Pour over becomes more popular than ever in the past decade among specialty coffee lovers and home baristas. Even though making a perfect cup of joe requires some skills and takes some manual effort, it is the most wonderful moment when you sip on your coffee.
A pour over coffee maker will give you ultimate control over what your drink tastes like. It will highlight and present the wonderful flavors and natural notes from your coffee beans. If you mastered the pour over technique, you would get a good tasting coffee that an automatic drip machine can’t produce.
In the past, when it comes to pour over, most of us used Hario V60. There are hundreds of pour over coffee makers nowadays. How to choose the best one for you? Here are our recommendations.
Tips for Choosing the Best Pour Over Coffee Maker
There are a few things to consider when choosing the best pour over coffee maker.
Cone Shape Vs. Flat Bottom
Traditional cone shape drippers like the Hario V60 have been popular for many years. While more manufacturers released the flat-bottomed drippers in recent years, which are challenging the V60’s dominance. Which shape should you choose?
A study from the UC Davis Coffee Center found that a majority of people can tell the difference between the cone and flat shape when tasting coffee. Determining which shape produces the best flavor is a matter of personal preference.
Using coffee brewers with a flat-bottomed design is easier if you’re new to making pour over brewing. This shape restricts the flow of water and helps you get more consistent results during the extraction process.
A filter basket with a conical or semi-conical shape will give you more control over the brew. You pour faster; it drips more quickly. Without a proper drip rate, you may get an under-extracted taste.
If you’re new to pour over brewing method, the flat one is a safe choice. It’s easy to use, and you will get consistent results.
If you want to experiment and get more flavor, we recommend using a conical dripper.
One of the advantages of the pour over method is that you only need a few basic items to make pour over coffee. You will need a kettle, the coffee maker itself, and a paper filter.
A pour over coffee dripper takes up less counter space and is ideal for making coffee on the go. You can warm up water on a stove or even use a campfire. A pour over coffee maker is the right choice if you’re hiking or camping.
If portability is an important feature for you, look for a device that is lightweight, compact, and easy to clean.
It’s important to choose the right material for a portable pour over coffee maker. We recommend plastic or metal since these materials are lightweight and unbreakable. Glass and ceramic are durable and easy to clean, but not practical since they can break.
Size and Capacity Matter
You can find different sizes when comparing pour over coffee makers. There are individual coffee makers that make one or two cups at a time and coffee makers with a larger capacity.
An experienced barista often likes to do two or more pours to get more flavor out of the ground coffee, which can make the steeping process longer. The bottom line is that the brewing process takes longer with this method. Choose the right capacity for your needs because making more cups means spending more time pouring.
The ideal size depends on how many people will drink coffee with you and on how many cups you typically consume.
The beautiful thing about making pour over coffee is that you can explore a wide range of techniques, find the perfect ratio, brew time, and refine the way you make your coffee. It’s fun, and it will help you develop a new appreciation for java.
For many home baristas, we may not make consistent perfect coffee like the professional baristas in the specialty coffee shops. Consider any possible limitations in the techniques you can use when you choose a pour over coffee maker. Some models give you more or less control over the pour technique and ratio you use.
It’s important to choose a coffee brewer adapted to your pour skills and level of experience.
Some pour over coffee makers require proprietary filters because of the unusual shape of the filter basket. It’s true of brands like Chemex, V60, or Kalita Wave.
Some products use standards filters. Buying standard filters will end up costing less, and you can pick up these filters at the grocery stores instead of ordering them online.
Did you know that the filter you use can impact the taste of your coffee? Because all the coffee will go through the paper filters into the cup, along with the unwanted flavors from the filter.
Using a natural filter (Brown filters) can result in a slight paper taste in your coffee. Bleached filters won’t introduce any unwanted flavors. Manufacturers use chlorine or oxygen to bleach filters. Both options are safe, but oxygen bleaching is better for the environment. It’s always recommended to rinse the paper filter before brewing for great tasting coffee.
