Pour-Over Coffee Questions and Suggestions? : Coffee

Hello! I’ve recently started trying the pour-over method for making coffee in my office cubicle, and I’m a bit stuck with a few problems I’m having and having no luck finding some answers. I’m hoping someone might have an answer here or can point me in the right direction.

  1. I get a varying level of bitterness with each brew. I can’t pinpoint what typically changes, and I think I’ve been able to keep some variables consistent (amount of coffee, how MUCH water pouring at a time, how hot the temperature is, if I pour in even circles or not), but even then I can’t figure it out. I’ve seen fingers pointing to the type of grind… I typically buy pre-ground coffee as I don’t currently have a grinder and I keep hearing that whole beans are more expensive… and I need to keep cheap. Additionally, I’ve had multiple scoops out of the same bag yield varying tastes… so it’s even inconsistent within the same bag of coffee. Are there any factors I should look at with pre-ground to improve my consistency, and are there any pouring techniques I can use to improve the flavor so it’s not so bitter? Sifting, blending coffee more, less… anything? D:

  2. The strength (both flavor and caffeine) is inconsistent… it tends to flip flop between “okay”, and “was that even coffee?”, with the occasional “holy crap this is delicious”. Again, like with the bitterness, I’ve tried changing how I make it, the water temperature, how I pour, and it’s inconsistent even scoop to scoop, using the same bag.

  3. I want to clarify if pour-over coffee is filtered or not. NOTE: I AM NOT ASKING FOR HEALTH ADVICE. I’m assuming it is filtered, yet I came across this article which talks about avoiding pour-over, mentioning that it’s unfiltered. Am I misunderstanding something? I wanted to know if I should even bother asking for further clarification of the article in a health reddit or whatever.

I’m using the Hario V60 (glass/plastic holder) dripper, with the V60 coffee filters.

Initially, I was using the regular ground coffee from Cup of Joe but it’s since been finished. I’m now using an AmazonFresh bag of pre-ground coffee.

I don’t have a way to check the temperature but I’m using hot water from a water dispenser in my office. Used to use one from the deli that was in the building, but they’ve packed up shop when the covid lockdown stuff started and I don’t believe they’re returning… so the water I’m getting now is not as hot.

I’m currently storing my hot water in an insulated Contigo bottle (almost identical to this one but a slightly different top). It seems to keep it hot for a bit, but my best pours are USUALLY immediately after I return to my desk with the hot water… maybe within about 15 mins? Usually, after 15 minutes the quality goes down… but again, not always. I hate inconsistency. Also, I pour the water from the water bottle so it’s hard to get a consistent flow. I tend to get a fairly smooth flow but not as good as those long spout water pots.

I’m a complete noob at this and I’m not even going to try and act like I know anything. I have seen an article on this site and tried following it to the best of my ability, but I can’t do it EXACTLY given my lack of resources, and I’m basically playing stupid games with coffee, and am getting stupid (and disappointing) prizes. Or results.

Is there any way I can save this jank and make something half decent, or if anyone has managed to get some delicious pour-over coffee made in their own office, can they suggest what I can do to make things work for me?

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