The English language is filled with words and phrases that sound similar (or the same) but have different meanings. “Complement” is not the same as “compliment,” just as authoritative and authoritarian cannot be used interchangeably. And the same can be said about “pour over” and “pore over,” even though they’re pronounced exactly the same way.
Pour over is a phrase that you’ll encounter most often in the context of a fancy coffee shop. As you know, there are many methods for brewing up a cup of coffee. If you’re like me, you might brew up a cup using an Aeropress or stovetop espresso maker at home. If you’re fancy, maybe you use a Chemex with carefully measured out beans and water that’s been heated to just the right temperature.
That might be a good way to try a single cup of kopi luwak, but I digress. You’ll also encounter “pour over” in the context of recipes. You may be told to pour the gravy over the fries and cheese curds for a poutine.
Pore over is a phrase that means to study carefully or to think intently about something. The word “pore” is better known these days in terms of the pores in our skin or a “porous” surface. They’re tiny holes through which tiny particles can pass. However, “pore” can also be used as a verb, meaning to ponder or meditate.
In this way, if you “pore over” something, it means that you’re completely absorbed in the topic. You might pore over the politics of the situation or, more relevant to today’s discussion, you could pore over the merits of pour over coffee. A good way to remember this is that the pores in your skin are these tiny holes and when you’re poring over something, you’re going through the subject in minute, microscopic detail.
So go ahead. Drink it in.