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6 Best Coffee Beans for Pour Over

Pour-over coffee is a fantastic way to coax every ounce of flavor from your beans. With this brewing method being both easy and inexpensive to master at home, the only question is which beans to choose. While the answer depends mostly on your personal preferences, this article offers some helpful guidelines and six great recommendations.

Top Pick
Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee

Real Good Coffee Company Dark Roast

Single-origin beans from Sumatra, Indonesia
Certified organic 100% arabica
Flavors of bell pepper, cedar, lemony acidity, and spice

How to Choose the Right Coffee for Pour Over

Though pour-over coffee has become a fixture at high-end cafes, there’s no reason a homebrewer should be intimidated. Read on to learn all about this method and which are the best coffee beans for a pour over brew.

A Intro to Pour Over Brewing

A pour over is a simple way of brewing coffee, almost as smooth as instant coffee. It’s just pouring water over ground coffee in a filter, with the extracted coffee dripping through the filter.

Pour over is similar to a drip coffee maker, but with pour-overs, you are in complete control, which ultimately leads to better coffee.

Compared with other methods, pouring over is perfect for accentuating intricate flavors, making it a popular choice for single origins, with their subtle tastes and aroma (1). An infusion brew provides the most efficient extraction, and the paper filter ensures a clean cup (2).

Pour-over brewing is a simple way to brew a clean, bright cup.

Pour overs need only a simple and inexpensive set of equipment, hot water, a funnel, a filter, a kettle, and a vessel to catch that delicious brew. The most popular is the Chemex, then the V60, and the Kalita Wave. Each has specific design features that influence your cup of coffee.

best coffee beans for pour over
Coffee to Water Ratio matters when brewing coffee using the pour over method.

Choosing the Right Beans

Your taste is the most crucial factor when choosing a bean for pour-overs, so make sure you look for a flavor profile and roast level you enjoy. There’s no reason you can’t try your favorite beans for making French press, espresso beans, or even decaf. If you’re not sure, consider one of the best coffee subscriptions for variety.

Pour over accentuates intricate flavors when compared to other brewing methods.

In general, people recommend single origins because the clean and unmuddied flavors of a well made pour over highlight their unique characteristics (3). For example, the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. For the same reason, the best light roast coffee, with its mild flavors and mellow body, is also suggested.

The 6 Best Coffee Beans for Pour Over in 2020

Now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for, here are six beans guaranteed to yield a delicious pour over.

1. Real Good Coffee Company Dark Roast – Best Overall

Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee

Specifications:

  • Roast: Dark
  • Flavor: Bell pepper, cedar, lemony acidity, spice

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The Real Good Coffee Company was founded 30 years ago in Seattle, a city known for its flourishing coffee culture. With a global network of growers and producers, they import only the finest quality arabica beans.

Their dark roast consists of single-origin organic coffee beans harvested in Sumatra, Indonesia, a region known for unique flavors and processing methods stemming from its humid climate, before being perfectly roasted in small batches in Seattle. The result is a full-bodied beverage with bright flavors of bell pepper, cedar, and lemony acidity balanced by roasted notes and a subtle South Asian spice.

2. Stone Street Colombian Supremo – Best for Cold Brew

Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian Supremo Whole Bean Coffee

Specifications:

  • Roast: Dark
  • Flavor: Earthy, cherry, slightly sweet

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Because coffee for cold brew requires special attention to the beans’ quality and roast level, Stone Street has released Cold Brew Reserve beans. They are single-origin 100% arabica Colombian Supremo beans, sourced for their ideal flavor profile and dark roasted for the ultimate cold brew experience. 

The flavors tend toward dark and earthy, but with a balancing cherry sweetness. They are remarkably low acidity and provide a smooth and well-balanced beverage.

3. Stone Street Organic Peru – Best for Chemex

Stone Street ORGANIC PERU

Specifications:

  • Roast: Medium
  • Flavor: Nutty, sweet, gentle fruit

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Chemex brews a clean cup while maintaining body and balancing floral notes, and this has made it famous for Peruvian beans, with their gentle sweetness and diverse fruit flavors.

