Before the Flavia or Keurig machine crushes your soul from the sad tasting single-serve cup of coffee, here are ideas on how to make great tasting pour-over coffee at work. My method of making pour-over coffee requires a little bit of work at home, but your coffee will be ready to brew by the time you get to work. Yes, it requires a little more effort than pushing the brew button, but the end result is worth it.
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Which Pour Over Is the Best For An Office Desk?
If you want to make pour-over coffee at your desk you’re going to be limited for space (or you can make it in the break room), a smaller 3-6 cup pour-over coffee maker would be ideal. You can certainly go for the full 8-10 cup pour-over makers if you have the space. Here are three compact pour-over coffee makers I recommend:
Hario V60 Pour Over Kit
The Hario V60 kit is the most versatile pour-over coffee maker on this list. The only thing you really need is the V60 dripper and a filter. The V60 dripper will sit on top of any container or vessel for your coffee as long as it fits. The link above will take you to the Hario V60 Pour Over kit which comes with a measured carafe, but you can certainly purchase the dripper by itself and make great pour-over coffee right at your desk.
Chemex 3-Cup Pour Over
It’s the little brother to the legendary Chemex pour-over coffee maker, this one makes 3 x 5-ounce cups. A typical mug in the U.S. usually measures around 8-12, so you can guess this makes roughly 1.5 mugs of coffee depending on the size mug you use, definitely single serve. The size of the 3-cup Chemex pour-over coffee maker makes it perfect for making pour-over coffee at work, and the Chemex can be easily stored after each use. One bit downside of the Chemex 3-cup and the Hario V60 is the fact that you’ll have to deal with paper filters. For me when I made pour-over coffee at work, paper filters were actually great since I didn’t have to much clean up.
Bodum Pour Over 17 Ounce
Similar in size as the Chemex, this 3-cup pour-over coffee maker is compact and fits nicely in limited spaces. The Bodum is a great pour-over coffee maker and comes with a metal mesh filter and it’s the most budget-friendly pour-over coffee maker on the list. If you don’t want to deal with coffee filters at work, then this pour-over coffee maker is for you.
What About Coffee Beans?
Most workplaces won’t have a grinder, but if you have one at home, just pre-grind your good coffee and store it in a bag or a container, then take it to work. Grind enough to last you 1 week at the office and it won’t be such a hassle to pull off every morning. Weigh all your beans ahead of time, unless you have a scale at work.
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Pre grind your beans every morning before leaving for work and put it in an airtight container, this is critical. Leaving ground coffee out will accelerate the degradation process. A freezer bag will work perfectly if you intend to drink all the ground coffee that day. But you can also grind coffee beans for an entire week using an Airtight C02 container. This will keep your ground coffee fresh longer. Like anything perishable, coffee has a shelf life, but you can certainly extend that with good planning.
If you don’t want to grind your beans, check out this list of pre-ground coffee that you might like. I’ve picked Single-Origin coffee specifically, I’ve tried them all. A good medium grind is essential for a good pour-over coffee. I recommend you to try these ones:
If you don’t have a scale at wor, which you probably won’t, I suggest starting with 5-6 scoops of coffee for each cup of coffee you want to make. After a couple of tries, you’ll get the correct ratio, it just depends on your preference and taste. But if you’re bringing ground coffee from your house, weigh them out as previously suggested and put them in them individually in those small sandwich bags so they ready to use in the correct ratio.
Pour Over Coffee without Gooseneck
Gooseneck electric kettles are nice to have, but not mandatory for making pour-over coffee. I would argue the water temperature is the most important aspect of the kettle, having the gooseneck just gives you more control when pouring the hot water. Don’t get me wrong, pour rate is important, too fast you’ll end up with weak coffee, and if it’s too slow you’ll dissolve too much unwanted solubles and end up with a bitter-tasting coffee.
My best advice if you don’t have a gooseneck kettle is to time your coffee brew instead. In general, you’ll want to brew your pour-over coffee for about 4:00 minutes.
Firstly, measure out 16 ounces of hot water (which is about 2 US cups) and slowly pour all the water into your pour-over maker at a rate of 4 ounces a minute. Just estimate the amount of water you have to adjust accordingly. This is easier than you might think once you have a good idea of what 16 ounces of water looks like. Another good way to measure is by using a standard coffee mug, they are usually between 8-12 ounces. If you filled a 12-ounce mug with water 1.5 times, that’s pretty close.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of having to bring all that coffee gear to your workspace, I did it for years and honestly, most people didn’t even notice or if they did, it was a great conversation piece and I even converted a couple of people in the office to the pour-over coffee lifestyle. If you’re already into pour-over coffee and looking for tips & tricks how to make it happen at work, hopefully, this article has helped you.