How To Make Perfect Pour-Over Coffee

A pot of pour-over coffee

A pot of pour-over coffee

(Editor’s note: While Ouedraogo favors Columbian coffee, such as the ultra-fresh roasted beans from Brooklyn’s Devoción Coffee Shop, any full-flavored fresh coffee beans will work. Ouedraogo also uses a V60 over-the-cup dripper, but any cone shaped dripper or metal filter will work, as will a Chemex-style pour-over coffee maker with a mesh or paper filter. Avoid grinding the coffee beans too fine, as that will slow the water and bring out bitter flavors. If you put a dime on the top of the coffee, it shouldn’t fall into the grounds and get hidden.)

Oualelaye Ouedraogo’s Perfect Pour-Over Coffee

Makes one 12-ounce serving


  • 32 grams (about 5-6 tablespoons) medium-grind coffee
  • 12 ounces water
  • Warm milk for serving, if desired


Place mesh filter or paper filter inside of coffee dripper or carafe-style glass coffeemaker. Place a 12-ounce ceramic cup or clear glass container under dripper, if using. Heat water to 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit. Moisten the filter slightly with the hot water, then put the ground coffee into the filter. Pour a tiny bit of water onto the grounds, making sure that the water does not drip through, and wait 30 seconds. This allows some oxygen to escape from the ground coffee. Pour the remaining water slowly and steadily in slow circles around the coffee, making sure that it doesn’t bubble up or rise up too much in the filter. Let coffee drip into cup or glass container. Serve immediately, with warm milk and/or sugar or liquid sweetener, if desired.