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Beginning Pour Over Coffee: The Bee House Coffee Dripper

by Kyle Fitzgerald October 21, 2021 7 min read

Beginning Pour Over Coffee: The Bee House Coffee Dripper

Don't be intimidated by fancy gear, jargon, or anyone who makes it look overly complicated. Pour-over is more effort, but we've simplified our process to make it more approachable. It's geared toward getting you started and not fussing the small stuff.

The entire process shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, depending on how long it takes to boil your water.

THE BARE MINIMUM YOU'LL NEED
Fresh Coffee
Dripper and Filters
Kettle
Carafe or Mug

GEAR YOU'LL PROBABLY WANT
Gooseneck Kettle
Burr Grinder
Scale
Timer

SUGGESTED COFFEES
Limited Edition Micro-Lot

 OVERVIEW

  1. Boil water and measure coffee
  2. Grind coffee
  3. Add coffee to filter in dripper
  4. Tare your scale
  5. Bloom coffee (0:00-0:45)
  6. Pour rest of water evenly (0:45-2:00)
  7. Wait and smell the coffee (2:00-2:30)


Looking for something simpler? Try our Guide to French Press Coffee, which is a little easier and can always make great coffee. 

The Bare Minimum You Need to Start Pour Over

You don’t necessarily need to buy a lot of gear to start making pour-over coffee, and the last thing you want is to end up spending money on gear that sits in a cabinet. At a bare minimum, we suggest you start with these items and then build your collection as you go:

Fresh Coffee (The Fresher The Better)

The freshness of the beans is the most important thing to get better flavor. We put our roast date on all of our bags so that you always know how fresh it is. Most freshly roasted coffee is best within a week of the roast date, but if you store it properly, you can keep it tasting great for two to four weeks (and it’ll still taste better than any coffee you can get at the grocery store).

Dripper and Filters

If you’re just starting out, we recommend the Bee House Dripper for a few reasons. First off, it’s been widely used in cafes and homes for decades. It’s also recommended for people who are just starting to make pour-over coffee. As an added bonus, you can use inexpensive Melitta #2 or #4 filters, which are widely available at grocery stores. Most other drippers have proprietary filters that are more expensive and a bit harder to find.

Kettle

Any kettle will work, but a gooseneck kettle will make your life a lot easier. If you’re just starting out, our advice is to brew with the kettle you have, even if it isn’t gooseneck. If you enjoy making pour over, you can spend the money to upgrade your kettle.

Carafe or Mug

If you’re making only one cup of coffee, the Bee House dripper will sit right on top of your mug. It should also sit on a variety of coffee maker carafes, so you might not need to go out and spend money on something new. If you’d like to get something specific to pour-over own, there are several available from Hario, a brand that has a good reputation.

GEAR YOU'LL PROBABLY WANT

Gooseneck Kettle

A good gooseneck kettle will help a lot, and it’s the first thing we recommend you buy if you want to keep making pour-over coffee. The spout of a gooseneck kettle makes sure the flow of water is even, consistent, and easy to control. Stovetop kettles are less expensive, and we recommend the Hario Gooseneck Stovetop Kettle, which has remained solid and reliable after over five years of constant use for coffee and tea. For something electric, Bonavita’s Electric Kettle has been a steadfast item in many coffee-making homes.

Burr Grinder

If you buy your coffee beans whole and you enjoy making pour-over, or you just want to invest in some good gear, then a burr grinder is a great place to start. We think you can’t go wrong with a Baratza Encore. We’ve used it at home for almost two years without any issues. If you want a more detailed write-up about grinders, we recommend Wirecutter’s write-up. Electric burr grinders don’t come cheap, so if you want to spend less and are fine with hand-grinding, try Hario’s Skerton Pro grinder. We like this one because it has more capacity than most, which is nice if you want to make a larger pot. There are plenty of other great options out there.

Scale

A small and inexpensive scale can remove guesswork and improve consistency. It’s a small investment you won’t regret. Having said that, if you can always make do without one.

Timer

If you’re not a fan of using your phone’s timer, you can find a lot of inexpensive timers that will do the job (and take regular batteries). If you cook or bake, they’ll be even more useful to you!

Step-by-Step Bee House Pour Over Process (Makes 2-3 Mugs of Coffee)

Step 1 - Boil 550g Water and Measure 30g Coffee

This ratio will make about 16 ounces of coffee, or about 2-3 mugs of coffee, which is a good starting point. 

If you’re interested in making more or less, see our pour over chart as a reference.

