My Coffee Journey (Chapter 3): How a Beginner Makes Specialty Coffee - Pour over Method


December 23, 2019, was a special day.


It was momentous enough that I made an entry in my calendar, so I could remember this day in my coffee journey.

calendar entry saying Made my own specialty coffee!

Yep, I finally managed to make my first cup of specialty coffee!


Using the pour over method, at that. 


I was involved in the process from beginning to end.


There was a certain satisfaction in that  - in being a part of the creation process.


I’m not gonna say it went smoothly. It was my first time, after all. 


But, I’m proud to say that no disasters occurred during the making of the coffee.




On average, it takes UrSpecailty’s coffee connoisseur (who shall from this point forward affectionately be called Q) about eight minutes to make her cup of coffee.


It took me about 30 minutes to make my first cup of coffee.


Not to worry. I did not actually brew the coffee for 30 minutes. This number includes brewing and documenting (taking pics for this blog post)  :D


Since December 23rd, I’ve been practicing making my own cup of coffee at home.


I now have a basic coffee-making routine, which takes me about 10 minutes.



How I make specialty coffee using the pour over method


Let’s begin with what I use to help make my coffee:



Pour over brewing instructions 

  • For my first time making coffee, I referred to the brewing instructions on the UrSpecialty website. 


Coffee beans

  • UrSpecialty’s medium dark roast


Manual coffee grinder

  • Hario Ceramic Slim coffee mill


Coffee dripper

  • Hario V60 dripper (the dripper comes with a small measuring spoon)
  • This dripper is sufficient to make 1-2 cups of coffee


Coffee filter

  • Hario V60 coffee paper filter 
  • These Hario filters are compostable, so you can put them in the green bin!


Coffee mug

  • My Hello Kitty mug. Please don’t judge me.


Kitchen scale 

  • Starfrit kitchen scale


Electric Kettle

  • T-Fal kettle


Measuring cup

  • Pyrex 250 ml measuring cup


Water

  • Brita filtered water


Timer

  • My phone



Okay. Now let’s get into the steps I take to make coffee at home.




STEP 1


Weigh the coffee beans

Using my kitchen scale and a small bowl to hold and contain the coffee beans, I use the small measuring spoon that comes with the Hario V60 dripper to scoop and pour the coffee beans into the bowl until I reach the desired weight of 16 grams.


Starfrit kitchen digital scale weighing UrSpecialty coffee beans




STEP 2


Boil the water

I fill the kettle with filtered water, then start the kettle to boil.


I usually measure out a bit more than 250ml of water in anticipation of using the boiled water to “rinse” the paper filter of its paper taste (Step 5) prior to brewing the coffee.


STEP 3


Grind the coffee beans

The recommended particle size of ground coffee beans for the pour over method is medium - like a grain of sand.


Using the Hario manual coffee mill, I grind the coffee beans while the kettle’s boiling the water. 


Due to my competitive nature, I usually time myself to see how long it takes me to grind the coffee beans.


The first time I ground the coffee beans it took me 2 minutes and 48 seconds.


What’s your grind time? :)

Hario coffee mill with UrSpecialty coffee beans



STEP 4


Fold the paper filter along the seam

Before placing the paper coffee filter into the cone dripper, I fold the filter along its seam.


I’m not convinced as to why folding the filter is necessary, but I do it anyway.


I’ve read that folding the filter allows it to sit better in the cone-shaped dripper. 


[Q confirms this is why.]

Hario paper filter with folded seam

STEP 5


Wash out the filter’s paper taste

To prevent your fresh cup of joe from tasting like paper instead of coffee, “rinsing” the paper filter prior to brewing is recommended.


After folding the seam of the filter, I tuck it into the dripper sitting on my coffee mug, pour some boiled water along the sides of the filter, and discard the excess water from the filter and mug. 


Then I place the wet filter back into the cone dripper.


[Correction: I needn’t have removed the wet filter when discarding the water. What would I do without Q?]

wet Hario paper coffee filter



STEP 6


Place ground coffee in the wet filter

I pour the freshly ground coffee from the coffee mill into the base of the cone dripper and, using my finger, I create a well at the centre of the ground coffee.



STEP 7


Start brewing

Before I start pouring the hot water from the kettle onto the coffee grounds, I set my timer on my phone to 3 minutes and 30 seconds.


The objective is to pour a third of the hot water over the coffee grounds every minute.


With my kettle’s spout aimed over the well I’d created, I slowly start pouring the hot water over the ground coffee in a circular motion, gradually moving away from the centre, until the water reaches the edge of the grounds along the filter.


If your coffee’s fresh, you’ll see a bubbling of foam upon pouring the water over the grounds. 


According to the brewing instructions on UrSpecialty’s website, we should wait for the bubbles to subside (up to 45 seconds) before resuming pouring.


Once the alarm on my timer goes off, I take the dripper off my mug, then drink my freshly brewed coffee.


freshly brewed UrSpecialty coffee in Hello Kitty mug




My coffee journey continues...


I’ve yet to “perfect” the pour over brewing method. 


I’m still experimenting and making adjustments every now and then in terms of grind size and bean to water ratio.


And there are different coffee roasts to try, too. I think I’ll try a lighter roast next time.


Oh, the possibilities are endless ;)



How about you? What’s your go-to coffee roast? 


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