9 Best Pour Over Coffee Makers 2021
The following pour over coffee makers are some of the best products you can find.
1.The Hario V60 – Our Favorite
Hario V60 has a significant impact on the pour over coffee brewing and the specialty coffee scene. It’s the most iconic pour over brewer and the World Brewers Cup champions’ favorite dripper.
It’s a popular option for coffee aficionados who want to have full control over coffee in your cup. You can adjust the acidity, sweetness, and strongness according to your flow rate, brew time, water temperature, and brew ratio. It’s a durable product that gives you precise control over the extraction process. To know more about the tips for making great pour over? Check out our V60 brewing guide.
The Hario V60 comes in different materials, including plastic, ceramic, metal and glass with different colors. The plastic and ceramic versions are the most affordable and popular. V60 has two sizes, if you brew a single cup at a time, choose 01. If you often make 2-3 cups of coffee, choose 02.
The small footprint of this brewer will help you save counter space and makes it a good travel companion.
You can also consider the Hario V60 dripper set. This set comes with an arm stand, a coffee dripper, and a carafe. You will also get a measuring spoon and some paper filters.
It’s fun to use because the arm keeps the filter basket above the carafe so you can see the coffee drip. The main downside of this coffee maker is that the conical shape of the filter basket makes it more challenging to use for beginners.
- Full control over the coffee ends up in your cup
- Affordable and portable
- Lots of brew guides and recipes available for beginners
- Requires a learning curve for beginners
2.The Kalita Wave – Most Forgiving
The Kalita Wave is one of the best pour over coffee makers for beginners. It’s easy to use, and the flat bottom of the filter basket yields consistent results, regardless of your pour technique. You can easily get a cup of rich, full bodied coffee consistently.
The filter basket features three small holes that control the drip-rate. Using three holes and a flat-bottomed design allows hot water to steep more evenly and absorb more flavors from the coffee.
Kalita Wave comes in two sizes: the 155 is suitable for a single cup, and the 185 is a great choice for 2-4 cups of coffee. But keep in mind that you will need to get special Kalita Wave filters to get consistent results. These filters have a unique cupcake design, which is excellent for heat retention in the brewing process.
Stainless steel and ceramic coffee dripper are available. If you prefer a more portable coffee maker, pick the stainless steel version. Here is the detailed Kalita wave review and brewing guide.
- Flat bottom design
- Three holes to control the drip rate
- Easy for beginners to use
- Requires special filters
3.Chemex Coffee Maker – Best Aesthetics
Unlike other pour over coffee makers, Chemex offers a coffee brewer with a single piece. This award-winning hourglass design features a wooden collar and an iconic leather tie that makes Chemex instantly recognizable.
This stylish coffee maker is ideal if you’re looking for a gift or want a product that will enhance your kitchen. Chemex is selected as the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art and many museums all over the world.
It’s the best pour over coffee maker if you’re looking for a mix of aesthetics and functionality. It uses non-porous borosilicate glass that results in a clean and bright flavor.
There are different sizes available, but this specific product has a capacity of six cups. You should use Chemex filters for the best result. Chemex makes thick filters that prevent coffee oils from ending up in your brew. Check out the Chemex brewing guide here.
The main downside of this coffee maker is that its one-piece design and glass construction aren’t ideal if you want a portable product.
- Iconic and elegant design
- Easy to use and clean
- Clean and bright flavor
- Not portable
- The filter papers are thicker and larger compared to other pour over coffee makers
4.Clever Dripper Coffee Maker – Best for Beginners
We like this inexpensive drip coffee maker because it’s easy to use. There are different colors to choose from. The BPA-free plastic construction makes this coffee maker lightweight and highly portable.
This coffee dripper is a combination of pour over and immersion brewing method. It features a shut-off valve that prevents coffee from dripping until you open the valve. This feature gives you precise control over the extraction time, and you can let water steep through the ground coffee for as long as you want.
