Top 8 Best Pour Over Coffee Makers For 2020 – Review And Buyers Guide

Best Pour Over Coffee Maker For 2020

There are many pour over coffee makers on the market. Personally, I love the pour over brewing for its simplicity.

You do not even need a pour over coffee maker, you can just pour water over the coffee grounds to start the extraction process. Then all those nice coffee flavors and tones end up in your cup.

However, there are far more effective ways of making coffee.

With online shopping, and many manufacturers making coffee makers that are not only effective, modern, and easy on the eye, why not spruce up your kitchen counter with a gadget, called a pour over coffee maker, or otherwise known as a "dripper"?

There are several price levels, brands, and places where to look for one, from brick-and-mortar stores, online coffee gadget shops, to Amazon, and similar websites.

Therefore, I will not only explain what crucial factors you need to look at, but also look into materials, sizes, and skills you need to have to operate it.

It is not rocket science, however, knowing what is the best pour over coffee maker for you, how to use it, and how to ensure that you will end up with the best cup of coffee, does not hurt. So, without further ado:


What Is Pour Over Coffee?

The pour over coffee is known under these names: brewed coffee, filtered coffee, drip coffee, fresh coffee.

You can enjoy it in a cafe or at home. You’ll need:

  • water
  • freshly ground coffee beans
  • brewing “dripper” device
  • filter, to filter the coffee
  • a cup or a mug to pour it in, duh 🙂

Yes, it is that simple but it still takes a little bit of art to nail a great pour over coffee.

Freshly ground coffee beans create a “bed” over which you pour the hot water, to extract flavors from the beans. Apart from caffeine, according to Wikipedia, carbohydrates, melanoidins, acids, and lipids are being extracted. There are sugars, too.

The result depends on the variety of bean, extraction time, grind to water ratio, roast profile, grind level, water PH level, and temperature.

Manual brewing with infusion method? It's easy, however, making a good, barista-like brew takes experience (yes, everyone can pour water the wrong way or grind the beans too finely) and the right equipment, from a coffee grinder, coffee scale, coffee filter, water kettle, to a coffee dripper, or a coffee pour over maker. The pour over and coffee drip method have their differences.


Coffee Drip Method vs The Pour Over Method

  • Both can be made the old-school way (manually, using stainless steel, glass, or ceramic device) or using an electric device.
  • Electric drip devices are faster but can break down, especially cheaper models.
  • Glass or ceramic pour overs look neat, but if you're not careful, they can easily break.
  • Electric coffee makers are harder to keep clean.
  • With drip coffee electric coffee makers, you usually just put the filter in place, insert coffee, water, and push the button. Water boils, goes through grounds, and through the filter. And you just wait for fresh coffee to drip into a pot. Easy-peasy, and fast (but maybe not the best tasting).
  • With pour over coffee makers, you need more patience. This method also requires more attention and a different (careful) way of pouring water. First, you wet all the coffee grounds and let it bloom (wait about 30 seconds) and slowly pour again, usually in a circular motion, and stop depending on the time-to-weight ratio you're aiming for.

In my opinion, go for a drip coffee, that's ONLY if you do not have enough time and want convenience. Go for a pour over, if you're bold, want more control over and creative with the whole process, enjoying the best complex flavors.

PS: If you want to become the PRO pour over coffee master, get a notepad and mark your ratios, times, type of coffee… It will help you to find out the best pour over coffee recipe for certain pour over coffee maker.


What Is A Coffee Dripper?

It is a brewing device that holds the ground coffee and the filter. The water filters through the coffee and drips into a pot or a cup. To simplify it, drip coffee machines do the work for you.


What Is A Pour Over Coffee Maker?

Pour over coffee makers usually consist of a filter and a filter holder.

Then you only need coffee, water, and the filter itself. By using the right one and pouring water correctly over the grounds and following the wetting and blooming process, you will end up with a nice cup of coffee.

When picking one of the pour over coffee makers, think about these 5 factors:

Portability - if you want your coffee maker to travel with you, do not opt for glass or a ceramic one, rather a plastic or stainless steel one.
Practicality - Is is easy to use? Are you ok with a mesh, Kalita, or Hario filter, that might be harder to get? Do you have experience in making coffee? Do you need extra equipment, such as the gooseneck kettle?
Time - mastering certain coffee pour overs just takes more time. If you hurry, go for Kalita Wave. If you're patient and eager to learn, go for Hario V60.
Capacity - Do you want to brew a larger batch? Then always check the info on cup servings. Chemex, for example, can make more cups of coffee than the travel-friendly Melitta Ready Set Joe.
Price - depends on the material (ceramic will always be more expensive than plastic), size, and also if you need to buy filters, how generic, or special are they)

I have looked at all of these factors.

