While no longer necessarily the hot “new” thing in specialty coffee preparation, the manual pourover method remains a popular practice at home, and a symbol of the care that many cafes take in delivering brews of freshly roasted, high-quality coffees.
Mechanized solutions have come about to aid precision and consistency in home pourover brewing, creating a growing retail market for gooseneck kettles, coffee scales, timers and other gadgets.
Perhaps the surest sign yet that the precision pourover has reached mainstream status came this past July when the classic retail brand Mr. Coffee launched a guided, precision-oriented manual pourover system of its own — and a considerably advanced one, at that.
At $139 through an Amazon distribution partnership, the system also touches on a new price point for the brand that has traditionally been associated with affordability.
The Mr. Coffee At-Home Pour Over System includes an electric gooseneck kettle and a brewing assembly comprised of a stand, filter-holder and carafe, all attached to a base with an integrated scale and electronic guidance indicating what to do and when.
The kettle heats water to around 200°F before an indicator appears on a screen built into the base of the unit that the water is ready to pour. A digital bar fills with lines during the manual pour to indicate the suggested levels for a bloom phase, followed by a 30-second pause and then the rest of the brew.
The device also beeps to alert users when to stop and continue. Recipe programs are built-in for 10-, 20- or 30-ounce batches — representing two, four or six of Mr. Coffee’s prescribed 5-ounce cups.
Apart from the number of cups in the recipe selection, the system keeps all other numeric values — such as time, temperature and volume — under the hood. Users are given the verbal, graphic and aural indicators for completing their brew.
“Without naming names, we have multiple relationships with local coffee professionals that have been instrumental in our new product innovations,” Mr. Coffee Brand Marketing Director Justin Crout told Daily Coffee News. “They’ve been fantastic to work with and we greatly value their willingness to assist in our efforts. With the Mr. Coffee At-Home Pour Over, our primary focus with them was identifying the ‘must-haves’ of the process, like ideal water temperature, ratios, blooming time… versus what may be considered more advanced aspects or techniques. This allowed us to hone in on what we really needed for great pourover without overcomplicating the process.”
Crout said the brewer is part of a new effort from the nearly-50-year-old brand to engage consumers in some of the finer details of coffee brewing, in order to promote higher quality coffee at home. The brand’s new Easy Measure drip brewer includes water filtration, color-coded water and coffee measuring systems and a visual freshness reminder at the base informing users how long the coffee’s been sitting there since it was brewed.
Future machines will include more dishwasher-friendly parts to keep old flavors from carrying over, and an upcoming Mr. Coffee single-cup system with “a kettle-style heater” will also brew at the optimal temperature and will accept cone filters rather than flat bottom filters, according to Crout.
“The Mr. Coffee brand has always been dedicated to keeping it simple to make great coffee,” said Crout. “We continue to look at other emerging trends in specialty coffee and determine how Mr. Coffee can help accelerate them to the masses.”