Approximate Cups of Coffee
 Water

(approx fl oz)

Water (g)
Coffee (g)

Coffee

(approx tbsp)

1 8 250 15 2
2 12 350 21 3
3 16 500 30 4
4-5 24 750 45 6

Step 2 - Grind Coffee

pour over grind size kosher salt comparison

Your ground coffee should roughly resemble sea salt.

Grinding fresh whole bean coffee will make your brew even fresher, but if you have pre-ground coffee, that’s fine, and you can skip to the next step. Just know that your coffee might not come out as tasty.

Step 3 - Fold Your Filter, Place in Dripper, and Add Ground Coffee

Fold your filter along the edges and open it up. When you place it into your filter it should sit nice and open. Place your coffee in the filter and wait for the water to boil.

Step 4 - Tare Your Scale

Every now and then you’ll forget this step and remember how important it is. If you aren't using a scale, head on to the next step.

Step 5 - Start Timer and Bloom Coffee

bee house dripper pour over method bloom step

Timing: 0:00 to 0:45

Once your kettle is boiling, you're ready to brew. Start your timer, and pour 2 to 3 times as much water as there is coffee, or 60-90 grams of water. Make sure you’re covering all of the grounds and they’re getting nice and saturated.

If you aren’t using a scale, you'll need to approximate this by eye. Does the bed of grounds look evenly saturated? Make sure there are no dry spots.

Step 6 - Wait

bee house dripper pour over method

Wait until the timer reads 30-45 seconds before going to the next step. You'll see the coffee grounds bubble a little bit. This is CO2 gas escaping from the beans, and it's generally a sign that they are quite fresh!

Step 7 - Pour In the Rest of Your Water

bee house dripper pour over method final pour step

Timing: 0:45 to 2:00-2:30

Pour the rest of your water in an even pattern across all of the grounds, aiming to keep a consistent flow of water out of the kettle. Your dripper will start to fill up a bit more, and that’s what we want.

If using a scale, stop pouring once your scale hits the 550g mark. This doesn’t have to be exact. Your coffee won’t taste very different if you’re within 5-10 grams of the final weight.

If not using a scale, pour until your water runs out.

Step 8 - Wait and Smell the Coffee

The water will draw down, and at roughly the 2:00 to 2:30 mark, your coffee should be done percolating through the grounds and your filter should have only grounds.

Your coffee is ready to drink! The flavor will be better if you allow it to cool for a couple of minutes.

Do You Need to Rinse Your Filter?

You might read some other sites that encourage you to rinse your filter before the brewing process. We don’t think it’s worth it and have found that it doesn't affect the temperature or flavor of the brew. Having said that, if you want to rinse your filter just remember to add a little extra water to your kettle before boiling.

Troubleshooting

The dripper is taking a really long time to drain

If your dripper is taking around 3:30 or longer, it's probably because your grind is too fine. Try grinding a bit more coarsely. The other factor could be that you are pouring too aggressively all at once. This can cause the finer coffee particles to clog spots in the filter that would otherwise be porous. It seems like a strange solution, but try pouring a bit slower and more evenly. 

It tastes bitter, muddy, or thick

This is likely because the brew time took too long. Try to grind your beans a little coarser, and it might take a couple of tries to get it where you’d like it. If you can’t change your grind size, or if changing it doesn’t help, try to let your water cool for a minute or two before pouring it over your grounds. The lower temperature of the water can prevent the coffee from being over-steeped.

It tastes watery, sour, grassy, or thin

This is most likely because the brew time was too short. Try to grind your beans a little bit more finely. It will likely take a couple of tries to get it exactly right, so try to be patient. If you can’t change your grind size, make sure that you’re pouring the water straight off of a boil. This will make sure that the grounds steep properly.

You’ve tried those solutions and something still tastes off

If you order pre-ground coffee, most likely your coffee has gone stale and is causing it to taste off. By far, the freshness of the beans is the most important aspect to getting better-tasting coffee, especially 

Sometimes, really hard or really soft water can make coffee taste different. If you know your home has either hard or soft water, try filtering your water before using it to make coffee. A Brita will work.

Beyond This Guide

This guide is meant to get you started in the right direction. There are tons of other resources out there. One of the great parts about pour-over is that you can customize it to your taste, and it can become a part of your morning ritual. 

If you're really craving more info and want to dive deeper, we highly recommend James Hoffman's YouTube Channel. It's a great resource for deep-dives, great instructional content, and general coffee fun.



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