Let's face it; usually, here in Fort Lauderdale, we miss out on a lot of trends or we get them late. Think about about it-- trends like dining in the dark, dubstep (kidding) and Wes Anderson movies always arrive post facto. Fortunately, thanks to the folks at Brew Urban Café in Fort Lauderdale, we won't miss the manual pour-over trend that has become so popular in major cities around the country.
The short-hand explanation of a manual pour-over is that it's a process involving grinding coffee beans, pouring hot water over the grind which is filtered into a glass pitcher. Nothing new there. Right? After all, that's how coffee is made. The manual pour-over is much more intricate; timing and precision are paramount. If you've ever seen a manual pour-over, you know that it takes a little more time and patience, from both the barista and the patron, than your usual latte.
With so many steps required to produce one cup, you may feel guilty asking someone to go to such lengths to make it for you. After trying a cup, you're likely kick yourself for not asking sooner.
Why go for the pour-over? Brew Urban barista, Olivia Adkins, explains," The manual process reduces the bitterness of the coffee because of the quicker extraction time. The quick extraction also enhances the sweetness. It's less acidic. Usually, I add lots of cream and sugar to my coffee but can drink this coffee black". Adkins describes the coffee as being smooth, clean and crisp with no aftertaste. Crisp, clean coffee? Tell us more.
Olivia shows us step-by-step how to create the perfect manual pour.
Before starting the process, Adkins heats a kettle of water to 195 degrees. While the coffee is heating, she carefully measures 28 grams (That's right, we're using metrics. This has got to be good) of single-origin coffee beans.
Single-origin coffee beans are produced by one farmer from a specific region of the world as opposed to using blend of beans from different growers which changes the integrity of the coffee. For our demonstration, Olivia used Intelligentsia's Costa Rican Flecha Roja beans. The beans are described as having a cherry, orange, and pomegranate flavor, refreshing acidity and a brown sugar finish.
Next, the beans are ground to a medium grind, slightly more coarse than
your normal grind. The medium grind is critical for extraction purposes. A filter is neatly folded to prevent air bubbles and is placed in the extraction "dripper" so that it's flush with the unique, grooved interior of the dripper. The filter is then saturated with water.
The heated water is decanted into a second kettle and the V60 brewing apparatus is set on a scale before beginning the extraction process.
The coffee grounds are added to the filter at the last minute and a timer is set for three minutes.
During this time, the coffee begins to "bloom". When coffee blooms, aromatic elements of the coffee are released. While blooming, a change in the coffee's acidity occurs. The change causes gases from the beans to escape, resulting in the formation of tiny bubbles on the surface of the coffee.
After thirty seconds have elapsed, the hot water is slowly poured in concentric circles starting from the middle of the grounds to just shy of the edge of the dripper. The water is poured until the scale hits the magic number, 417 grams.
While the liquid drips into the glass pitcher, a mug is heated with hot water which is discarded before pouring in the smooth, aromatic brew. The last step of the process is to enjoy the bright, fruity flavors in your carefully crafted cup.
The result of all of this effort is a smooth, clean cup of coffee a with a more distinctive flavor profile than your average cup of joe. Currently, Brew Urban Café's manual pours are only available at their Victoria Park location on Federal Highway. Soon, they will also be available at their Riverfront location on S.W. 2nd Avenue.
Brew Urban Cafe sells the coffee beans, the V60 pour-over system ($25) and its more sophisticated cousin, the Chemex ($35) for those who want to try making it at home.
We say, do yourself a favor; spend the three bucks and change and have them make it for you. Why? Cause you're worth it.
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.