Make Great Pour-Over Coffee with a Dollar-Store Funnel

You deserve great coffee. And you don't need expensive equipment to make it.

Published Apr. 19, 2021.

If you order a pour-over coffee in a Serious Coffee Shop, you get a performance full of drama: the vessel filled with coffee grounds suspended high above the cup on a special stand, the inexplicable pauses and patterns of the pour. Many silent minutes pass before they bestow The Cup of Coffee upon you. 

Sure it’s good, but is all that necessary? And let’s not even talk about the price. 

I speak as a coffee nerd who owns probably 8 or 9 coffee-making devices when I say the answer is no. You can make a pour-over coffee at home, without an expensive specialty apparatus.

All you need is a dollar-store funnel. I’m serious.

What you'll need: the funnel, a cup, a cone-type coffee filter like these that you can get at the supermarket by the hundreds for a couple bucks, and some way to boil water.

And some knowledge: You want roughly 2 heaping tablespoons of coffee for about 6 ounces of water, a ratio figured out by specialists. (You can eyeball this after you’ve done it a few times; if you want to get nerdy with a scale, go for it, but you really don’t have to.) 

If you can, grind the coffee just before brewing for much better flavor. Our favorite blade grinder is usually under $20 and coffee experts couldn’t distinguish between it and the results of our top burr grinder

Coffee tastes best if the brew water is between 195 and 205 degrees, just a bit cooler than boiling (which is 212 degrees). But pouring it cools the temperature into that zone, so you are good to go once it boils. 

With that out of the way, here’s how to make an amazing cup of coffee with your dollar-store funnel:

1. Put the filter in the funnel cone; put the cone in the cup; add the coffee; and pour a little bit of water, just enough to wet the grounds. Wait 15 seconds or so. That opens up the flavor of the coffee. 

2. Now slowly pour in the rest of the water, and try to wet all the grounds. If you want, get in there and stir them with a spoon to be sure that there are no dry pockets.

3. That’s it. Enjoy an amazing cup of coffee. Feel free to tip yourself.

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