How To Make Pour Over Coffee Without A Scale In 5 Easy Steps

May 23, 2023
by Dan Skewes

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There’s nothing quite like sitting back and enjoying a steaming hot cup of coffee on a lazy morning.

If you love pour-over coffee but you don’t have a scale, don’t worry - you can still make it and enjoy it from your own home without the hassle! 

Warning: if you’re a precise, rule-following coffee snob, this method won’t be for you.

However, if you’re ready to make a few adjustments and get creative in the name of good coffee, you’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading to learn how to make pour over coffee without a scale in a few simple steps! 

What is Pour Over Coffee?

In short, pour-over coffee is… well, just coffee. However, to make it, you’ll need to pour hot water over ground coffee that’s being supported in a filter.

Then, the steaming water will brew the grounds, and the coffee will start to drip through the coffee filter and into the cup.

There you have it - delicious! 

What Does a Scale Do? 

Many people prefer to use a scale when they make their pour-over coffee.

A scale is used to measure the amount of coffee used in your cup, and also the amount of water used in the brewing process.

Although this can help you get the right ratio, it’s not essential. 

Drip vs. Pour Over Coffee: What’s the Difference? 

Although these are often confused, there are some pretty notable differences between the two. 

Pour-over coffee involves a unique type of manual brewing method that gives you a lot of control over the final result.

Pour-over coffee uses a specially-designed cone to hold your filter and grounds in place, and hot water is slowly poured over in a spiral pattern, and the grounds are collected in the cup below. 

On the other hand, drip coffee is usually brewed with a machine that automates the manual pour-over process.

All you need to do is add water and coffee grounds to your machine, and the technology does the rest!

The water is heated and then passed over the grounds in a built-in filter basket. Your brewed coffee will then be poured into a carafe or another container below. 

Pour-over Coffee Makers 

If you want to make pour-over coffee yourself, you’ll have several devices to choose from. Here are the most popular: 


Pour over coffee dripper cup

The ‘dripper’ is the most common pour-over coffee-making device. You simply place your dripper on top of a mug and let it work its magic!

Drippers are usually wider at the top than they are at the bottom, and they resemble a teacup (without a bottom). 

Once the dripper is placed on top of the mug, simply add in your filter and your coffee grounds.

When you pour hot water over the grounds, the coffee will start to drip through the bottom and go directly into your cup.

If you’re just making one cup and don’t want to invest in a brewing system, this is a great alternative. 


Pour over coffee carafe

Next up, we have the carafe. A carafe coffee maker is a tall glass pitcher with a dripper attached to the top.

Your carafe will work in the same way as the pitcher, but it can hold more servings and produce more coffee.

You may also hear the carafe referred to as a ‘chemex’. 

Other Items to Make Pour-Over Coffee 

Some people also prefer to use the following items when making pour-over coffee: 

However, none of these items are compulsory, and we’ll show you exactly how you can make pour-over coffee at home, without them! 

How to Make Pour-Over Coffee Without a Scale 

Although using a scale to make your pour-over coffee can make the process easier, it’s not necessary.

If you don’t have one, you can still make it at home, but to get an exceptional cup of coffee, you’ll need the following things: 

Quality Coffee 

Good quality coffee beans are a no-brainer. If you’re using poor-quality coffee, you’ll end up with a bland-tasting cup, no matter what method you use. 

The Right Grinder 

You’ll also need to use a good quality grinder. The appropriate grinder will help you extract the best flavors from your beans, and give you a cup to remember! 

Don’t forget these other essentials, either: 

  • A kettle
  • A cup 
  • Filters that come with the brewer
  • A coffee machine (if you want to make the process faster) 

1. Grind Your Beans 

When you’re ready, start by grinding your beans. This process will take a few minutes, but we’d recommend choosing medium coarse grinds. 

2. Boil Your Water 

Once you’ve ground your beans, you can go ahead and boil your water. Although it’s easiest to do this in a kettle, you can also do it on the stove. 

3. Prep 

While your water is boiling, fold up your filter paper and place it in the top of your coffee brewer.

Once the water hits boiling point, pour a small amount on the paper filter. This will help heat up the brewer.

4. Grounds Prep and ‘Bloom’

Get the grounds you prepared earlier, and start pouring them into the filter.

Pour a small amount of water over the grounds (just enough to submerge them), and leave it on there long enough for the water to drip through.

This will take around 30 seconds. Blooming your coffee also gives you a bit of time to savor the beautiful aromas before you start drinking. 

5. More Water 

Now, you can start pouring more water into the dripper, working from the outside to the inside in a circular motion.

When your dripper becomes full, stop and wait for the coffee to drip into the cup, then continue.

This process should be done slowly and will take you between 2-3 minutes to complete. 

The Bottom Line 

Pour-over coffee is an art. If you enjoy making your coffee by hand, you’ll prefer this method over automated machines, and no, you don’t need a scale to do it!

Simply follow the instructions above to create the perfect cup of pour-over coffee. 

You might also be interested in: The 5 Best Light Roast Coffee Options That Aren't Bitter

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