Can Pour-Over Coffee Kick Keurig To The Curb?

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A cost analysis of Keurig vs. Pour Over coffee, PLUS tips and tricks to make a great pour over coffee.
Keurig replacement a Metilla pour over coffee maker

Growing up, my Mom always had a hot pot of coffee on.  I don’t recall the age that I started drinking it, but as soon as I did, I was hooked!  The love of coffee must be genetic (ha-ha) since my Grandmother’s rule of thumb was to always buy a can of coffee when she went to the store, regardless if she needed it or not and more if it was on sale.  If you are thinking ‘wow that is a lot of coffee’ rest assured not a drop went to waste.

When I was getting ready to venture out into the world on my own, there was one thing that I had to have, my own coffee pot.  I probably went through a couple of the cheap models, which put coffee in my cup, but the heating element would burn out quickly.  

Then for a gift, I received an expensive (to me) Cuisinart DCC 1200 that could brew 12 cups of coffee, and I could set a timer to have the brewed coffee waiting for me in the morning.  I fondly remember waking up to the pleasant smell with a smile, knowing my day was going to start off great no matter what the commute to work would be like.

I could not guess as to how many pounds of Folgers Classic and Folgers Black Silk I put through that Cuisinart machine.  It always worked flawlessly, my only qualm about it was having to buy the charcoal filters.  Also, the cleanup factor was a little time consuming and messy if you use the metal #4 filter, so I typically used the Melitta paper #4 filters.

From Coffee Pot To Coffee Pod

Eventually, I began to buy more and more lattes at a coffee shop on my route to work.  This cut our coffee brewing consumption to just the weekends, and even then we did not make a full pot. So we decided to purchase a Keurig to see how the convenience of throwaway pod for one cup of coffee would taste.  Despite my skepticism, I really liked the Keurig! We wanted to preserve it’s longevity so only filtered water went into the water reservoir, and it has been used for close to 10 years daily, brewing close to 4 cups a day.

Keurig Has A Few Downfalls

I can say that the Keurig had some drawbacks such as the reusable k-cup.  It was not the easiest to clean, and if another family member wanted coffee after I got done with my cup, by the time it took me to clean the filter and set it up again, my coffee was getting cold!  At one point we invested in the paper filters that we put inside the reusable k-cup, which helped. But I still preferred the pods, especially since they would not give me the bonus coffee grounds in the bottom of my cup like the reusable k-cups did.

The other issue to the Keurig was the amount of storage needed for all the pods and accessories.  We would have upwards of 6 different flavors at a time, and each box had 18 pods, plus our favorite Pacific Bold from Costco that comes as a box of 120 pods.  All the k-cup items consumed 1 shelf of our house’s kitchen pantry, and 40 in the carousel /holder that was on the counter next to the Keurig.  To begin our 5th wheel living full-time lifestyle we had to ditch the carousel and stuff one cabinet by the TV full of pods.

The Keurig’s Replacement

Don set out on a quest to replace the Keurig with something that produced a great ‘Cup Of Joe,’ did not take up much space, and would not require electricity to run.  At this point, he had settled on the cold brew method with an Asobu, which I gave him has a birthday gift over the summer.  Check out Don’s blog post to learn more.

In return, for Christmas, he bought me a Metilla 1-cup pour over to try out.  I understood the method: pour hot water over coffee grounds and the device will slowly drip the end result into my cup.   But how would it taste? How much more coffee would I end up using vs. one pod?

Is A Pour-Over CHEAP And Tasty

The only way to find out was to try it out!  Over the last 10-weeks, I have been doing just that by experimenting with the ratio of coffee to water, purchasing small amounts of whole bean coffee to try different roasts and the different grind options.  I was having so much fun playing around with the pour over style coffee, that I bought a gooseneck tea kettle to help get a consistent slow flow of hot water.  I thought about getting the metal filter #2 but opted against doing so after remembering how much water was needed to clean the one we had for our Cuisinart 12-cup coffee maker, making it not so RV boondocking friendly.  As the days went by, we realized that between my new coffee interest and Don with his cold brew, the Keurig had not been touched in over a month.

