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OK sure, sipping on a cup of coffee that took less than one minute to make sounds awesome – especially on those hectic mornings when you barely have the time to brush your hair. However, if you are a genuine java lover, you know that these one-minute brews don’t stand a chance next to the tantalizing aroma and flavor of manually made coffee drinks.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a Starbucks barista to nail these gourmet brews down. All you need is a reliable pour over coffee maker that will allow you to control every variable during the brewing process and, thus, create a cup that’s tailored to your preferences. So, if you are ready to tweak your caffeine-based drinks to match your groove, these top 5 pour over coffee makers are a great place to start.
What Is A Pour Over Coffee Maker?
As the name suggests, a pour over coffee maker is a hand-held kitchen tool that requires you to pour water over ground coffee to create a brew. Unlike other types of coffee machines, this one doesn’t feature any electronic parts, so the result relies solely on the user’s water-to-coffee adjustments and brewing techniques.
The main component of a pour over coffee making equipment is the dripper which is like a filter-friendly socket (paper or metal). However, there are other elements which are required to brew the perfect cup of coffee. These include a kettle with an extended neck to heat and pour small amounts of water, a carafe (or mug) to catch the fresh brew as it drips, a burr grinder to crush the beans evenly, a scale to measure and adjust the water-to-coffee ratio and a timer to monitor the brew time.
You can also use a stirrer to mix the wet grounds as you pour the water and prevent them from forming a thick paste, but that’s optional. Sometimes these parts are sold separately, but there are models which are specially designed to combine at least two of them (the carafe and the dripper), sparing you the extra costs.
How to Use A Pour Over Coffee Maker
Contrary to popular belief, using a pour over coffee maker is very easy. The key is to have the right tools around you, and the brew will start flowing within minutes. However, a little guidance never hurt anyone. So, here are the seven steps you need to take to brew your way to a delicious cup of java with the help of a pour over coffee maker.
- Step 1
Pour some water in a kettle and bring it to a boil. Fill a kettle with about 12 ounces of water; that’s enough to make one cup of coffee. Make sure to avoid distilled water because it will mess with the brew’s taste. Instead, opt for tap water which contains lots minerals that enhance coffee’s natural flavor.
- Step 2
Grind your coffee beans. As the water boils, prep your blend. While most enthusiasts opt for fresh grinds, you can also use a pre-ground blend. The recommended amount of coffee for six ounces of water is at about one tablespoon. However, every coffee blend comes with a different dynamic, so one serving of dark roast may be equal to two tablespoons of a mild grind.
- Step 3
Prep the pour-over setup. Place the dripper on top of a carafe or mug and coat it with a filter (paper or metal). Make sure you use it correctly, so check its instructions first.
- Step 4
Soak the filter. By now the water has come to a boil. So, remove it from the heat and pour a few drops on the filter to soak it. This way your brew will not taste like paper. Then, get rid of the water.
- Step 5
Add the blend to the filter and wet it slightly. Place the ground coffee in the filter and pour enough of the water to soak the grounds. Let it rest for some seconds and come back later. You’ll see that the blend has absorbed the water and has expanded like bread dough. This method is known as “wetting” and helps you get the most out of your brew.
- Step 6
Pour the rest of the water in a spiral movement. If you want to make your brew as gourmet-tasting as possible, avoid pouring water straight into the dripper hole (center). Instead, try and pour the water in a spiral move so that you soak all coffee grounds along the way.
- Step 7
Enjoy your coffee. As you pour the water, make sure it doesn’t overflow. Let the dripper rest on top of the mug/carafe until all coffee is drained. Then, remove the dripper and get your sip on.
What to Look For When Shopping For A Pour Over Coffee Maker
Not all pour over makers are created equal. So, a model that works for you may be a complete waste of time and money for another java lover. To avoid getting stuck with a model that doesn’t meet your needs, you should make sure to keep a checklist of qualities that your future coffee maker must have. Ready to find out which ones are they?
Whether you are an occasional java lover or drink more coffee than water at this point, the first thing you need to keep in mind when shopping for a pour over maker is the size. Specifically, how much of the coffee you drink in one day. If you want to brew large quantities of the drink at once, then it’s best to buy a model with a large carafe such as Chemex (check below). However, if this is not the case and you can barely drink a cup or two per day, you’d better stick to models with small carafes or individual drippers.
Some pour over brewers are easy to use by nature. You just top them with a dripper, add the filter, coffee, and water and wait for your favorite drink to brew. However, some models tend to be a little more demanding than that. So, they require a bunch of other stuff which honestly make a huge difference.
