"The four things you need to get started making terrific pour overs: a gram scale, a burr grinder, a pour over system, and a goose neck kettle."
Here at Youth with a Mission Orlando we love coffee.
In fact, we love coffee so much, we offer an elective that students can take during their Discipleship Training School that helps prepare them for serving in the coffee industry and for using coffee in missions.
One of the many skills Barista Elective students develop during their time here is the art of pour overs. With quality theory, sensory, and practical training, students brew some top-notch single-origins.
But what if you want to get started brewing pour overs now? There are a number of items you have to pick up before you can start making them at home, and with the all options out there it can feel a bit overwhelming.
We reached out to one of our resident coffee experts and asked if he could make a few suggestions for someone wanting to get started making quality pour overs at home.
Of course, besides equipment you'll need quality water, coffee, and a bit of practice.
But for now, allow me to welcome Josh Berg as he explains what it takes to get something brewing.
Hey, there! My name is Joshua Berg, and I have about five years of experience in the coffee world. In that time, I’ve had a hand in opening up a shop, training many different people, and repairing and maintaining equipment; I’ve been a cold brew manager and I’ve done a lot of other general barista things. Basically, I’m deep enough into the coffee world that I’ve become the coffee informant for my friends.
Let’s Get Started
If you’re interested in testing out the waters of making pour over coffee, here are the four things I recommend snagging to get started on the right foot. Because we might not all have a lot of spare change to spend on coffee equipment, I’m also providing my favorite budget alternative for each item.
Before we get into my recommendations, let it be known that I am not getting any money or sponsorship from the companies or products I list.
The four things you need to get started making terrific pour overs: a gram scale, a burr grinder, a pour over system, and a goose neck kettle.
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The Gram Scale
Arguably the most important item in the pour over starter kit, the gram scale is necessary because it’s the only way to be accurate when you’re trying out recipes.
- The first scale I recommend is the Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale & Timer. This scale is a favorite of barista pros. It looks sleek and includes a timer, all for around $38.
- A cheaper option would be this Pocket Scale. - At just $12 and sporting a smaller profile, this budget-friendly option is still very accurate. It doesn’t come with a timer, but we all have those on our phones now so you won’t miss it too much.
Another important item in your pour over starter kit is the coffee grinder. Generally, there are two types of grinders: blade and burr. Without going into too many specifics, here’s my advice: don’t get a blade grinder because burr is better - by a lot.
- A good place to start is with the Baratza Encore for $139. Use this terrific coffee grinder for most types of brewing devices. The only downside to this device is the hefty price tag, but it is one of the cheapest professional grade grinders on the market.
- Check out the Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill (Pro) for a budget option. At $55 this grinder can you save you quite a bit of money. Remember, however, that what you save in price you expend in effort. This is a hand crank grinder so you’ll feel the burn if you’re trying to grind coffee for more than one or two pour overs. You’ll still get a consistent grind with this piece, so if price is an issue, this could be a great way to get started making pour overs!
The Brewing System
Everyone has an opinion on which brewing system is best for pour overs, and these are two of my favorites. I’ll give some pros and cons for each system so you can decide which is right for you. The nice part is, both options are great choices, so you can just choose whichever one interests you most and go with it! You can’t go wrong! You do need specific filters for each of these options so make sure to get filters that go along with the system.
- The Hario V60 Size 02 runs $19. This is a classic style that can bring out some more delicate and intricate flavors in coffee. There is more of a learning curve to this method because how you pour will significantly change the flavor in the cup. It is ceramic, so you can expect it to break if you drop it. You’ll also need V60 filters.
- Next up is the Kalita Wave Stainless Steel Dripper 185 for around $23. This is a slightly newer pour over brewing method than the V60, and it takes the cake in being the easier system to use as a beginner. It is great for getting a high-quality and balanced flavor profile. You can expect great durability from this metal pour over brewing system. Don’t forget your Kalita Filters.
The Gooseneck Kettle
There are tons of kettles on the market, but the most important thing to look for is the gooseneck. A gooseneck kettle will allow you to consistently pour a precise stream regardless of how much water is in the kettle.
- I recommend the Bonavita Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle. For $50 you’ll get multiple preset temperatures and ease of use. A timing option is included and will be helpful if you choose a scale without one. It also has a hold option so you can keep the water at a consistent temperature.
- This Stovetop Gooseneck Kettle is budget-friendly at $19.99 and will pour the same as the above option, but it will require a bit more time and energy to get the temperature where you want it. You will also need a stove or hot plate to heat up the water.
If the these four pour over starter kit items aren’t enough for you, here are some things to add in for extra, fancy touch
- This Range Coffee Server costs $22 and provides an elegant vessel into which you can brew your pour over.
- For $45, the Melodrip Coffee Tool can enhance the extraction from your coffee.
- This easy-to-read Timer is $15.
- For a luxury experience, the Acaia Pearl is a $140 Bluetooth scale that can enhance your pour over brewing experience.