I used to think pour over coffee was the biggest timewaster. After all, isn’t the objective to get the coffee in the body as quickly and easily as possible so that gross motor and mental functioning can kick into gear and we can get ourselves dressed? This need for speed has led to a surfeit of one-touch coffee makers — and a lot of bland coffee, honestly — so I decided to try something else.
Recently, a new café opened in my neighborhood that only does pour overs. At first, I found it a little awkward. Pour overs can take a bit longer (3-4 minutes, which means more time to chat with your barista about the weather!) but the end result is well worth it. How it works: first there is the “bloom” pour — hot water hits the grounds and carbon dioxide makes them bubble up and blossom. Then slow, methodical subsequent pours are done artfully with a gooseneck kettle, all while a gorgeously hued brew drips slowly into a carafe. There is a mindful, meditative quality to the process that sucks you in. But it all comes down to flavor, and it's awesome — complex, rich, and pure. Best of all is how easy it is to make at home since it’s totally low-fi.
Scroll down to learn more about the best pour over coffee makers you can buy right now. Warning: they just might turn your into a certified coffee snob.
There is a quiet simplicity to the Hario V60. Designed in Japan, it’s for those who desire complete control over the brewing process. Seriously, you can really geek yourself out on grind consistency and pour methodology, etc. The ceramic body prevents heat loss during brewing and the cone shape tends to bring out the most floral and fruity notes. A brief tutorial is recommended, (there are legions of them on YouTube), but once you have the basics down, you will find yourself with a perfect cup of Joe.
Kalita Wave 185 Dripper
The Kalita Wave operates by the same principal as the Hario V60. However, the Wave features a flat bottom bed (as opposed to conical) for a more even extraction. The slightly longer brew time with the Kalita removes some of the margin for error for novices. What pour over purists love about it is its filter, designed to reduce contact with the dripper, which provides a boost to flavor. What I love about it is it won’t break if I happen to fumble it before I'm fully caffeinated.
Not only is the Chemex a stunning addition to your kitchen (there’s reason it’s in MoMA’s permanent design collection), it makes about as pleasant a cup of coffee you can make at home. One of its secrets is its filter, which removes sediment particles and some of the oils, and regulates infusion time—it does a little bit of the work for you at later stages of brewing, so you can walk away, tee up your oat milk, stage a nice Instagram photo of you looking homebrew legit … and come back to a superb batch of coffee. Chemex has range of size options to choose from up to 10 cups, so let’s rate it brunch-friendly.
Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker
Bodum’s pour over coffee maker features a stylish design similar to the Chemex, with some notable differences. It includes a permanent stainless steel mesh filter, so no paper filters are needed (it also includes a pot lid and a coffee scooper). The neck on the Bodum is wider, which allows it to drip faster than other pour overs. FYI: a too short steep time can lead to lighter brews if you don’t get your grind just right. What’s most attractive is the price point and, well, it’s super cute and comes in a variety of colors. Brews 1-2 cups.
Kinto Brewing Set
Kinto’s coffee brewer set also includes a stainless steel filter and glass carafe, however it can make twice as much coffee as the Bodum (up to four cups). The brass filter stand is adjustable, so you can experiment with drip height and how it impacts flavor (if you’re into that sort of thing). Made in Japan and including a solid walnut base, the set definitely has major counter appeal.
Hario Woodneck Drip Pot
But some of us like a challenge when in comes to our coffee making, and for that we have Hario’s Woodneck Drop Pot. You may not need a PhD in brewing tech to master it, though it couldn’t hurt. With this brewer, pouring must be tweaked just right. The cloth sock filter allows slightly more oils to pass through than paper, but less than a stainless steel mesh filter. The result is a complex flavor with delicate notes and a slightly creamy feel. The filter can be rinsed and reused. Oh, and it gets bonus points for its elegant design.
OXO Good Grips Pour Over Coffee Maker
OXO Good Grips Pour Over Coffee Maker aims to help novice brewers enjoy the full, rich flavor of pour over coffee with minimal effort. Simply add coffee grounds and water and voila! The integrated auto-drip water tank controls flow rate and measurement markings tell you just how much water to add. A lid is included to help retain heat when brewing. It’s a pour over brewer with no pouring and less of your attention required.
Walkure Karlsbad Porcelain Pour Over Brewer
Lastly, for something completely different … there is the beautifully designed Walkure Porcelain Pour Over Brewer. Its unique filtration system includes a water dispersion bowl in its upper chamber that evenly distributes water and two porcelain grids that serve as filters, no paper or mesh filter needed. Best of all, the Walkure Karlsbad system can be used by amateurs and professionals alike — you really can’t mess it up, even when you’re still deliriously tired. Just be sure always use coarsely ground coffee — the coffee clumps together to act as its own filter in this one. Brilliant!
JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
Before you get started, don’t forget a burr grinder. With 18 grind settings, this one gives you absolute control over your grounds.
Barista Warrior Drip Kettle
Most importantly, there is no pouring over without a drip kettle with a gooseneck spout. This one has a handy temperature gauge, which means you can get totally geeky about water temp.
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