Pour Over Coffee is My Secret to Getting the Perfect Morning Brew!

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Wondering how to make pour over coffee? This is my favorite method!

chemex and kettle on counter

Nothing motivates me in the morning like a fresh cup of coffee ☕️

I love coffee – like LOVEEEE coffee. I drink it from the moment I wake up until about 4 hours before I go to sleep. It just makes everything better. I don’t even finish my cup some of the time, I just get comfort knowing it’s there–especially since I discovered the magic that is pour over coffee.

chemex pour over coffee maker and cup on counter

One of the things I love about coffee is that I make a mean cup of it. I’m pretty picky about my brew so I haven’t used a traditional auto-drip coffee maker in years. I’ll admit, I get caught up in the latest brewing fads. I’ve gone from a French press, to a Melita cone, to now my beloved Chemex. 😅

I did SO much research about pour-over coffee when I first came across the Chemex. I loved the design of the glass carafe, the simple paper filter sheets for the top, and the wooden handle was so unique… but would it really produce coffee as great as it claimed? Well, let me be the thousandth person to say (since this is by no means a new product) that it makes an AMAZING cup of coffee.

bag of coffee and chemex pour over coffee maker

You may be asking, “But Emily, isn’t this just you getting sucked into the hype of yet another fancy method of coffee brewing?”

I’ll be honest… I was actually ready to be underwhelmed by its capabilities. I mean, coffee is coffee, right? WRONG! I need you to trust me on this – as someone who drinks 3 to 4 cups of coffee a day, there IS a difference. Believe the hype. 🙌

How to make pour-over coffee:

  1. Start by boiling water in a kettle, gooseneck style is preferred but not necessary.
  2. Grind coffee beans to a medium/fine grind (or buy already ground coffee), and add to a paper or reusable filter in the Chemex maker. Use 1 tablespoon for every 6 oz. of water.
  3. Once the water is finished boiling, slowly pour water over the coffee grinds, just enough to saturate. Wait 1 minute.
  4. Pour water over coffee grinds again in a slow, steady stream, completely filling the top of the Chemex maker, but not letting the water overflow.
  5. Continue pouring water in as the coffee brews and filters into the lower portion of the Chemex maker until all water is used.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

woman holding coffee grinder

I’ve even learned a few awesome tips for getting the best brew possible and saving some extra $$:

  • For starters, pour-over coffee is stronger. So much so that after my first time using it, I wasn’t sure if I even liked the coffee it produced because it was that strong compared to the coffee I was used to. But after adjusting the number of scoops, I got the flavor just right, and now I use fewer grounds. That adds up to some major savings over time!
  • Not only does it use fewer grounds, but it also doesn’t require a special grind. All it takes is a medium grind, which is how most pre-ground coffee comes, so you’re not limited to what’s available in whole beans at the store. That means more flavors, more brands, more opportunities for it to be on sale—and more opportunities for you to save some cash! I will say though, most of the time I still buy whole beans and grind them fresh at home. What can I say, I have a strong coffee game. 😎
  • Be sure to use water that’s just under boiling. This one can make all the difference when it comes to the taste of pour-over coffee. 202-206 degrees Fahrenheit is the sweet spot—anything hotter might extract too much from the beans too early and leave your brew tasting a little more bitter than you’d like.

chemex with filter on counter

But my all-time favorite part of this brewer? It’s STUNNING!

It looks like an art piece in the kitchen! People are so blown away by this artistic brewing sculpture on my counter that it fools them into thinking my solid surface countertops are real quartz!!! Just kidding, it definitely doesn’t do that. 🤣 But seriously, the Chemex is so intriguing with the hourglass shape and the tied wooden handle that I love to showcase it at all times.

coffee set on counter

So pour-over coffee is seemingly perfect, right?

As much as I’d love to keep gushing about it, I’ll get to the part that some may think is a major downfall of this system – the process is a bit more labor-intensive than your standard coffee maker. It requires you to pour the hot water over very slowly, with multiple stops in between pours.

But to me, it’s a labor of love and I truly enjoy the process. It’s my zen moment in the morning when I’m not checking my phone (partially because I don’t have a free hand), and the scent when the first pour hits the grounds is pure nirvana.  

chemex pour over coffee maker and kettle on counter

Luckily, this fancy brew doesn’t have to cost a fortune!

I got my 8-cup Chemex when it was on sale for just under $23 (it was a HOT deal since it retails for around $49), the filters are normally about $15, and I bought an electric gooseneck kettle for around $39 (I bought my black one a while ago and unfortunately can’t find the exact link!).

A gooseneck kettle isn’t completely necessary, but this style is very helpful in the slow pouring process.

woman pouring coffee into mug

Pour-over coffee has become my go-to method of enjoying a cup of joe in the morning, but just be warned: once you try the Chemex coffee maker, you won’t be able to go back to regular drip!

Do you take your coffee on the go? Check out our favorite insulated mugs!

About the writer:

Emily obtained her Bachelor's degrees from Clarkson University with 5 years of content writing experience specializing in health, beauty, fashion, home, & living frugally.

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Comments 20

  1. Elizabeth

    My husband and I only drink pour over coffee, it really is the best! πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ» We actually have a pour over that has a reusable filter (it’s screen/mesh material) so we’re not having to buy filters all the time **insert happy money saving dance** πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ’ƒ. But it really is the best kind of coffee and fun to watch ☺️

  2. Su

    I really want to drink black coffee, but it’s too bitter. Does this method cut the bitterness?

