Make Outstanding Filter Coffee

Welcome to our Tips & Tricks page all about brewing delicious filter coffee...also known as "Dripper" and "Pour-over" method so all the following information is for those too!

Filter is a simple way to make a delicious brew and we always try to give simple advice. Afterall, this is not a science lesson so take a look at our pro barista advice down the page - or scroll down to the brewing method.

First, read some of the answers to some of the questions we are asked the most about filter coffee brewing which will help you get great results; 

Q. Which filter pot should I buy? There are many to choose from but we have a Bodum double walled pour-over with the permanent micro-perforated stainless steel filter which cannot give any taint to the coffee and saves on buying disposable papers. The clear plastic outer wall protects the inner glass / carafe from knocks  really well and also keeps the coffee from going cold quickly.  

Choose whichever you like the appearance of, that suits your budget and is the right size for you. The double walls and permanent filter is what sold us on the Bodum!

Q. Bleached or unbleached filter papers? Bleaching makes the paper look nice and white vs the beige colour of the unbleached. Which you choose depends on a couple of things; whether you like the idea of chemical bleaches in the environment and whether you can detect the papery taste of unbleached papers which, if you can detect it, spoils the flavour of the coffee. Apparently, not many people can taste the paperiness but we can -- another reason we went for the stainless steel permanent filter! We think fewer chemicals around is good but papery flavours not so. 

Q. I've seen things called dripper kettles like the one in the photo below - do I need one?


As you see, dripper kettles have a long thin goose-neck shaped spout attached to the bottom of the kettle to provide a slow steady flow of hot water instead of a glug that might disturb your carefully levelled coffee. You'll find them in loads of colours and finishes to go on your hob and electric versions too. The one above is a Hario V60 

If you're careful you can simply pour the water carefully from your kitchen kettle - so no...they're not essential but a 'nice to have' for £45.00 or so.

Q. How should I grind my coffee beans for filter? Filter grind is a little less coarse than for cafetière so a bit like fine sea salt. You will be able to tell if your grind is right by timing how long all your hot water takes to pass through the coffee. The whole pour should be just about 4 minutes - it you're taking longer your coffee might taste bitter so grind slightly larger. Visa versa, if your water is pouring through in less than 4 minutes and your coffee tastes sour, try grinding a little finer. 

Q. How much water and coffee should I use? It’s generally thought that a ratio of 1:17 is a great start. So for every 1g of coffee use 17g of water. In English, if you want to make 500ml of coffee use 30g of ground coffee which is about 4 slightly heaped tablespoons. 

With that ratio, you can’t basically go wrong and you will have medium bodied balanced cup where you can taste the distinctive characteristics of the coffee.  

So, to the question; “How do you make delicious coffee using the filter method”? 

  1. For best results we recommend pouring hot water, from your hot tap or kettle, into the glass bulb (or cup if you’re dripping straight into one) and set aside to warm while you’re doing the next bits.
  2. Next, boil the quantity of water you’re going to need to make your coffee + 100ml extra and leave it alone to cool a little - if you're following the advice above, boil 600ml of water (see next step). 
  3. Place the filter paper holder on top and pop-in a clean new filter paper. Slowly pour that extra 100ml of your hot water all over the filter paper - this will evenly wet your filter paper which will help with even extraction plus warm your glass bulb / carafe - then pour this water away.
  4. Spoon your coffee evenly into the filter paper so the top is fairly level and very slowly pour some of your hot water evenly over the coffee to make sure it’s all wet and there are no dry parts. This is to make sure the flavours from the coffee extract evenly. At the stage, if your coffee is lovely and fresh, you will see a ‘bloom’ which is soft slow bubbling forming a foam on the surface and you'll see the coffee will expand as the gasses in the coffee are released (this won't happen if you are using old coffee!).
  5. Allow that water to drip through the coffee then add around half of what you have left, nice and evenly all over the coffee’s surface avoiding pouring in the middle. Allow that to drip through and add more until you have used all your water. That process should take around 4 minutes in total. 
  6. Allow the last of the water/coffee to drip through and there you have delicious fresh coffee.   


A few extra tips & tricks: Remember, ideally your are looking for a total pour time of 4 minutes give or take a few seconds.  If the water seems to be running through very quickly then your grind is too coarse - and visa versa - too slow and your grind is too fine | If your coffee is not hot enough - try warming the bulb / carafe before you begin and always throw that water away.