Updated: Jul 17, 2019

Real coffee lovers will stop at nothing to create the perfect cup and the pour over method is perfect for the ultimate coffee 'control freaks'. Every stage of the process requires a laser type focus as you set your stopwatch to 45 seconds or you measure 28 or 29 grams of coffee.

The first set of problems that pour over “newbies” tend to struggle with, relate to the disappointing taste of their coffee. After so much effort and careful consideration, some cups can taste sour, or bitter or just plain flat.

But don’t worry as most of these problems are easily rectified.

Phew! So, wonder what is the best grind to use in pour over? Keep reading, I will tell you all you need to know!


A cup of coffee that tastes sour or salty is under extracted.

This means that not enough of the goodness and beauty from the coffee grounds has transferred over to the water. Most likely:

  • Coffee grounds were too big

  • Bloom time (the time that the grounds and the water mix together) was too short

  • Water to coffee ratio was too high

As a word of warning, make one change at the time. By making too many changes at once, you won’t know what caused the problem in the first place!


Perhaps the opposite is true and instead of having too little flavour, you have too much. Your coffee is bitter with a very long after taste?

If this is the case:

  • Your cup of coffee has been over extracted

  • Your grinds and water have spent too much time together and as well as giving the water all of the wonderful flavours and textures of the beans, the water has taken on some of the “coffee nasties”- those chemical compounds that aren’t so desirable.


Lots of people discuss the importance of getting the size of your coffee grounds correct but far fewer talk about the importance for these grounds to have a consistent or uniform size.

The correct size of coffee grind for your pour over is a medium grind, which has the same consistency as a regular sand.

The consistency is a very important factor because if the size of the grounds vary, then during the bloom, some of them will be under, some will over extracted whilst the rest will extract to perfection.

If the grounds are the same size then your chances of getting a perfect level of extraction are that much higher.

Your best bet for getting a precise and consistently- sized grind is to buy ground coffee.

Grinding allows you to keep your coffee fresher but it comes with its own challenges. Most people use electric blade grinders which are relatively cheap, fast and small but they struggle to produce a consistent grind size.

Burr grinders don’t have this weakness but they are more expensive. Those are the best for pour over coffee technique.


The length of time that the coffee grinds and the water sit together is a very important factor in developing the taste. When ground coffee is mixed with hot water, the mixture goes through a number of transformations as different compounds are dissolved.

The first transformation is the bloom, when carbon dioxide gas is released.

An under extracted coffee has not gone through enough transformations and an over extracted coffee goes through too many. A perfectly extracted coffee has gone through the right amount of transformations.

Your coffee should have a delicious flavour to it. It might be sweet, chocolate- like or fruity but whatever it is, it will leave you craving more!

You need to be watching a stopwatch like a hawk to make sure that your bloom time is 30 seconds exactly.

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© 2019 by Brewello