Our Recommended Pour-Over Brew Gear
As you embark on your voyage into pour-over coffee brewing it is easy to feel lost amidst a sea of products which insist they will make your pour-over better, faster, or easier. But what do you really need to navigate to a delicious pour-over coffee? Actually, not that much. You will need a grinder, a scale, a kettle, a pour-over brewer, and, of course, coffee. In this short article, I will provide you with an explanation of the desirable features of each component of a pour-over setup and then make a specific product recommendation. Are ya ready folks?
Let’s begin with the most important part of any coffee brewing setup, the grinder. The highest priority feature of any grinder is the uniformity of the particle sizes it produces, the grind consistency. Too much variance in grind consistency leads to an uneven extraction, often resulting in a bitter cup. Grinders can easily cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but I recommend starting with a relatively inexpensive electric grinder like the Batatza Encore ($169.95) which will perform sufficiently well while you begin exploring pour-over brewing. However, if you want to jump right into deep water, the Comandante C40 MK4 hand-grinder ($309) is my personal favorite, has been used by top competitors at the World Brewer’s Cup, and will outperform nearly every grinder in its price range at the cost of a little elbow grease (about 90 rotations for a 20g dose). Remember, no piece of equipment will affect your final cup more than the grinder!
Another important piece of kit for any pour-over setup is a digital scale. A scale with at least 1-gram increments will allow you to accurately control your dose of coffee and make precise pours during brewing. Other features worth considering include total capacity and response time. A higher capacity will provide flexibility when using the scale for other kitchen purposes, such as baking, and a quick response time will make pouring accurately much easier. If you already have a kitchen scale at home, it is likely sufficient for making pour-overs. Otherwise, a budget option would be the Escali Primo ($34.99) or, for only slightly more, the Escali Versi ($43.96) features 0.1g increments, 6.6lbs capacity, and a fast response time; not to mention it looks great!
Next, you will need a kettle, specifically, a gooseneck kettle to make pouring gently and accurately as easy as possible. Kettles, available as either a stovetop or electric version, are effectively the same from all manufacturers. With its recognizable beehive shape, the Hario Buono ($45) is a great stovetop kettle from a reputable manufacturer. However, choosing an electric kettle with variable temperature control will allow you to hold water at a selected temperature as opposed to boiling it outright. As coffee is often best brewed at 205F this feature alleviates the need for a separate thermometer and waiting for water to cool. A stovetop kettle can be had for around $50, an electric kettle for around $75, or an electric variable temperature control kettle for around $150. For my setup, I chose the Fellow Stagg EKG ($165) variable control kettle for its functionality, slower pour rate, and modern aesthetic.
Alright, we are almost there! Let’s pick a brewer. I often speak to people who witnessed a friend brewing in a Chemex ($42.50) and were taken with its elegant shape and stylish wood collar. Personally, I prefer the Hario V60-02 ($8.90) in plastic for its thermal qualities and classic design. Nearly every available brewer can make beautiful coffee so you can’t really go wrong. And, Hey! Don’t forget to get some filters. The manufacturers recommended filters will be a good choice.
Last, but not least, you can’t make delicious coffee without craft roasted beans. Provision yourself with the best by checking us out at drivencoffee.com for a curated selection of specialty coffees. I recommend the Ethiopian Kayon Guji for its strawberry and jasmine flavor notes or sample the toffee and chocolate richness of a micro-lot from Costa Rican farmer Jhonnathan Camacho. At Driven Coffee, we have something to suit every preference and we are constantly working to introduce new and exciting coffees to our line-up.
That’s it! With these recommendations, you are ready to begin exploring the captivating world of pour-over coffee. No toe-testing timidity for you!
Now go forth and make delicious coffee!