This guide will help you decide which elements are most important so you can make a great purchase the next time you are considering pour-over coffee makers.
Trends may come and go, but coffee? Coffee is forever. That's not to say our morning pick-me-up is immune to changing styles and tastes. Most recently, coffee has stepped into the past and revisited the pour-over method; simple and clean. The best part is, we get the opportunity to take something tried and true, and make it brand new. Here's some of the top contenders for you to indulge in coffee-based nostalgia!
First off, pour-over gives you total and absolute control over most of your coffee-making process. If you choose to grind your own coffee grounds as well, then you’re in control of everything from start to finish. This means that you get to decide your flavor, your temperature, your amount of coffee, even the richness and balanced flavors fall under your power as well.
You get this therapeutic feeling when you grind your own coffee, releasing those wafting, roasted aromas. What a way to wake up, right?
Then, you get to find out exactly how you like your coffee. Sure, coffee bought from a store tastes fine. Yeah, a coffeemaker at home can make a decent cup of coffee. However, you never get to decide what your coffee-to-water ratio is. You don’t get the opportunity to experiment and find that perfect flavor for you! Pour-over coffee is simple, easy, and lets you find your perfect flavor.
Plus, you get to take ownership of the freshness of your coffee, too. There’s a lot of factors that go into great pour-over coffee, and you can adhere to all of them – or none of them, if you so choose. I’ll always recommend having everything be as fresh as possible, for the freshest, most rejuvenating brew.
That means purchasing coffee beans that are freshly roasted, and being ready to grind them yourself. This next step takes some practice, but grind only the beans you need for your coffee. Concentrate your blend, and use the perfect amount. Then, use fresh, clean water. Not just the sink water you fill the coffeemaker basin with – pure tasting water will give you an immaculate pour-over coffee.
It’s eye-opening, how different coffee tastes when you take it into your own hands. And seriously. It’s amazing.
What’s nice about pour-over coffee is that you can make whatever kind of coffee you want. Of course, the method is built to best support a pretty normal cup of coffee, but it isn’t limited to that. You can practice different things with the pour-over method, and that’s what makes it so exciting.
You can pair an extra fine grind with a paper filter and a slow and easy pour, and find yourselves making somewhat of an espresso.
You can make a stronger cup with more grounds, if you’re into strong coffee. Maybe you’re looking for a quick brew that’s light and refreshing, so you slowly pour your coffee over coarse grounds, which will take less time for the water to pass through.
The pour-over method opens almost every single door there is to explore within the coffee world, and it’s probably one of the easier and more cost-effective ways to get there as well. Pour-over is often compared to the French Press, and they do produce a similar flavor in most circumstances.
However, there are some stark differences, the most glaring of which are the pressure involved, and the grounds in the coffee. The French Press physically extracts the coffee from the grounds within the same container, where the pour-over method allows the grounds to stay independent of the final product, and takes no added pressure.
It’s a bit cleaner, but takes slightly more patience, as you’ll be pouring the water over slowly.
This one entirely depends on which brewer you choose. Many of the pour-over brewers provide a stainless-steel filter so you can reuse it to your heart’s content. Still others maintain the traditional paper filter, so you will be continuing to make those smaller purchases.
It’s difficult to say if one filter is better than the other, because both have their various strengths and weaknesses, like anything, really.
Stainless steel is nice because you just must wash it and dry it regularly, and you shouldn’t have to get a replacement anytime soon. However, it’s porous by design to allow the coffee to fall through, which means coffee grounds can often end up in your cup of coffee.
Paper filters near-eliminate coffee grounds because although it is porous as well, it’s a lot finer than the grounds you would be using – especially for pour-over coffee.
The quick answer is somewhere between 2 to 5 minutes. However, don’t just pour water over your coffee grounds and wait whatever time you please – you’ll get coffee, but you won’t get the experience you deserve. There’s a little bit of a science to it, but don’t be alarmed! It’s not too bad.
First, you want to boil your water to a pretty high heat. The suggested, and widely accepted temperature is 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This way, you’ve got a hot enough water to pass through your coffee grounds and brew the coffee before it drips through.
You’ll then want to have that in a container that is safe to hold, but will also control your pouring, when you get to that.