Some of these accessories include an individual carafe, special disposable filters, a stirrer, etc. So, before you add a specific model to your cart, check out the accessories it may need and make sure you add them to your total budget. Plus, keep in mind that they take up space. So, be prepared to make some room in your cabinet for storage purposes.
Another thing to consider before buying a pour over coffee maker is how you are going to use it, namely, do you need it to brew blends at home or plan on taking it along with you on camping/business trips, etc.?
So, if you have a special relationship with caffeine and want to enjoy wherever you go, then you should invest in a dripper that effortlessly stands on top of your travel mug or any carafe. On the flip side, if you want to sip on your favorite brews from the comfort of your home, investing in a pour over maker with an attached mug/carafe seems like the best choice. Either way, the final decision is up to you.
The 5 Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers, Reviewed
From the aromas that flood the room and calm you down to the cozy feeling, you get when you take that first sip, pour over makers are ideal for anyone who wants to turn their hasty coffee drinking habits into a wholesome, zen experience. Unfortunately, equipping your kitchen with the right model seems next to impossible with all these options out there. If you want to skip the research part and head straight to the goodies, here are the top 5 pour over coffee makers to keep in mind. Disclaimer: You’ll want to snag all of them, but please pace yourself.
If you are on the market for a pour over coffee maker that doesn’t just deliver but also looks elegant AF, then this model is a safe bet. Sporting an eye-catching glass design that allows you to take a peek at the brew as it pours, this maker is bound to take your coffee drinking experience to the next level. But, this is just the beginning. Here’s everything else this model has in store for you, from efficiency to a budget-friendly design.
- Large Brewing Capacity
Even though it comes in various sizes, the 6-cup version is more than enough for an average coffee drinker as it can hold up to 30 ounces of java.
- High-Quality Materials
This kitchen tool is made of non-porous Borosilicate glass which is known for not absorbing odors and containing chemical residues.
- Budget-Friendly Design
If you take a look at its shape, you’ll notice that’s this Chemex model is more than just an artisan coffee maker. How come? It combines the standard dripper with a finely shaped carafe, cutting your brewing equipment budget in half. So, you buy two for the price of one.
- Easy to Use
It comes with a polished wooden collar which is located around the dripper’s lower point. This unique feature allows you to handle the tool more efficiently and protects you from getting burnt or dropping the carafe due to slippage.
- Special Filters
The only issue with this pour over brewer is that it requires specific filters or else you can’t use it. That limits your options but is totally worth it.
If you are looking for a small pour over maker and is easy to use, then this model is all you need. Designed to prepare two cups of coffee tops, it is ideal for anyone who doesn’t drink much coffee throughout the day but still wants to get the most out of every sip. However, the simple design is just one its perks. Read on and find out the rest of its (good and could-be-better) qualities.
- Reliable Material
According to the manufacturer, this maker is made of heat-resistant glass which makes it a safe choice for anyone, even brewing newbies. Not only that, but the ceramic body prevents heat loss by nature, keeping the water’s temperature as accurate as possible during the brewing cycle. That guarantees a high-quality brew every time.
- Efficient Design
It has the shape of a cone and features vortex-like ridges on the inside. Both of these traits make sure the water is distributed evenly in between the coffee grounds. As a result, they deter “channeling” in which case the water you pour finds a specific “path” to follow to reach the bottom end and over-extracts only part of the blend, resulting in an unbalanced brew.
Despite its many positive qualities, this model comes at a reasonable price, accommodating even the lowest of budgets.
- Compatible With Standard Paper Filters
Thanks to its cup-like shape, this maker is compatible with standard paper filters. That makes your brewing experience much more accessible as you don’t have to shop with specific guidelines in mind.
- Easy to Clean
This model has no hard-to-reach spots. So, it doesn’t require any particular attention. Rinse it with some soap and water, and it’s ready to work its magic once again.
- Fragile Handle
Many previous owners have reported that the handle of this dripper has broked as time passed by. However, note that this is not a matter of the product’s quality but a question of how you treat the product. So, make sure all water is drained before you pull the dripper to avoid breaking the handle under the excess weight.
If you love drinking coffee but hate using those paper filters (especially when they’re all wet and mushy), then this model is a dream come true for you. Sporting a stainless steel filter, it finally allows you to ditch those paper bags and all the mess that comes with them. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Wanna know more? Here are three compelling reasons why this pour over coffee maker should be part of your home brewing kit.
