pour over coffee maker

Want to make a delicious pour over coffee without the hassle of using a scale? Look no further! Our expert tips will help you brew the perfect cup every time, without the need for any fancy equipment.

The Basics of Pour Over Coffee

pour over coffee

Pour over coffee is a brewing method that allows for precise control over the brewing process, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee. Understanding the essentials of pour over coffee, choosing the right equipment, and using fresh filtered water versus tap water will help you achieve the perfect cup without the need for a scale.

Understanding Pour Over Coffee

The pour over coffee method requires the manual pouring of hot water over coffee grounds that are placed in a filter.

The water extracts the coffee's flavors and aroma as it passes through the grounds and the filter, eventually dripping into your cup. This method allows the coffee to "bloom," which releases trapped gases from the coffee grounds, enhancing the overall flavor. This brewing technique requires attention to detail, including measuring coffee grounds and water, controlling the brewing time, and maintaining a steady pour.

Choosing Your Coffee Equipment

High-quality coffee equipment is essential for making great pour over coffee. At a minimum, you will need a coffee dripper, a filter, a carafe or cup, a coffee measuring spoon, and a kettle with a precise spout. If you're brewing without a scale, you can still achieve consistent results with the proper tools. A coffee measuring spoon is a helpful alternative when you don't have access to a scale. Each spoonful typically holds 5 grams of coffee grounds, so start with one level spoonful for every 100ml of water.

When it comes to coffee beans, whole bean coffee provides the best flavor. Invest in a high-quality burr coffee grinder to grind your beans as needed, which ensures flavor and freshness. Experiment with grind size, as it directly impacts the extraction process during brewing. A medium-fine grind is typically recommended for pour over brewing.

Fresh, Filtered Water vs. Tap Water

Water quality directly affects the taste of your pour over coffee. Fresh, filtered water, free of impurities and excessive minerals, will result in a cleaner-tasting cup of coffee. On the other hand, tap water can introduce undesirable flavors or elements that interfere with your coffee's natural flavors.

Avoid using distilled or ultra-purified water, as these lack essential minerals necessary for the extraction process. Instead, opt for filtered water with a balanced mineral content. It's also crucial to heat the water to the proper temperature, generally between 195°F and 205°F, as it impacts extraction and flavor development during brewing.

Preparing Your Coffee Without a Scale

pour over coffee

Making pour over coffee without a scale is possible, and with the right techniques, it can yield a delicious cup of coffee. This section covers two important aspects of the process: Measuring your coffee and grinding your coffee beans. By following these steps, you can achieve a consistent and enjoyable coffee experience without the need for a coffee scale.

Measuring Your Coffee

When making coffee without a scale, precise measurements become crucial. Instead of using weight measurements, you can rely on volume measurements to ensure that you're using the right amount of coffee grounds and water. A measuring spoon or coffee scoop can be a helpful tool for this task. The standard ratio for pour over coffee is about 1 to 15, meaning one part coffee to 15 parts water.

To maintain this ratio, use a measuring spoon or coffee scoop, such as a tablespoon, to measure your coffee grounds. For every cup of coffee, aim to use roughly two leveled tablespoons of ground coffee. This should result in approximately 14 to 15 grams of coffee per serving.

For water measurements, you can either use a measuring cup or a marked gooseneck kettle. Measure about 225ml (or around 7.5 fluid ounces) of water per serving of coffee. This should create a balanced brew without needing a scale for precise measurements.

Grinding Your Coffee Beans

The grind size of your coffee beans plays an important role in the flavor extraction process. For pour over coffee, a medium-fine grind is typically recommended. However, depending on your personal taste preferences, you might need to adjust the grind size.

If your coffee tastes sour or weak, consider grinding your beans finer. On the other hand, if your coffee tastes bitter or harsh, reducing the fineness of the grind might resolve the issue. Experiment with grind sizes to find the one that suits your taste preferences best.

While using pre-ground coffee is a convenient option, grinding your coffee beans just before brewing ensures freshness. For the best results, invest in a quality burr grinder and grind your coffee beans immediately before brewing your pour over coffee.

By carefully measuring your coffee and grinding your beans to the right size without a scale, you can create a delightful and consistent pour over coffee experience.

Setting Up Your Pour Over Coffee Maker

pour over coffee

Selecting Your Coffee Dripper and Filter

To make pour over coffee without a scale, it's essential to start with the right equipment. Choose a coffee dripper that suits your needs and preferences. There are various dripper materials available, such as ceramic, glass, stainless steel, or plastic. Each material has its pros and cons, but the most important factor is that it holds the filter properly and allows for even water flow.

