ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: Pour-over coffee has its perks

The quest for the perfect cup of coffee may never end. And thank goodness, as it means many cups can be enjoyed as part of the journey.

One perfect cup at a time is a trend we see in coffee shops. There are several ways to prepare that perfect cup, from a simple pour-over to an elaborate espresso machine. In this column, we are going to look at the simple pour-over and the options available.

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To brew the perfect coffee, you have to start with the water and the bean. How you prepare your coffee dictates the grind of the bean. For a pour-over coffee, the grind is similar to a drip preparation, a medium grind. Too coarse and you lose flavour, but too fine and the water can’t permeate properly. The ratio of coffee grinds to water is also part of the formula for success and is a personal preference for how strong you like your java. The water temperature is important, as you need to release the aromatic oils to get that flavour without burning the grinds.

Next is the equipment. For a pour-over coffee, you need a filter, a cone and a kettle, plus your favourite mug. Ideally you know how much coffee you need to spoon into the filter (you can weigh it and then find a measuring spoon that holds that amount to make it easier to repeat the brew). The options for the cone include a ceramic cone, a plastic cone, a plastic cone with a water reservoir, a glass cone and a glass cone with a beaker. All are designed to brew one cup, with the exception of the glass cone/beaker combination, which is for two cups.

The kettle might be the most important part of the process after choosing and measuring your coffee. A proper pour-over coffee requires a specially designed kettle. The kettle has a long, skinny spout, which saturates the coffee in a small, steady and hot stream. According to world champion coffee brewer Odd-Steinar Tollefsen, who won the 2015 World Brewers Cup, the entire brewing time should be five minutes or less. The World Brewers Cup is like the Olympics for coffee brewers. It’s a big deal to win and competitors are not allowed to use mechanical or electrically powered devices for the brew. Odd-Steinar Tollefsen won using a cone filter and a pour-over kettle. The longer extraction time gives a less bitter finish.

The nice thing about brewing coffee this way is that you can do it anywhere — camping, the office or your kitchen — as all you need is a kettle, cone, filter and coffee (and a good mug). If you are serious about that perfect cup, start with a scale to measure your coffee to water ratio. And then sit and sip.

Did you know?Paper coffee filters were invented in Germany in 1908 by Melitta Bentz.

Absolutely Fabulous at Home in New Minas is where you go to find the things you didn’t know you needed. The Valley’s own kitchen, bath, bed, decor and DIY store is Absolutely Fabulous. Cathy Reid owns it, lives it, loves it.


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