- Stainless Steel Filter
Unlike many of its peers, this model comes with a stainless steel filter. This innovative feature keeps you from using paper filters which can be quite messy at times. Note that this material is resistant to corrosion, heat, and stains which makes it the perfect candidate for a challenging task such as brewing. Not only that but skipping paper filters helps you spend way less on your coffee drinking habits, is more friendly to the environment and spares you the occasional funky flavor that tastes like you’re eating paper.
- Ergonomic Design
Like Chemex, this maker features a design which combines the effectiveness of a dripper with the convenience of an attached carafe. It also sports a heat-resistant collar right where the two (carafe/dripper) meet which helps you get a solid grasp of the brewer even if it’s filled with steaming hot coffee. Note that it’s six inches tall which means you can store it pretty much anywhere, even if you have limited counter or cabinet space.
- Easy to Clean
Thanks to its stainless steel filter, this brewer makes the disposal of wet coffee grounds very easy and spares you the mess that comes with using paper filters. Besides that, the compact design of the maker makes it easy for you to reach every spot in the carafe and dripper and, thus, remove all residues. As a result, cleaning becomes a breeze.
- Limited Brewing Capacity
Even though the carafe is marked in half cup increments for up to three cups, the real-life brewing capacity of this maker is weaker than that. In fact, each batch produces about 1-2 cups of java and not three as it’s often advertised.
If you are interested in buying a pour over coffee maker with a large brewing capacity that delivers every time and is very easy to use, then this model is a no-brainer. Designed to brew up to 8 cups of coffee in one batch, it is perfect for a household full of coffee lovers. If you think this maker would be an excellent match for you, check below and see all the benefits it has to offer.
- Large Brewing Capacity
According to the manufacturer, this model can brew up 40 ounces of coffee in one go which is the equivalent of 8 cups.
- Safe to Use
It comes with a polished wooden collar which surrounds the middle part of the tool where the dripper and the carafe meet. This collar allows you to take full control of the apparatus without getting burned as it is resistant to heat. Besides that, it prevents you from dropping the carafe even if your hands are slippery. So, no accidents here.
- High-Quality Flavor
This model is made of non-porous borosilicate glass which is known for preserving the brew’s flavor. So, you can store the maker in the fridge and drink the coffee after hours, and it will still taste as if it’s just been brewed. This material can also prevent your brew from absorbing odors, so it’s bound to come off as fresh, no matter what.
- Specific Filters
Note that this model requires the use of specific filters which can sometimes limit your potential. However, note that these advanced filters are specially designed to trap sediments that their regular counterparts often miss. They are also engineered to remove certain oils that cause the coffee to go rancid and sour after a while. The bottom line? They are actually worth the fuss.
If you’d like to invest in a high-quality pour over brewer but don’t want to blow your budget, then this model screams your name. In fact, its costs less than 20$, accommodating even a shoestring budget. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it makes any discounts quality-wise, and the following traits are the living proof.
- Large Brewing Capacity
It has a 34-ounce carafe which mean sit can brew up to 8 cups of coffee in one go.
- Permanent Filter
Besides its low cost, this product also spares you the paper filter costs as it’s equipped with a reusable stainless steel filter. This feature enhances the flavor of your brew by allowing a significant amount of oils to reach your cup. Note that this is not always the case with paper filters which tend to capture some of the coffee’s oils and, thus, taste.
- Durable Materials
This tool is made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass which doesn’t crack or shatter with a sudden change in temperature.
- Easy to Use
Like most high-quality pour over brewers, this one sports a dripper/carafe combo construction that spares you the inconvenience. So, all you have to do is add the coffee, pour the water, and a delicious cuppa is moments away. Plus, it comes with a color band that grants you full control of the brewer and looks fancy AF.
- Cools Down Quickly
Since the carafe’s glass is slightly thin, the brew can’t keep warm for long. So, you always need to pour the freshly brewed coffee in other mugs moments after every use.
Sipping on a barista-worthy cup of coffee is one thing but preparing your favorite brew from the comfort of your home is next level. If you think it’s time to treat your caffeine-loving taste buds to something new, then you need to give pour over coffee makers a shot. These brewing tools are deceivingly easy to use and can finally open the way to coffee flavors and aromas you never knew existed. If you are ready to upgrade your good old single-serve machine, these top 5 pour over coffee makers guarantee the transition will be as smooth (and successful) as possible.