Fast forward to 2017. Filtered coffee, “pour over” is a “thing.” Because the Japanese have taken to it. Whether it was a transplant from Brazil, where there are many Japanese emigrees, or just the fact that it is an efficient, energy saving and space saving way to make a great cup, I don’t know. But the Japanese have created a line of coffee filters with tweaks along the way. A pointed filter (not flat on the bottom like Melitta.) A gooseneck kettle to control the pour. It all works really well. There are various versions of the set including some with a scale, but the Hario basic set that comes in red or black with a glass vessel and a filter holder is a good deal.
You fit a cone filter into it (the set comes with some of the V60 size filters) and wet it down. Then you put in 25 grams of ground coffee per about 2 “cups” (one 8 oz mug, I figure) and pour boiling water down the center, wetting the grounds as they foam up. As it filters into the pot, you have fresh coffee. You can warm it up again in the microwave (this is microwavable) but I just prewarm the glass before making coffee and drink it right up.
The hot water kettle should have a gooseneck for optimal pouring out of hot water into the filter. It directs the flow and keeps it from going too quickly. There are many versions of the gooseneck kettle, from stovetop to electric. I like the Oxo Gooseneck Kettle for its temperature control and keep-warm feature. And it doesn’t risk leaving it on a stove to boil dry. It doubles as a tea kettle, so it’s very useful –if you don’t have an electric kettle, it’s a versatile choice. As Japanese kitchens tend to be small, this system is suited to urban life or space constraints, and its energy efficient and makes a lot of sense.
I think pour-over when made correctly gives the best cup of coffee. I prefer it to French Press (which I find gives a woody note if the grounds are not prepared in just the right degree of coarseness.)
The Japanese took to this method some time ago, when coffee became a “thing” in Japan. My mom, who liked coffee and had a trip to Japan commented on the coffee. “It’s the best in the world. I can’t stop drinking it. But…so expensive.” Burr grinders (best way to grind beans, and there are manual ones) also, highly accurate scales to go with, so you get that perfect cup. The Japanese have a philosophy “There is only ONE right way to do anything.” Is this the right way? Maybe…