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8 Best Coffee Beans for Pour Over Coffee: 2022 Reviews

Pour-over brewing is experiencing a heyday. Baristas and home brewers alike are realising the power of this technique for emphasising the subtle and complex flavours in a cup of coffee. 

Choosing the best coffee for pour over mostly comes down to personal taste. However, this article offers some useful guidelines as well as eight good recommendations to suit any palate. We cover beans suited to pour over only, in this guide. For a wider range of options read out guide: best coffee beans bucket list.

How to Choose the Right Coffee Beans for Pour-over

If you like your coffee flavour-forward, with a bright and clean cup, skip the French Press; the pour-over method is perfect for you. So, the most important thing is tracking down high-quality coffee beans whose flavours you genuinely love. For this, we’re here to help.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Best Overall Best Overall The Roastery Peru Guardian Del Bosque Geisha The Roastery Peru Guardian Del Bosque Geisha
  • Roast not specified
  • Peruan origin
  • Jasmine, marzipan, peach
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Best Light Roast Best Light Roast Pact Coffee El Paraiso Espresso Pact Coffee El Laurel
  • Light roast
  • Honduran origin
  • Grapefruit, jasmine
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Best Blend Best Blend Balance Coffee Level Up Blend Balance Coffee Level Up Blend
  • Medium roast
  • Colombian, Tanzanian origins
  • Red berries, caramel, pecans
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Budget Pick Budget Pick BIRD & WILD RSPB COFFEE Bird & Wild Medium Roast Seasonal Blend
  • Medium roast
  • Various origins
  • Dark chocolate, floral
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Best Decaf Best Decaf Decadent Decaf Guatemala Acatenango Decadent Decaf Guatemala Acatenango
  • Roast not specified
  • Guatemalan origin
  • Milk chocolate, raisins, blood orange
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Best Dark Roast Best Dark Roast Clumsy Goat Fairtrade Clumsy Goat Fairtrade Colombian
  • Dark roast
  • Colombian origin
  • Apple, raspberry
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Best Value For Money Best Value For Money The Roastery Atalaia Brazil Iapar 59 The Roastery Atalaia Brazil Iapar 59
  • Roast not specified
  • Brazilian origin
  • Red apple, cashew, vanilla
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Best Medium Roast Best Medium Roast Picchu Peru Coffee Brown Bear Picchu Peru
  • Medium roast
  • Peruan origin
  • Caramel, cinnamon
CLICK TO CHECK PRICE

If you’re brand-new to pour-over brewing, check out our guide on making great pour-over coffee, and be sure to invest in the right equipment. We’ve got you covered with our reviews of the best gooseneck kettles for pour over for your hot water, the best pour over coffee makers, and great pour over coffee stands.

best coffee beans for pour over explained in a diagram

Choosing the right beans.

A beautiful thing about the pour-over brewing method is that it is compatible with nearly any coffee. The most important thing is to find the one that you enjoy, so don’t be afraid to experiment. As Blue Bottle Coffee suggests (1), pour-overs are great at highlighting the more subtle nuances of a good coffee:

The final cup is reminiscent of one from a drip coffeemaker, but noticeably more delicate and complex.

Pour overs are often used to brew single-origin beans and light roasts, which are known for their sophisticated flavours. It’s also ideal to choose whole beans over ground coffee.

Find your favourite flavour

Several factors influence the flavour of your coffee beans. Yet, two factors are crucial: their region or regions of origin and roast level.

A bag of coffee beans can include beans all grown in the same area, known as single-origin, or of a mixture of beans from different regions, which is known as a blend. Either one can yield a delicious pour-over brew.

In a blend, beans with different flavour profiles mix to mellow out the overall flavour and take the edge off any sour notes.

This makes them more approachable and consistent. In contrast, single origins are unique and exotic.

For those that want to constantly explore the flavour merry-go-round that is coffee, single origins can provide a wide variety of options from wild to tame.

Single origins showcase the flavours and terroir of a specific area. The subtle or complex characters that we might lose in a blend are here allowed to shine (2).

a dripper with coarse ground coffee in it, a carafe, and a kettle with hot water

Roast Levels will affect flavours in a big way

The roast level also has a strong influence on the taste, aroma, and mouthfeel of your coffee. 

Lighter roasts typically have fragrant floral and/or fruity notes, with a mild body and brighter acidity. They’re excellent for exploring the subtleties of single-origin coffee beans, and brewing using the pour-over method is a great way to appreciate a light roast. Here are some of our favourites.

Medium roasts offer a bit more sweetness and less acidity than light roasts, due to the caramelisation of sugars during the roasting process. They will have a more substantial body and a slightly toasted flavour.

Good dark roasts have a bittersweet taste profile and a bold, rich body. Their flavours, which tend towards chocolatey, nutty, and earthy, are a product of the roasting process as much as the coffee bean itself. Personally, I avoid dark roasts for pour over brewing – but here are a few great dark roast coffees if you’d like to experiment.

Speaking of roasting, if you ever wish to try and roast your own beans, check out our video on home roasting:

The 8 Best Coffee Beans for Pour Over in 2022

Here are our eight favourite coffee beans for pour-over brewing this year. They range from light to dark roasts and from bright, fruity single origins to rich chocolatey blends, so you’re sure to find the right beans for you.

