So a wee while ago our sister was given an elegant looking glass coffee maker as a Christmas present from a close friend. However, she already owned one of these unique coffee makers and so it was passed onto us. This Bodum Pour Over was our doorway into the world of pour over. A world which we have come to love probably more than any other brewing style.
In this review we will basically try to show that the Bodum Pour Over coffee maker is a great entry level pour over for the uninitiated that comes at an amazingly affordable price. After using the Bodum extensively we have found that while it lacks some of the depth of flavour of the more technical pour overs it makes a great and reliable cup of coffee.
Who is the Bodum Pour Over For?
The Bodum Pour Over is a great option for the general coffee lover who is keen to dip his or her toes into the world of pour over without breaking the bank.
What’s To Love About the Bodum Pour Over?
This pour over really comes into its own in bulk brewing. Like the Chemex, while it can do single serve it is really aimed at providing a whole pot of coffee for either those guests who have just popped around or the workmates at the office. The Bodum is available in three different sizes: 4 Cup (17 oz), 8 Cup (34 oz), or 12 Cup (51 oz). While any of these can work well we own and recommend the 8 cup (34 oz) version. The bodum is a pour over built for capacity and multi-serve settings.
One of the best things about the bodum is that it is simply incredibly cheap for the quality of materials that you are getting. The Bodum is made out of high quality borosilicate glass from Portugal which is intentionally designed to tolerate heat. This is the same type of glass used in the Chemex and yet the Bodum is just over half of the price! In addition, the permanent mesh filter means that you don’t need to buy paper filters. Also because this is very much an entry level pour over it doesn’t require all the additional technical accessories that some other pour overs do. All this means that the bodum is simply a cheap way to give pour over a go and see if you like the flavour and process.
Ease of Use
Because of the flat bottomed stainless steel mesh filter the bodum is a fairly forgiving pour over. We found that pretty much from the first time we set eyes on it (and had never even heard of pour over up to that point!) we were able to make a relatively enjoyable pot of brew. Also the nature of the bodum means that careful ratios and use of timers and scales are less required than with some more technical pour overs (though bloom time is still essential!). Although I have been using the Kalita Wave for a while now, I recently decided to switch back to the bodum to see how the flavours compare. And while there certainly were differences in flavour profile, they were less than expected and I still really enjoyed the flavour of the bodum. This flavour and ease of use that we experienced is also reflected in the overwhelmingly positive reviews that the bodum gets on Amazon.
To be honest we just really like the elegant and graceful look of the Bodum. The bodum comes with either a cork or plastic band around the neck of the decanter. The plastic and rubber bands come in black, white, red, sand, blue, and lime green. We opted for the cork option and really recommend it as a very natural and aesthetically pleasing look.
What’s Not To Like About the Bodum?
The Decanter Spout
Unfortunately the spout of the bodum is less than ideal and can easily spill coffee if you are not careful when pouring it. This also means that coffee often drips onto the cork band which while not a big deal is a bit frustrating.
Probably the greatest issue that pour over purists have with the bodum is that the mesh filter is simply not optimal for the extraction process. While the lack of a paper filter does allow more of the oils from the beans to go into the coffee, it also makes for a far quicker extraction time and more water bypassing the beans. This is also compounded by the flat plastic bottom of the filter which can contribute on an uneven extraction.This all leads to a weaker cup of coffee and less highlighting of specific flavour profiles of beans which is really what sets the pour over method apart.
Bean Sediment in the Coffee
In addition, the stainless steel mesh filter does allow some grind sediment through to the coffee pot. To be fair however, we simply leave the last 10% or so of the brew in the bodum and find that effectively deals with the sediment issue. However, it would be nice if it wasn’t an issue at all.
So Should You Buy It?
Despite some of the technical issues with the Bodum Pour Over we still feel that it is a great easy access and affordable doorway into the world of pour over. While the flavour doesn’t have the same depth as more technical pour overs, we still found that it makes really enjoyable coffee and doesn’t require the range of accessories which are virtually mandatory for models like the Chemex or V60. So if you are relatively new to the world of pour over and love trying new brewing styles then we absolutely recommend this affordable and elegant coffee maker!
However, if you already have experience with this brewing style and are looking for a large capacity pour over to develop your skills then we recommend the Chemex as a great alternative. While more expensive the Chemex has a very similar feel to the bodum but requires far greater precision and technique and consequently delivers a far more nuanced and complex cup of coffee. The downside is that it really does require a gooseneck kettle, coffee scales, and its own paper filters. Alternatively you could look at our list of other pour overs we love.
Our method for the bodum pour over
2 Cup Recipe
Preheat filter and decanter by pouring hot water over filter in the decanter
Place 30g (or 4 bodum scoops) of either pre-ground or freshly ground beans into the centre of the filter
Pour around 60-80ml of hot water (preferably 195-205F – boil and then leave for 30s) over the beans so as to evenly saturate them. Then leave to ‘bloom’ for 30-45s
Pour the rest of the water in increments over the grinds. Pour some and then let the water level subside and then pour some more until the rest of the 500mls are done
Take off the filter, place on the pouring cap, give the coffee a swirl and then pour into mugs and enjoy 🙂
Overall we have found the Bodum Pour Over to be an elegant looking, easy to use and maintain pour over that can make a really enjoyable cup of coffee. So if that sounds like what you are looking for then the Bodum might be a really great option for you!
We would love to hear you thoughts, questions, or experiences with the bodum pour over so be sure to write them below!