How to make the greatest pour over EVER!!!
We sell everything seen here in our café to make it convenient for our customers. There are several ways to do a pour over, but for now we’re going to be looking at using a #2 Hario set-up.
1. Start with all the proper gear. We are using a Hario acrylic pour over stand, Hario #2 filters, 20g fresh ground coffee (ground somewhere between drip and espresso, right in the middle of those two). Also, a scale will help to measure the water we’re adding, which should be 195-205 degrees. Using a Hario kettle to pour the water works best due to it’s ability to control small amounts of water being dispensed.
2. Start by adding everything minus the ground coffee to your scale. Pour some water through the V60 to rinse the filter, as well as preheat the vessel you’re brewing into
3. Toss out the water used to pre-wet the filter.
4. Add the coffee to the pre-wet filter. Tare out the scale to zero.
5. When you’re ready to pour, start your scale timer. In order to get a nice “blossom,” pour just enough water to cover all the grounds and allow the grounds to swell and breathe for about 45 seconds.
6. Continue pouring the water over coffee bed (otherwise known as a coffee ‘slurry’) in a circular motion half way between the middle and the wall. There are lots of theories about the best method, but we say keep it simple. Fill the slurry half way up, trying to keep it between half and ¾ filled throughout the remainder of the pour. The slower the pour is made, the better. This allows for consistent agitation and a more even extraction.
7. Once a weight of 320 grams has been reached with a total brew time of between 2:30 and 3:15 (…and this will depend upon how fine or coarse the grind is) stop the brew. If it’s a prefect pour, the coffee should come to a drip at about the same time as the total weight of 320 grams is reached. Toss the coffee grounds and filter.
8. Serve and enjoy!
In a coffee world, full of transient baristas and common lackluster quality coffee, there are a few who stand out in terms of integrity when talking about coffee. Our café is blessed to have several of the few and Mary is no exception. “There are enough people who don’t care [about quality], so why be another?” Mary says. “I wanted to focus on the coffee itself and understand how quality played a role in the café setting, and I desperately needed to be around like minded coffee-forward individuals.”
I sit forward and half smile, asking how being an artist ties into being a barista, only half serious, knowing the common occurrence of artist-gone-barista-gone latte artist.
“It’s the idea behind the craft,” said Mary. “I wanted to see the beauty in what I was making. I wanted to leave an imprint on the coffee I was making.
Her funky, but lovable, attitude is contagious in the shop. When Mary is on bar you can expect an amazingly well poured tulip and well-balanced, sweet shots.
For the future, Mary looks to her ever-evolving art to lead the way, and hopes that coffee will drive her and inspire her to stay free in her creativity. Her contagious personality spreads all over, participating in projects in the Barrio. Next door, in the courtyard at Sushi On A Roll, Mary renovated their space and beautifully adorned it with her whimsical, high-contrast,
larger-than-life female spectacle. Of course, Mary discovered the Café Virtuoso position by word-of-mouth from a former barista who used to frequent her previous café. Most college students, like Mary, float from one coffee shop to another, studying for hours on end. We’re eternally grateful for that interaction!
Do you ever have those moments when there is no doubt in your mind that you are in the right industry? I had one of those moments this week, upon the arrival of an excellent new coffee from a small farm in Costa Rica. My excitement was akin to that of a kid on Christmas morning, ascending the stairs in rapid motion to piles of presents and cookies. I think the delivery driver was wondering why I was pacing back and forth in front of the door while he loaded up the bags.
The coffee is called Costa Rica Alma Negra (Black Soul) and it is grown and processed by Oscar and Francisca Chacon in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. I am excited about this coffee for many reasons; it is incredibly unique from seed to cup. The Chacons are known for being one of the first to produce high-quality organic and naturally processed coffee in Costa Rica. They inherited the farm from Oscar’s grandparents’ and it is steeped with family history. One of the main reasons that the Chacons decided to take the leap and only produce organic coffee is a tragic one. Oscar lost his father to a battle with cancer and it is suspected to have been due to his frequent encounters with pesticides. Other reasons included environmental and quality benefits.
Not only did the Chacons take an expensive chance at getting organic certification, they built their own mill, known as Las Lajas. This is exceptional for a variety of reasons. When a farmer sends their coffee off to a mill, they have no control over what happens next. The coffee could be blended with other coffees or processed in a way that may not benefit the flavor of the coffee in the best way. With owning their own mill, the Chacons take great care in using a wide range of processing methods to find optimum flavor profiles. In turn, this makes the coffee highly traceable, even down to the day it was harvested. The Chacons use mostly natural (dry) processes, using much less water than a standard farm.
After taking copious amounts of pictures of the beautiful bags, I opened one and the fresh, green coffee smells so much like chocolate, you would have thought it had been stored in a Hershey’s warehouse. No time was wasted in getting the coffee into the roaster. The flavors of the brewed coffee are complex, ranging from mandarin oranges to cocoa nibs. The acidity is exciting and lively and the mouthfeel is silky smooth. We will have this coffee for only a short amount of time and I invite everyone to come down to our café and try a cup. You may end up loving it as much as I do!