1. The Roastery Peru Guardian Del Bosque Geisha – Best Overall

Specifications

  • Roast: not specified

  • Origin: Peru
  • Tasting notes: Jasmine, marzipan, peach|
  • Whole bean or ground: Either

London’s The Roastery doesn’t sort its coffees by roast, instead, it offers two different selections: espresso and filter. The espresso coffees feature both single origins and blends crafted for espresso, while the filter range includes only single origins that would be a great match for your favourite pour over brewer. 

Anything in The Roastery’s filter line-up could have made this list, but the Peruvian Guardian Del Bosque Geisha has all the hallmarks of a good pour over coffee. It’s delicate and floral, with a complexity that can only really be explored with filter brewing. Expect fruity peach flavours with some marzipan sweetness and the aroma of jasmine. 

The geisha bean is typically associated with Panama, but it does grow well in other parts of the Americas and Africa. This particular coffee is sourced from the Amazonas region of Peru. Farmer Carloman Carranza uses wash processing before putting the beans in a solar dryer for up to 25 days, resulting in incredible consistency.

2. Pact Coffee El Laurel – Best Light Roast

Specifications

  • Roast: Light

  • Origin: Honduras
  • Tasting notes: Grapefruit, jasmine
  • Whole bean or ground: Either

The versatility and complexity of Honduras coffee make it a great choice for pour over brewing. Honduras has never been as well known for coffee as neighbouring Nicaragua and Guatemala, but it’s now emerging as a serious producer of speciality beans. 

One of the country’s key growing areas is El Paraíso on the border of Nicaragua, and it’s here you’ll find Finca El Laurel. Farmer Oscar Daniel Ramirez Valerio was one of the first in Honduras to plant the Paraneima varietal, and it’s a gamble that paid off. This coffee took out first place in the 2020 Cup of Excellence Awards in Honduras. 

So what makes Pact Coffee El Laurel so special? It’s been described as a flavour explosion, with juicy fruit tastes of grapefruit, orange and a citrus acidity. The aroma is more floral, with heady notes of jasmine, and there’s a lingering silky mouthfeel.

3. Balance Coffee Level Up Blend – Best Blend

Specifications

  • Roast: Medium

  • Origin: Colombia, Tanzania
  • Tasting notes: Red berries, caramel, pecans
  • Whole bean or ground: Either

The pour over method is a popular choice for bringing out the best in a single-origin coffee, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a suitable way to brew a good blend. Especially when the beans in the mix are as good as these ones. 

Just under half of the blend is Colombian La Joyería from the Antioquia region. This coffee is known for being a great all-rounder, with both fruitiness and chocolate notes. The other 60% is sourced from the GDM farm in Mbeya, Tanzania. The farm is proudly locally owned, compared to other farms run by overseas investors, and is one of the biggest producers of speciality coffees in the district. 

The combination creates a very forgiving blend that’s great as an everyday brew. It starts with undertones of caramel and nuts, finishing with notes of red berries that develop well with pour over brewing. 

4. Bird & Wild Medium Roast Seasonal Blend – Budget Pick

Specifications

  • Roast: Medium

  • Origin: various
  • Tasting notes: Dark chocolate, floral
  • Whole bean or ground: Either

This is another blend that is suitable for everyday pour over brewing. The origin of the beans will vary by season and availability, but Bird & Wild’s skilled coffee makers manage to maintain a consistent quality. 

It’s a medium roast but has the deep chocolate flavours you might expect from a dark roast. This is lifted by a nice balanced acidity and fresh floral aroma. It’s not the most obvious choice for a pour over, but one to try if you’re looking for something different. 

Home Grounds has long been a fan of Bird & Wild for the brand’s commitment to sustainable sourcing. Being both bird-friendly and shade-grown certified, you can rest assured that the farms where these beans are grown will maintain and diversify natural habitats. This coffee is also organic and fair trade.

5. Decadent Decaf Guatemala Acatenango – Best Decaf

Specifications

  • Roast: not specified

  • Origin: Guatemala
  • Tasting notes: Milk chocolate, raisins, blood orange
  • Whole bean or ground:

Hopefully, if you’ve spent some time on Home Grounds, you’ll have realised that decaf coffee is no longer something to be looked down on. The folks at Decadent Decaf obviously agree, after setting up Europe’s first single-origin Swiss Water Decaf coffee company.

On the south coast of England, they roast in small batches to ensure decaf lovers get the same attention to detail as their caffeine-fuelled friends. There’s a limited selection, but you’ll find examples from some of the world’s best growing regions.

The Guatemala Acatenango is one of the better choices for pour over brewing, with a medium strength and complex flavour profile. There’s a creamy milk chocolate base with a raisin sweetness, balanced by bright citrus grapefruit.

6. Clumsy Goat Fairtrade Colombian – Best Dark Roast

Specifications

  • Roast: Dark

  • Origin: Colombia
  • Tasting notes: Apple, raspberry
  • Whole bean or ground: Whole bean

At Home Grounds, we’re aware of the dark side of the coffee industry, which is why brands like Clumsy Goat are so important. They ensure all of their beans are sourced ethically and sustainably, often working with cooperatives that help smallholders get better prices for their crops.