If you want to brew with a Chemex, consider Stone Street’s single-origin Peruvian beans, which are both organic and Fair Trade certified.

They feature a predominantly nutty flavor profile with subtle notes of fruit and a mild sweetness accompanied by low acidity and light-medium body. The medium roast provides just a hint of toastiness that enhances rather than masks the inherent taste of the beans.

4. Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth – Best Value

Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic

Specifications:

  • Roast: Medium-Dark
  • Flavor: Chocolate, toasted vanilla, honey, caramel

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Sourced from the Marcala region of Honduras, Subtle Earth single-origin beans are grown at high altitudes, which yields a dense and flavorful bean. The result is a full-bodied low acid coffee with a velvety smoothness and a profound depth of flavor. Prepare for notes of deep, rich chocolate, honey, caramel, and vanilla, each with just a hint of caramelization thanks to the carefully chosen medium-dark roast.

5. New Mexico Piñon Coffee – Best Flavored

New Mexico Piñon Coffee

Specifications:

  • Roast: Medium
  • Flavor: Pinon nut, buttery vanilla

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Piñon is a unique New Mexico offering, blending roasted beans with locally grown piñon nuts or natural piñon flavoring. New Mexico Piñon Coffee, the most recognized brand in the market, uses a blend of high-altitude grown arabica beans roasted to medium. It yields a smooth, easy-drinking coffee with a medium body. 

The primary flavor notes are the piñon nuts themselves, which have a mild nuttiness and slight pine flavor, and buttery vanilla. The combination is rich and almost dessert-like, but subtle enough to benefit from a pour over brew.

6. Bulletproof The Mentalist – Best Gourmet Coffee

Bulletproof The Mentalist

Specifications:

  • Roast: Medium-Dark
  • Flavor: Dark cocoa, vanilla, cherry sweetness, almond, caramel

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While some have described Bulletproof Coffee’s loyal following as cult-like, their high-quality beans still deserve recognition, whether you drink them as a pour-over or blended with butter (4). They are certified organic, a proprietary roasting process minimizes the formation of mold toxins, and after roasting, the beans are lab tested to ensure they meet rigorous purity standards.

The Mentalist is a medium-dark roast featuring single-origin beans harvested from high-altitude estates in Guatemala. They taste dark cocoa and vanilla with a hint of cherry sweetness, accompanied by the almond aroma and caramel for vibrant and soothing start to your day.

The Verdict

Brewing a pour over is a great way to taste the subtleties of your beans. So when it comes down to it, the coffee for pour over is the one you want to taste. 

Our pick for this year is Real Good Coffee Company’s signature dark roast, a single-origin Sumatran bean offering flavors of bell pepper, cedar, and South Asian spice, all balanced by bright, lemony acidity.

Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee

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FAQs

The best grind size for pour over can vary by the brewer, so you should start with a medium-fine grind and adjust according to your taste. Some of the best pour over brewers – the Kalita Wave, Chemex and the V60 – can help you get even extraction to make the most of your ground coffee.

No, pour over is not necessarily stronger than drip coffee, which uses a similar extraction process. However, a pour over brew can taste more flavorful.

No, pour over coffee is not inherently healthier than other forms of brewed one. The paper filters do trap most of the coffee’s oils, so if you are sensitive to oil in your diet, there may be some benefit.

References
  1. How to Perfect Your Pour Over. (2020, January 3). Retrieved from https://www.stumptowncoffee.com/blog/how-to-perfect-pour-over
  2. Main, P. (n.d.). How to Make the Perfect Pour Over. Retrieved from https://www.peets.com/learn/how-to-brew-pour-over
  3. Soque, N. (2019, January 25). Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Pour Over Coffee. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2019/01/everything-you-need-to-know-to-brew-great-filter-pour-over-drip-coffee/
  4. Rubin, C. (2014, December 12). The Cult of the Bulletproof Coffee Diet. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/style/the-cult-of-the-bulletproof-coffee-diet.html
pour over coffee beans and a chemex
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