Pour Over Coffee Ratio Guide – Bun Brewing Basics

Pour-over coffee is a crowd favourite in the specialty coffee world. Designed to perfectly capture the aromatic and flavour qualities of the beans, pour over coffee is as simple as it sounds – hot water is poured over ground coffee.

However, getting your pour overs right will come down to the right brewing method. At Bun Coffee, we believe that quality beans are only half of what makes a good cup; the other half comes down to knowing the ideal pour over coffee ratio. 

In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll cover the best ratio for pour over coffee, the steps to properly brew it, and the key variables that you’ll need to control to get a consistently delicious pour over. 

What is Pour Over Coffee?

Pour over coffee is literally brewed the way it is named — hot water is poured over freshly ground beans sitting in a filter, allowing the essence of the beans to infuse into the water, and drip down into a mug or carafe.

Pour over is arguably the best way to experience the depth and flavour of high-quality coffee beans and is considered by many coffee brewers to be the style of brewing that offers the greatest amount of control over the brewing process.

Ideal Pour Over Coffee Ratio

As with all coffee brewing methods, having the right ratio of grounds to water is one of the more difficult things to master. The coffee ratio for pour over coffee sits somewhere between 1:14 and 1:20 — 1 gram of coffee to 14 -20 grams of water. 

A coffee-to-water ratio of 1:14 will result in a stronger-tasting brew, while brew ratios closer to 1:20 will produce lighter coffee. Our recommendation is that you start in-between at 1:16 for your first few brews to find out how your preferences compare and work your way up or down the scale. 

Pour Over Coffee Grind

The other thing to consider is the size of grind for your beans. In general, pour over coffee brews should be done with a medium coarse grind. 

Medium coarse grinds share some similarities with French press grinds in terms of size, with the notable difference of being smoother in texture. If you are using a cone shaped pour over device with a particularly narrow base, you may want to go with a medium fine grind instead. 

There isn’t a hard-set rule about grind size for pour over coffee. Given that there are so many unique types of pour over devices, it’s more about experimenting with various grind sizes to find one that achieves your desired quality of brew. 

What You Need to Make Pour Over Coffee

As a hand-brewed method, you won’t need any complicated equipment, save for a pour over coffee maker. Here is a checklist you can use to properly set things up:

  • Pour over coffee maker (popular models include the V60, and the Kalita Wave)
  • A kettle with a gooseneck spout — this type of spout allows for finer control over water flow. 
  • Paper filters
  • Quality coffee beans (for pour over, we favour the single origin coffee collection)
  • A mug or coffee carafe

Making the Perfect Pour Over Coffee – Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1. Start by boiling water

The idea is to have the water ready to pour as soon as you’re done portioning and grinding your coffee beans. Inconsistent water temperature can affect the infusion process during a pour over, so try to maintain a temperature between 90 to 100 °C. If you find that the water temperature has dropped after grinding, you can try to heat it back up – but be careful not to bring it to a boil again. 

Step 2: Grind beans

With the kettle on the stove, it’s time to get grinding. You should have already measured your coffee beans according to the pour over ratios mentioned above (a single cup of pour over coffee at a ratio of 1:16 will need about 18 grams of beans). Remember to grind your beans as close as possible to when you’ll brew them — freshly ground beans retain more flavour. 

Step 3: Brew your pour over

Once your beans are placed in the filter, give it a little shake to level out the grinds. Now you’re ready to pour. 

Here’s the tricky part: you’re going to need to start with a bloom. Blooming, in the context of coffee, is done by adding just the right amount of water (about twice the amount of coffee weight) to allow the beans to release the CO2 gases trapped in them during the roasting process. If done correctly, you should see some bubbling over the top of the grind surface. 

Let this bubbling continue until it stops, before pouring another helping of water in a rotating pattern, aiming to cover every part of the grind. Limit your pouring to intervals, and try to keep the mixture topped up between half-full and two-thirds full. Once you’ve poured the proportionate amount of water, let gravity do the rest of the work as your coffee is filtered. 

How Long Does Pour Over Coffee Take to Finish Brewing? 

It can take about 3-4 minutes to get a ready-to-drink cup to pour over coffee. If your pour over brew falls outside of this time, it’s possible that your grind is either too coarse (shorter than 3 mins) or too fine (longer than 5 mins). Adjust your grind size accordingly to match the ideal brewing time. 

Pour the Perfect Cup with Bun Coffee

And that’s all there is to brewing pour over coffee! We hope that this guide has been helpful in providing you with the basics to pour over coffee ratio and brewing steps. That said, we simply can’t let you go without introducing you to our own hand-roasted collection of premium coffee beans. Explore our collection of specialty coffee blends from all across the world and have them delivered to your doorstep from our humble roasters in Byron Bay, NSW.