For their Fairtrade Colombian offering, Clumsy Goat has travelled to the hills of Medellin. The city is part of Antioquia, the first part of Colombia to grow coffee and still considered to produce some of the highest quality coffees in the country.

Dark roasts aren’t always popular with fans of pour over brewing, but the sweet fruity flavours of this coffee might make you change your mind. Brew with your favourite filter brewer and you can expect to get delightful tastes of apple and raspberry.

7. The Roastery Atalaia Brazil Iapar 59 – Best Value for Money

Specifications

  • Roast: not specified

  • Origin: Brazil
  • Tasting notes: Red apple, cashew, vanilla
  • Whole bean or ground: Either

Organic beans are fairly easy to find on the speciality coffee market, but it’s less common to see coffee beans with biodynamic certification. Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic approach to farming, which not only ensures ecological responsibility and regeneration but also supports community and personal development. 

Henrique Sloper is one of the pioneers of biodynamic farming, and these Demeter-certified beans come from one of his two coffee farms, Atalaia. Here he grows the Iapar 59 coffee hybrid, which was created in the 1970s to be high yield and resistant to rust – making it easier to grow without fertilisers or pesticides.

After harvesting, these beans are processed using the pumped natural method, which is essentially a midpoint between washed and natural processing. Pulped naturals tend to be sweet, with a highly aromatic quality. This Atalaia Brazil Iapar 59 has a sweet but acidic taste of red apples, with aromas of vanilla and a nutty aftertaste.

8. Brown Bear Picchu Peru – Best Medium Roast

Specifications

  • Roast: Medium

  • Origin: Peru
  • Tasting notes: Caramel, cinnamon
  • Whole bean or ground: Either

Brown Bear coffee set out with a simple mission to provide high-quality coffee at affordable prices but to also do a little bit of good along the way. The company donates 5% of sales to Free the Bears UK, a charity that helps rescue bears from captivity in South East Asia.

The company has a good offering of blends and single-origin coffees, including this Picchu Peru. It is sourced from the Chanchamayo area, which is said to produce the highest quality coffee in the country, at altitudes of up to 5,000 feet.

Typical of many Peruvian coffees, this one is on the mellow side, but complex in flavour. This makes it a good match with pour over brewing, but not a good pick if you want something with a bit more oomph. In the cup, you can expect caramel and cinnamon notes, which give way to a clean finish.

The Verdict

There is no single best coffee for pour-over brewing, which is good news because it means you can find a favourite that suits your taste. Look for something with complex, subtle, or contrasting flavours to understand why the pour-over technique has become so popular.

A great place to start is with The Roastery’s Peru Guardian Del Bosque Geisha. This organic, single-origin coffee bean makes a smooth and refreshing cup, with delicate flavours of marzipan, peach and jasmine that are sure to intrigue.

The Roastery Peru Guardian Del Bosque Geisha

FAQs

No, pour over coffee does not necessarily have more caffeine. The most significant factors determining the caffeine content of your brew is how much coffee you use and the varietal of coffee bean.

No, pour-over coffee is not healthier than any other brewing technique. Unlike the French Press, filtered coffee does remove more of the coffee oils from your cup, which may provide some benefits to those with high cholesterol.

The best grind size for pour-over coffee is a medium-fine grind that is ideally finer than sand but coarser than what you would use for espresso. It may take a bit of experimentation to get your ground coffee just right.

Coffee certifications mean that a third-party has inspected the growing, processing, and/or trading method of the coffee beans and offered an award for environmental or socioeconomic good practice.

Some standard certifications given to U.S. coffees include Organic, Fair Trade, Kosher, and Rainforest Alliance (6).

  1. Cho, N. (2019, October 10). Coffee Science: How to Make the Best Pourover Coffee at Home. Retrieved from https://www.seriouseats.com/make-better-pourover-coffee-how-pourover-works-temperature-timing
  2. Pipunic, A. (2015, September 14). Everything You Need to Know About Single Origin Coffees. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2015/09/everything-you-need-to-know-about-single-origin-coffee/
  3. Austin Amento Is Your 2016 US Cup Tasters Champion! (2016, 19 January). Retrieved from https://sprudge.com/austin-amento-is-your-new-2016-us-cup-tasters-champion-92568.html
  4. Roast Magazine’s Roaster of the Year Competition. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.roastmagazine.com/about/roasteroftheyear/
  5. Bryman, H. (2020, April 23). Passenger Coffee Showcasing Winners of Inaugural Copa Suaceña in Huila, Colombia. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2020/04/23/passenger-coffee-showcasing-winners-of-inaugural-copa-suacena-in-huila-colombia/
  6. Bradley, E. (2017, August 10). Coffee Certifications. Retrieved from https://www.freshcup.com/coffee-certifications/
Julia Bobak
I love trail running, rock climbing, coffee, food, and my tiny dog — and writing about all of them. I start every morning with a fresh Americano from my home espresso machine, or I don’t start it at all.

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