Tired of scrubbing the black gunk outta your French press? Too poor to afford a fancy espresso machine? Get your caffeine fix by ordering a “pour-over,” Nashville’s newest coffee obsession.
Crema, Barista Parlor and Red Bicycle have all started serving cups of hand-dripped, old-fashioned pour-over coffee. The secret is in the “cone dripper,” which holds the coffee grounds and determines how much water can seep through. Unlike a French press, which lets the grounds soak in water, a pour-over cone requires two different stages. The result is a sharper, brighter-tasting cup of coffee. It can be a MUCH stronger cup, too, depending on which cone you use.
Those looking for a serious jolt of caffeine should go with the Chemex, which looks like something you’d find in a high-school science laboratory. The Chemex requires a bit of work — the coffee beans need to be finely ground, and it takes 3.5 minutes to brew a single cup — but all that TLC results in a cup that’s intensely flavored. It’s simple, really: the longer you brew, the more you bring out the subtle notes of your coffee. Basically, the Chemex can mean the difference between an ordinary cup of joe and a cup of Joseph, pronounced with some sort of high-class, European accent.
If you’re using a coffee roast that’s already strong, though, the Chemex can make your coffee undrinkable. This is where the Kalita comes in. The Kalita uses a flat-bottomed filter with three holes, which helps speed up the brewing process. Your coffee will be ready in two minutes, and the speedy timing ensures that your cup will pack a punch without knocking you out.
Over at Red Bicycle Coffee & Crepes, barista Dave Trett busted out some of the shop’s pour-over equipment and showed us the ropes.
“With both methods, you’re getting lower acidity,” he said, pouring hot water into both cones. “See that steam? It’s actually gas, which we’re releasing out of the coffee. With normal cups of coffee, the gasses stay in. That’s fine and everything... but this is just better. Better taste, better quality.”
And, most importantly, better coffee.