Discovering the Perfect Pour Over Ratio with James Hoffmann

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Pour over coffee brewing is an intricate and delightful way to start your day or refresh your afternoon. If you’re new to the world of hand-brewed coffees, understanding the right coffee to water ratio is critical to achieving that perfect cup. But don’t worry – coffee expert James Hoffmann has shared insights that take the guesswork out of the equation.

Who is James Hoffmann?

James Hoffmann is among the most well-known personalities in the coffee world. From winning the World Barista Championship in 2007 to authoring ‘The World Atlas of Coffee’ and sharing his vast knowledge on his popular YouTube channel, Hoffmann is a trusted voice in the industry. His precise yet accessible approach to brewing coffee makes his advice ideal for beginners and connoisseurs alike.

The James Hoffmann Pour Over Ratio

Hoffmann recommends a coffee to water ratio that is both simple and effective. For a pour over, he suggests using 60 grams of coffee for every one liter of water. That breaks down to:

  • 1g of coffee to 16.7ml of water
  • For a smaller brew (1 cup/250ml of water), that would mean using roughly 15g of coffee

It’s important to note that these measurements should serve as a starting point. The perfect ratio can be subjective, and it may vary according to personal taste, the coffee bean variety, and even the grinder used. Hoffmann encourages adjustments to find the perfect balance for your palate.

Grinding the Coffee

Before even considering your water-to-coffee ratio, make sure your beans are freshly ground to the right consistency. Pour over brewing requires a medium to medium-fine grind – akin to sea salt in texture. Grinding your coffee fresh ensures you maintain the beans’ full spectrum of flavors.

Preparing for Pour Over

When preparing for a pour over, you should:

  1. Preheat your vessel and filter. Pouring hot water through your filter and vessel before starting the brew will help maintain a consistent temperature throughout the brewing process.
  2. Weigh your coffee. Precision is key, so use a digital scale. If you’re following Hoffmann’s ratio and brewing one cup, you should measure out 15g of coffee.
  3. Boil your water. The ideal temperature for coffee brewing water is around 200°F (93°C), slightly off from boiling point.

The Pour Over Process

To begin brewing:

  1. Grounds in Filter: Place your freshly-ground coffee into the filter
  2. Bloom the Coffee: Start by pouring just enough water to saturate the grounds (about twice the weight of the coffee). Allow it to “bloom” for 30 seconds. The bloom is essential for releasing carbon dioxide and ensuring even extraction.
  3. Begin Pouring: After the bloom, start pouring the remaining water in a slow, spiral motion, ensuring you wet all the grounds. Be consistent and patient. The entire brewing process should take about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Watch the Drip: Once you’ve finished pouring, let the coffee finish dripping through the filter. It should end with a slow drip rather than a stream.

Final Tips from James Hoffmann

James Hoffmann reminds us that brewing a delicious cup of pour over coffee is about more than just ratios. Consistency in your pour, water quality, and even the freshness of your coffee beans can dramatically affect the taste. Experiment with variables one at a time, and record your findings until you’ve dialed in your perfect cup.


The James Hoffmann pour over ratio is an excellent guideline for beginners looking to experiment with manual brewing methods. Remember, the joy of pour over coffee is in the process and the customization. Use the 1:16.7 ratio as your starting point and tweak until you find your preference. Your perfect pour over awaits!

james hoffmann pour over ratio

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