Cold Brew Vs Pour-Over: Which You Choose?

Cold Brew Vs Pour-Over

Are you stuck between choosing the right coffee-making method for your daily enjoyment? Many people are torn between cold brew and pour-over, both of which deliver great flavor but with slightly different outcomes. In this blog post, we’ll break down these two popular methods side-by-side to help you decide which one is better suited to your own preferences. From brewing time to taste profile, this guide will walk you through all the comparisons of each in order to make an informed decision about which coffee-making process works best for you!

Understand the Difference: Cold Brew Vs Pour-Over

If you’re a coffee lover, then you’ve probably heard of cold brew and pour-over coffee. And while both brewing methods produce some truly delicious results, they are actually quite different from one another.

Cold brew is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for a long period of time. A smooth, less acidic coffee emerges as a result, which is ideal for hot summer days.

On the other hand, pour-over coffee involves pouring hot water over ground coffee using a drip or pour-over device. This method allows you to really control the brewing process, resulting in a bright and bold cup of coffee.

So whether you prefer the smoothness of cold brew or the precision of pour-over, knowing the difference between them will help you choose the perfect brew for your taste buds.

Other Guide: AeroPress Vs. Pour Over Coffee – Which Brewing Method Is Better

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee and What It Is?

Cold brew coffee is a method of coffee brewing that has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Unlike the traditional hot brewing method, cold brew coffee requires little to no heat, resulting in a smoother and less acidic taste.

The key difference between cold brew and pour-over (another popular brewing method) is that cold brew coffee is steeped in room temperature water for an extended period, usually 12-24 hours, whereas pour-over involves hot water poured over coffee grinds, allowing the water to extract the flavor within a matter of minutes.

Making cold brew at home is surprisingly simple and involves steeping coarsely ground coffee in filtered water for a prolonged period. The result is a delicious and refreshing coffee that is perfect for hot summer days or any time when you want to enjoy a smooth and mellow cup of coffee.

How to Make Pour-Over Coffee and What It Is

Pour-over coffee is a brewing method that has gained popularity within the past few years. Unlike its chilled counterpart cold brew, pour-over coffee is hot and provides a rich and nuanced flavor profile.

To make pour-over coffee you’ll need a pour-over dripper cone, paper filters, freshly roasted coffee, a kettle, and a carafe. Boil water, grind coffee to a medium-coarse consistency, and rinse the paper filter. Once the filter is in place, add the coffee grounds, then slowly pour hot water in a circular motion over the coffee.

The coffee will filter through the cone into the carafe, allowing the flavors to develop as they pass through the grounds. Experimenting with grind size, water temperature, and brew ratios will help you find your perfect cup of pour-over coffee.

Water Temperature: Cold Brew Vs Pour Over

The recommended water temperature for making cold brew coffee is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 22 degrees Celsius).

Although the water’s temperature matters, it’s as critical to utilize filtered water when making cold brew. This is because the coffee grounds will soak in the water for a number of hours, enhancing the flavor of any contaminants in the water.

Pour over coffee typically uses water that is between 93 and 96 degrees Celsius (200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperature. This temperature is readily achieved by heating water on the stove to a boil, allowing it to sit for about 30 seconds, and then pouring it over the coffee grounds.

The purpose of using hot water is to maximize the flavor that is extracted from the beans. More extraction will take place as the water gets hotter. The coffee will taste bitter if the water is too hot since it will scald the coffee beans.

So, in making pour-over coffee, be careful to watch the water’s temperature!

Brewing Process: Cold Brew Vs Pour Over

Cold brew process and its benefits

Cold brew offers a unique brewing process that involves patience. Coarse coffee grounds are soaked in cold water for an extended period, allowing the flavors to slowly extract. The result is a smooth, low-acidic coffee concentrate that can be diluted and enjoyed over ice or mixed with other ingredients. One of the benefits of cold brew is its long shelf life, as the concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Pour over the process and its advantages

Pour over, on the other hand, is a hands-on brewing process that requires attention to detail. Hot water is poured in a circular motion over the coffee grounds in a filter, extracting the flavors as it drips into a carafe or mug. The pour-over method allows for precise control over variables such as water temperature, grind size, and extraction time, resulting in a well-balanced and flavorful cup of coffee.

Grind Size: Cold Brew Vs Pour Over

In comparison to conventional drip coffee, the grind size for cold brew coffee is a little bit coarser. The cold brew will be more likely to be over-extracted and bitter with a finer grind, despite the fact that it will release more flavors from the coffee beans.

Remember! You don’t want a grind that is too fine because this isn’t espresso. Just a little something grittier than what you might use for drip coffee.

Pay close attention because a lot of people misunderstand this. For pour-over coffee, the grind size should fall halfway between that of sand and table salt.

