If you are a coffee lover, you are probably already wearing several hats throughout the day—which is why you have a busy life. In fact, you might only find time to brew a cup of coffee once a day. For this reason, it is only natural that you want the best pour-over coffee maker, which will help you transform a cup of coffee into an actual beverage.
Now that coffee has become one of the hottest trends of the decade, more coffee shops are opening up and offering unique coffee experiences to their customers. With that, the demand for different types and types of coffee, as well as the best pour-over coffee makers, has soared.
After spending a decade of my life sipping coffee and brewing pour-over coffee at a cafe, I found myself completely hooked on this method. Most cafes serve pre-ground coffee, which is convenient but results in a poor-tasting cup. Instead, you want to brew your own at home, where you can control the quality of the coffee, and how long it takes to brew—which can result in a rich, smooth cup.. Read more about best coffee maker 2021 and let us know what you think.
While we prefer a traditional drip machine when a full pot is required and enjoy the speed of a single-serve pod, a pour-over is the finest method to replicate the rich, strong, full-flavored coffee found in specialty shops. Aside from the relaxing process of preparing pour-over coffee, professional and novice baristas alike like the technique because a perfect pour may extract the maximum flavor from your beans into your cup.
We put eight highly rated and reviewed pour-over makers through their paces to help you decide which one to add to your coffee-making arsenal. Six flat-bottom and cone-shaped variants, as well as two bigger all-in-one carafe-style designs, were examined, with prices ranging from $14 to $50. While many of them seemed to be the same, they differed in terms of material (glass, porcelain, plastic, and stainless steel), whether they needed specific filters, and how much coffee they produced in a single pour.
We identified three obvious winners after testing each version three times (more on that below) — plus, we won’t lie, some severe caffeine jitters —
The Wave 185 Pour-Over Coffee Dripper by Kalita’s flat-bottomed, three-hole design provided for the most uniform and consistent brewing of all the models we examined. Yes, you’ll have to purchase specific wavy Kalita filters to fit inside the dripper (which is a hassle), but the Kalita produced the most strong coffee, kept the most consistent heat temperature, and evenly saturated the grounds (which extracts more flavor).
The Pour-Over Coffee Maker with Water Tank by OXO Brew also has a lot to recommend it. It takes the guesswork out of pouring by enabling you to just fill the water tank to your chosen level and letting it regulate the flow rate. It’s ideal for novices. The coffee taste wasn’t as deep and full-bodied as the Kalita’s, but the OXO maintained its heat, was very easy to use, and was extremely handy.
You can’t go wrong with the glass Chemex pour-over coffee maker if you need to brew many cups at once. It’s not just a design wonder (it’s part of MOMA’s permanent art collection, after all) that’ll look lovely on your kitchen counter or dining room table, but it also makes a light, delicious, and balanced brew every time. There’s no need for a separate carafe with this all-in-one device, but you’ll need special (and rather expensive) Chemex filters for the best results.
Kalita Wave 185 Pour-Over Coffee Dripper
Sure, the Kalita Wave seems to be similar to the other coffee drippers we tried at first sight, but it doesn’t take long to realize that the subtleties of its design result in a better brew. Unlike its cone-shaped competitors, the Kalita from Japan has a flat bottom with three drip holes, allowing for more uniformly soaked coffee grinds.
The flat-bottom form and bigger surface produced a richer, more robust cup of coffee, and it was also the most user-friendly of the swirled-pour drippers, generating between 16 and 26 ounces at a time. Whereas grounds with a cone-shaped design tend to be pushed up the sides, the Kalita grounds remain level, enabling the water to stay in touch with all of the grounds for longer, providing for more consistent and continuous extraction.
The actual brew time is very short: it took us just 2 12 minutes from the first pour of water to the final drop of coffee in our cup during our testing. The temperature of the brew remained consistently high (at 160.5 degrees), second only to the Chemex in terms of heat retention. Removing the Kalita from its box and giving it a soapy rinse is all it takes to have it ready to use.
Another benefit is the Kalita’s 4-inch broad base, which allows it to sit atop a wide-mouth cup (not all drippers tested can accommodate that). While we like the heat-resistant, lightweight glass variant, it is also available in a variety of colors and materials, including porcelain, stainless steel, and copper. Cleaning is also a breeze: the plastic base twists off effortlessly, and everything is dishwasher safe.
The fact that it is designed to be used with special Kalita Wave white paper filters is the only flaw we have with this dripper. They’re a little expensive at about $17 for 50 (other manufacturers use standard Melitta No. 2 filters, which are $20 for 600), but they’re available on Amazon. They’re occasionally out of stock, so buy a few of boxes at a time when you have the opportunity.
