If you have found your way to this article then chances are that you are only a small step from beginning to explore the exciting world of pour over coffee. Pour Over is a rediscovered method of coffee brewing that has exploded all over the globe with the so called Third Wave of Coffee. What sets apart this brewing technique is the comprehensive control the barista or coffee lover is given over every step of the brewing process. This is probably our favourite method of brewing! This article will outline what we consider to be the five best Pour Over coffee drippers.
Our Pick: Hario V60
If you are pushed for time and just want the conclusion then don’t worry about reading the rest of the article. Basically, the Hario V60 is the best manual drip coffee maker for the coffee lover seeking perfection.
At a glance
Considerations to help you find the best Pour over Dripper
Imagine for a moment that you have decided you need to buy a new car. So you wander down to the car sales yard and say to the sales rep “I want to buy a car.”The very first thing the rep will say to you (or should say to you anyway!) is “well, what are you looking for? What is your price range? Two wheel drive or four? Manual or automatic? is there any particular features you would like?” The point being that you can’t find the right choice for you unless you know what you are looking for. And it is exactly the same with finding the best pour over coffee maker for you, you need to know what you are looking for. So with that in mind, we have compiled a list of different factors that are worth considering:
- Portability: Is this a coffee maker to sit on your bench or to take on your business trip? This will affect not only the type of pour over you choose but the material you opt for (if you want a pour over for that hiking trip then ceramic is probably not a good option!).
- Technical Skill required: Is this your first exploration into the world of pour over or do you already have extensive brewing experience? It can be pretty discouraging to have a shiny new pour over which is simply above your skill level and so producing average coffee.
- Effort required: Are you looking for a quick fix that is a step above instant coffee or are you willing to spend time and effort perfecting the pour over technique and skills? Pour overs such as the V60 or the Chemex make a superb cup of coffee but do take diligence and effort to master.
- Budget: How much money are you willing to put into this pour over? The coffee makers in the above list do vary in price from as cheap as chips to a real investment. In addition, for the majority of machines you will need to buy specific paper filters and extra equipment (a quality grinder, scales, and a gooseneck kettle are prerequisites for the more technical pour overs).
- Single Cup vs Multi- Cup: Is this purchase about a single morning coffee before the kids have risen or about a jug of quality coffee to last the day or cover all the workmates? Majority of pour overs have the options of various sizes but ones like the Chemex are optimised for multi-serve use.
- Material: Do you care about what material your pour over comes in? Most of the coffee makers we review are available in various materials but ones like the Chemex and Woodneck are only available in glass.
The top 5 pour over Coffee Makers
Hario V60 – The Best of the Best
The V60 is the Porsche or Lamborghini of pour overs. It is stylish, technical, and the pour over of choice among trained baristas all over the world. The name V60 originates from the 60 degree angle of its distinctive cone. This pour over is a cone shaped dripper with spiral interior edges and a large hole at the bottom. The ridges keep the filter from sticking to the walls and so cultivate extraction. The large hole effectively means that the speed of extraction is exclusively governed by the method and technique of the brewer or barista.
This incredibly hipster and elegant pour over can either sit on top of your coffee mug or drip directly into a carafe or jug. If you walk into virtually any café that cares about coffee chances are they will be sporting one of these along with a barista who can wax eloquent about its benefits and precision. However, the very precision which makes coffee lovers froth about the V60 also makes it a relatively unforgiving pour over for beginners.
If you are serious about coffee then the V60 needs to be at the very least the goal towards which you are heading.
Kalita Wave – The Best entry level Pour Over on the Market
This elegant dripper is the result of the market demand for a pour over that is both designed for optimal extraction yet beginner friendly. And boy did they nail it! This is unquestionably the coffee maker of choice for the initial explorer into the world of pour over. As opposed to the V60 it is flat bottomed with three small triangulated holes in the bottom which regulate flow speed and create a more stable brew. The name comes from the wave design on the interior walls which again helps to produce perfect brewing conditions.
The Kalita Wave effectively replicates the strengths of the V60 while requiring less technical precision. This means that it is a far more forgiving pour over and a terrific way to start producing quality coffee for the beginner brewer.
The Kalita Wave is the best pour over for you if you are a coffee enthusiast just entering the pour over scene.
Chemex – Pour Over with Style
This stylish pour over is a work of art in its own right. And this is not just a nice accolade but the Chemex is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And if this wasn’t enough it was also chosen by the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1958 as one of the 100 best-designed products of modern times. The Chemex is made of one piece of blown glass and combines a pour over filter with a beautiful decanter. What really distinguishes this piece of art from other pour overs is the unique thickness of the filter it uses producing a delicious and very clean brew. The thickness of the filter both keeps the bitter oils out of the dripped coffee and prevents the water from flowing through the coffee grinds too quickly. In short, it makes a very clean and textured cup of coffee that can easily compete with any of the other pour overs on this list.
The Chemex is made of non-porous borosilicate glass which means that it won’t absorb flavours and is also heat-resistant. The advantage of this is that you can actually keep your brew warm by putting this pour over on a glass stove top or gas element over low heat. The Chemex can come either as the photo above or with a handle but most people prefer no handle for stylistic reasons. And style matters. This is the pour over of choice to leave on your bench as part of the home décor and impress friends and family.
So all in all this is the perfect pour over for settings like the office where you are looking to make multiple cups of sophisticated coffee. Or if you simply love coffee and art…
Hario Woodneck – Pour Over with a Difference
This unique pour over originated in Japan and in many senses is a different beast from the other coffee makers on this list. What really sets it apart is that instead of using a paper filter it uses a cloth filter which eliminates any paper residue or taste and ensures a thorough filtration of the grinds. Basically, it produces a superb coffee with a real depth of flavour. In fact, some coffee fanatics even contend that this machine is capable of brewing some of the best cups of coffee you will ever drink. Because of the thickness of the cloth, the flavour is similar to that of French press and makes a very full bodied coffee.
This is a great option if you are already immersed in the world of pour over and are interested in contrasting tastes and techniques.
Melita Ready Set Joe – The Best bang for your Buck
This pour over is literally cheap as chips, highly beginner friendly, and produces a consistent cup of coffee. There are no special features to get particularly excited about but it is so cheap you don’t even have to check with the Missus before buying it. It makes nice coffee, can use virtually any standard filter, is easy to clean, and is hard to stuff up. Basically you put in your filter, put in the grinds, pour the correct ratio of water and you are away laughing. And as an added bonus it is dishwasher safe so you don’t even need to clean it by hand when you are done.
So if you are just beginning to explore this method of brewing and are keen to give it a shot without breaking the bank then this pour over is a fantastic option.
We believe that either one of these pour overs will give you a superb and balanced cup of coffee and take your enjoyment and appreciation of coffee to a whole new level.