The 8 Best Pour Over Coffee Makers - Our Comparison

Product

Highlights and benefits

Hario V60 - Editors Choice

  • 3 sizes available
  • most iconic pour over
  • comes in different materials, from fragile to durable ones
  • conical design
  • fits the standard-sized coffee mug
  • good for lighter roasts

Hario Woodneck

  • 2 sizes available
  • made from glass + wood
  • cloth filter is used
  • good for darker roasts

The Kalita Wave 185 Dripper

  • for 2-3 cups
  • wide cone with ridges and a flat-bottom design = good flow
  • uses Kalita Wave filters
  • produces full-bodied coffee
  • stainless-steel version is suitable for traveling

The Chemex Coffee Maker

  • for 3 cups
  • made from glass
  • a beautiful carafe
  • conical drip design
  • brews rich coffee
  • good for dark roasts

The Kone System

The Kone System
  • it is only a metal filter
  • compatible with other pour overs
  • great for traveling
  • easy to clean
  • coffee will have more oils then if you would use a paper filter

The Clever Dripper Coffee Maker

  • ideal for 1 serving of coffee
  • plastic, but BPA-free
  • affordable
  • easy to use
  • several colors available

Melitta Porcelain Pour Over Coffee Brewer

  • for 1 cup of coffee
  • porcelain mug = fragile
  • uses Melitta filters
  • produces a consistent brew

Melitta Ready Set Joe Brewer

  • for 1 cup of coffee
  • a portable pour over
  • comes in different materials, from fragile to durable ones
  • affordable

Hario V60 - Editors Choice

Portability : The Japanese ceramic Hario V60 is an icon. It allows you to control temperature and timing and it retains heat well. If you want a durable one, opt for the plastic or copper version. There is a glass version, as well.

Practicality : You will need special triangular Hario filters, that are very thin, the gooseneck kettle, and practice to manage your pouring skills.

Do it too fast or do not pain attention - and you will not achieve an even extraction. If your cup feels too sour or bitter, you probably need to train more.

 Master this method, and with Hario V60, you shall be rewarded. Worry not, there are many videos and tutorials online.

Time : If you have the time to learn how to achieve the right grind, extraction time, control time, temperature, and flow, go for it.

For a nice, stronger coffee, try 4 tablespoons and 1.3 cups of water and brew for 3-4 minutes. And do not forget to pre-wet the filter and empty the water, otherwise, your coffee will taste like paper dust 🙂

Capacity : There are 3 sizes to pick from: For 1 or 2 cups; up to four cups; or for up to six cups.

My opinion : It is iconic and the best one there is. But if you're a novice and not sure if you want to commit to this brewing method, there are more affordable, and easier-to-use devices.

Hario Woodneck

Portability : Not that good. Woodneck comes only in an olive/dark wood + glass-pot version, and you can make max. 2 cups of java. However, it looks great on the kitchen counter!

Practicality : Good value for money, plus it is relatively ecological. This pour over coffee maker uses a cloth filter and it is not hard to use.

Instructions are fairly simple, plus, you can use darker roasts. Many people say that the result of the brewing process reminds them of the French press. Just less grainy. It is loved by beginners, too.

Time : You do not have to pay that much attention to it, as its sibling mentioned before. Thanks to steep walls, water flows evenly, securing a 

consistent extraction. However, the cloth filter needs to be washed every time. For 240 ml you can try the brewing time of 2, maximum 3 minutes.

Capacity : You can pick from 2 sizes: Woodneck for a single cup of coffee, and the second one for 2 to 3 cups.

My opinion : You pay for the nice design, but save on filters. Overall, it is a user-friendly drip pot. Best bear in mind that it is fragile, and you need to take care of your reusable cloth filter.

The Kalita Wave 185 Dripper

Portability : It is a nicely designed device, with descending ridges and a wide cone. Its classic stainless steel version is easier to operate than a ceramic one, too. However, you can find a glass or a ceramic one.

Practicality : Kalita Wave Dripper has a wide cone, and a flat bottom, meaning better flow control. Aesthetic and reliable. However, wavy, fragile filters are more tricky to store and use. I wrote before that you should rinse your paper filters. Not Kalita ones. They are one-time use.

Time : Thanks to the flat bottom and flow restriction, you will get a nice, strong body and taste without that much water and risk of an error. For me, this is a plus. You can try to brew it for up to 3.5 minutes.

Capacity : You can pick the Kalita Wave 185, with the capacity of 2–3 cups, or a single-cup size (the Kalita 155 Dripper)

My opinion : If you do not want that much control over the brewing process (and you want to leave no room for error), a durable pour over coffee maker, and you're ok with more fragile paper filters, go for it.