Entirely on suggestion, of course: the more roasted your coffee is (darker blends), the less you want to brew it for. Unless of course, your tastes are so inclined for something different. When you’re pouring your water over your grounds, you want to pour gradually, instead of just pouring the entire cup’s worth of water from the start.
This means that you’ll be pouring water, and then stopping for a moment to allow the water to seep through. Depending on your grounds and how coarse or fine they are, this “drip time” could take between 15 to 35 seconds. You’ll want to count those precious seconds as part of your brew time.
The time in between pours is important, because you allow the water to travel through without being forced to by the rest of the water behind it.
So basically, you’re looking at somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, if you’re grinding your coffee beans by hand, boiling your water on the stovetop, and then setting up your pour-over entirely.
If you’re like me, you’ve got everything automated, so your grounds are simple enough to grind at the push of a button, you’ve got an electric percolator to hit “on”, and your brewer is clean with a fresh filter. That cuts it down to maybe 8 minutes’ maximum. Not too bad!
Yes. Yes, you do.
I’m kidding, you don’t have to. If you’re pacing your pour effectively, giving about 15 seconds per pour, then 20-25 seconds to let the water drip through; you’re doing exactly what you need to. However, there is some reason to the “fancy” pour-over method. Assuming of course, you’re thinking about the cool thin-spout kettle, and how baristas often pour in circles, or up and down motions.
If that’s where your mind is at, I got you! Think about all the other coffee makers you’ve heard of. In pretty much every circumstance, every coffee ground interacts with water. The pour-over method doesn’t necessarily guarantee that, unless you take that into your own hands. A balanced cup of coffee means that it’s been brewed through all the coffee grounds provided, so that’s why you see the stream of water being poured in patterns.
Circles from the outside towards the center allow the water to travel down the conic shape of your filter; every pour-over dripper and brewer is shaped as such. The up and down makes sure that you’ve covered all the grounds in the middle as well. See? It’s real!
Of course, you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to – draw a picture with your pour if you like. The idea is, find what works best for you, because the perfect pour-over is one you’ve made for yourself. Here’s some of my top picks in the pour-over method!
Coffee Gator’s carafe and filter combo is a nice, simple way to start up our list. Here, you've got a nice simple look at what pour-over coffee looks like in 2017. The set comes with the stainless-steel filter, that fits perfectly over the top of the carafe.
It's wide enough to handle a good amount of grounds, but the coffee you’ll be able to brew depends entirely on the size of carafe you decide upon. The smallest model, fit best for individual cups of coffee, does not have a handle; so, if you're the only coffee drinker, and you're clumsy – maybe find another option.
However, if you enjoy your coffee shared, or just enjoy having more than one cup in the morning, you can add a handle to any of the larger options. Of course, you could always decide to go without the handle entirely, because there's a rubber protector around the neck of the carafe. Just make sure that you’re careful with it, and you shouldn't have any problem at all.
It's easy to wash, because it's got a wide enough build to accommodate a sponge, or you can swirl soap and water, that works well enough too. The carafe is made of glass, and although it feels a bit thin, it's sturdy enough. It's also got markings on it for measurement, but the “cups” it entails are by estimate, rather than by actual volume. Three cups of coffee, as opposed to 24oz, to make things clear. So long as you measure out your mug’s worth of water, you won't have to worry about any odd measurements.
Maranello’s Caffe Dripper is the only one of its kind in this list, and it is a great example of a pour-over dripper. First, let's explain what a dripper is, as opposed to the carafe and filter model this list will get you used to. A dripper is a more compact filter, intended to serve single cups of pour-over coffee.
They are a bit more difficult to use with a carafe, as they’re made with single servings in mind – but it can be done! They're nice and portable, and Maranello has made one that's built from strong stainless steel, with a base for your dripper to sit gently on top of whatever your coffee will end up in.
I am particularly fond of the fact that you have no need for paper filters; save the earth, people! It's also nice that they've got this dual-filter thing going on. Basically, you've got two filters laying close together, so your coffee gets that extra refined taste. With this one, I've found a significantly noticeable decrease in grounds in my coffee, which some people would like to hear.
Also, make sure you measure your water appropriately. The filter sits entirely on top of the mug, so you won't necessarily be able to see where you've filled your cup to unless you take a second to lift your dripper. You shouldn't have to worry about the filter getting too hot to lift, but be careful because it can still get there if you aren't careful!
