Many people describe the process of making pour-over coffee to be a therapeutic experience. There is no fiddling with a machine, no flashing lights; it’s you and simple tools. Making pour-over coffee is similar to using a drip coffee maker, except it is a more complex and delicate ritual.
There are many ways to make pour-over coffee, and, yes, you can use espresso beans for pour-over and drip. Coffee beans made for espresso are roasted for longer compared to beans intended for pour-over coffee. Espresso beans are ground to a finer consistency compared to beans for pour-over.
By all means, you can still use beans labeled as espresso; they are the same as beans for drip. However, it is the roaster’s recommendation for producing intentional flavors.
This article will explore the difference between pour-over and espresso coffee and how to pour coffee with espresso beans. We will also discuss the beans you should use for pour-over coffee and the difference between espresso beans and coffee beans.
What Is The Difference Between Pour-Over And Espresso?
While both beverages are made from the same coffee beans, the difference lies in their preparation method. Nevertheless, the type of beans used is essential in achieving certain flavors.
Espresso is a tiny but strong black coffee made by the pressure of forcing hot water through tightly packed coffee grounds.
A good espresso has signature layers of crema at the top and coffee shot at the bottom due to the extraction process. To make a decent espresso shot, you need an espresso machine and a good-quality grinder.
The pour-over method involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds in a filter. The water drains through the grounds in a filter then into a carafe or mug.
This process is also called hand brewing or manual brewing, as it is simply pouring water over coffee grounds by hand.
The pour-over way of making coffee brings out the complex flavors that cannot be achieved by other brewing means.
This infusion method is the preferred option for single-origin coffees as it brings out intricate flavors and aromas. Filtered coffee is clean, clear, and the result is the same every time.
The water extracts the beans’ oils and fragrances in its own time, and pressure and the filter catch these oils producing a clean cup of coffee.
There are a few ways to make espresso coffee, including using a French press, Moka pot, and an AeroPress, but typically it’s made using an espresso machine.
The process of creating espresso involves measuring and grinding your coffee beans, tamping the grounds, and pulling your shot. A good espresso should be rich with a delicious crema on top, and it should be aromatic.
If your coffee machine is in good condition with every component functioning as it should, your espresso should produce the same results every time.
The pour-over method has more human input than machine-made espresso to be subject to human error. For example, the water stream can always find a weak passage in the ground coffee and come out weak.
There is also a greater chance of coffee clumps not being distributed evenly. It takes practice to get the pour-over method correct and to ensure that grounds immerse uniformly in the water.
How To Make Pour-Over Coffee With Espresso Beans
Espresso beans are just coffee beans that have been roasted longer to bring out specific flavors in the espresso-making process, but you can use any coffee roast. However, to make espresso, you need to ground your roasted coffee beans finely to withstand the extraction pressure.
A medium to coarse-textured grinds like sea salt or sand is the most suitable texture to make pour-over coffee.
You can use a finer grind that you would typically make for espresso, but this could yield bitter flavors. The pour-over technique involves a few options for equipment use; let’s consider the following guide on the essential equipment required for pour-over coffee:
A convenient device known as a dripper can hold the grounds and the filter. Popular options include the Kalita Wave 185 and V60 Melitta. They rest on the carafe or mug, and they are designed to affect extraction and flow.
Certain filters can fit in most brewing devices. There are some different filter options; some are made of cloth and paper, bleached and unbleached. Cloth filters are the most popular than paper filters as they don’t affect the coffee’s flavor.
It helps to have the correct measurements for the perfect pour-over coffee- a digital scale will measure your coffee and water. This will help you to recreate the same results if the coffee turns out excellent or weak.
Baristas often use a small copper kettle to pour water over the coffee grinds. This type of kettle has a long neck and is slow-pouring, so it keeps water at a stable temperature and draws out consistency during extraction. You don’t have to use a barista kettle, but you should use a kettle with a slow pour and long neck.
Brewing Your Pour-Over Coffee
Once you have gathered together all your equipment, you must choose your beans and weigh your coffee to determine the water to coffee ratio.
Most baristas use 18 grams of water per coffee gram. This would come to about 9 and 11 grams of coffee for every 6 ounces of water.
Grind your beans and prepare your filter. Once your filter is ready, pour in your freshly ground coffee beans. Next, heat your water to 195 -205 degrees F and give it thirty seconds before using it in the brew.
When your water boils, set up your carafe or cup on the scale. Place your coffee grounds in the filter and set the scale on zero. This is to know how much water you are pouring; you can use the 17:1 grams ratio if you wish and tweak it.
When you have everything ready, you must wet the grounds using just enough water to saturate the beans. Then, wait to allow the internal gases to bubble out.
This is called blooming, as it makes way for the final pour. Next, use your long-neck kettle to pour water slowly using a circular motion.
Keep the spout close to the grounds. When your pour-over is ready, it’s time to taste; that way, you can decide if you need to tweak it, so note the flavor and strength.
What Beans Should You Use For Pour-Over?
There are a few factors to consider when selecting your beans, like roast profile, grind size, and the ratio of coffee to water. Let’s explore these factors in greater detail:
The pour-over technique works exceptionally well to extract subtle flavors, notes, and aromas. It helps to choose a light roast for this method, as these beans are the brightest and produce the most acidic flavors.
Light roasts highlight the most authentic coffee quality. You can, by all means, use a dark or medium roast if you prefer, but the light roasts complement this manual brewing method.
Grind size affects the extraction rate. Pour over is an infusion technique whereby the coffee and water come in contact for a shorter period than the immersion method but longer than espresso.
The coffee in the pour-over process needs sufficient surface area for extraction before water filters into the mug, but not so much that the coffee is under-extracted and bitter.
It is best to start with a medium grind size and then assess your brew and tweak it as required. For example, if it’s too sour or watery, try a finer grind. On the other hand, if the brew is bitter and lacks sweet notes, try a coarser grind.
Ensure that you use a quality grinder so that the coffee particles are ground to the same size every time. Substandard grinders inconsistently ground coffee, producing tiny fragments that extract too quickly.
COFFEE TO WATER RATIO
One gram of coffee for 17 grams of water is the generally accepted ratio, especially when starting out. You can brew coffee with this measurement and tweak certain factors that impact extraction, like water temperature and grind size.
You can even change the coffee to water ratio to produce coffee that isn’t too watery or too intense. Be sure to keep track of what you change to replicate your preferred brew.
Pouring technique matters too; there is blooming, agitation, pulse pouring, and pouring in centric circles. Try different pouring styles and take note of their differences to gauge which one you prefer.
Pouring coffee is an excellent way to make your morning brew as long as you understand some key factors to ensure a consistently delicious brew.
You can certainly use a roast intended for espresso; however, you must consider the type of grind you should use. Espresso needs a fine grind that may not compliment pour-over coffee, as it generally requires a coarser grind, but it’s perfectly useable.
Aside from the grind’s consistency, you must consider what filter to use and decide what coffee to water ratio works well for you. Then there is the pour technique to consider, and it’s essential to keep track of every step involved in the process.
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