The Chemex Coffee Maker

Portability : If you like glass design, but want to brew bigger batches than previously mentioned Woodneck allows, Chemex is a good choice. Its size and material make it less portable, however, its nice design makes it perfect displaying on the countertop.

Practicality : Chemex is not that easy to use. You need more practice, medium-coarse grind, and special Chemex filters. Contrary to the Kalita Wave, they are thick.

It has two main pluses, they separate oils well, and make water flow slower. Apart from the Chemex filter, you also have the option to use oxygen-cleansed white filters, natural brown filters, or cloth filters.

Time : Same as with Hario V60, you'll need some experience. Thicker filters help, but using them means slower extraction, with the possibility of over-extraction. If you have a feeling it is too slow, try a coarser grind. You can brew it for 3 to 5 minutes.

Capacity : This drip pot is available in 3 to 10 cup sizes. It's big, but also fragile.

My opinion : Chemex can be great once mastered. However, I and fellow coffee friends have broken so many over the years. Yet I still can't live without one and you may end up the same too.

The Kone System

Portability : This is a reusable and sustainable stainless steel conical filter. It is small and minimalistic. However, if you do not want to put it directly into a cup, you will also need a brewer.

Practicality : Kone filter is friends with previously mentioned Chemex or Hario and it is quite durable. According to Amazon it also fits Technivorm Moccamaster, Ratio Eight, and Bonavita automatic drip brewers.

Time : If you are into manual drip devices, just wait for the coffee to drain, filter it, drink it, wash the cone and it is ready to be used again.

Capacity : It is just a conical filter for example compatible with Chemex (6-10 cup)

My opinion : Since it eliminates the need for paper filters and it is durable, it is a good investment.

The Clever Dripper Coffee Maker

Portability : This immersion-style brewer is great for beginners and easy to clean! But let’s face it, it's not as awe-worthy sitting in the kitchen. It can also start to “look used” over time, but you can buy a colored version. Do not worry about your health, the material is BPA-free.

Practicality : The plastic, affordable Clever Dripper uses standard filters, ergo I rank it very high. It's often sold with 100 filters, too.

Time : If you're into manual easy-to-use drip-coffee makers, this is your product.  Put coffee in, fill the cone with water, watch your extraction time (ideal is 3 minutes), and then drain.

Capacity : It makes 16 oz. of coffee at a time.

My opinion : Ideal for 1 person, a traveler, a beginner, or someone that can not take a strong brew, or an espresso.

Melitta Porcelain Pour Over Coffee Brewer

Portability : The combo of porcelain mug and plastic filter makes it safer to handle than pure porcelain brewers. It's also cheaper, and dishwasher-friendly.

Practicality : Fairly easy to operate, you just need paper filters. Melitta #2 cone filters are recommended.

Time : You can prepare one cup of coffee in this porcelain pour over brewer. It is fast, but do not worry, Melitta has a unique 3 hole system keeping the coffee from flowing through too fast!

Capacity : A single cup.

My opinion : Perfect for everyone that likes fresh coffee. I would even suggest it as a gift. The porcelain cup looks nice and it's affordable.

Melitta Ready Set Joe Brewer

Portability : It is as portable as they get, the name says it all.

Practicality : The plastic version is travel-friendly, however, there is a glass and ceramic version, too. You only need standard filters. Melitta is very easy to use and there are no special features.

Time : It's a time-saver, suitable even for novices. Good brewing time is 3-3:45 but you can note down your results, and compare times for the taste that suits you the most.

Capacity : A single cup, using approximately 18.5 g of coffee. Well, depends on how strong you like your lava.

My opinion : Affordable option for beginners or people on the move. Plus most of the people can not buy an Chemex for their home. I think Ready Set Joe will forever find its customers.


Where To Buy A Pour Over Coffee Maker

You can buy a coffee maker online, or a specialized shop selling coffee gadgets and equipment.

A pour over coffee maker is not “your usual” kettle or coffee machine, so I strongly vouch for a specialized shop, or to look online, from the comfort of your home.

With a bit of research, you will know what to order even from an overwhelming site such as Amazon. I researched for you and I hope this article will help.

Be that as it may, even with the best pour over coffee makers, the result depends on several factors.


How To Make The Best Pour Over Coffee?

