Do you love French press coffee but find you’re sometimes put off by the muddy coffee that accumulates at the bottom of your cup? Or, maybe you love the clean coffee of pour-over but haven’t mastered the pouring technique. If either of those describe you, the Clever Dripper promises to combine the best elements of both immersion brewers and pour-overs.
This Clever Dripper review takes an in-depth look at how this brew method works and the step-by-step Clever Dripper recipe. So you can brew a satisfying cup of coffee with gorgeous texture, satisfying sweetness, and beautiful clarity using a paper filter with ease.
Clever Coffee Dripper Review
- Very inexpensive (it costs no more than a standard pour-over dripper)
- Brews a lovely cup of coffee with great texture and clarity
- Consistent from cup to cup
- Newbie friendly as you don’t need either an advanced pouring technique, or a pour-over kettle
- The aesthetic design could be better
What Is The Clever Dripper?
The Clever Coffee Dripper is a cone-shaped coffee brewer with a draining valve at the base. It takes the hassle out of manual coffee brewing by harnessing immersion brewing French press-style combined with filter drip brewing using a paper filter akin to a drip coffee machine. Because of this combination, it promises a coffee that’s full-bodied but sediment-free.
Who Invented Clever Dripper?
This innovative machine has been around for a few years. Taiwanese company E.K. INT’L Co, which was established in 1996, is the inventor. The branding is ABID, an acronym for Absolutely Best Idea Development. True to that ethos, the company made the idea a reality with an incredibly versatile and innovative coffee brewer. The company claims the secret to the brewer is the Amazing Shut-Off System at the base of the machine, which is patented in many countries.
We recommend you check out Clever Dripper’s official website, which offers lots of background on a unique coffee dripper.
As we mentioned earlier, the Clever Coffee Dripper is a coffee maker that combines the immersion brewing of the French press and paper filter of the pour-over.
First, you immerse the grounds in hot water, French press-style, for better flavor extraction. It also has a lid to retain heat during the brewing process.
At the foot of the Clever coffee dripper, there’s a draining valve with a simple stopper mechanism. You just need to place it on top of your coffee cup, then the valve opens and releases the beverage slowly into your cup.
In Chinese culture, many people drink tea with a similar tea brewer. First, the tea immerses in hot water to allow for extraction, then the liquid is released into a carafe below. However, coffee grounds are much finer, so paper filters are needed for more efficient filtering and the optimal flavor.
The coffee maker looks reassuringly sturdy, and even if you accidentally drop it or knock it, it’s unlikely to break. However, it is designed with practicality in mind rather than aesthetics, so it’s not about to introduce the “wow” factor to your kitchen.
However, as well as the clear plastic Clever Dripper, it is also available in a range of colors, so it shouldn’t be hard to choose one that best suits your kitchen.
The BPA-free plastic parts mean you don’t need to worry about the effect of hot water in the dripper. Meanwhile, it has an 18oz water capacity, allowing for around four cups per batch – perfect if you’re brewing for family, friends, or guests.
Ease Of Use
One of the biggest advantages of the Clever Dripper is its ease of use. The dripper lets you make consistently beautiful coffee without the need for an advanced pouring technique. The machine is also compatible with Melitta-style paper filters, which are readily available from many grocery stores and supermarkets.
Once you’ve finished brewing, you just empty the used grounds and gently scrub the coffee oils off the clever brewer. In other words, everything about the machine is designed with ease of use a priority.
Value For Money
The Clever coffee maker is relatively inexpensive. As a manual coffee maker, it is in the same price range as standard pour-over drippers. There are Clever Drippers on Amazon for sale with 100 filters, too. However, even if you run out of paper filters, they are cheap to replace and easy to find.
An indirect saving is there’s no need to buy a gooseneck kettle because the flavor is not affected by pouring. So, you can just use your regular electric kettle for a great cup of coffee.
Clever Dripper Recipe
As we have demonstrated, brewing with the Clever Dripper is extremely straightforward, making it one of the most beginner-friendly manual brewing options you’ll find. But how can we ensure we brew the best possible coffee? The following step-by-step recipe can help you achieve that.
- Freshly ground coffee: 15g
- Grind size: Medium ground coffee
- Coffee to water ratio: 1:15
- Hot water: 225g
- Brew time: Five minutes (steeping time: four minutes, drip time: one minute)
Step-By-Step Brew Guide
1. Grind your coffee beans
Set your burr grinder to a medium-coarse size – aim for a size between a French press and pour-over and size.
2. Rinse the coffee filter with hot water
Give the coffee filter a rinse as you would if you were making a pour-over. Doing this will remove the paper taste. Add a filter paper. Keep in mind that you’ll need to fold the paper first. Here’s how.
3. Add coffee and pour water
Put your coffee grounds into the paper filter and gently shake it, so the coffee bed is level. Now, either pour all the hot water over the coffee grounds in one go, or, alternatively, pour some of the water and allow the coffee to bloom for a while, before pouring over the rest of the water.
4. Cover the lid and leave the coffee to steep
Allow the liquid to steep for around two minutes. Then, either gently shake it or stir it with a spoon. Doing this enables the crust on top to fall to the bottom. Wait for another two minutes.
5. Let the coffee drain into your cup
After four minutes of steeping, place the Clever Dripper on a cup. This will open the valve, releasing the coffee into the cup. Be careful if you’re using a narrow Thermos mug, as it needs to be stable.
6. Enjoy your coffee
The coffee drips into your cup within around one or two minutes. Then, you can enjoy a good cup of coffee.
