Pourover Coffee: An Easy How-to Guide with James Hoffmann

It's easy to obsess over the techniques to get a great tasting pour over coffee but it really comes down to a few basic principles. One of our favourite coffee aficionados is James Hoffmann; while we prefer using a ceramic dripper over plastic for aesthetic, ecological and health reasons, James does an amazing job of explaining the steps that he and his team found work best.

    8 Steps to Great Pourover Coffee

    Gather Materials

    You will need a pour over dripper (such as a Chemex, Hario V60, Origami or Loveramics), coffee beans, a grinder, a kettle, a scale, and a coffee mug.

    Grind Coffee Beans

    Using a burr grinder, grind coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency (finer is better for lighter roasts). Use approximately 15-18 grams of coffee for every 250 ml of water.

    Heat Water

    Fill the kettle with water and heat it to about 93-96°C (hotter is better for lighter roasts).

    Prepare The Dripper

    Place a paper filter in the dripper and rinse it with hot water to remove any paper taste. This will also help pre-heat the dripper.

    Add Coffee Grounds

    Add the coffee grounds to the coffee maker and shake it gently to level the grounds.

    Bloom Your Coffee

    Pour a small amount of water (about 60-70 ml) onto the coffee grounds and wait for 30-45 seconds to allow the coffee to "bloom". This helps to release carbon dioxide and improves the flavor of the coffee.

    Pour Water

    Slowly and steadily pour the remaining hot water over the coffee grounds, making sure to wet all the coffee evenly. Wait for the coffee to drain through the filter and into the mug.


    Once the coffee has drained, remove the pour over coffee maker and enjoy your freshly brewed coffee.

    A couple notes from James:
    1. "Excuse the error at 10:13 where I say 'Don't be afraid of going a bit coarse' when I meant 'finer'. Apologies!"
    2. Regarding preheating with the hot water tap: There's clearly a lot of variation out there on this front, and I could well have made a mistake here. It might be better to use a kettle. I'd recommend transferring the V60 to the sink before adding the water, to slow its exit from the cone, which helps do more heating up with less water.