The Top Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Pour Over

If you're a coffee enthusiast, then you're probably familiar with pour over coffee. It's a popular brewing method that involves slowly pouring hot water over ground coffee, allowing for a more nuanced and flavorful cup. However, despite its apparent simplicity, there are a few mistakes that many people make when making pour over coffee that can result in a subpar cup. In this article, we'll go over the top mistakes to avoid when making a pour over.

Not Using Freshly Roasted Beans

One of the most common mistakes people make when brewing pour over coffee is using stale or old beans. Coffee beans are at their optimal flavor profile within two weeks of their roast date, after which they start to lose flavor. It's essential to use freshly roasted beans to achieve a flavorful and rich cup of coffee. Investing in a good coffee grinder and buying whole beans can make all the difference in improving the quality of your pour over coffee.

Using the Wrong Grind Size

Another common mistake is using the wrong grind size. The grind size depends on the type of coffee filter you're using and the brewing method. Usually, a medium to fine grind size is ideal for most pour over methods. If the coffee is too finely ground, it can clog the filter, resulting in a slow flow of water, and if it's too coarse, the water will pass through too quickly, resulting in a weak and under-extracted coffee.

Not Preheating the Equipment

Before starting to brew your coffee, it's essential to preheat your equipment, including the brewer and the mug. When you preheat the equipment, it helps to maintain the ideal brewing temperature, and the coffee will extract more evenly, resulting in a better-tasting cup. To preheat the equipment, you can pour some hot water into the brewer and mug and let it sit for a few minutes before discarding the water.

Using the Wrong Temperature Water

The water temperature plays a crucial role in the brewing process. Using water that's too hot can result in over-extraction of the coffee, making it bitter, while using water that's too cold can result in under-extraction, leading to a weak-tasting cup. The ideal water temperature for brewing pour over coffee is between 195-205°F (90-96°C). You can use a thermometer or a kettle with a built-in temperature gauge to ensure that the water is within the right temperature range.

Pouring Water Too Quickly or Slowly

Another common mistake is pouring the water too quickly or slowly. A slow and steady pour ensures that the coffee grounds are evenly saturated, allowing for a better extraction. Pouring water too fast can cause the coffee to become over-extracted, while pouring too slowly can lead to under-extraction, ultimately affecting the strength and flavor of your coffee. It's essential to keep a steady and consistent pace when pouring the water over the coffee grounds.

Neglecting the Bloom

When making pour over coffee, it's essential to let the coffee bloom before continuing with the brewing process. Blooming involves pouring a small amount of hot water over the coffee grounds and letting it sit for 30-45 seconds. This allows the coffee to release any trapped gas, which can negatively affect the flavor of the coffee. Neglecting to let the coffee bloom can result in a flat and flavorless cup of coffee.

Over Stirring the Coffee

Many people believe that stirring the coffee during the brewing process helps to achieve a better extraction. However, over-stirring the coffee can cause the coffee to become over-extracted, resulting in a bitter and unpleasant taste. Instead, gently stir the coffee once or twice after the initial pour to ensure that all the coffee grounds are saturated evenly.


In conclusion, making pour over coffee is a delicate process that requires attention to detail and precision. Avoiding these top mistakes can help achieve a perfect and flavorful cup of coffee. Using freshly roasted beans, the right grind size, preheated equipment, the correct water temperature, a steady pour, proper blooming, and gentle stirring can all lead to a fantastic cup of pour over coffee.