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Pour over coffee: The best beans to use

At DRWakefield, we like to keep our eye on the latest trends in the coffee world, with pour over currently taking it by storm.
In a recent blog post, we looked at the reasons behind the rising popularity of the pour over brewing method, thanks to our coffee catalyst Henry Clifford providing an insight into the increasingly prevalent trend.
Here, Henry continues on the theme of pour over coffee, explaining exactly which beans may be best to use in the brewing process.

Flavours

One of the main attractions of pour over coffee is that it allows people to experience flavours that may not be typically associated with the beverage.

Henry explained: "In the specialty coffee industry, we're beginning to move away from the traditional, quite bitter, chocolate, earth, smoke and nut flavours that most people expect from coffee and roasters are exploring what flavours you can get from coffee.

"If you want to get away from more traditional tastes and get new, funky flavours that you might never associate with coffee – like blueberry of strawberry – you might want to think of using natural coffee for a pour over."

Henry added that beverages brewed using the pour over method "will often taste very delicate and almost tea-like".

However, pour over coffees are not just about fruit. Henry explained: "A lot of coffees that have nuanced flavours of chocolate and nut without the bitterness and earth that you'll find in more commercial grade coffees also come out very well using the pour over method."

Recommended beans

The pour over fans here in the DRWakefield office are particularly partial to a natural Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, and a washed Guatemalan SHB. The Guatemalan gives a very clean, chocolate and hazelnut cup profile in contrast to the Yirgacheffe.

"The natural Ethiopian Yirgacheffe tastes like blueberries and strawberries," Henry explained.

He also recommends using a Kenyan peaberry for those after a slightly different fruity taste.

"From the Kenyan peaberry, you would expect citrus notes, blackcurrant flavours and a very bright acidity."

Henry added that if there is one piece of advice relating to the pour over method that he'd like to emphasise, it is that only freshly ground beans should be used. This is because stale coffee – that which has been pre-ground and stored without brewing for any length of time – can mask the intensity of these bright cupping profiles.

What do the drinkers think?

At the Cup North coffee festival in Manchester at the beginning of November, DRWakefield hosted a brew bar featuring several beverages created via the pour over method.

Both the natural Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and the Kenyan peaberry were on offer over the weekend, with both proving popular among visitors to the event, as well as some of the top names in the industry.

"Consumers who've never really tried coffee like that before were taken aback by experiencing these flavours in coffee," Henry explained.

"Industry folk and coffee enthusiasts who tried them also really enjoyed them because they could appreciate their complexity."

Photo credit: Thinkstock/stokkete