If you don’t have a gooseneck kettle, you can brew pour over coffee using a French Press, disposable coffee cup with its lid, or other containers with a spout. It’s also possible to use a regular kettle if you practice how to pour the water slowly and with control.
Most pour over coffee drinkers start brewing pour over coffee before buying a gooseneck kettle. They quickly realize how difficult it can be to brew a consistent and controlled pour over coffee.
This article shares some tips and ideas for making this experience a little easier.
What can I use if I don’t have a gooseneck kettle?
There are a few techniques and common household items that can be used as an alternative to a gooseneck kettle. Here are a few methods we have found to work quite well.
Pour out of a French Press
Many people have had success using a French Press as a make-shift kettle. What they do is bring their water to a boil in a regular kettle and then pour the water into a French Press canister.
The spout on the French Press makes it a little easier to pour out of than a typical kettle, which has a large round spout.
Plus, the French Press has a long body that meets flush with its spout. This makes it easier to feel or otherwise anticipate when the water is likely to pour out of the spout. Also, most French Presses are glass, which means you can see the water as it’s about to be poured.
Anything with a spout
Any kitchen device with a narrow spout is likely to produce a more suitable pour over stream than a regular kettle. Just make sure it’s an item that can withstand boiling water.
Normal glassware will be too hot to handle and is dangerous under extreme heat. Most glassware is not designed to tolerate extreme temperature change and may shatter when in contact with boiling water.
Pour out of a to-go coffee cup with a lid
The lid spout in a typical to-go cup is an excellent size to produce a narrow stream of water for your pour over brew. Save your to-go cup next time you order a coffee in a to-go cup.
Pour boiling water from your regular kettle into the to-go cup and securely fix the lid on top. Carefully pour the water through the lid spout and into your pour over cone.
Use caution and pour slowly because the plastic lids can pop off easily, leaving you with burnt fingers and a mess of hot water all over your counter.
Practice with your normal kettle
Perhaps the easiest method is to simply practice pouring slowly with your regular kettle. A little practice will allow you to gauge how to effectively control your kettle to achieve a suitable pour over brew.
The problem is that most kettles have a large round body with a short spout that sticks out adjacent to the body. This short adjacent spout makes it difficult to anticipate when and how quickly water will fall out of the kettle.
Can I use a regular kettle for pour over coffee?
It’s certainly possible to brew excellent pour over coffee using a regular kettle. But it will be more difficult to control the pour speed and volume, which may result in uneven extraction and inconsistent tasting coffee each time.
Do you need a gooseneck kettle for pour over coffee?
A gooseneck kettle is not required for brewing good pour over coffee. But it makes it easier to slowly and consistently pour water, is more comfortable to hold, and often includes a built-in thermometer. This allows coffee drinkers to brew more consistent coffee each time.
Why is a gooseneck kettle good for pour over coffee?
A gooseneck kettle allows coffee drinkers to brew better tasting coffee by having greater control over the water flow and adding a precise volume of water each time. Many pour over enthusiasts would agree that gooseneck kettle makes an easier and more enjoyable coffee making experience.
Here are a few of the specific reasons why gooseneck kettles are so great for V60 coffee and other pour over methods.
More consistent brew from one cup to the next
A gooseneck kettle will allow you to brew a more consistent pour over coffee each time because of the increased control it provides. You will be able to pour a precise and consistent bloom and total volume down to the nearest milliliter.
The average coffee drinker may not taste a difference between two pour overs that are a few milliliters different from one another. But most pour over enthusiasts strive to brew a precise coffee each time and a gooseneck helps make this possible.
More control over your pour
It’s difficult to pour a small stream of hot water while using a regular kettle. What will happen is you will splash a big drop of water into your pour over cone, which will create a crater in the coffee bed.
This will cause the coffee to extract unevenly.
A long and narrow gooseneck kettle is designed to provide greater control over the volume and speed of your pour. This will make adding water much easier.
You won’t over pour your water
Specialty pour over coffee can taste noticeably different with different coffee-to-water ratios. Your prefered pour over coffee ratio may be thrown off because you may accidentally pour a big splash into your pour over using a regular kettle.
Some come with a built-in thermometer
Many gooseneck kettles, such as the Bonavita, come with a built-in thermometer that can brew to a specific temperature. This provides coffee lovers with extra control over their brew parameters.
199-205°F (93-96°C) is considered by many as the best brew temperature for pour over coffee. A customizable temperature gauge allows you to experiment with different temperatures and ultimately pour with a consistent temperature each time.
More comfortable handle for pouring
Gooseneck kettles are usually designed with a more comfortable pouring handle compared to the average kitchen kettle.