Common Mistakes of Pour-Over Coffee

With a good cup of pour-over coffee, you can taste the sour, fragrant, sweet, and other details of the coffee at different levels. It tastes refreshing and unburdened, and this kind of delicate flavor change can't be extricated after exposure.

But many people will say that they follow the steps of making coffee by hand, but why can't they make a good cup of coffee? Now let Soulhand expose the common mistakes of brewing coffee from three angles. I hope that after reading this article, you will fall in love with pour-over coffee and truly enter the world of pour-over coffee.


Coffee beans

Mistake 1: Abrasiveness

There are all kinds of grinders on the market, and a good grinder can ensure that the ground coffee powder is evenly thick. If the coffee powder is uneven and too much fine powder, the taste of the brewed coffee will not be pure enough.

What is the appropriate thickness of the coffee beans for pour-over coffee?

The answer is moderate grinding, the size of granulated sugar. If the coffee powder is too coarse and the hot water flows too quickly, it will be difficult to extract the aroma of the coffee. If the coffee powder is too fine, the filter will easily become clogged, causing the water and powder to soak for too long, and the coffee will have a bitter and astringent taste.


Mistake 2: Freshness

Many people choose a coffee powder that has been ground for the sake of convenience, or grind a lot of coffee at a time and store it in the refrigerator. In fact, "fresh ground" is the first condition for good coffee, it guarantees the taste of coffee. When the coffee is ground into powder, the oxidation speed of the coffee powder will be accelerated, and the aroma will begin to dissipate within 40 seconds. If the aroma of coffee powder is severely lost, the flavor of natural coffee will disappear.


Mistake 3: Cloth powder

After the coffee powder is poured into the drip cup, it needs to be gently shaken to make it flat. This is a very easy step to overlook, or it is not advisable to use too much force or shake too much. The flatness of the noodles determines the uniformity of the steaming and extraction of the pour-over coffee, which directly leads to the taste of the coffee.



Mistake 1: Water quality

If you care about the taste, don’t ignore the water used to brew the coffee. 98% of the ingredients in a cup of pour-over coffee are water, and the soluble matter in water (TDS) is best in the range of 100-250ppm. It is not recommended to use purified water to make coffee. Coffee made with purified water tends to have a dull taste and lacks a sense of hierarchy. But don't use unnamed mineral water or unnamed bottled water. Once there is a peculiar smell in the water, it will be more obviously amplified in the coffee.


Mistake 2: Water temperature

Water temperature is also an important indicator that affects the taste of coffee. Too high water temperature will increase the bitterness of coffee, while low water temperature will increase the sourness. 

Suggestion: Deeply roasted coffee beans are suitable for the temperature of 80-85 degrees, medium, and shallow roasted coffee beans are suitable for water temperature of about 90 degrees for extraction.


Mistake 3: Water flow

Whether the aroma and layering of flowing coffee can be released to the full, the key lies in water injection.

Common mistakes are:

      1. The injected water column is too large and the direction of the water column is too inclined, which will cause the water flow to flush a hole on the side of the powder layer and run away directly from the filter paper, resulting in insufficient coffee extraction.

      2. The water column is pulled too high, causing the water flow to destroy the coffee powder, easy to inject air bubbles, and uneven coffee extraction. It will also cause the water column and the air contact area to be too much, and the water temperature is affected, so the water column must be as close to the coffee as possible.

      3. The water flow is unstable, the water flow suddenly increases and decreases, sometimes rushes, sometimes ticking off, resulting in different degrees of soaking of coffee powder in various areas, and the taste of the coffee will be affected.


Mistake 4: Water volume

Because different people have different tastes, they have different requirements for a concentration. The concentration range extraction is 1.15%-1.35%, and the water ratio is about 1:13 to 15. Some people use very little water simply for the sake of richness, but it doesn't taste palatable to drink. On the contrary, some people expect to use more water to extract more substances, but they do not know that the more they are extracted, the lighter the latter, and the final concentration is insufficient.



Mistake 1: Filter paper

A good filter paper should have no peculiar smell and good drainage. Many people are greedy to use low-quality filter paper, which is very thin and easy to leak. Some filter papers are very slow to filter water, only water is injected, but no downstream, which will inevitably lead to excessive coffee extraction and affect the taste. Still wondering why I bought good coffee, but the taste is not good.


Mistake 2: Pour over kettle

As mentioned earlier, the water flow has a key influence on the quality of a cup of coffee, and the choice of the pour-over kettle plays a vital role. What are the problems if I choose the wrong coffee kettle?

  1. The mouth of the pot. Many pour-over pots have a long mouth and a thin mouth, the purpose is to make the water flow easy to control, smooth and uninterrupted. Some people use low-quality pour-over kettles, or even directly use non-dedicated hot pots. The water flow is difficult to be even and even flows down the bottom edge of the pot.
  2. Thermometer. How to extract coffee at the optimum temperature? If there is a thermometer on the hand pot, it will save time, effort, and worry.
  3. Heat preservation. Remember to cover the lid when hand flushing, the degree of temperature loss during extraction will be reduced, which can bring more stable water temperature.