As you can see from the steps, making a delicious cup of coffee with the Clever Dripper is extremely straightforward. However, can you make the process even better? Let’s find out.
Many users report that the coffee grounds accumulate at the bottom of the filter, which leads to a lengthier drip time after opening the valve. That’s because the longer-than-usual steep times can extract more than is ideal.
However, there is a simple solution. Pour hot water into the dripper first, then add the grounds. Doing this will ensure the grounds are well extracted, but they won’t clog at the bottom as easily. In turn, this means the coffee will drip into your cup far more quickly.
Comparison Of The Clever Dripper With Other Manual Coffee Makers
Clever Dripper vs V60
The shape and build of the Clever Dripper resemble the Hario V60, and you could easily assume it’s simply a pour-over dripper – we did. However, we soon learned that the Clever Dripper – as a French press, pour-over hybrid – is quite different from the Hario V60.
The V60 is the best dripper for brewing premium single-origin and light roast beans as it offers more brew control over the process. However, if you tweak your technique, you’ll get a very different cup of coffee. If you’re using the V60, you’ll also need a gooseneck kettle and a coffee scale to get the water flow correct for a beautiful cup of coffee.
The Clever Dripper differs with its ability to brew a great cup of coffee in a paper filter, meaning you don’t need a precise pouring technique. Instead, you just need an electric kettle for pouring hot water into the filter.
Clever Dripper vs French Press
One of the qualities that defines French press is its fuller-bodied coffee. This is due to the complete interaction between the water and the grounds. However, one of its issues is filtering. A French press uses a stainless steel mesh filter, which doesn’t stop all the fine grounds from reaching the cup. Therefore, the coffee at the bottom is usually silty and undrinkable.
As the Clever Dripper combines an immersion-style brewer with a pour-over, it utilizes the best aspects of the French press while discarding the worst. Because, like French press, the coffee steeps in hot water, it will brew a full-bodied cup of coffee. However, as it uses paper filters, it will be a cleaner cup, too, as paper filters block finer grounds. Both brew methods are very suitable for dark roasts. However, due to the capacity, Clever coffee dripper can’t make multiple cups at a time.
Clever Dripper vs AeroPress
The AeroPress is a versatile and inexpensive coffee maker for domestic brewers and has an immersion brewer and plunger. First, you steep the coffee in the brewing chamber, then you press the plunger, which forces the liquid through the paper filter. The result is a clean and intense cup of espresso-style coffee. Another advantage of the AeroPress is the vast range of recipes available online, meaning you can brew French press-style coffee or even cold brew coffee with it.
The Clever Dripper doesn’t use pressure in the brewing process, so it can’t make the intense, robust, and sharp espresso-style coffee that the AeroPress excels at.
Can I Brew Tea With The Clever Dripper?
If you’re also a tea drinker, the Clever Dripper is great for brewing that beverage too. As we stated earlier, many Chinese tea drinkers use a similar brewer. Indeed, the Clever Dripper may even be inspired by that type of brewer.
If you’re brewing tea with the Clever Dripper, you can steep the hot water for a few minutes, then release the valve on completion. Brewing tea with the dripper is essentially the same as using it for brewing coffee.
Can I Brew Iced Coffee With The Clever Dripper?
Brewing coffee with the Clever Dripper is very straightforward, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that it is also adept at brewing iced coffee.
If you follow the ratio of 15g of coffee to 225g of water (albeit with 90g of that water as ice cubes) from the earlier recipe, here’s how you can make iced coffee with the Clever Dripper.
- Grind your beans to medium size.
- Rinse the paper filter and add the grounds to it.
- Pour 135g of 205F (96C) water over the grounds, stir it, and allow it to steep for four minutes.
- Place 90g of ice cubes into your mug or carafe.
- Place the Clever Dripper on the mug or carafe and allow the hot coffee to release over the ice cubes.
- Swirl the mixture. Now, the ice cubes will melt, immediately cooling down the coffee. You’ll now have a refreshing and delicious iced coffee.
The Clever Coffee Dripper offers one of the best brewing methods for inexperienced coffee drinkers. It’s an incredibly easy-to-use, inexpensive way to make delicious coffee using a paper filter. Also, the French press-like immersion brewing style doesn’t require you to own a goose neck kettle or specific pouring techniques.
Meanwhile, the finished beverage is clean like a pour-over but full-bodied with a beautiful aroma and flavor extraction like a French press. In other words, it provides the best of both worlds, without any of the drawbacks or learning curves associated with the brewing methods on their own.
The design is more functional than aesthetically pleasing, but that’s a small issue when considering how inexpensive the machine is and how easy it is to use.
All you need to master is the correct grind size and coffee to water ratio, and the Clever Coffee Dripper will produce full-bodied, clean, and delicious coffee time after time.
Clever Dripper Recipe
- Clever Coffee Dripper
- 15 grams Ground coffee Medium grind size
- 225 grams Hot water
- Weight 15 grams of coffee, grind the coffee beans to medium grind size.
- Fold the paper filter and put it in the dripper. Rinse the paper filter with hot water to get rid of the paper taste.
- Add the ground coffee to the filter, pour 225 grams of hot water to the coffee.
- Let the coffee steep in hot water for 4 minutes.
- Place the Clever Dripper on a mug and let it drain.
- Enjoy the freshly brewed coffee.
- Let the coffee steep for 2 minutes, then gently stir the crust on top. The coffee grounds will fall to the bottom.
- If the drain time is too long, you can try to pour hot water into the dripper first, then add the grounds. So the grounds won’t clog at the bottom when you release the valve.