Pour-over coffee recipe for klutzes
The Hario V60 Japanese cone dripper makes wonderful coffee and is environmentally sound, but it requires more effort and attention to detail than other coffee making techniques. The unique aspect of the V60 that most distinguishes it from other filter drip systems is the large opening at the bottom of the cone. If you try to use the V60 like any other dripper, your boiled water will rush through quickly delivering extremely under-extracted, sour and weak coffee. When you search for V60 hints on the net you will find scores of how-to’s often insisting on very specific and curious details. Many of them seem downright ritualistic!
This is my relatively straight-forward and reliable method, ideal for distracted and klutzy folks like myself. As described, it makes a single 8 ounce cup of coffee. Do some easy arithmetic for other quantities.
Required ingredients and tools
- 16 grams of coffee (I grind fresh from whole roasted beans, but pre-ground is fine too)
- 8 ounce coffee cup
- V60 02 Hario cone dripper
- V60 filter paper (I recommend white bleached)
- digital kitchen scale (preferably accurate to 1/10th grams)
- kettle (preferably gooseneck, but regular spout will work)
- fresh filtered soft water (not distilled or reverse osmosis)
- small spoon (eg: teaspoon size)
- timer (helpful to time the initial “bloom phase” and judge the overall drawdown time)
- burr grinder. Otherwise purchase medium or medium-fine pre-ground coffee
- something to give the grinder some thumps to shake all the grind out
In this recipe we are using a coffee-to-water mix of 62 grams/litre (a ratio of about 1:16). You are free to adjust the coffee weight — and so the ratio — to suit your own tastes for a stronger or weaker brew, or to suit the specific bean.
It will take you around seven minutes to make this coffee, from an empty counter to a full cup. Cleanup is trivial: wash the cone in dish soap and water, let it drip-dry and put it away.
Start with water
Fill your kettle with 500 millilitres of cold fresh filtered water and put it on. While you are waiting for it to boil …
If you are using pre-ground, skip ahead to “Prepare the cup and filter.”
I recommend keeping the burr grinder hopper empty and grinding only the pre-weighed beans you need for each brew.
You can adjust grind coarseness to suit your taste. Finer will make the coffee stronger and less acidic, but with the risk of becoming astringent if you set it too fine.
- set grinder to slightly finer than medium (this is the middle dot on the Bodum Bistro burr grinder that I use).
- put grinder beaker on the scale and zero (tare) it.
- weigh beans into beaker.
- optional, but I recommend: add a single drop of water and stir thoroughly — this reduces “static cling”
- pour beans into grinder hopper and replace beaker back into the grinder.
- run grinder until it has processed all the beans. Give it a few good thumps with a rubber utensil to shake all the grind out.
Prepare the cup and filter
- fold over crimped edge of V60 paper filter, gently give it a conical shape and drop it into the V60 dripper cone.
- rinse the cone/filter for 15 seconds under a light stream of very hot tap water.
- place cone and filter on cup, place onto the scale and zero (tare) the scale.
When the kettle boils …
- pour 100 grams of just boiled water using a circular motion over the paper filter in the cone to clean the paper of any last loose fibres and to pre-heat the cone.
- drain the cup and replace it and the cone back onto the scale.
- pour the ground coffee into the filter and tap the cone to level the coffee.
- zero (tare) the scale.
The Pouring and draw-down steps
The bloom pour
- start the up timer.
- gently pour about 30–40 grams of hot water from the kettle onto the grounds using a spiralling motion to completely cover them (watch the scale).
- try to cover all the grounds and use a little extra water only if necessary. You could stir any uncovered coffee, but I’m not that fussy.
- wait for the timer to reach 45 seconds.
This is called the “bloom pour” because the ground coffee out-gasses carbon dioxide (CO2) forming a bloom of tiny bubbles. This effect varies by coffee bean, with darker roasts like Brazilian foaming up quite dramatically while lighter roasts may fizz only a little. By waiting for the coffee to give up this gas it will extract more completely during the next two pours and reward you with a fuller body and richer flavour.
At 45 seconds on the timer: first pour
- holding the spoon with its bowl just above the grounds bed pour water over the spoon until the bed is partially submerged.
- remove the spoon and continue pouring water in a gentle stream over the grounds using a spiralling motion until the scale reads about 130 grams.
- now simply wait for all the water to drain through the coffee bed and out of the cone before starting the next pour.
After the water has drained out: second pour
- again holding the spoon with its bowl just above the grounds bed pour water over the spoon until the bed is partially submerged.
- remove the spoon and continue pouring water in a gentle stream over the grounds using a spiralling motion until the scale reads 260 grams, the target weight. Try to not exceed the target, and it’s generally better to be a bit under. But don’t panic if you go a few grams over; it will be okay.
- give the water a light stir with the spoon. I suggest stirring once in one direction, then the other. Do not stir the coffee bed!
- now simply wait for all the water to drain through the coffee bed and out of the cone before removing it.
When that water all drains out: done!
After all the water from the second pour drains out of the filter into your cup, lift off the cone and discard the filter and grounds in the organics recycling bin.
The total pouring and draw-down process should take about two to three minutes on the timer, give or take. The time is affected by the specific beans and the grind. Have a look at the filter: ideally the grounds bed is flat with very few grounds on the filter walls.
Let the coffee cool for a few minutes in the cup until it’s at the appropriate drinking temperature.