Next, select a filter that's compatible with your chosen dripper. There are two primary filter types: paper and metal. Paper filters are more common, as they efficiently trap coffee grounds and provide a clean, crisp taste. However, some people may detect a slight paper taste in their brewed coffee. If you opt for paper filters, make sure to rinse them first by pouring hot water through them before adding ground coffee to reduce the paper taste.

Preparing the Filter

When preparing the filter, whether paper or metal, ensure that it is correctly placed in the dripper. In the case of a paper filter, fold the filter's ridged edges along their seam and place it into the dripper, ensuring a snug fit. Similarly, for metal filters, make sure it sits securely within the coffee dripper.

Before adding coffee grounds, preheat your dripper and filter by pouring hot water over them. This process helps maintain the temperature during brewing and reduces any residual paper taste from paper filters. Discard the hot water from your coffee mug or carafe and place the dripper on top, ready for brewing.

Now that you have set up your pour over coffee maker, follow these steps to brew coffee without a scale:

  1. Use a coffee measuring spoon to add the desired amount of coffee grounds to the filter. A general guideline is one spoonful per 6 ounces of water.
  2. Heat water to around 195-205°F (90-96°C) and once it reaches the desired temperature, pour a small amount of water onto the coffee grounds, just enough to saturate them. Allow the coffee to "bloom" for 45 seconds, as this releases carbon dioxide and enhances the flavor profile.
  3. Continue pouring water slowly in a spiral motion, starting from the center and working outward, then back toward the center. Pause for about 30 seconds to let the water draw down through the grounds before pouring again. The process should take around 3-4 minutes.
  4. Once you've poured enough water to reach your desired coffee volume, remove the coffee dripper from your mug or carafe and discard the used filter and grounds.

By following these steps and properly setting up your pour over coffee maker, you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee without the use of a scale.

Pouring and Brewing Technique

pour over coffee

In this section, we will discuss the pouring and brewing technique for making pour-over coffee without a scale. We will cover the sub-topics of heating your water, saturating the coffee grounds, the bloom and start pouring, and coffee extraction and strength.

Heating Your Water

Begin by heating your water to reach the optimal brewing temperature, which is between 195-200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a thermometer or an electric kettle with a temperature setting, simply bring the water to a boil and then let it stand for about 30 seconds to achieve the desired temperature.

Saturating the Coffee Grounds

Once the water is heated, place a paper filter in your coffee dripper and pre-rinse it with hot water to remove any paper taste and preheat the equipment. Discard the rinse water. After that, grind your coffee beans at a fine to medium grind level, resembling kosher salt. Proceed to add the ground coffee into the filter.

The Bloom and Start Pouring

To initiate the brewing process, start your timer and gently pour a small amount of water over the coffee grounds, saturating them evenly. This process is called the "bloom" and it allows the coffee to degas and release trapped carbon dioxide. The bloom should take approximately 45 seconds.

Following the bloom, slowly pour more water into the center of the coffee grounds in a circular motion, working your way out towards the edge without touching the rim. This ensures an even and controlled extraction of flavors.

Coffee Extraction and Strength

As the water continues to drip through the coffee grounds and into your cup, pay attention to the overall brewing time. Ideally, the brewing process should take around 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the coffee grind size and desired strength.

To achieve a balanced extraction and strength, you may need to adjust the grind size, pouring technique, or water temperature in subsequent brewings. Experimenting with these variables will help you find the perfect cup of pour-over coffee without needing a scale.

Perfecting Your Pour Over Coffee Without a Scale

pour over coffee

Making pour over coffee without a scale can be just as delicious and enjoyable as using one, provided you have the right techniques and ratios in mind. In this section, we will discuss how to optimize your coffee/water ratio, practice your pouring technique, and explore alternative brewing methods to perfect the pour-over process without the need for a scale.

Adjusting Your Coffee to Water Ratio

Getting the right coffee/water ratio is crucial to make a perfect cup of pour over coffee, even without a scale. Typically, a good starting point is using 4 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 400ml of water. This can be adjusted according to your personal taste and the strength of the coffee you prefer.

You can use a measuring spoon or even a regular tablespoon as a guideline for measuring your coffee grounds. Make sure to level off the spoon to avoid using too much coffee, which can result in a bitter taste.

