’t use a coffee heavy pour over coffee ratio. Typically, we brew with a 1:15 coffee to water ratio, which equates roughly to 330 grams of water to 21 grams of coffee. Of course, the ratio will depend on how strong you want your cup of coffee in addition to the pour over method you choose

 

Measuring beans - pour over coffee ratio

 

Step 3

 

Ok, once your water boils it’s time to wash your Kalita Wave filter. If you haven’t put the paper filter into the Kalita Wave filter, it’s time to do so now. Rinsing the filter in hot water will clean any impurities in the filter, and will eliminate any aftertaste the paper leaves in the coffee. The hot water will also warm up the filter and the server as well so your coffee will not cool as easily during the brewing process.

 

washing the filter - pour over coffee ratio

 

Step 4

 

Grind your beans. Again, this will depend on the pour over method you choose. For the Kalita Wave method of brewing, however, we recommend going with a medium fine to medium level of grind. For those of you who have a Baratza Encore Grinder, this means a setting from 17 to 21. Of course, the water will take longer to pass through a finer grind, so in general, a finer grind will equal a stronger cup of coffee. And to clarify, that means stronger flavor, not necessarily more caffeine content.

 

Grinding beans - pour over coffee ratio

 

Step 5

 

Once your beans are ground, pour them into the washed filter and zero your scale. It’s time to brew your coffee!

 

Step 6

 

There will be a total of four pours to brew your cup. The first pour is to bloom the beans. If you have never heard of blooming your coffee beans, you are essentially releasing the essence of your coffee. When the hot water hits the coffee, Co2 is released and thus you see a ‘bloom’. Start your timer, and pour 60g of water in a circular motion from the outer rim inwards making sure all the beans are submersed in water. The total pour time should be around 15 seconds. Then give the coffee an extra 30 seconds to bloom and drip before moving on to the next pour.

 

Do you notice all the bubbles and the enchanting smell emanating from your filter? Good! Those bubbles are the essence (gas) of the beans.

 

Blooming coffee - pour over coffee ratio

 

Step 7

 

At around the 45-second mark, it is time for your second pour. Pour slowly, except this time start in the middle and pour in small circles outward towards the edge of the filter. Pour roughly 90g of water and once your pour is finished give the coffee an extra 45 – 65 seconds to drip or until the water and coffee mixture drops close to the level of the grounds.

 

The time you allow for the coffee to drip will depend on your grind level. If you are using a more coarse grind, the total time will skew towards the lower end and vice versa. Just make sure the grounds are always submersed in water!

 

2nd pour - pour over coffee ratio

 

Step 8

 

At this point, you have poured about 150g of water. When the coffee and water mixture from the second pour nears the bottom of the filter it’s time for your 3rd pour.

 

Step 9

 

Add another 100g of water to bring your total to 250g of water in the same circular motion as before. It should take around 15 – 20 seconds for the pour. After your pour, let the water and coffee mixture drip to the bottom of the filter. Once the mixture has neared the bottom of the filter, it’s time for your fourth and last pour. At this point, you should be at about the 2:00 – 2:30 mark.

 

Step 10

 

Top your pour over off with the final 80g of water pour in the same pattern as before to reach 330g of coffee total. Let the water completely drip out of the filter which should bring you to around the 3:30 mark.

 

4th pour - pour over coffee ratio

 

Step 11

 

Serve and Enjoy! Yum 🙂

 

serving coffee - pour over coffee ratio

 

pour over coffee ratio faq

 

Japanese Flash Brew Recipe

 

Pour over coffee ratio - japanese flash brew

 

It’s getting hot out there you all, which is a good and bad thing. Good for humans because they can now take off their outer shell and dip into some refreshing water to cool off, but bad for penguins. You know what helps the penguins in the hottest of months to return somewhat to the chill of winter?

 

Japanese Flash Brew. Simple, clean, complex, this Japanese invention gives you the smoothness of a cold brew, with the rich complexity of a pour-over cup of coffee. By brewing the coffee hot and cooling the coffee over ice instantly, you are able to capture all the essence and flavor of a hot brewed coffee in a refreshing iced version.

 

We guarantee this recipe will be one of your favorites all summer long!

 

Ingredients

  • 21 grams coffee. Ground medium fine to medium
  • 165 grams of water
  • 165 grams of ice

 

Instructions

  • Easy. Follow the same step by step instructions for brewing with the Kalita Wave with one difference; put the ice into whatever container the coffee will drip into and drip straight onto the ice.
  • We like to use a 50/50 ratio, but feel free to change this up based on your own tastes.
  • Once your coffee is finished brewing, pour and enjoy. Yum!

 

Summary

There you have it!

 

Our simple and thorough guide to getting the pour over coffee ratio just right the next time you brew using the pour over method.

 

Hopefully, after reading through you have a better understanding of how much coffee and water you need to use depending on each type of pour over method.

 

Like everything else we’ve talked about with you, brewing coffee is as much art as it is science.

 

What works for us here might not work for you.

 

What’s important though is that if you want to brew using the pour over method, you have to try it out.

 

Because without trying, you won’t learn and without learning you’ll ever only know what you know.

 

What’s your optimal pour over coffee ratio?