You’ll be able to take this dripper anywhere that you go, which makes it that much more important to keep it clean always. It's not too hard to clean, you'll just want to spoon the grounds out and rinse some water through it thoroughly, and dry it.
But with great convenience comes great responsibility, and if you're a coffee drinker who likes to keep themselves on the go, this one is a great pick.
With the 11571, Bodum has created probably the most flexible pour-over coffeemaker on our list. It’s also the most adaptable to the consumer as well, because you're looking at a bunch of different options when it comes to size, grip style, and color too! There are ten different colors available for each model, and the texture or material of the grip around the center is up to you as well.
The smallest model (and exclusively the smallest) has a handle; the others do not have the option of adding a handle. That makes it great for somebody who wants to make pour-over coffee for themselves, but not necessarily for a larger group. If that's alright with you, then feel free to personalize your Bodum to your heart’s content.
This one comes with a stainless-steel filter, so you never must worry about buying filters ever again! You will, however, be cleaning it frequently to make sure your coffee is always nice and fresh. The biggest thing to be aware of while using a stainless-steel filter is that you've got a greater chance of grinds ending up in your coffee, so if you're not cool with that, choose one where you buy your filters!
See how it looks and works down here:
What I enjoy about the Kitchables Coffee Carafe is that it is simple enough to understand by entry level pour-over coffee brewers, but also versatile enough for other things too. If you need some easy to use materials to brew your coffee, this is a great candidate for you.
You’ve got a nicely built carafe, that's shatterproof and scratch-proof too. It's got a handle on it as well; but be careful when you're making your coffee because it's all made of glass. The handle is just a little thin for my taste, but it hasn't done me wrong.
You’ll notice that there are markings and measurements on the side of the carafe for you, which makes it easy to work with. I've seen the markings start to fade after washing, so that is a little concerning.
You’ll find your ratio quickly, so I'm not too worried about it, myself. I've found that using the carafe not only for brewing pour-over coffee, but also to store and serve other beverages lends to those markings disappearing. It is almost as if the carafe is meant to be left alone when brewing, and in contact just when pouring it your coffee.
I take my cleanliness seriously, and the Kitchables coffee maker is great in that it can be washed in a variety of ways. Hand washing works just fine, but the neck gets a little slim, so I can't reach my hand to the bottom level. That just means I've got to put some dish soap in the bottom and swirl it around with some force.
The only reason I don't put it through the dishwasher is because I'm a little hesitant with the handle looking as thin as it does. I'd recommend putting it on soft settings if you roll that way, and set it away from other objects; just in case. Play careful with this one, and you’ll be well cared for.
This one is really, cool. Chemex has built a great, simplistic, yet elegant pour over coffeemaker with their Classic Series. I'm particularly fond of the wooden grip right at the center of the neck. So long as you're being careful, you wouldn't even know that the coffee was hot if it wasn't letting off steam.
The handle soaks up the heat from the glass, but doesn't transfer it to your hands at all which is my primary concern when using the pour-over method.
The design is ridiculously simple. You've got a brewer that's shaped like an hourglass, with a wide-open mouth basin above and a large receiving container down below, connected by a notably thinner center between the two.
The Chemex’s wide open mouth makes it difficult to decide which filter would work best with it; but Chemex has done the work for you. They have their own filters made of paper that are the perfect size and quality for the coffee their brand creates.
This does make things a little complicated, because if you want to make the best product with your coffeemaker, you've got to buy their filters. All things considered, I’d still go the mile for it. Now this coffeemaker is sturdy, but it's still glass so take care whenever you're using it.
See how it looks and works down here:
These pour-over coffee makers are all so similar, but with minor differences – much like us coffee enthusiasts. We’re all looking for that great cup of coffee, but the word “great” is relative to each of us. That’s why my favorite pick is the…
With the Maranello, you get to choose where you brew, how much you brew, and how you do it. You won’t need to buy filters for it at all, and the only other thing you need is your mug of choice. It’s built to travel, and to be almost as effective at keeping grounds out of your coffee as a paper filter would be.
…the carafes are cool though. I’m not mad if you choose one of those.
Thanks for taking a moment to pore over these pour-over brewers; I hope you’ve could inform yourselves not only of how great coffee can be…but how cool you can look brewing it. Happy pouring!