How to Use a Pour-over Immersion Brewer

Pour-over immersion brewers offer a unique way to make coffee. They combine immersion brewing (such as French Press) with pour-over brewing, giving the best of both worlds; the richness of immersion with the clean taste of pour-over. The use of a filter removes the coffee silt, resulting in a smooth, rich coffee with no muddy aftertaste.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Makes amazing coffee
  • Perfect for making one cup
  • Easy to clean up
  • Uses standard size filters that are readily available
  • Versatile, can be used for pour-over immersion, or as a regular pour-over brewer

Cons

  • Not good for a group (designed for one cup, but can make two)
  • Does not have the durability of some other devices (moving parts tend to wear out more quickly)
  • Coffee can cool off a bit while it steeps

What You’ll Need

A Pour-over Immersion Brewer

There are two main pour-over immersion brewers available, the Bonavita and the Clever Coffee Dripper. Both are excellent devices, but are slightly different:

  • The Clever Dripper is designed so that the coffee flows out as soon as the device is set on your cup. This design makes it very simple to use. The Clever comes in two sizes. Its one possible drawback is that it is made out of plastic, which does not keep the coffee as warm as ceramic.
  • The Bonavita has a sliding lever that toggles the flow of water. It is made of ceramic, which helps to stop the coffee from cooling down as it brews. It is a bit pricier than the Clever.

View on Amazon: The Bonavita here and the Clever Coffee Dripper here

You’ll Also Need

  • Standard #4 filters, available in most grocery stores or on Amazon
  • Fresh coffee (whole bean is highly recommended)
  • A good quality coffee grinder (if using whole bean coffee)
  • A kettle
  • A scale (preferred) or measuring spoons
  • A timer (a smartphone works well)

Instructions: How to Make Pour-over Immersion Coffee

Fold the seam over1. Fold the seam over on a filter and insert it into the brewer

Rinse with hot water2. Rinse out the brewer and filter with some hot water. This flushes any residue out of the filter and warms up the brewer, which will help keep the coffee hot. Discard the water.

Grind between fine and medium3. Add 18 grams (3 1/2 tablespoons) of coffee

  • For best results, grind your coffee immediately before brewing, use a medium to fine grind
  • If you are using a scale, weigh the beans before you grind them. This will eliminate waste.

Add the coffee

Add hot water4. Put the brewer onto the scale and tare (set to zero). Slowly pour 300 grams (300 ml or 1 1/4 cup) of hot water over the coffee. Use a circular motion and make sure to wet all the coffee grounds.

  • Using boiling water will scald the coffee. Let the water cool for 30 seconds after boiling before pouring it over the grounds.
  • If you are using the Bonavita, double check that the lever is closed before adding the water

Let steep for 2-3 minutes5. Put the lid on, set the timer for 2 minutes and let steep

Open the lever6. After the 2 minutes is up, place the brewer on your carafe or cup. Slide the lever open (if using the Bonavita), and let all the water run out.

Enjoy!7. Enjoy!

Tips

  • Having a decent brewer and using it correctly are important factors in making good coffee. But there are other factors as well; particularly, the freshness of the coffee and the quality of the water. Learn more here.
  • The coffee and water should not be in contact for more than four minutes total. Thus if the coffee steeps for 2 minutes, the target time for the coffee to flow out of the brewer should also be two  minutes. If the coffee flows too slowly (resulting in a total brew time of more than four minutes), either use a coarser grind or reduce the amount of time the coffee steeps (in step 5).
  • The longer you let coffee steep, the more bitter flavours you will have. If you find the coffee is too bitter, steep for a shorter amount of time. If this makes the coffee too weak, try more coffee for less time, or vice versa.
  • Pour-over immersion coffee is easier to make with a scale. Without a scale, it is difficult to gauge how much water has been added. Hario makes a scale specifically for this purpose, but a less expensive one such as the Smart Weigh also works.
  • You can use a pour-over immersion brewer for regular pour-over by leaving it on top of your cup (and, on the Bonavita, leaving the lever open). See the guide for making pour-over coffee.