Getting All the Ingredients in Your Coffee Right: Grinding for the Pour Over
There are a lot of different great ways to enjoy a great cup of coffee – every die-hard coffee lover knows this in their bones. But what you may not realize is that the type of coffee grind you use may directly impact the flavor you get from your coffee.
As you might have guessed, your standard counter-top drip coffee maker shouldn’t take in the same kind of ground coffee beans as your espresso maker, because not all coffee making styles are equal. If you’re a pour over coffee drinker, you are probably starting to ask yourself, what’s the best type of coffee grind for me? In this article, we’ll take a look and find out what setting you should be grinding your coffee beans at if you love the pour over.
What Is Pour Over Coffee?
Good news! If you decide you like pour over-style coffee, then you can throw out all your fancy coffee machines. In fact, you can throw out all your coffee machines. No special machine is really necessary for this method of coffee brewing, which is as basic as can be.
Just like the name sounds, all that is required is a mug, a funnel with a coffee filter in it, and coffee grounds, which you then slowly pour hot water over.
Why Do People Like Pour Over Coffee?
Why are people looking to pour over coffee for their daily fix? Isn’t not having to do this the reason that people invented coffee machines in the first place? Well, yes, but if you have the time and inclination to make coffee by hand using the pour over method, you may find what others have experienced to be true.
This truth is that the coffee that often results from the pour over method is full-flavored but features a level of nuance that you just can’t get from coffee that has been processed by a machine.
What Is the Best Coffee Grind for Pour Over Coffee?
Whether you will have a great experience with your pour over coffee depends almost entirely on the type of grind you use, meaning how fine or coarse your coffee beans are ground before you set them in the filter.
There is a wide spectrum of coffee grind options, ranging from extra coarse, coarse and medium coarse, to medium, medium fine, fine and extra fine. Coarse grounds have a texture similar to coarse sand, sea salt or peppercorns, while a medium grind has a texture more like regular sand, and fine grinds can range from a texture like salt to one like flour.
Why does it matter? Because the combination of grind texture and brewing method will determine your ability to effectively extract the coffee flavor from the grounds. If you over-extract (extracting too much), then your coffee is likely to taste bitter and hollow. If you under-extract (going the other way and extracting too little), then you can expect your coffee to be acidic and sour tasting. Neither of these flavors is desirable.
Determining the Best Grind of Beans for Pour Over Coffee
So, which level of grind works best for pour over coffee? It’s important to understand that under-extracted coffee usually results when the grounds are too coarse for the brew time. You want to brew coarse grinds longer to fully extract the flavor. On the other side, if the grinds are fine, the flavor is going to come out faster, so you should be looking to shorter brew times.
With pour over coffee, you’re going to be right in the middle. You are pouring the water over slowly, but not as slowly as say, an espresso maker. You should start with a medium grind, which will feel sort of like the consistency of regular sand. If you’re still not getting the amount of flavor you’re hoping for, it’s okay to go to a medium fine grind, about the consistency of table salt.
Come back to The Exotic Bean and this space for more information about the best grind for your favorite brewing method in this special series of blog articles!