Overall, the Kalita Wave regularly produces great-tasting, full-bodied, boiling hot coffee for less than $30, and its flat-bottom design ensures that even pour-over newbies will get coffee-shop-worthy results.
OXO Brew Pour-Over Coffee Maker with Water Tank
The OXO Pour-Over Coffee Maker with Water Tank can have you happy and energized in just a few minutes if you like the concept of the morning routine of making a pour-over coffee.
Unlike the other versions we examined, this OXO model includes a plastic tank with a variety of hole sizes that fits on top of the plastic dripper. It holds up to 12 ounces of water and regulates the drip for you, so there’s no need to worry about pouring too much or too little water, getting the swirl just right, allowing enough time for the grounds to bloom and settle, etc. It’s clearly marked with measuring lines and holds up to 12 ounces of water.
There’s also a cover, which keeps your brew hot and doubles as a drip tray, preventing coffee from spilling on your counter when you remove the dripper from your cup.
The coffee was not as strong as some of the other models; in fact, we thought it was a little weak. We were able to dial in a stronger brew by experimenting with adding more finely ground coffee.
Although some reviews claim that the OXO takes longer to brew than other models, we measured it at 2 12 minutes, which is on pace with the majority of the designs we examined. It uses No. 2 cone filters, but the package includes ten OXO unbleached filters to get you started (pro tip: pre-wet your filter to avoid a “paper” flavor in your coffee). It’s also dishwasher safe and, like all OXO products, may be exchanged or returned at any time.
In a nutshell, the OXO is worth a shot if you’re searching for a low-cost, no-fuss alternative.
Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker by Chemex
First and foremost, we wouldn’t blame you if you purchased a Chemex just for its beautiful appearance. The iconic coffee maker, with its wood and leather collar, was influenced by both the Erlenmeyer flask and Bauhaus-era design and is part of MoMA’s permanent collection. It was invented by chemist Peter Schlumbohm in 1941.
But here’s the thing: it makes deliciously light, flavorful coffee as well. It’s an all-in-one model that can make up to eight cups at a time and functions as a carafe, dripper, and pitcher, making it a great option for a couple or small party.
To discover your perfect brew, like with all of the drippers we examined, you’ll have to experiment with your pour method and the water-to-grounds ratio. Even when we simply eyeballed the quantity of water we added, we were able to produce cup after cup of coffee that rivaled that of our favorite gourmet coffee establishment. Even better, it removes some of the pouring accuracy from the equation with the aid of a button-size marker that indicates when the carafe is half-filled; you know it’s full when the coffee reaches the bottom of the collar.
Although the Chemex produced some of the highest coffee temperatures in our tests, if two people are sharing the glass carafe (which loses heat fast), your last cups will be significantly colder than your first. To counteract this, we used hot water to pre-heat the container (pour it out just before starting the brewing process), which helped keep the coffee hotter for longer. You may also keep the carafe warm on a low-heat glass or gas stove top.
One disadvantage of the Chemex is that it necessitates the use of specific Chemex paper filters, which are not inexpensive at about $35 for 100. They’re also not always in stock on Amazon (if you’re a regular user, you may want to purchase more than one box at a time). To make a cone-shaped funnel, fold the filters according to the directions, which are heavier than other brands. The additional thickness does a great job of straining out any particles that may slip through other paper filters, therefore it’s worth it.
Because of the hourglass shape, cleaning the Chemex is more difficult, but we found that a bottle brush worked well for scrubbing the hard-to-reach areas. While we hand-washed our carafe (first removing the wood collar), the glass may also be cleaned in the dishwasher.
There’s no better choice than the Chemex for people seeking for a pour-over maker that can produce several cups at once while still looking great.
What is a pour-over coffee maker and how do I use it?
Are you new to this? Pour-over coffee is made by placing a dripper over a cup or carafe and pouring hot water (about 200 degrees) over pre-measured coffee grounds, which are subsequently filtered into the cup or carafe. To get your desired taste profile, modify the pour speed, swirl method, quantity of water, number of grounds, size of grounds, and filter type.
While it seems to be a simple process — most drippers are the size of a cereal bowl and come with no other equipment – mastering the pour-over takes practice, experimentation, and a few more instruments.
What you’ll need
To get started, you’ll need a kettle to boil water (we used an electric tea kettle, but many experts recommend a long-neck version for better control). Of course, you may use pre-ground beans, but for the finest, freshest taste, grind entire beans using a burr grinder (we used the Breville Virtuoso) just before you start. To regulate the quantity of grinds used if your grinder doesn’t have a built-in measurement mechanism, you’ll need a digital kitchen scale. You may also need a glass measuring cup until you get the hang of it so you don’t use too much or too little water to make your cup.