You don’t need to use a specific pour technique to get the result you want because you can use the valve to control the coffee brewing time.
The coffee maker comes with a coaster and a lid to keep the coffee warm. There is a large handle that allows you to hold the drip over a carafe or a cup. Overall, this pour coffee maker is fun and easy to brew, and we recommend it because you can explore pour over coffee without using any advanced techniques.
- Fun and easy brewer
- Shut-off valve feature
- Lightweight and portable
- Not as stylish as other options
- Metal and glass are more durable
5.Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker – Best Paperless Choice
If you don’t like the paper filters, Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker is your choice. It has a built-in stainless steel permanent filter. Unlike the paper filter which absorbs most of the natural oils from your coffee, the stainless steel mesh filter in Bodum allows the coffee oils into your cup and give you great coffee with a robust aroma and full bodied taste. The problem is, you’ll inevitably have some sediments in your cup.
The carafe is made of borosilicate glass which is temperature resistant. The look is similar to Chemex’s one-piece design, with a silicone band. The band is available in a few colors. Although it’s not as elegant as Chemex in the aesthetic design, the price is much lower than Chemex, and the band is easier to clean.
Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker is available in 12, 17, 34, 51 ounces, choose the appropriate size as needed.
- No paper filter is needed
- Good for value, also save the money on filters
- Easy to clean, dishwasher safe
- Glass is fragile, not a portable coffee brewer
- Sediments in your coffee
6. Bee House Ceramic Dripper – Second-Best for Beginners
We like this durable ceramic coffee dripper. The ceramic construction is resistant to high temperatures and results in a purer flavor.
The coffee drip is compact and lightweight. All you have to do is pour water and hold it over a cup or carafe.
The design is very stylish for the price range. The flat bottom makes this coffee maker a forgiving option if you lack experience with pouring. There are two drip holes that give you good control over the flow rate.
You can use this ceramic dripper with standard #2 Melitta paper filters or other standard filters, which can be easily found in supermarkets or grocery stores near your home.
- Durable ceramic construction
- Two holes to control flow rate
- Forgiving and doesn’t require high pouring skills
- Ceramic material is fragile, not suitable for traveling
7.Melitta Ready Set Joe – Best Budget Option
This affordable pour over brewer is less stylish than the glass or ceramic coffee drippers mentioned above. However, it is a quick and cheap way for you to enjoy great tasting coffee at home.
Melitta Ready Set Joe is super straightforward. Put the filter in and you can start brewing. The single drip hole limits your control over the extraction process.
You can take it apart and clean it easily. It’s an ideal option if you don’t have a lot of counter space or only need to make pour coffee for one person. It’s made of plastic, which means it’s lightweight and suitable for traveling.
It comes in red and black, uses standard Melitta filters. It’s still a great option to consider if you’re looking for a budget pour over coffee maker.
- Excellent budget option
- Use standard filters
- Easy to use and clean
- Makes only one cup
- Limits the pour techniques you can use
8. Hario Woodneck Drip Pot – Best Drip Coffee Pot
We like the design of this drip coffee pot. Instead of using traditional paper filters, it uses special cotton flannel filters.
Using cotton flannel filters slows down the extraction process and removes any unwanted paper taste. It preserves the oil from the coffee grounds and results in a coffee with a richer and full bodied flavor.
The cotton flannel filters are reusable, which makes this drip coffee pot an eco-friendly option. You can purchase additional filters, but you will have to wash the filters every time you use them.
The glass coffee pot comes in two sizes, 8 or 16 ounces. There are wood accents on the pot, and you can choose between acacia and olive wood.
- Alternative to paper filters
- Stylish design
- Convenient handle on the drip
- Filters are not easy to clean
- Not portable
9.LHS Cone Reusable Stainless Steel Coffee Filter – Best Stainless Steel Choice
This coffee filter is an interesting alternative to traditional pour over coffee makers. It uses a stainless steel cone instead of paper filters.
