I called it "March pour-over" because it's the month of March, it's based on a recipe from Coffee with April, and calling it "best pour-over" is boring.
Every morning I make pour-over coffee. Having a home pour-over setup is worth it if you, like me, work from home and enjoy DIY coffee. A good coffee recipe for me should be as simple as humanly possible. A simple recipe is easy to repeat (which also means easy to dial-in), easy to scale, and easy for a tired person to do. Historically, I've used James Hoffmann's ultimate V60 technique. Hoffmann's recipe isn't simple, but it makes tasty coffee.
I recently tried a new technique from Coffee with April that impressed me a lot. The "April" recipe is simple. It also makes tastier coffee than Hoffmann's technique (in my opinion). Naturally, the April recipe supplanted Hoffmann's recipe as my morning coffee go-to.
However, the April recipe only makes 200g of coffee as originally prescribed. 200g is a reasonable (if small-ish) portion for one person, but I brew for two people and prefer not to use two filters if I don't have to. So, I decided to double the recipe and make 400g of coffee.
Scaling and a happy accident
The April recipe is simple: 4 pours of 50g of water, 30 seconds apart. Initially, two scaling strategies made sense:
- Water ×2 and coffee ×2
- Water ×2 and coffee ×2 and timing ×2
I tried both strategies. Neither yielded coffee as tasty or balanced as the original recipe for 200g, even after adjusting my grind settings.
This morning, I decided to make another batch of coffee using scaling strategy #2 (double water, coffee, and timing). I accidentally began my second pour at
1:30 instead of
2:00. This turned out to be a brilliant accident.
As soon as the water finished drawing down through the coffee bed, I lifted the filter out of the brewer and the aroma began escaping the carafe. It was strikingly good. Normally, the tasting notes on the coffee bag elude me. This time, they were obvious. My wife even smelled it from the next room and called over, "that smells great". The taste was as delightful as the smell.
I won't call this an original recipe since it's 90% the same as the April technique. However, it deviates enough that I think it's worth mentioning, and I'm making the best pour-over coffee I've ever made with it.
- Hario V60 brewer
- stopwatch / chronograph
- hot water kettle
- quality coffee (I used Bella Donovan from Blue Bottle Coffee)
medium-fine ground coffee
~17on my Baratza Encore (approximately a "standard" V60 grind setting, if not a bit coarser... YMMV)
- heat water to
- begin with a flat coffee bed (no "well")
The recipe consists of 4 pours of 100g of water. Each pour should be done rather slowly, in steady, concentric spirals. Each pour should take about 15-20 seconds to complete. The steps are as follows:
0:00 pour 100g of water 1:00 pour 100g of water 1:30 pour 100g of water 2:00 pour 100g of water and then immediately give the brewer a light swirl and let it "tap" as you set it back down 3:00 coffee should finish draining through the bed
This recipe can be scaled down to
200g by simply halving the coffee, halving the volume of each pour, and leaving everything else the same. I tested it out and found the results comparable, and still tastier (in my opinion) than the original April recipe.
Update: After trying this technique with Blue Bottle's Giant Steps blend (a slightly "darker" roast) I discovered that slower pours and a slightly coarser grind than normal are the "sweet spot" for this technique. I'll be trying Three Africas next, so more insights may come after dialing that "lighter" roast in and comparing my results.
Are longer blooms better? Is no-bloom misguided? I don't know; my coffee tastes good.
I'm not a pro at coffee, and I struggle to justify why a 1 minute bloom results in tastier or more aromatic coffee than the standard 30 seconds. My experience here runs counter to prevailing wisdom on the matter (AKA, what I've heard from YouTube baristas).
Please try it. If you have anything to say about it (or coffee insights in general), don't hesitate to email me.