We tested both a light and a dark roast for taste comparisons, using the standard pour-over coffee-making ratio of 2 rounded teaspoons of medium-sized grounds to 6 ounces of water. (A coarser grind produces weaker coffee, whereas a finer grind produces bitter coffee.) We liked the light roast for this technique since the dark produced a really powerful brew. We poured water evenly and gently into each dripper, spinning it outwards from the center until the grounds were barely wet, then waited 30 seconds for the grounds to bloom and settle back down (carbon dioxide is released when the hot water hits the coffee, causing it to bubble up). The remaining water was then added. We also used a timer to keep track of how long each dripper took from start to finish.
A word about the temperature
We put each cup of coffee through its paces to see how hot it was (the National Coffee Association recommends serving fresh coffee at 180 to 185 degrees, while a study in the National Library of Medicine finds 140 degrees, plus or minus 15 degrees, to be the drinking optimal temperature for test subjects). Finally, we tasted each brew, drinking it black and noted how it tasted, how intense it was, and if it had any unexpected tastes.
We didn’t detect much of a difference between the models when it came to heat temperature. The Chemex was the hottest of the bunch, but the others were all in the same ballpark. They also took roughly the same amount of time to brew — around two minutes (not including, of course, the two larger-capacity carafes).
Pour-over makers come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Glass or ceramic/porcelain drippers were favored over stainless steel drippers in general. While stainless steel alternatives eliminate the need for a paper filter (saving money and being more environmentally friendly), we discovered that they enable tiny particles to penetrate into the coffee. This results in a cloudier appearance, a less-crisp flavor, and the possibility of grounds getting into your cup. When we utilized paper filters, none of these problems occurred.
- Optimal temperature: The National Coffee Association recommends a temperature of 180-185 degrees for freshly brewed coffee, although studies indicate that coffee consumers prefer a temperature of about 140 degrees. We used a food thermometer to test the temperature of each cup and rated each machine based on its heat.
- We recorded how the coffee tasted after it was made, such as if it was excessively bitter or weak, whether tastes or acidity were there that shouldn’t have been, and whether too much — or not enough — heat had an effect on its flavor.
- Filters: We determined if the coffee dripper required a paper filter and, if so, whether the filter had to be unique to the model. We looked at the costs and availability of those particular filters as well.
- Brew time: We used our stopwatch app to time how long it took to brew the coffee from the initial pour to the final drip, with shorter brew durations scoring higher.
- User-friendliness: We made notes on how simple each machine was to use from unpacking through setup to brewing, noting if the design was intuitive or excessively complex and whether any additional steps were required in contrast to comparable models.
- Serving size: We calculated how many cups of coffee each dripper could make for each device.
- When we removed each coffee dripper from the cup or carafe, we looked to see whether there was any leaking.
- Everyday durability/signs of damage: For this category, we looked at how simple or difficult it was to set up each coffee machine, if the components seemed strong or weak, and whether regular usage might cause any harm to the parts.
- Build quality: We looked examined the materials used to make each brewer (metal, plastic, ceramic/porcelain) and how they impacted the brew.
- Cleaning: We took notes on how simple or difficult each coffee dripper was to clean, as well as whether it was dishwasher safe.
Warranty: For each machine, we recorded the number of years of warranty.
Using the aforementioned criteria, we gave each machine a score in each subcategory, summed the numbers to get a total score in each subcategory, and then added the scores to get an overall total. The following is a breakdown of the scores:
- Optimal temperature (15 points); flavor (15 points); filters (10 points); brew time (10 points); user-friendliness (10 points); yield (5 points); dripping (5 points) (5 points).
- Everyday durability (10 points), construction quality (10 points), and cleanliness (10 points) were all given a maximum of 25 points for durability (5 points).
- A maximum of 5 points was awarded for warranty: lifetime (5 points), two to five years (2 points), and less than two years (1 point) (0 points).
We took into account the price of each gadget, which varied from approximately $11 to $50, in addition to the total score.
($24.48; amazon.com) Ceramic Coffee Dripper Hario V60
Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper
The attractive Hario V60 is a good choice if you’ve been wanting to try pour-over coffee but don’t want to spend a lot of money. This cone-shaped ceramic dripper can brew up to 10 ounces at a time and has spiral ribs that enable the coffee grinds to expand further. It comes in glass and metal, as well as a variety of colors, and has one big hole, so the pace with which you pour your water has a greater effect on the taste than, example, the Kalita.
