[RELATED POST: Pour Over Coffee Maker Roundup]
When done right pour over over can change the way you look at coffee forever, it did for me. There was a time when gas station coffee was the best coffee I’d ever had. From time to time when traveling across the country, I’ll occasionally grab a cup of Joe from the Ol’ Buc-ee’s here in Texas (If you’ve never had the joy of going in a Buc-ee, check this link). Buck to answer the question what’s so great about pour over coffee, firstly you need to try it person and secondly, you need to have an affinity for coffee. The reason I require at least two of these points, I’ll use Tea as an example, coffee’s distant (very distant) cousin. I like to drink tea, but I don’t love tea. I can’t appreciate all the things that a cup of tea has to offer, because I don’t have the passion to learn more about tea and look for nuances that would open another world of flavor. Part of me wishes I did, on the other hand, I have enough hobbies. Tea is a drink I’ll have if coffee isn’t available and I just need some slightly flavored water that still tastes like water, but warmer. Hopefully, that analogy will shed some light before we get in the finer reasons why pour over coffee is so great. Let’s get started.
Reason #1: Flavor
I wrote a post previously in regards to the differences between pour over vs. drip method. Without copy and pasting what I wrote in that article, it answers one of the three reasons why pour over coffee is so great, and that is the flavor. A properly made pour over coffee will have full a body, balance and the right amount of sweetness. So much so that you shouldn’t even need to put any sugar or cream in your coffee. I had a very memorable pour over coffee experience while I was in Hawaii years ago when I was given a cup of pour over Kona coffee. At that moment, I felt like I was ‘Red-Pilled’ and never knew what the flavor of coffee should actually be until I took my first few sips of pure Kona pour over coffee, it changed me and I didn’t even know it. That experience was followed by Siphon Gravity Coffee a few months later and got me moving on the path of truth-seeking for a better cup of coffee. The flavor of a good cup of pour over coffee will have all the elements of a great bottle of wine. Most people will taste their first cup of coffee either from an instant package (like me) or maybe from a poorly brewed drip coffee full from a sad dripper in the corner of the office. For a long time that flavor of coffee from an instant package will continue to be their experience until it’s etched in their mind that coffee is supposed to taste bitter, sad, a medium to inject caffeine and worst of all, unloved. When done right, you can taste the earth in which the coffee cherry was picked from before being dried, roasted and ground into your cup. The history of the entire plant is transferred across borders and into your Chemex, happily waiting for you to meet everyone that was involved in getting that majestic nectar of the gods to cover your palate, only to be judged. You see, regardless of which method you choose, coffee is unapologetic, but you must respect it for its flavor. Nay, it demands it.
Reason #2: Coffee The Way It Was Meant to be Enjoyed
The humble coffee bean has likely traveled thousands of miles, endured hundreds of degrees of horrid heat for roasting before it reached your cup. Wouldn’t it be your duty to drink it the way it was meant to be enjoyed? Listen you can enjoy coffee however you wish, drip, french, cowboy style, whatever floats your boat. But pour over coffee method of brewing gives the coffee the respect it deserves, it’s the second reason why pour over coffee is so great. There’s a lot of coffee jargon that gets thrown around, blooming, extraction, C02, and the list goes on, and mostly meaningless & pretentious. In short, people have gotten into fistfights over what method is the best, and have made up all these pour over related keywords along the way, because there’s passion behind paying respect to the coffee. Pour over coffee will extract the right amount of solubles from the ground beans, at the right temperature, to give you that balanced cup of pour over goodness. Coffee was meant to be experienced, experimented, enjoyed and tried in as many different ways as possible, it was roasted to suit your palate and taste requirement, that is the essence of pour over coffee. It gives you that level of control in each and every cup of coffee you make. Want to try a finer grind to see the nuance? Go ahead, pour over coffee won’t lie to you. Want to see what under-extracted coffee taste like? Sure, grind it coarse and see what happens. You see, you can’t really do this with a drip coffee. I mean you could, but there’s no soul behind those plastic pieces that make up the coffee machine. The pour over maker whether you’re into the Hario V60 or the iconic Chemex, it has personality, something you want to have on your kitchen countertop and a talking piece among friends and coffee lovers alike. Nobody ever took a second glance at a damn Mr. Coffee. Pour over coffee, allows you to enjoy the coffee the way it was meant to be experienced.
Reason #3: Simplicity & Lifestyle
Pour over coffee is an automatic entry to a club. Once you buy a Chemex pour over coffee maker, you joined an exclusive club of people that really give a shit about a cup of coffee. That club will help you find that perfect cup, from all over the world, just ask the question. Secondly, pour over coffee is a lifestyle, something to be celebrated when time permits. Pour over may not be your everyday coffee making routine, but when you do make it, it’s because you’re ready for an experience that will take you around the world, far-flung places that you’ve only read in books, not just some cheap caffeine high. Do you want to know what the dirt from Guatemala tastes like? Have a cup of pour over coffee, ground Guatemala beans. The pour over lifestyle lets you taste the dirt from Guatemala. Once you’ve gotten the routine down for making pour over coffee, the simplicity of it & the reward of great-tasting coffee is worth all the effort. At first, it may seem complicated, scales, grams, oz, water ratio, it’s crazy. After your first bag of coffee beans, I promise you, making pour over coffee will be second nature, it’s that simple. I use a scale when I want to experiment, take notes, but if I’m just making a cup, I have the measurements memorized by heart, I just make coffee like I normally would and the flavors are usually on point. Don’t let pour over coffee be a complicated topic, although it can be. There’s a lot of science behind the perfect cup of coffee, but for your daily enjoyment, keep it simple.
Does Pour Over Coffee Taste Better?
Better is subjective and can mean different things to people. But if you compare pour over coffee to instant coffee, it’s way better. If you’re used to gas station coffee, then pour over coffee is miles better. To answer this question bluntly, it’s usually better, yes.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Hopefully, you picked up on the little bit of sarcasm behind this post. We truly do love pour over coffee here in POC & Co., we made an entire website about it after all. But the world of coffee is full of pretentious coffee shops and rigid nonsensical rules about coffee, we figured we’d have a little bit of fun on this one. If you’re ready to get started with your pour over coffee journey check out this post on Complete Beginners Guide to Pour Over Coffee. I hope you enjoyed this post, let us know your first pour over experience below, we’d love to hear it.
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