This coffee drip comes with a non-slip stand so you can attach it to your coffee cup.
The filter uses 0.2mm holes to filter the coffee grounds. You can expect a rich flavor, and the cone design is ideal if you want to experiment with different pour techniques.
It’s an environmental-friendly option that is convenient for making coffee on-the-go, and it comes with a brush to clean the stainless steel filter.
Like all the stainless steel filter, it allows the finer particles to go into your cup.
- Environmentally friendly, doesn’t require a paper filter
- Dishwasher safe
- Portable coffee maker
- Need to clean the filter every time you use it
- Sediments will pass through if you use fine grinds
The Verdict: What’s the Best Pour Over Coffee Maker?
Here are the top three drip coffee makers we recommend:
It’s the favorite of professional baristas worldwide and many pour over coffee lovers. Hario V60 allows you to have full control over your coffee so that you can get the most of your high-quality coffee beans according to your preference. Since it is the most popular coffee dripper, you can easily find detailed brew guides and recipes online. It’s easy for beginners to start the pour over.
This coffee dripper is one of the most forgiving manual drip coffee maker if you’re new to making pour over coffee. We like the flat bottom design, the three holes, and the heat-resistant glass construction.
We like this because it’s affordable and easy to use. It’s the perfect option if you want a portable coffee dripper. The shut-off valve gives you precise control over the steeping time. So no matter what skill level you are in, you can always get a great cup of coffee.
Accessories Required for Optimal Flavor
You can get a more consistent cup of coffee, experiment with different techniques, and get even more flavor notes with a few accessories. Here’s what we recommend using:
A Good Burr Grinder
We recommend investing in a good grinder that produces consistent grind size and lets you control the coarseness for different brewers. Freshly ground coffee tastes much better than preground coffee.
A gooseneck kettle is a super handy accessory because it allows you to pour water with precision in the brewing process. The gooseneck feature lets you control the flow rate easier. You may pour too fast and cause the under-extracted taste using an ordinary kettle with a wide spout.
The best way to get a precise and consistent brew ratio is to weigh your coffee during the brewing process. It’s something you can do with a small kitchen scale. Some digital scales also have a built-in timer which is even more convenient for coffee drinkers. Once you get a perfect cup of coffee, you can record it and repeat the recipe next time.
A timer will help you be more precise with your pour technique. You can also use it to record the steeping time you used if you want to experiment with different techniques. Simply a timer app on your cell phone will work.
Fresh Coffee Beans
Pour over is the best way to get the most out of your high-quality coffee beans. Using fresh beans instead of pre-ground coffee will significantly enhance the taste in your cup.
Here are some common questions about pour over coffee makers and manual brewing techniques.
We strongly suggest coffee fans get a good burr grinder, it’s not a necessity, but you won’t regret it. A burr grinder uses two abrasive burrs to grind coffee beans. The advantage of this design is that you can adjust the distance between these two surfaces to adjust the size of the grind, resulting in more uniform particles compared to the blade grinders. The grounds can be more evenly extracted. More importantly, the coffee always tastes fresher if you grind the fresh beans before brewing.
The pour over method is ideal for enhancing subtle aromas. A light or medium roast is ideal since you will get to truly appreciate all the subtle notes, but the best coffee is a matter of personal preference.
Taste is very subjective. If you like espresso or very strong and condensed coffee, pour over is not for you. Pour over uses 1:15 to 1:18 coffee to water ratio, mostly with the paper filters. So you won’t get the sediments in your cup. Pour over coffee tastes milder, and it’s easier to notice more complex flavor notes. It results in a cup of coffee that has richer flavors and a more subtle aromatic profile.
Besides the taste, another good reason, pour over is a very affordable coffee brewing method. All the essential coffee gear won’t cost you hundreds of dollars like the espresso machine. It’s very suitable for home brewing.