The Japanese-made Hario, like other versions, sells specialist No. 2 filters for its dripper (around $10 for 100), which isn’t very handy, and its smaller base means it won’t fit well on an enormous cup. It featured a nice little handle and a plastic measuring spoon, but it brewed at a lower temperature than most of its rivals, and although it was still better tasting than a conventional coffee maker, it had a more watered-down finish than the winning drippers.
Amazon.com: Ceramic Coffee Dripper by Bee House ($32.86)
Bee House Ceramic Coffee Dripper
The Bee House, like the Hario, is constructed of white ceramic and is beautiful (and also comes in blue, brown and red). It has a distinctive look thanks to the short, curved handle, and we loved how it has holes at the base that enable you to see how much coffee has been made without having to take the dripper off your cup. However, when putting the device on top of a cup, the rectangular bottom felt uncomfortable, and it didn’t function well at all with a wide-mouthed mug.
Meanwhile, the coffee it produced was well rated by those who tried it, with a pleasant, clear, and light taste that was not bitter and had a pleasant texture. We also liked that it doesn’t need any special filters and can be used with Melitta No. 2 filters (which cost about $20 on Amazon and can be found in most supermarkets). For those who despise filter waste, we tested it with a washable cloth filter and found it to work well.
The Bodum Permanent Filter Pour-Over Coffee Maker ($22; amazon.com) is a pour-over coffee maker with a permanent filter.
Bodum Pour-Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter
The 34-ounce all-in-one pour-over carafe from Bodum is available in three colors and sizes ranging from 12 to 51 ounces. One significant distinction between the Bodum and the Chemex is that the Bodum contains a reusable stainless steel mesh filter. While this may save you a lot of money on paper filters, it will, regrettably, cost you in terms of taste. Small quantities of sediment leak through the stainless steel filters into the coffee, producing cloudiness and a somewhat bitter flavor. The coffee was also on the cool side, which means that a second cup would be nearly too cold to consume. Furthermore, although Bodum provides a one-year limited guarantee on the device, it does not cover glass, which seems quite pointless. On the plus side, the collar is simple to take off and the whole set is dishwasher safe. It also comes with a measuring spoon and brews four cups of tea in under four minutes.
Yitelle Pour-Over Coffee Cone Dripper in Stainless Steel ($15.94, amazon.com)
Yitelle Pour-Over Coffee Cone Dripper in Stainless Steel
To begin, here are some of the benefits of this low-cost option: Its broad base makes it ideal for large coffee cups. There’s no need to purchase paper filters because of the stainless steel mesh and cone-shaped construction. It makes some of the hottest coffee of all the drippers we tested, with a brew period of little over two minutes. It’s also dishwasher safe, comes with a handy cleaning brush and a stainless steel scooping spoon, and the company offers a lifetime guarantee with no questions asked.
When it comes down to it, the flavor of your coffee is what counts most, and we discovered not just little pieces of grounds at the bottom of our cup, but also a cloudiness and bitterness that wiped out all the wonderful.
Melitta No. 2 Filter Set with Pour-Over Coffee Cone Brewer ($13.95; amazon.com) Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Cone Brewer with No. 2 Filter Set
Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Cone Brewer and No. 2 Filter Set
Melitta’s cheap, easy-to-use plastic cone-shaped version is a fantastic starting choice for those wanting to dip their toes in the pour-over coffee pool. It utilizes the brand’s widely available brown No. 2 filters (a pack is included in this package combination), has a smart design that enables you to look into the cup throughout the brew process, and fits well atop a number of mug sizes, and is available in black or red. Melitta has been making drip coffee and filters since 1908, and their dripper has received great praise from Amazon reviewers for being dishwasher safe, lightweight, and enabling you to see into the cup. The plastic construction, however, makes it seem much less robust than glass or ceramic versions, leading us to be concerned that it might topple over when pouring hot water. Meanwhile, the coffee’s taste was excellent, although it was often pungent and did not wow us.
More from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing may be found here:
Coffee has become so popular that it can be considered a cultural phenomenon. The global coffee industry is predicted to be worth over $100 billion by 2020, with coffee as the “new wine” for the years to come.. Read more about best pour over coffee maker for camping and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best pour over coffee makers?
The best pour over coffee makers are the ones that have a wide range of features and are easy to use.
Are pour over coffee makers worth it?
The pour over coffee makers are worth it because they are easy to use and produce a great tasting cup of coffee.
How do I choose a pour over coffee?
Pour over coffee is a brewing method that uses a cone-shaped filter to pour hot water over ground coffee. The water is poured slowly and evenly over the grounds, allowing the flavor of the coffee to be extracted into the water.
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