If it’s too coarse, the coffee won’t taste strong and the extraction won’t be good. If it’s too fine, the water won’t filter through quickly enough, and you’ll once more get a bitter cup.

Perfect grind size is essential for brewing a delicious cup of pour-over coffee!

Flavor Profile: Cold Brew Vs Pour Over

Cold brew flavor characteristics

Cold brew offers a distinct flavor profile characterized by its smoothness, low acidity, and subtle sweetness. The long steeping process extracts different compounds from the coffee grounds, resulting in a less acidic and mellow taste. Cold brew is often described as having chocolatey, nutty, or caramel-like undertones, making it a delightful choice for those who prefer a less acidic coffee experience.

Pour over flavor characteristics

Pour-over brewing brings out the intricate flavors and aromas of the coffee beans. The pour-over method allows for a clean and vibrant cup of coffee with bright acidity and a wide range of flavor notes. Depending on factors such as the origin of the beans, the roast level, and the brewing technique, pour-over coffee can exhibit floral, fruity, or even citrusy flavors. It offers a more nuanced and complex taste profile compared to cold brew.

Brewing Equipment: Cold Brew Vs Pour Over

Cold brew equipment requirements

To make cold brew, you’ll need a few essential items. First, a large container or jar to hold the water and coffee grounds during the steeping process. It should have a tight-fitting lid to prevent any unwanted odors or flavors from seeping in. Additionally, you’ll need a fine-mesh sieve or a coffee filter to strain the brewed concentrate and remove any sediment.

Pour over equipment requirements

For pour-over brewing, you’ll need a few basic tools as well. A pour-over dripper, such as a Hario V60 or a Chemex, is essential. You’ll also need paper filters that fit your chosen dripper. A gooseneck kettle is recommended for precise pouring control, allowing you to evenly saturate the coffee grounds. Finally, a carafe or a mug to collect the brewed coffee.

Brewing Time: Cold Brew Vs Pour Over

Cold brew steeping time

One advantage of cold brew is its convenience when it comes to brewing time. Once you’ve combined the water and coffee grounds, you’ll need to let it steep for a prolonged period, typically between 12 to 24 hours. This extended steeping time allows for a slow extraction process, resulting in a smooth and less acidic brew. The long steeping time means you can prepare a batch of cold brew in advance and have it ready to enjoy whenever you desire.

Pour-over brewing time

Pour-over brewing, on the other hand, is a relatively quick process. The actual brewing time may vary depending on factors such as grind size and desired strength, but it typically takes around 3 to 4 minutes from start to finish. Pour-over offers a more immediate brewing experience, making it a suitable option for those who prefer a freshly brewed cup of coffee without much waiting time.

Cost: Cold Brew Vs Pour Over

The cost of a typical pour-over brewer ranges from $30 to $60, depending on the glass’s quality. Having said that, a pour-over brewer in plastic like the V60 may be purchased for as little as $15.

The only true continuous expense is the replacement of the paper filters, which are used each time you brew. 100 V60 filters cost about $8 for a pack.

Cold brew often requires a higher coffee-to-water ratio due to the prolonged steeping time. This means you may need more coffee grounds, which can make it slightly more expensive in the long run.

It usually costs more to purchase cold brew coffee from a coffee shop than standard drip coffee. This is because making cold brew coffee takes more time, therefore coffee businesses have to charge more to make a profit.

Cleaning: Cold Brew Vs Pour Over

Cleaning your cold brew coffee maker is essential to maintaining the quality of your coffee and preventing the growth of bacteria.

Simply rinse your cold brewer with warm water and mild soap to clean it. The filter is challenging because coffee grounds may become lodged in the mesh.

One of the simplest coffee machines to clean is a pour-over one. You only need to rinse the cone after each usage because there is no machine or carafe.

You can soak the cone in white vinegar for 30 minutes and then rinse it out if you want to give it a more thorough cleaning.

Cold Brew Vs Pour Over: Which should you choose

It’s time to pick which sort of coffee is superior now that we’ve seen its primary unique characteristics.

It all comes down to personal preference, as we have stated. While some people prefer drip coffee for its ease, others prefer cold brew because of its fuller flavor and lack of acidity.

Experiment with both methods, try different beans and techniques and let your taste buds guide you. Whether you find joy in the smoothness of cold brew or the precision of pour-over, the most important thing is to enjoy your coffee experience to the fullest.


In the battle of cold brew vs. pour-over, it’s a matter of personal taste and brewing preferences. Cold brew offers a smooth, low-acidic cup with a unique flavor profile, while pour-over delivers a vibrant, nuanced brew with precise control over variables. Consider factors such as flavor, brewing time, complexity, caffeine content, convenience, and cost when choosing between the two methods. Ultimately, the decision should be based on what brings you the most joy and satisfaction in your coffee experience. You can also read our best posts for comprehensive information how much coffee goes into a gallon of cold brew?

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