If you are an ardent coffee lover, coffee maniac, coffee freak, or whatever enthusiastic name you call yourself, then you definitely understand how truly special a cup of freshly made pour over coffee is. The feeling of its rich and distinct taste melting in your mouth is simply heavenly.
See, pour over coffee is not your everyday standard coffee. Let me explain. This coffee making method is rather manual in nature. It uses some freshly ground coffee beans and a dripper that slowly trickles down hot water over the coffee grounds to extract an exceptionally bold tasting mug of coffee. The ability to manipulate the strength and taste of the coffee is what makes this coffee making method a favorite among barista and the entire coffee fan club.
Pour over coffee makers basically use the same preparation method hence very minimal variations in types. The differences lie in the skill required, material of construction, the capacity that can be brewed at one go, and possibly the time it takes to put together a batch.
So if you are looking to try out brewing this traditional coffee at home either for yourself or to impress a few guests, here you will find reviews of the five best pour over coffee makers in the market to help you pick one that's best for your needs. You will also be guided on the factors to consider when purchasing the brewers and of course the method used into preparing a delicious pour over cup of coffee.
Let's quickly dive into our top 5 picks
Chemex classic series pour over glass coffee maker
When it comes to anything coffee, the name Chemex never fails to show up. It is a classic brand that has successfully retained its name in the top shelf products over the years.
Constructed from a non-porous glass decanter that expels odour and residue build up, the Chemex is able to produce coffee in its richest, most authentic flavor. This is also owed to its special filters that are thick enough to not only allow a nice and slow drip, but also filter out oils responsible for bitterness. For best results, medium coarse grounds are recommended.
This classic coffee maker has a unique look; its shiny cone shaped glass body with a wooden neck and leather strap will resemble a fine piece of art displayed on any kitchen space. Built to brew up to ten coffee cups at once, it is a great coffee maker for an office setup and huge families. This however makes it a less portable option due to its size.
Hario V60 ceramic pour over
The Hario V60 pour over coffee maker has its origins from Japan. It is one of the best models that give the brewer complete control over the quality of the coffee.
Specially designed for an overflow, this coffee maker is funnel shaped with one big central hole for the drip. The extraction is maximized not only from the bottom of the filter but also from its sides. This is made possible by the spiral ridges present on the inner surface of the V60 preventing the filter from sticking to its wall when wet. Speaking of filters, these are relatively thin eliminating the paper taste from ending up in your coffee. It also has excellent heat retention.
An alternative to the ceramic material is plastic or glass and there are four amazing colors to choose from. You can opt for a small sized V60 if you have limited storage space. Otherwise a bigger size option is available for making large batches of coffee. Fine to medium coffee grounds work best with it.
Coffee gator pour over coffee maker
If you are a sucker for eco-friendly products, then the coffee gator is your perfect choice. It boasts of making barista quality coffee and stays true to its claims.
Made of a 300ml clear glass carafe, it comes with a stainless steel filter. This translates to less paper wasted on single use filters; you can use the stainless steel filter over and over again. Furthermore the double layered mesh is extra fine making a perfect filter with no murkiness. Medium coarse grounds are recommended.
This coffee maker is just beautiful and easy to clean too as the filter is detachable. In fact it can serve the purpose of a brewer and server. However, caution must be exercised while handling it as you would any other glass appliance.
Overall it is great for small batches and above all, their customer service is out of this world.
Fourth on our list of outstanding coffee drippers is the Kalita wave; a slow brewer. Unlike the typical conical shape of most dripper brands, the wave goes away from the norm with a flat base and three drip holes.
Another notable feature of the Kalita wave is its patented wave filters. The wavy mould prevents it from sticking to the inner walls of the dripper. In addition the air spaces in between it provides insulation.
The sophistication in the shape and filters gives the Kalita wave many added advantages over other coffee makers. There is little need for turbulence, a more uniform and maximized coffee extraction with minimal heat loss. That is so much for the price as it is relatively cheaper than some renown models.
Coarse grounds give the best results with this Kalita. You can choose between stainless steel, glass or ceramic. Sizes vary too; 155 for about 1-2 cups and 185 for 4-6 cups.
Melitta ready set joe single cup
This pour over coffee maker is not only one of the most affordable models but also so simple in design, super easy to use and great for first timers trying to learn the ropes of coffee brewing.
Made from BPA free plastic material, the dripper is really light and also compact making it ideal for travel and personal use.
One reason it is loved by many besides its simplicity is that it is kind of universal. This Melitta works well with any coffee cup size and needs no special filter brand or size. With just one filter hole, fine grounds work well for a slower drip.
It doesn't come with all the bells and whistles of complex coffee brewers hence the quality of coffee can be a bit off but solid enough to enjoy. It's a great coffee maker for the price.
Factors to consider when purchasing a pour over coffee maker
So what factors should you prioritize when shopping for a pour over coffee maker? Well, this will be more or less dependant on your intent of use, level of expertise and budget.
How much coffee do you intend to brew at a go? If you need just one or two cups at any given time then a light duty model with a small output like Hario V60 will do. If the purpose is making many cups of coffee for heavy sippers, perhaps some guests, then a Chemex is your best bet.
Material and size
Coffee makers are crafted from various materials; glass, ceramic, porcelain, plastic or stainless steel. This greatly affects their mobility and so does the size. Glass and ceramic are not the best choices for travel. If you are too particular about how your coffee tastes and must tag along your own coffee maker during trips, then something more lighter and compact is needed. A plastic model such as the Melitta ready set joe is truly travel friendly.
Amateurs of the pour over coffee method are better off with simple to use coffee makers. You don't want something complex that will frustrate your efforts. Barista and more experienced fanatics will be comfortable with technical makes. It is therefore important to consider your level of expertise when choosing a brand to find one you can operate with your current skills.
It's obvious for people to look at different prices when shopping to find what is within their budget. Ideally when it comes to pour over coffee makers, the more accessories required the more cash you will dish out. Accessories are in form of:
Filters - some coffee makers use special brand filters while other use any brand. There are those that come with reusable filters while others need replenishing of single use paper filters. All these add to your total cost.
Servers - Drippers like the Kalita and Hario V60 need separate servers. Makes like Chemex have a carafe that is dual purpose and therefore need no separate server.
Kettles - Not all models need a gooseneck kettle. Other models can work quite well with a regular kettle.
Thermometers, grinders, and weighing scales are just but other accessories required by particular pour over coffee makers. If you are strapped for cash, a simple coffee maker with minimal accessories will suffice because most of them are usually bought separately.
It's really no rocket science to prepare a cup of sweet coffee using the pour over method.
- Grind your coffee beans into fine, medium, coarse as per your coffee making model requirements. Some people use pre-ground coffee.
- Add your coffee ground into the filter. You can seek the guidance of an online water-coffee ratio chart to help.
- Pour over the hot water (just below boiling point) slowly.
- Watch it drip into some fine, aromatic and delicious coffee.
The trick is to play around with the parameters which are water and coffee. This could mean altering water to coffee ratio, water temperature coffee texture and coffee roaster to find the perfect blend. Be sure to always use freshly ground coffee for the best outcome.
Here is a video that explains the process: