What’s a pour over coffee maker? It’s pretty much what it sounds like – it’s the old-fashioned way of making coffee before we had the standard electric coffee pots we typically think of today.
To make your coffee, all you really need is boiling water, coffee grounds, a filter, and a cup to drink from. Pour overs return coffeemaking to its roots.
Also called hand drip or manual drip coffee makers, these devices offer better flavor quality and control than the average automatic electric coffee pots.
They are quickly becoming the preferred option of coffee connoisseurs who like to have maximum control over their brew so they can make their coffee exactly how they like it – resulting in a special-snowflake perfect cup every time (once you get the hang of it).
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You know how downloads will sometimes have a standard option and an advanced option? Think of a pour over coffee maker as the advanced option version of coffee machines. You’ll get a better and more customized experience, but it’ll also take more work and there’s a high probability of user error.
There’s a bit of a learning curve for pour overs. They’re not recommended for coffee beginners (unless you’re the type who’s up for a challenge) – although some companies have focused on improving ease-of-use to lower some of the barriers of jumping into the pour over coffee lifestyle.
If you’re the kind of person that wakes up in the morning bleary-eyed, disoriented, and stumbling from a dream you weren’t ready to leave, a pour over coffee maker may not be for you. Odds are you’re on a frenzied hunt to consume caffeine so you can be a functioning person – the time isn’t right for you to sit back and enjoy your brew.
If you’re on the verge of being late to work after slamming the snooze button on your phone alarm too many times, you too will probably want to pass on the pour over – when you’re rushing you don’t have the time to make your coffee with the love and attention it deserves.
Now, for lazy Sunday mornings or for those that wake up with lots of time to spare before work, a pour over coffee maker is the right fit to sip on one of life’s little indulgences.
How We Chose Our Ratings
For our 1 to 5-star ratings, we looked at several different qualities of pour overs.
Naturally, price always plays a role. While most of the machines run from $10 to $25, some go up to $45 and higher. Not to mention, some models will require paper filter purchases after a certain period of time indefinitely while you continue to use them.
Pour over accessories tie in to the price – how many extra items are needed to not just operate the machine, but to operate it well. After all, pour over coffee makers are known for being all about the details. Common accessories include kettles, stands, coffee grinders, and measuring scales.
The quality of the coffee’s flavor and the machine’s ease-of-use are also two huge factors in the best pour over coffee makers. They’re the aspects pour overs try the hardest to balance – the lines between true connoisseur, blossoming aficionado, and eager but inexperienced beginner.
Top 10 Best Pour Over Coffee Makers
Ready to get your daily dose of coffee while simultaneously looking like a sophisticated artsy type? Then check out our picks for the best pour over coffee makers:
1. Hario V60
Arguably the most beloved and popular option, the Hario V60 consistently impresses reviewers across the board.
It comes in a few capacities: size 01 can do 1 to 2 cups, 02 does 1 to 4 cups, and 03 does 1 to 6 cups. The material can be glass, metal, plastic, or the favorite – ceramic. The filter is quite thin to keep your coffee from having a papery aftertaste.
The Hario V60 works best with coffee of a medium to fine grind. To brew, you set it over your cup and it’ll drip in. Depending on the size, the Hario V60 will be purchased through Amazon.
This product is meant for knowledgeable coffee drinkers who have experienced with pour over methods. Its ringed cone shape keeps the filter even and to the sides for full coffee extraction and dazzling flavors. However, if you don’t prepare your grounds and brew correctly, you’ll end up disappointed and underwhelmed.
Essentially, it has the potential for the best brew, but you have to practice to get your technical skill up to match the product quality.
2. Kalita Wave 185
The Kalita Wave 185 will give you great flavors every time thanks to its no worries, easy-to-use filter system. It cranks out high-quality taste with minimal effort – the catch? The Kalita Wave’s magic is in its filters, which you have to order online and are on the pricey side for one-use items.
The Wave filters are special because their specially ridged system consistently produces excellent results along with the flat-bottom coffee bed and three-hole drip design. It comes in stainless steel, glass, and ceramic.
The Kalita Wave is the most consistent and forgiving of pour over coffee makers. You can mess up the grind, the technique, the timing, or use pre-ground, non-fresh coffee and still start your morning right with a great cup o’ Joe.
3. Osaka Pour Over Coffee Maker
The Osaka Pour Over can hold 7 cups of coffee perfect for sharing or for drinking all by yourself before a long and busy day. It comes with a lid to prevent spills and keep your coffee warm. If you can’t finish the whole carafe, you could also stick it in the fridge and pop some ice cubes in it later – the lid would help keep it fresh.
The carafe is made of thermal shock-resistant borosilicate glass that keeps your coffee tasting fresh as it doesn’t absorb smells, chemicals, or residue – it also has a pitcher lip for easy pouring. A heat resistant collar (in red, blue, green, or brown) covers the middle of the carafe so you can pick it up and pour without waiting for it to cool down. The glass carafe is dishwasher and microwave safe, but watch out, because it can crack fairly easily.
The reusable double filter is made of stainless steel with laser-cut curved flow channels and mesh to keep the spent grounds out of your drink without leeching away the coffee’s essential oils the way a paper filter does.
It’s not portable, but it has great features, great results, and it’s easy enough for a beginner to use.
4. Chemex Classic
The Chemex Classic is a beautiful glass coffee maker that comes in 3 cup, 6 cup, 8 cup, and 10 cup versions – the 8 cup is most frequently recommended. It’s made of borosilicate glass so it won’t absorb odors, chemicals, or residue, keeping your coffee nice and fresh. It takes a medium level of skill to use.
The filter is incredibly thick, which is good for removing bitter oils and leaving your coffee smoother, lighter, and sweeter. The downside of a thick filter is that it takes a long time to brew. You’ll need to buy their special Chemex filters.
It’s not portable, but it is durable – it’ll last you a long time (unless you drop it on the floor, that is).
5. Bee House Ceramic Coffee Dripper
An easy-to-use but fragile pour over, the Bee House lets you make a cup just for you – no excess. Just pop it on top of your coffee cup and get brewing.
It can use coarse grinds as well as fine grinds, comes in sizes large and small, and will take any normal cone coffee filter you can find at the store. You can get it through Amazon.
It’s simple and it works – plus, the better you get at making pour over coffee, the better your coffee will taste! It’s a quality coffee dripper that a novice can start on and keep using as they learn more about coffee and how to bring out its flavors.
6. Sanyo Sangyo Pour Over Coffee Dripper
With a 1 to 4 cup capacity and a selection from pastel blue, green, pink, yellow, and white porcelain or clear plastic, the Sanyo Sangyo is an aesthetically pleasing, dainty little pour over that you’ll place on top of your mug to use.
The porcelain provides great heat retention, and the petal design on the interior is functional as well as lovely – it allows for better coffee extraction from the filter (which can be any old store-bought cone coffee filter). It can handle coarse or fine grind coffee and doesn’t take a lot of experience to use.
7. Hario Woodneck Drip Pot
Use fine or medium grinds in the Hario Drip Pot for 1 to 2 cups of exquisite, layered flavor.
It has a reusable cloth filter to avoid the papery taste from disposable filters, which provides better flavor but takes more cleaning maintenance – there are certain steps to prepare the cloth bag beforehand.
You’ll at least need a low to medium skill level to use the machine and it takes longer than average to brew.
8. Melitta Ready Set Joe
Need an easy, breezy pour over solution? The Melitta’s the one for you. It’s the easiest and cheapest option – which makes up for the fact that it’s not much to look at.
It’s dishwasher safe, although it’s commonly sold in bundles with the necessary coffee filters. Just pop it on the top of your cup and watch the cone so you don’t overfill. It’s portable and offers the minimum of a pour over’s flavor benefits, but you also don’t have any control over the specifics of your brew – you just pour it and wait.
9. Clever Coffee Maker
The idea of the Clever Coffee Maker is similar to the Ready Set Joe – a no-frills, easy-to-use pour over option.
It’s highly durable since it’s made of BPA-free plastic, and it’s recommended as a travel or camping coffee maker because of its no-nonsense style. It’ll hold about 1 to 2 cups and has a shut-off valve for a little control over the brewing process (to make it stronger). It comes with a lid and a coaster, but it doesn’t come with the necessary filters. It doesn’t offer much in the realm of flavor.
10. Make Your Own
Are you locally renown for your DIY skills?
Do you glow with the satisfaction of using something you’ve created for yourself?
Feeling up for a challenge?
Why not try and make your own pour over coffee machine?
- The Woodshop DIY – This DIY basically walks you through building a nice-looking stand that you can insert a funnel and filter (or any other kind of mechanism to up the quality of your coffee) into for your homemade pour over. If you’re already great at building things and a DIY project is realistically a sensible alternative for you, give it a go! Otherwise, it may not be worth the trouble.
- The Emergency DIY – Are you in such desperate need of coffee that you’re willing to MacGyver-up a solution? Get two cups (ceramic, Styrofoam, anything), coffee grinds, hot water, and paper towels. We can’t imagine your coffee will be top-quality, but it’ll get the job done.
When shopping for your pour over coffee maker consider the following:
Is a pour over even the type of coffee maker you’re looking for?
Consider the time and extra little efforts you’d need to make for a pour over – some models take longer to brew, require more accessories, take more concentration to grind and brew correctly, and generally have more steps to run through for a cup.
It’ll take more effort than pulling a pod out of your cabinet and slapping it into a Keurig.
Be sure to ask yourself other questions too – What kind of coffee quality are you looking for? Do you know all the ins and outs of coffee brewing? Do you know the secrets of grinding? Do you want your machine to use reusable or paper filters? Do you have access to nice, filtered water? Do you need your coffee maker to be durable and portable for travel or camping purposes? You should consider these things when choosing the right pour over coffee maker for you.
We’re sure by now you’re ready to find your inner zen and reconnect with the stop and smell the roses mentality with a pour over coffee maker.
May your morning coffee give you everything you need from it and more.
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