I can say that the coffee made from the pour-over has a very intense flavor.  It’s crazy when you buy coffee beans that mention it will have a ‘hint of blueberry’ or a ‘hint of chocolate’ and POW the flavor knocks your socks off, in a good and surprising way.  When we tried this with our Cuisinart in the past, the flavors did not POP the way they do with the pour-over method.

The average cost of one k-cup pod to generate a single 8-ounce cup of coffee is around $1.  One pound of coffee that you grind at the store is approximately $8. For a strong cup of pour-over coffee, the rule of thumb is 2 grams of coffee for 1 ounce of water (16 grams per 8 ounces).  That 1 pound of coffee (452 grams) will yield 226 ounces of coffee. Broken down further that is 28 cups (8 ounces) of pour-over coffee for only $8. Or you can pay $28 for the pod style coffee. In my opinion, the pour over method is the best option to save you some green and tastes great too!

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee

I can not say if this is right or wrong, I am not a coffee aficionado, but this is how I make my Metilla pour over and have enjoyed it so much we will be donating our Keurig soon.  Of course, I will update any changes to my current method as I continue to experiment.

  1. Measure out 8 ounces of water
  2. Heat water to 200*F
  3. Fold paper filter and place in pour over – Metilla filter box has a picture
  4. Wet the filter – this is where the gooseneck kettle is handy
  5. Add 8 -16 grams of coffee per 8oz water (depends on the roast and your taste)
  6. Pour in just enough water to wet the grounds and let sit for 30 seconds
  7. Pour in more water to fill half of the pour over ‘basket’
  8. Continue to pour in more water, after the first batch has fully drained
  9. When your cup is full, toss the filter, rinse the pour-over and enjoy your coffee

Tips On The Pour-Over Method

  • A coarse grind will result in a watery cup of coffee
  • A fine grind will result in bitter coffee, and it takes forever to pass through the filter
  • The ‘Drip’ or ‘Auto Drip’ grind is what I have found works well with my setup
  • Get a kitchen scale to weigh your coffee in grams, so you are consistent each time
  • If the coffee is too strong, add more hot water to your cup
  • Each roast will require more or less water, based on your taste
  • A notepad is ideal if you really want to get into experimenting with your pour over
  • Paper filter vs. metal filter – I have never noticed a taste difference, but you might
  • The temperature of the water should be between 195*F – 205*F
  • Water higher than 205*F will bring out a bitter flavor from the beans
  • Water less than 195*F will not effectively extract the flavor, as a pour-over method
  • A gooseneck kettle with a thermometer is ideal for pouring as well as gauging temp

The Pour-Over: Yes or No

  • YES, if you want
    • To control how strong your coffee is (like a traditional pot of coffee)
    • To brew between 1 – 8 cups of coffee at a time
    • A pour-over in these material options: glass, plastic, ceramic or metal
    • To experiment crafting YOUR perfect cup of coffee
    • A cheap way to make coffee (no coffee maker needed)
    • If you travel a lot were space, size, and non-breakable matter
  • NO, if you prefer
    • Not wait on heating water on the stove to brew your coffee
    • To make more than 8 cups of coffee at a time
    • Having your coffee ready and waiting for you in the morning
    • To be able to ‘freshen-up’ your current cup of coffee (coffee pot)

Thank you for reading why we decided to try the Pour Over Coffee method and hope you choose to try it yourself.  If you do, please drop us a Comment below and as always feel free to ask us a question about it.

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Melissa McElfresh

Melissa McElfresh

In 2012 I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), which made me realize life is too short and not to take simple things for granted. As an avid indoor-girl with allergies, I did not go on hikes of any sort. But, one day my Marine husband, Don, asked if I would go on a 'nature walk' with him. It was on the paved Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park. I went and was hooked, eager for our next adventure! The desire to see new places, meet new people, experience new cultures, has aided me to share with you my new adventure.

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We are sharing our adventures to not only document our full-time living in a 5th wheel but to provide others with information.  Our extensive research involved searching for answers to these questions: how to begin this lifestyle, what RV is best to live in full-time and what jobs could we do to support our dream.  However, we did not find a lot of answers out there that pertained to our quest.  Quickly we realized people choose this lifestyle and their RV for many different reasons.  There is no right or wrong answer.  We are here to provide you with another perspective.

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