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Su! I personally think it does, and have had non-black-coffee-drinkers agree whenever I’ve made them a cup and asked them to try before adding anything to it. I’ve been drinking my coffee black for years and think pour over coffee is much smoother, less acidic, and not as bitter as a brew from a traditional drip maker. I think there’s also something to be said about using freshly ground coffee to reduce bitterness, so I wouldn’t skimp out there either. Hope that helps!

    • Kait

      I highly recommend light roasts to enjoy black coffee. Avoid dark roasts if you think black coffee is too bitter, that could be your issue!

  3. Kelly

    I’ve been making my coffee this way for years. I have a pour over that is like the chemex these days. Started with what was basically a mug with a hole in the bottom from Starbucks years ago. Anyway, yes best way to make coffee at home for sure. I bring it when out of town. Only way to go! I have also tried french press but rather pour over πŸ’―

  4. Ddddavid

    My cofffee must be very strong but not bitter so I’ve used this method for as long as I can remember. I use 100 for $3 disposable cone coffee filters and a $5 holder that fits over my cup for one cup at a time brewing. This will spoil you for great coffee and it’s one less small appliance to clutter up the kitchen.

  5. DK67

    So it’s the same brewing process as any other coffee maker, except you pour a little slower? Sorry, I don’t see how that makes a big difference compared the beans themselves and how they are ground. I’ll stick to my Keurig, because I’m lazy.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Brewing this way gives more control over the water temp and a steadier brewing process to produce a very smooth brew. But believe me, it’s not meant for mornings when you’re rushing out the door! Peaking in behind the Chemex in some of the pictures is my Nespresso maker, which comes in handy on mornings when I need caffeine asap, so don’t worry- I am right there with ya on the laziness πŸ˜„

  6. Relena

    TIP: If you try adding a couple grains of kosher salt, your coffee will be even more smoother tasting.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool! Thanks for the tip!

  7. nikkig

    I’m waiting patiently for this to be on sale!!! Looks fantastic!

  8. Betsy

    I use an Aeropress, it’s easy and fast. I like that there are so many ways to make coffee – people can choose what works best for their budget, lifestyle and taste preference.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      I’ve used an Aeropress before as well and I was very impressed! If I didn’t already own so many coffee gadgets, I’d sure add one of those to the mix as well πŸ˜‚

  9. Maggie

    The reason it tastes better than a Mr. Coffee-type machine or a Keurig is the water is hotter (kettle gets the water near boiling when you pour), which is optimal to extract the flavor. Most machines don’t get nearly hot enough–you’re getting a partial, yucky extraction. Keurig gives you some “bonus” plastic notes (***shudder***).

    The only machine that can duplicate pour-over flavor is the Techni-Vorm Mokkamaster, without a warming plate, with a caraffe. They cost about $200 and are very simple — but the simplicity is why they brew truly great coffee.

    It is very important to use a burr grinder (not a spice-grinder/blade grinder), just like coffee houses do. I also would recommend useing unbleached filter papers instead of reusable metal filters. The unbleached ones actually improve the flavor development in a way that metal reusable metal filters cannot.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Ahh the Mokkamaster 😍 I’ve seen those and dream of owning one! I agree on the burr grinder, but I’ve been too cheap to pull the trigger on one, but I’m sure if I spent a little more time browsing Amazon I could find something that wouldn’t be too much!

      I’ve tried the bleached filters, unbleached filters, and metal filters, and I definitely prefer the convenience of the paper ones. I couldn’t taste *too* much of a difference between bleached and unbleached, so I usually just pick up whatever is on sale when I need to restock πŸ˜„

  10. Emily

    We use a cheaper pour over model, but it is a chemex knockoff. It has a reusable filter, but we use a paper filter. Unfiltered coffee can increase cholesterol in a short amount of time so that paper filters are useful as the mesh filters do not filter the cholesterol.

  11. Veera

    Why don’t you weigh the grounds and the water? Do you get a flat bed after the brew is finished? Do you actually use a blade grinder? For coffee?

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Veera! I hate to admit this, but the answers to your questions are both laziness and cheapness πŸ˜‚. I don’t weigh coffee and truly don’t even measure if I’m being honest. I make my coffee this way every morning so I have a visual gauge of how much of the grinds to pour in to match the fill line on my kettle. It may end up being slightly more or less some mornings, but I’m not too hard to please in that respect πŸ€—

      As for the flat blade grinder, it’s not the best option, but I’ve had it for so long and it was only $10 when I bought it. I’ve been too cheap to buy a burr grinder which would definitely produce a much more even grind, but maybe one of these days I’ll finally make the switch! πŸ˜„

      I’m not sure what you mean by a flat bed after brewing, but I can weigh in on that if you could clarify the question a bit more for me! πŸ™Œ

      • Maggie

        Prices have come down on the burr grinders! Capresso has a model that retails for $59.99 now. Keep on eye out at Tuesday Morning. I’ve also seen them at BBB (20% off coupon!) and Williams-Sonoma (also 20%-30% off codes). You’ll be amazed at the difference that it makes.

  12. David E Ringgenberg

    Try using a scale to weigh both your beans and your water. It gives much better control of the results and also keeps things consistent. Quality fresh beans are the key, Chemex is the vehicle to take you to a great cup.

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