The journey gets more serious? ….starting to discover pour-over coffee!

Hario Buono, and V60 Ceramic Dripper from Artistry Coffee

So for many of us coffee is a part of our life whether we think about it or not!

The question do you want a coffee has probably already been said to you or by you today, even if only in your mind to yourself!

However, to start to pay more attention to what your cup of coffee contains can be the beginnings of a journey that gradually increases in intensity.

There was a point when – rather than using drip-filter by accident (i.e. without realising) or french press because it sat there (thinking it was just a cafetiere: which of course it is!) – the idea of hand-brewing coffee became more than a means to an end, it became an enjoyment in itself!

This started with a V60 Ceramic pour-over: a cup-like thing with a conical shape and a hole in the bottom. You place a filter paper within it then add ground coffee and pour hot water over the coffee which then drips through to a mug sitting below.

This is a slow coffee making process to savour: not perhaps the best method to use if you’re in a rush!

But this is where a real enjoyment in coffee making started for me and my wife. The process of thinking about the coffee and what it was doing as you were making it became interesting, and the time taken in the pour-over coffee making started to be a relaxing routine.

Starting with the same ground coffee we were using from the supermarket, we enjoyed “blooming” the coffee by pouring a small amount of hot water for about 15 seconds to let the Coffee grounds swell; then pouring hot water gradually over the coffee for another 2 to 3 minutes whilst seeing gasses from the coffee bubble up a little.

Hario V60 Pour-Over Coffee Maker available from Artistry Coffee
A V60 Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Pour-Over Coffee Making Equipment available from Artistry Coffee
Making Pour-Over Coffee

The aroma from the coffee when making it, as the coffee interacts with the hot water and then drips though, adds to the pleasure – and this is heightened because of the slow process of the pour-over coffee making. We found that the coffee was much more pleasurable as black coffee than we had ever experienced before: which then took us to a new place in coffee appreciation.

Discovering pour-over coffee making was a great find, and we recommend it to all – when you have time to savour the process!

Gradually Piecing Coffee Learning Together…..

Coffee Making with Artistry

Through accident, experiment, and impediment it’s possible to gradually realise that there are better ways to make better coffee.

Realising not to pour on absolutely boiling water, realising that there are a wide variety of coffees available, realising that there are ways to become more consistent or methodical in your approach to coffee making, and that there is a choice of many ways of making coffee.

Piecing all this together brings an awareness that coffee making can be a bit of an art that you can enjoy for itself aswell as for the caffeine kick!

In fact each part can be made into a bit of an art. There’s the choosing of the coffee to buy, the decision about which way (brew method) to make your coffee, the process itself including the grinding of the beans, the pouring of the water, the timing of the process, and the method of delivery (which can be experimented with and varied to produce discernible, and perhaps sometimes not so discernible results), and of course the sitting down and savouring the result.

Basically you can take your coffee making as seriously as you want. If you know what you like and you know how to make it and don’t want to think any further than that, then fair enough. But if you want to you can explore the coffee and the coffee making process and even turn it into a new hobby! You can explore different tastes and simply enjoy learning the various processes that can be applied to the coffee to vary the flavour.

At Artistry Coffee we became fascinated by the old and new techniques that there are to create hand-brewed coffee: and have enjoyed exploring and collecting together some great products to make coffee with.

My main basic learning came about in the last decade through blundering around with various cafetieres and a simple one-cup drip filter maker. Gradually coming to some of the realisations above.

In the last couple of years I have:
– discovered the art of the pour-over method and greatly enjoyed taking time over the process of pouring and making the coffee
– discovered hand grinding, and explored various grind settings that affect the interaction of the water and the coffee grounds.
– and discovered that there really is so much to explore about coffee making. We have favoured exploring hand brewing options rather than anything with machines: as for us it feels closer to the coffee.
Experiencing the AeroPress coffee maker as a way to quickly make a cup of coffee that packs a punch was great, and it still remains a favourite.
As well as the ease and simplicity, and yes cleverness, of the Clever Dripper which has an innovative valve shut-off system to help serve the coffee.

I don’t think you ever end the learning about coffee beans and the growing methods though.

Enjoy making coffee, whether in straightforward ‘just get me the caffeine’ mode, or in ‘fascinated, artistic, exploration’ mode.

So the coffee discovery takes off…..

Learning to use ground coffee

At the start of what was the real coffee journey – somewhere between my brother moving from London to Seattle (10 years ago) and now – was the awareness of the difference in the taste and quality of filter coffee vs instant. It seems like such a basic discovery, but it’s a fairly key step!

Once you have some quite different reference points there will start to be comparisons in your head – an appreciation that some coffee is far better than others. It’s not just about a strong/weak scale depending on whether someone has put half a teaspoonful of granuals or a heaped one into a cup.

Having had the instant coffee starting point – I think there’s an even greater appreciation of the variation in coffee experiences that can be available.

For long enough my experience was to have the occasional treat of buying a packet of ground coffee at the supermarket to enjoy on Saturday or Sunday when there was more time to savour. I do wonder now though just how long the coffee takes to get to the supermarket shelves, how long it stays there, and just how old it is generally by the time it gets consumed.

However, making ‘real’ coffee from grounds is a good step to take in pushing along the rewarding journey of discovering coffee.