I am a huge fan of really good coffee. But I live 10 miles from a Starbucks, and I’m too frugal to pay Starbucks prices for my daily cups of joe. I had seen Pueblo’s local Solar Roast Coffee guys offer samples of their brewed coffee in SamsClub using a pour-over method, so I knew that a really good cup of coffee didn’t require huge sophisticated equipment. So I decided to knock off one of my New Year’s resolutions: learn to make a really good cup of coffee.

I drink decaf coffee and have been buying relatively good beans for a long time and grinding a week’s supply in a good quality burr grinder. Good decaf beans that are affordable are hard to source, and I wanted a regular supply to appear magically in my mailbox every month. So I set up a Subscribe & Save order with Amazon for 2 lb of San Francisco Bay decaf espresso roast coffee.

But that didn’t yield a really good cup of coffee using my trusty Mr. Coffee 4-cup coffee maker. So I needed to change the way I make coffee in addition to the coffee itself. I needed to brew coffee manually.

I researched different pour-over methods of making coffee, including French Press and Chemex. I already had a French Press from bygone years, and I still couldn’t get a good-tasting, non-gritty cup of coffee from it. Chemex machines were expensive, even the knock-offs. One of the comments in a Chemex review suggested that all I needed was a porcelain dripper and an understanding of the v60 brewing method.

I now have a perfect set-up and am producing 3 cups of rich, mellow coffee every morning without much more work and in about the same time it took the automatic coffee maker. Here are the ingredients:

I am adjusting the method described in the v60 Pourover Brew Guide to suit my preferred coffee strength. The whole process takes only 4 minutes. Here is my method:

  1. Put the electric teapot on to boil.
  2. Grind the coffee—just enough for one batch.
  3. Pre-warm the thermos with hot water from the tap.
  4. Insert a filter into the porcelain dripper.
  5. Use the water from the thermos to pre-wet the filter.
  6. Place the dripper over the wide-mouth thermos. The thermos will keep the brewed coffee hot all morning.
  7. Put the dripper and thermos on the scale.
  8. Add the ground coffee to the filter.
  9. Tare the scale to zero.
  10. Pour about 100 g of just-off-the-boil water over the coffee in the filter and wait 30 seconds to allow the coffee to “bloom.”
  11. Pour the rest of the water into the filter, in 100-g batches, using a steady circling motion.
  12. After all of the coffee has dripped through (it takes about 3 minutes), remove the porcelain dripper, pour your first cup, and cap the thermos.