As said before, the pour over method gives you more control. You need to be careful about:

  • The ratio of water to coffee - more coffee means more flavor, so it's up to you but always use a digital scale. General stretch is 18 grams with a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio as a good start before getting creative.
  • Coffee - freshly-ground medium-coarse coffee is preferred. Go for a sand-like feel.
  • Grinder - if you do not buy ground up coffee, invest in a good coffee grinder.
  • Water temperature - it should be 90 - 96 Celsius (195 -206 degrees Fahrenheit.) Never pour boiling water.
  • Filter - pick one that fits your coffee maker and rinse it with hot water, to get rid of the paper taste.
  • Pouring style - you start by wetting the top of the grounds with a little water. This process is called “wetting.” Grounds will swell and bubble. Wait 30 seconds before pouring the rest of the water, which removes the CO2. This process is called blooming or degassing. When pouring, start in the middle and move out, spiral-like. Pour slowly and evenly. Stop when you think you have achieved the desired amount of coffee. No worries, there are even special kettles on the market, called gooseneck kettles.
  • After you have enjoyed your coffee, do not forget to clean your coffee maker!

Choosing A Coffee Filter

Specific filters fit specific devices, so sometimes the manufacturer “chooses” for you.

Sometimes this means that these filters are more expensive or harder to get (looking at you, Hario V60, Kalita Wave, or Chemex)

On the other hand, Clever Dripper or Melitta® Pour-Over use Melitta filters, which are widely available.

Did you know that Melitta filters are named after a female inventor Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz? She invented the first one and got it patented back in 1908!

In general, the most popular filters are paper filters, followed by cloth filters. You can also invest in a reusable metal cone.

Why? As mentioned before, the paper filter retains oils extracted from beans during the process of brewing coffee.

You will appreciate it, especially with darker roasts. Paper filters can be bleached, or not bleached. I prefer not bleached filters, as natural as they get, and I rinse them before using them.

If you go for bleached, pick oxygen bleached and not chemical bleached. That way, there is no paper taste, and the environmental impact is lower.

Eco-friendly and organic coffee filters, such as hemp filters, reusable filters, cotton filters, and compostable/biodegradable ones are also on the rise.

Which Coffee Should You Use?

Which coffee should you use with a pour over? You can pick the type of bean, type of roast, level (size) of grind, and then your water to coffee ratio. How about caffeine?

The pour over method brings out the notes, aromas, and variety of aftertastes over a longer period, so bright beans (light roast) are great.

There is no oil on the surface and this roast is dense and therefore contains slightly more caffeine.

To be honest, if you measure the coffee mass (weight) properly, you will get almost the same amount of caffeine with every roast level.

Do not try to save money and straight invest in a good brand of light roast, otherwise, you might end up with a bland taste. The body should be mellow, but not boring.

If you want to experiment, you can. A medium roast is more balanced in notes and aromas, and all of them are more distinctive. There is rarely oil on the surface.

It's more sweet and dark. Dark roast, on the other hand, has low acidity, oil on the surface, and rich, sometimes even smoky taste.

There are two brewing methods. Immersion and infusion. As I said before, the pour over is an infusion method.

If you grind your beans, invest in a quality conical burr grinder. Otherwise, you risk having finely-ground beans or a mishmash, uneven result, and ergo a fast extraction.

What you want is a shorter time than the immersion method, but longer than an espresso, ergo medium roast is “perfetto!” If you buy pre-ground beans, espresso grind is not suitable.

Always go for a medium-coarse grind, or beans specially made for the pour over method.

A lot of people select a coffee for pour over from Ethiopia, or Guatemala, but always look on the grind and my clock.

If the coffee tastes sour, you will most probably need a finer grind and longer brew time. If it tastes bitter, coarser ground and shorter brew time.

How about ratios, temperature, etc.? Let’s see:


What Is The Best Pour Over Coffee Maker?

To summarize it:

Do you have the money and are enthusiastic about this way of making coffee? Invest in a ceramic dripper or glass coffee maker, such as Hario, or Chemex.

Are you not sure if the pour over is for you? Go for a cheaper and durable Kone System or Clever Dripper.

Do you want to travel with your pour over coffee maker? Avoid glass pour over coffee makers. You can give Melitta a shot.

Will you mostly need to brew 1 cuppa? Avoid Chemex, it's big in size and it is a big investment.

Do you like nice designs? Look into Hario or Chemex.

Do you want to avoid paper filters? The Kone, Hario Woodneck, or Chemex would be my go-to choices.

Do you want paper filters that are easy to get and a cup of coffee that is easy to make? Go for Clever Dripper or Melitta.

Do you want the industry favorite, winner of most rankings, and my personal winner? Hario V60 it is.

Anyway, happy shopping and brewing! Do you already own one of the pour over coffee makers mentioned above?

Curious to know which one is the best pour over coffee maker for you and what is your go-to recipe 🙂