Making the Perfect Pour-Over

It's about time.  Have you ever sat down to draw and you lost track of time, or spent time gardening and found how soon afternoon turns to dusk? When we really pay attention to what's in front of us, not what's coming next or what we have to do tomorrow, time can rush past us in joy and time can slow down in savoring.  When you create something beautiful it takes time, and when you notice the creating, it feels beautiful.  A pour-over is like that. When we slow down to invest in the making of a pour-over, we pay attention to each second we have.  If food can be art, so can coffee. But you have to linger, slow down, and appreciate. 

What is a pour-over?

A pour-over is made by pouring hot water over coffee grounds in concentric circles. The process ensures the freshest cup of coffee possible at a personalized level.


Why a pour-over?

Making a pour-over requires more time and technique than the average coffee pot. However, there are many benefits. A pour-over dripper is much cheaper than coffee machines. They allow you to personalize your cup of coffee because you can fine tune the amount of water, grams of beans, and grind of the beans. Slowing down the process turns coffee from a caffeine addiction into an art form.

How do I make it?

You’ll need:

The trick is correctly balancing the timing, amount of water poured, and motion of the pour.

1.     Heat water to 205 degrees F in the water kettle.

2.     Place filter in the pour-over dripper, then gently wet the filter, using the kettle to seal the filter to the sides of the dripper.

3.     Weigh out 25 g of coffee, grind, and place grounds in the filter. Place the scale underneath the dripper, and zero it out.

4.     First pour: start at 0 seconds, pouring in clockwise circles to 50g. This stage is known as "blooming," and it is meant to help saturate the beans before extracting any of the flavor and caffeine. This helps mellow out harsher flavors and degas the beans of excess nitrogen.

5.     Second pour: starts at 30 seconds; pour to 160g. Begin pouring, slowly and steadily making sure all of the grounds are covered in water. Pour for about 30 seconds, then wait another 30 seconds.

6.     Third pour: starts at 1:30 seconds; pour to 260g. Pour into the center, trying not to agitate the grounds too much, again pouring slowly and steadily. Pour for 30 seconds, then wait another 30 seconds.

7.     Fourth pour: starts at 2:30 seconds; pour to 400g. Once again, pour slowly and steadily into the center. The pouring should stop at 3 minutes, and the water should drain completely at around 4 minutes. 



Customer Profile: Nick Brisbois

This week we got to know Nick Brisbois. Born in Honduras and raised in Western Massachusetts, Nick is a third-year student at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and a regular at Neighborhoods. He is most often seen with a large, black iced coffee in hand and his notes before him. While his outwardly resume is impressive, his hobbies and small loves really make up his driven and quirky attitude. We’ve highlighted just a few snapshots of Nick and his life, from why he comes to Neighborhoods to what motivates him daily.

“I moved to Fenway back in the Fall of 2015. I had my first apartment on Park Drive, and I was walking around the neighborhood and never saw this block of restaurants before. I went here a couple times, but I didn’t start coming here [frequently] until I moved a block over on Peterborough. Since this was down the street and the food is delicious and the coffee is great, I just come here every morning. I think it’s the friendships [that keep me coming back to Neighborhoods]. I feel like I don’t meet a lot of people that are genuine, so…when I come here it’s a little community. It’s always a good time coming here in the morning and relaxing.”

“I’m in pharmacy…[and] I work at CVS as an intern. I decided to do it back in high school. My dad had heart surgery, and he cardiac arrested a few years ago. Brigham and Women’s hospital helped him. They put him on a lot of medication, [and] it was amazing how they balanced all of the mediation…. If it wasn’t for the medication, the pharmacists and the doctors, he wouldn’t be here today. I think ever since then I wanted to be a pharmacist.”

“I don’t want to do just pharmacy itself; I want to do more. I don’t want to lose track of the fun stuff. I’ve always had a knack for filmmaking, photography and music. I don’t want to lose my passion because a lot of people go to work, and they’re tired and drained. I want to keep the passion in all of the creative stuff.”

“I like creating things. I think I judge a movie by what I feel after. I think with anything if it’s different, if it’s original, if it just makes me feel something and for a moment I lose myself in the movie…I think that’s good. A lot of things lately are a copy of a copy, so I try and lean towards the more obscure things. I like a lot of things people wouldn’t like….things that stand out. Things that you’ve never heard before, or if they have inspiration from something else, they do it better. Just anything different.”

“My motivation is to be the best at everything I do. I think there’s such a limited time we have that I do not want to squander any time…. If I’m gonna do something, I’m gonna do it with everything I have…. I think there are many benefits in self-improvement. Lately I’ve been going to the gym every day. I’ve been meditating for four years. I’m trying to get into yoga too. I just think taking care of yourself [is important].”

-Nick Brisbois