Hello fellow coffee lovers!
It’s time we talked about achieving the perfect brew wherever your next adventure might be taking you. While it might seem complicated at first, brewing pour-over style will yield a fantastic cup of coffee. As an added bonus you’ll get your daily mindfulness session in at the same time, pour-over brewing is as meditative as it can get.
So let’s get started on this coffee brewing journey!
Step 1: Find a place to brew that has view
Not on a trip today? Don’t worry, these instructions will also work very well in your kitchen, sailboat or in your van.
Step 2: Heat water to ~200ºF (95ºC)
Time to heat up the water so it can get to brewing temperature while preparing everything else. Use filtered water if possible, it yields the best possible taste, but tap water also works. The sweet spot for brewing will sit around 195 - 205ºF (90 - 95ºC), so we went ahead and marked that temperature for you on our Ariq kettle.
Heat up around 16floz (~500ml) of water if you are brewing for a single person. Double that for 2 people.
Step 3: Grind them beans!
For pour-over brewing you’ll need a medium coarse grind. The best possible way is buying whole beans and then grinding them with an electric grinder or a hand grinder fresh for every brew. You can also ask for the right grind at your local roaster when buying coffee. Just be sure to mention that you want to do a pour-over brew.
You will achieve the best possible result if the coffee is ground as even as possible, so we recommend investing in a higher quality grinder.
If you are brewing on the go and don’t want to lug too much gear around, just grind the beans before you head off on the trip.
Step 4: Preparing the dripper and filter
The water should sit at the right temperature now. Be sure to give your dripper a quick rinse with hot water. This is especially important if you are using a paper filter as it will wash out any papery taste. Dump that water afterwards.
If you are using the Ulpu brewer you can decide if you want to use the metal filter it comes with or just set another dripper on top of the brewing vessel.
Now that everything is prepped it’s time to put the coffee grounds inside the filter. To make it easy, we recommend ⅛ cup of coffee grounds for every cup of coffee you want to brew. This is really up to your own taste and you should experiment with this to find the right coffee to water ratio.
If you want to geek out on this. You can use a scale and be super precise. We recommend around 20g of coffee for every 300ml (10floz) of water. The quality of coffee matters here. With single origin beans you will need less beans, if you are using a blend you’ll need a bit more. Again we recommend experimenting to find your preferred ratio.
Step 5: Blooming the coffee
Instead of just pouring everything at once, we will do a two step process here. This first step is called blooming and is crucial to get the best possible flavor out of your brew.
During the bloom carbon dioxide is released from the coffee grounds that can give a sour taste if this step is skipped. Apart from that, watching the grounds bloom is a magical moment on your coffee brewing journey that you don’t want to miss!
Make a little well in the middle of your grounds with your finger.
Then simply pour water over the ground to make them wet. If you are using a scale aim for 2g of water for every 1g of grounds you used in that brew. You will notice the grounds bubbling up and increasing in size, that's the bloom folks. Enjoy the smell, it’s a first taste of what’s to come in this brew.
Give it around 30 seconds until you start with the next step.
Step 6: The pour
It’s time, the moment you have been waiting for, the actual pour is coming up next. But first, make sure you have a way to measure the amount of water that you are pouring over the grounds. That can be done in several different ways.
The most popular is probably the scale. But you can also use a vessel (like our Ulpu) that has written measurements on the side, be sure to keep in mind that some water will sit in the filter, slowly continuing to flow through it after you stopped pouring fresh water on top. So if you are aiming for a 300ml cup, stop at 200-250ml with the pouring (with bigger filters, that might be even earlier, if you are brewing 2 cups with a Hario V60 #02, there will be around 150ml of water left in the filter after you stop pouring).
You can also prep a simple mason jar. Just measure out the water beforehand with a measuring cup, put it in the jar, then make a little line with a sharpie on the side of the mason jar so you know when to stop pouring.
Okay, now that this is out of the way let’s begin the pour. The aim is to keep a constant flow rate over the grounds. Start in the middle of the coffee grounds and move outwards in a slow circular pattern.
Once you reach the edge just go inwards again. Continue this until you have reached the desired amount of water. If you fill the filter up to the brim, don’t worry, just stop the pour for a few seconds until the water has gone down a bit and then start pouring again.
When the water has all flowed through the filter. Remove the dripper and give the coffee a good stir.
Step 7: Enjoy!
That’s it, you made it all the way through. Enjoy your very own freshly brewed cup of coffee and get inspired for your next adventure
Step 8: Leave no trace!
When you leave make sure to take all of your equipment and leftovers with you so the next adventurer can enjoy your location to the fullest.