In this guide, I will go over every pour-over brewer there is. I will explain how to make coffee with the brewers and correctly use them, and I will give you some helpful tips.
At the end of the guide, you will find a coffee to water ratio table; to make it even easier to try all these new techniques out!
I’ll start by explaining the Chemex’s brewing; after that, I will get into the clever dripper. But first, I’ll explain some basic questions regarding pour-over coffee, make yourself a nice cup of coffee, and read along.
What is pour-over coffee?
Before I begin explaining how to make pour-over coffee, it is nice to know what it is, so let me start by giving you that answer straight away:
Pour-over coffee is coffee made while pouring water over ground coffee, using only the basics techniques like a clever dripper with a filter in it.
There are also many other techniques out there, but these techniques work very differently than using a pour-over technique. Most of the time, you add ground coffee and water together and let this steep, like a Moka pot or French Press.
How do the flavors differ from the other coffee techniques?
The flavors of coffee are the most important thing in coffee. Most people buy a certain type of coffee beans because they like the taste. The people buying coffee beans repeatedly do so because they like the taste and are most likely to have a favorite country that their coffee beans come from.
I am one of those people. I like coffee which origin is from Costa Rica. The taste is very different from any other coffee out there. It has such a nice balance to it, I can’t compare it to any other coffee I have ever tasted, and I have tasted a lot of coffee, haha.
The flavors in coffee made while using a pour-over technique are much more delicate than making espresso with a Moka pot or using an AeroPress.
I have some experience in tasting coffee made with different techniques, all made from coffee beans which differ by roast and origin. While tasting the same delicate flavor came back every time I made these coffees using the clever dripper or French Press.
The bold, punchy flavors almost disappear from the foreground and slide back to the background without completely disappearing.
The delicate flavors now come forward and present themselves. Once you start tasting multiple different coffee beans, you will appreciate making coffee with a pour-over technique even more.
All of the flavors that the coffee has to offer are there, you can find them in there, but you need to be using a pour-over technique to find them. It’s a fun experience really, let me quickly explain how it differs from using the French press.
What is the difference between pour-over coffee and a French Press?
I’ve already told you that the taste difference depends on which coffee beans you buy at the store (or coffee roaster). But you cannot forget the coffee roast in this comparison.
Let me explain the flavors in both of these techniques using an example with dark roast coffee beans.
When using dark roasted coffee, most of the delicate flavors are already hard to notice because most of them are no longer there. They were traded in for some darker tones in your coffee, like nuts and chocolate.
So if you are making coffee with the French press, using the dark roasted coffee beans, you will get a nice strong-tasting cup of coffee.
When you choose to use the Chemex instead, you will find yourself having a much more downgraded but more delicate coffee to drink.
Most of this has to do with the use of a filter in the Chemex or clever dripper. The filter doesn’t allow any small coffee particles to get through and into your cup of coffee.
But brewing with the French press, you must add the water straight onto the ground coffee beans and let it steep.
When the brewing time has finished, you will strain the coffee, but the small particles will still be in your cup of coffee, giving you a stronger tasting cup of joe. This is what gives the French press such a different taste than the Chemex.
How to make pour-over coffee at home?
Here comes the fun part of making your own coffee; it is the brewing of it. Once you get used to the grinding of the coffee beans and you have arrived at the brewing of the coffee, you’ve still got to make a choice. Which brewing technique are you going to use?
I will cover the most commonly found brewing techniques most of us have at home, either one of them or both.
Once you have chosen your coffee brewer, you will also have a saying in which coffee beans you are going to use. This is the best part of brewing coffee at home, and you can choose any roast you want.
While I have covered which coffee roasts there are, I will also briefly cover which roasts are my favorite for different brewing techniques.
How to make pour-over coffee with the Chemex?
Let’s start this list off with a classic coffee brewer. According to Wikipedia, the Chemex was invented by Peter Schlumbohm in 1941! This was more than 80 years ago already. It’s crazy to think that this brewer is still one of the most commonly used home brewers to date.
I usually make my morning coffee with a Chemex. This is because it will filter out most of the punchy flavors. I like drinking a more filtered coffee in the morning to get my day started. Before I start brewing, I will make sure to grind the coffee beans medium for this technique.
To get started on the brewing, you want to make sure you have everything you need. You will need the Chemex itself, the filters, ground coffee beans, and filtered water.
To make Chemex coffee, I use a 1:14 coffee to water ratio. I have found that this works the best for bringing out enough flavor while still keeping it a clean drinking experience.
To make it a little easier for you. I have made a table on the coffee to water ratio for the most commonly used coffee brewing techniques. You can find the tablet a little bit further down this article.
Start by getting your water to a boil.
Place your Chemex filter inside your Chemex, making sure to put the triple folded side on the spout. This will give your Chemex a nice seal on all the edges. Without risking getting vacuum-sealed to the side of your Chemex.
Step 1. Once the water has come to a boil, rinse the Chemex filter to get rid of any paper taste. This will also preheat your Chemex a little.
Throw out the water that has gone through your filter.