If, after several attempts, you find that your coffee is too weak or too strong, feel free to adjust the ratio until it suits your preferences. Remember, practice is key when it comes to making coffee without a scale.

Practicing Your Technique

Pouring the water in the right way during the brewing process is essential for getting the most out of your coffee grounds. Start by wetting the paper filter in the dripper before adding the ground coffee; this will help keep the filter firmly in place and can affect the overall extraction process.

Allow the coffee grounds to "bloom" by pouring enough water to cover them entirely, and then wait for 45 seconds. Blooming is an essential step that allows gases to escape from the coffee, thus improving its flavor.

After the blooming phase, pour the remaining hot water over the coffee in slow, even, circular motions. The goal is to distribute the water evenly for complete saturation and extraction of the coffee grounds. It may take some practice to perfect this pouring technique, but the excellent results are worth it.

Exploring Alternative Brewing Methods

While the pour-over method is a popular choice for coffee enthusiasts, it's not the only brewing method available. If you find yourself struggling with perfecting your pour-over technique or want to try something new without a scale, consider exploring alternative brewing methods such as the French press or other types of coffee makers.

The French press, for example, does not require a scale and offers a straightforward way to prepare a delicious cup of coffee. Simply measure the coffee grounds with a tablespoon and add hot water. The brewing process involves steeping the coffee for a specified period, typically around 4 minutes, and then plunging to separate the grounds from the finished brew. This method can yield a bold, flavorful coffee that appeals to many palates. Other coffee maker options can also provide a satisfying brew without the need for a scale, as long as you pay attention to the coffee/water ratio and brewing time.

Ultimately, perfecting pour over coffee without a scale comes down to practice, adjusting the coffee/water ratio, and mastering your pouring technique. Don't be afraid to experiment and try alternative brewing methods to find the best process that suits your taste and preferences.

Additional Tips and Tricks

pour over coffee

When making pour over coffee without a scale, there are a few extra tips and tricks that can elevate your brewing process, ensuring a delicious cup of coffee. In this section, we'll cover removing the paper taste from filters, using an electric kettle with temperature control, and timing your pour over process.

Removing the Paper Taste from Filters

Using paper filters for pour over coffee can sometimes leave an unwanted paper taste in your brew. To avoid this, simply rinse the filter thoroughly with hot water before adding your coffee grounds. This helps to wash away any residual paper flavors, ensuring a cleaner and more pleasant coffee experience.

Using an Electric Kettle with Temperature Control

Having the right water temperature is crucial for proper extraction in the pour over method. A water temperature between 195°F (91°C) and 205°F (96°C) is recommended for optimal brewing. To make this process easier, consider using an electric kettle with built-in temperature control. This type of kettle allows you to heat the water to the perfect temperature without the need for a thermometer or any guesswork. If you don't have a temperature-controlled kettle, bring water to a boil and let it stand for 30 seconds to achieve the right temperature.

Timing Your Pour Over Process

Timing is essential for a consistent and well-balanced cup of pour over coffee. A suitable brewing time for this method is between 3-4 minutes. To help you keep track, use a timer (either a dedicated kitchen timer, a smartphone app, or a watch) to monitor the brewing process. Start the timer as soon as you begin pouring water over the coffee grounds, and stop when the recommended time has elapsed.

Besides the mentioned tips, coffee fans might want to experiment with different grind sizes or coffee/water ratios to achieve their desired taste profile. The most important aspect is to enjoy the process and savor every step that leads to the perfect cup of pour over coffee.


pour over coffee

In this article, we have discussed the process of making pour over coffee without using a scale. By relying on alternative methods such as measuring spoons, timing the brew, and adjusting the coffee to water ratio according to taste, it is possible to achieve a satisfying cup of coffee.

An essential aspect of this technique is to start with a consistent coffee to water ratio using a measuring spoon, typically 1:15, which can be adjusted based on personal preferences. The brewing process can be fine-tuned to suit one's taste by controlling the water temperature and using a consistent pouring method. By pouring water in a steady, circular motion, the brewing process can be properly managed without the need for a scale.

  • Measure the coffee grounds with a measuring spoon
  • Boil the water and maintain a suitable temperature
  • Pour water evenly and consistently

Ultimately, the key to making delicious pour over coffee lies in practice and experimentation. By adjusting various parameters, such as the grind size, water temperature, and brewing time, coffee enthusiasts can create their perfect cup without relying on a scale. Although using a scale may provide more accurate measurements, it is not necessary to enjoy a well-balanced and flavorful pour over coffee experience.

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Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.

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