Pourover vs. Espresso - Acidity

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by 709espresso »

I'm very much a daily espresso drinker, but I decided to give pourover a try to see if it makes for a better daily drink. I love espresso, but it is a pretty short drink, and I'm not really into latte and cappuccino. I think I've prepared it correctly (watched tons of videos), but while the taste is good-ish - a little weak tasting, but neither sour nor bitter, which is my general idea of good coffee - it is way more acidic in my stomach than espresso. I use slightly more coffee - 24g for my pourover, against 21g for my espresso, but I can take a fairly high threshold of coffee in a morning typically, as long as its not too acidic, so don't think that this should make a big difference to me. I have tried with both dark roast (which I tend to prefer for espresso, and have used this batch of beans for espresso) and medium roast. All fresh beans, ground just before prep.

Is this the way it is, or am I doing something wrong?

Team HB

#2: Post by baldheadracing »

I would suggest making an Americano with your espresso as a test - the idea being that it is the dilution of coffee in water, and its subsequent effect, that is the factor
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

709espresso (original poster)

#3: Post by 709espresso (original poster) » replying to baldheadracing »

I often add water in my espresso with a ratio of 1:1 - 40g of coffee out, 40g of water added. Of course this is much less than would be in a pourover, but I don't see how putting more water in my espresso is going to make it more acidic in my stomach. The brew process is different, so there's never going to be an equality test for this, but my hope is to get pourover to be less acidic, not get espresso to be more so. I guess maybe my question wasn't phrased very clearly, but what I'm wondering is, how do I get rid of the acidity that my pourover produces. I don't get it using the same beans in espresso. Another way to put it - has anyone found pourover to be more acidic than other methods of brewing, and if so, were you able to do anything to make it less so?

The coffee tastes very different as a pourover than as an espresso - not just the strength of taste, but the taste notes that come out of it. The pourover seems more bland, but its still a very pleasant drink. Its been an interesting trial, and I am interested in keeping it going, but only if I can get rid of that acidic feeling in my stomach - that to me is what gives me the jitters when I drink a bit too much of it. I never get that with espresso when I make it right. And just to reiterate - the coffee does not taste sour or bitter - indications to me that it would be under or over extracted and both of which have caused some acidic feeling in my stomach in the past.

Team HB

#4: Post by baldheadracing »

The greater volume affects how your digestive system reacts (and tells your brain to react). For example, one cause of jitters is caffeine, and the speed of absorption of caffeine by the body is faster when caffeine is diluted with water.

To answer what I believe is your question: to lower what people perceive as acidity in pourover, the oft-quoted recommendation is to brew with the pouring water at 70C-80C. That works for a lot of people.

Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

709espresso (original poster)

#5: Post by 709espresso (original poster) » replying to baldheadracing »

Thanks. I did not know that. I'll give it a try at 70-80c.


709espresso (original poster)

#6: Post by 709espresso (original poster) »

I gave this a try. It definitely reduced that acidic feeling in my stomach (I went with 80 degrees). Somehow not satisfied with pourover in the way that I am with espresso though. It's kind of fun to make, just not the kind of taste that satisfies. I'll continue to give it a try, but I think espresso is my thing, and that's it. :D


#7: Post by erik82 »

I was in the same boat for years drinking 90% espresso - 10% pourover. I took me some time to really appreciate pourover but now I'm more like 50-50 and love pourover. Yes it seems very weak in the beginning but you need to get adjusted coming from the big taste of espresso.

Maybe Aeropress will be better in the beginning and transition from there to V60-01. Having good quality pourover coffee does give a lot of nice tasting coffee without the hard notes that espresso can have. Just let it cool quite a bit before you drink it to get more flavour notes.