Step 2. Add your ground coffee beans to the Chemex, and create a little hole in the middle of your pilled-up coffee beans.
Step 3. Pour about 1/4 of all the water you are going to use on the grounds. This is called a bloom.
Let the coffee bloom for 30 seconds, then pour on all the water making sure you wet all the coffee grounds evenly.
Step 4. Stir from left to right a few times; this will make sure all the coffee grounds from the side have slipped off and are now sitting in the middle of the Chemex to ensure proper extraction.
The full brewing will take between 4 to 5 minutes. Once all the water has gone through the filter, the Chemex is finished. Throw out the filter, and enjoy your coffee!
Tip: Once you have finished brewing your coffee with your Chemex, make sure you clean it properly. I have made a list of 5 easy ways to clean your Chemex.
How to make pour-over coffee with the Hario V60 Clever dripper?
This is the second technique you can use when talking about pour-over techniques. Chemex is my favorite out of the two; using the clever dripper has some nice benefits that can make your life much easier.
Once you start making coffee at home more than once a day for your morning coffee, you will notice that making coffee with a Chemex made for fitting up to 6 cups of coffee into it is not the best way to go. This is where the clever dripper comes in.
The clever dripper will essentially give you the same kind of quality coffee you are used to as brewing with a Chemex. Using the clever dripper if you are home alone is one of the big benefits of using the clever dripper.
I usually brew coffee at home when there is more than just me chilling around. Whenever this happens, I make use of the Chemex or any other brewer. But once I am home alone or late at night and I’m writing an article for this blog, and there is no one around, I use the clever dripper.
If you have never tried using the clever dripper at home, you might have noticed the speed difference in the water running through the coffee filter. When I brew coffee with the Clever dripper, it will take about 2-3 minutes. When I use the Chemex, it can take up to 6 minutes to finish its brew.
These are the benefits of using the clever dripper over the Chemex. Let me explain how to make coffee whilst using the clever dripper at home!
Before starting with your brewing, make sure to check out the coffee to water ratio table I made; it’s at the end of the article. This will help you quickly decide on how much to use for your coffee brew.
First off, start by grinding your coffee beans. You want to use a medium grind for this technique. This will make sure to get the best extraction of your coffee beans.
Once you are almost finished with the grinding of your coffee beans, start boiling your water. It’s nice to get straight into the action when the grinding of the coffee beans is done.
Next up, you want to prepare your brewing station. Start folding the edges of the coffee filter to fit the clever dripper properly. Here I’m using coffee filters, which I bought from Amazon. You can check them out by clicking here.
Step 1. Add the filter to your clever dripper, pour over some of your freshly boiled water. This will get rid of the papery taste of the filter. This will also eliminate the weird flavor in your coffee.
Throw out the water that went through your filter and assemble the clever dripper on your mug again.
Step 2. Next up is adding your ground coffee to the filter and making a little hole in the middle of it.
This will ensure a proper bloom of your coffee. If you want to learn about the blooming of your coffee, click here.
Step 3. Start pouring the water on your coffee grounds, you are going to need about 1/4 of the total water that needs to be added; or until all the grounds are properly wetted. The blooming will take 45 seconds.
Step 4. When the seconds have passed, add the remaining water to wet all the coffee grounds properly.
The coffee will now pour through the filter, and outcomes a fresh batch of coffee!
When the brewing is done, throw out the coffee filter and clean your clever dripper for its next use. Now grab your coffee and enjoy it.
Water to coffee ratio for the best pour-over coffee
Just remember that you can always add more or less coffee to your favorite coffee brewer. This all depends on your personal preference. I personally really like using these ratios for the brewing of my daily coffees.
|Brewing technique||Ratio||Making 1 cup |
(125 ml water)
|Making 2 cups|
|Making 4 cups|
|Chemex||1:14||9 grams of coffee||18 grams of coffee||36 grams of coffee|
|Clever dripper||1:13||10 grams of coffee||20 grams of coffee||40 grams of coffee|
If you are going to use the brewing ratios I have given you, you will be happy you did so. Most of the time, I’m all about the strongest tasting cup of joe, but I tend to lean slightly more to the more balanced flavors when drinking pour-over coffee.
This means making coffee with a little less amount of ground coffee in them. That will result in a delightful tasting cup of joe, which will open itself up even more when cooled down a bit.
Have you ever forgotten your coffee for a while and still went in to have a taste? Did you also notice that the flavors were much different than when you had just made the coffee a few minutes ago?
If you haven’t, I would like for you to give it a try yourself. You will probably like it as much as I did the first time this happened to me. The flavors almost seem to boil down to a little stronger; yet still floral tasting cup of joe.
There it is, the first part of the complete brewing guide using every brewer. In this guide, I went over the Chemex and the clever dripper. It was nice to share my coffee to water ratios with you.
I know everyone makes their coffees different; that is why sharing the ratio feels good. If you’re interested in learning a few coffee recipes, you can check them out below. You can use the coffee mentioned in this article as a basis for these recipes.
Which of the two techniques do you like to use when brewing coffee? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!