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The Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers for More Control Over Your Brew

Best Pour Over Coffee Makers 00 Hero

When it came to pass that electricity could be pumped into every home, the first thing we did (being rational human beings) was to throw away our manual coffee makers and seek out electric percolators in order to stop the morning shakes. With just the press of a button, we could now have fresh, hot coffee, so why would we ever go back to the old ways? Well, many have found that pour-over coffee makers and other manual methods give more control and offer a better flavor than automated brewing.

A good coffee maker is a simple system. You boil water and then, as the name implies, pour it over your coffee grounds to get your cup of joe. That’s all there is to it. Often the best ones are the ones you design yourself since those can have whatever style you need. If you aren’t feeling crafty and making one yourself, we have the best pour-over coffee makers to buy.

Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers

What to Look For

Material: The experience of brewing will differ depending on the material of your pour-over maker. For instance, ceramic can retain heat much better than glass or plastic, but it also breaks easier than plastic or metal. On the other hand, glass allows you to see the process a little better. Plastic will be reserved for cheaper options, while metal will be used in the higher-end units. Metal pour-overs may be preferred for their durability, heat retention, and versatility (e.g., you can travel with them).

Size: Many coffee lovers prefer making their brews one cup at a time. However, this may not always be the case and you may enjoy the experience of making coffee with a significant other. Likewise, you might want to have several cups at the ready if you’re drinking throughout the day.

Filters: The size of the filter coincides with how much coffee it can help you make. Before buying your filters, figure out what size you’re pour-over unit can accommodate. Smaller makers will use size 2 or 4, while larger ones can fit a 6 or higher. Likewise, certain pour-over brands sell proprietary filters that will often work better with that particular model, although they will be more expensive.

Functionality: Certain models will have unique features that come in tow. For instance, some pour-overs are sold with carafes or pots underneath them. Likewise, other units can drip straight into a mug while others are wider underneath. One option on this list can break down to put into your pocket for camping or travel.

Pour-Over Vs. Drip

Drip coffee refers to the brews made in coffee pot machines, which are great for those who see coffee as a necessity more than an art form, and can often produce a fine cup of joe. However, if you want more control in the coffee-making process, pour-over allows you to adjust all aspects of brewing.

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee

Grounds-to-Water Ratio: You’ll need a kitchen scale to be the most accurate, but for each 12-ounce cup of coffee, the recommended ratio is about 25g of coffee to 1.5 cups of water, but this can be viewed as a starting point. You’re free to adjust the strength from there.

Grinding: If you want to maximize flavor and freshness, grind your coffee beans in a burr grinder immediately prior to brewing so that no staleness comes through. You’ll find your preferred coarseness levels through trial and error.

Heating Water: You don’t need boiling water for pour-over, but you should come close: around 200ºF.

Wet Your Filter: Before you add your grounds, wet your coffee filter with filtered water. This will prevent it from moving around in the cone and will also preemptively remove any potential paper flavoring.

Pouring: Using a gooseneck kettle, pour your water in a spiral motion from the inside of the filter towards the outside to bloom. Wait for about 30 seconds and repeat this three more times. For these last three, spiral outside and then back in again.

Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brewer

Melitta Pour Over Coffee Brewer
  • Comes with carafe
  • Easy to clean
  • Plastic builds up bacteria over time
  • Carafe doesn’t pour cleanly

Best Budget Pour-Over: You’re not an early adopter and you aren’t quite sure whether or not it’s time to ditch the drip coffee maker and fall in with the refined pour-over crowd. Well, spend a little more than a sawbuck and you can give this a test drive. A BPA-free cone, 30 oz. carafe, filters, and scoop are all included in the package providing everything you need. It isn’t fancy, but with everything easily rinsable to prevent chemical buildup, you’ll be able to get on the bandwagon without creating new headaches for yourself.

Material: Plastic
Size: 4 cups

Hario V60

Hario V60
  • Thinnest filters prevent paper flavor
  • Nice aesthetic
  • Easy cleanup
  • Unforgiving of operator error

Best Ringed Cone Pour-Over: Cone-shaped coffee makers often tend to do all of their extracting down at the bottom, which means you end up with some grounds being tapped out while others are barely touched. The V60 doesn’t cotton to this and instead uses a ringed cone that keeps the filter away from the sides for a more even extraction that works on the edges as well as the bottom. Complicated coffees with a lot of flavors really pop employing this method, and the extremely thin filters that go along with the V60 help keep paper tastes from interfering. Just be sure you know the best way to use it or prepare for a weak, watery, unsatisfying brew.

Material: Ceramic
Size: 4 cups

ZERO JAPAN Ceramic Coffee Dripper

zero japan Ceramic Coffee Dripper
  • Good for beginners
  • Fits right over a mug
  • Curved handle keeps it secure
  • Fragile

Best Mug Dripper: Forget about brewing up a family-sized carafe when all you need is a cup. The forgiving ZERO JAPAN dripper fits right over the top of your favorite mug. Add hot water and you’ve now got a single-cup coffee maker that is hundreds less than mechanical options. You don’t need a special pouring style to get great flavor, and this little pup can use coarse or fine grounds with equal efficacy. As your pour-fu improves, so too will your brew, but beginners will have the best luck getting a decent cup right out of the gate.

Material: Ceramic
Size: 1 cup

MiiR Pourigami

MiiR Pourigami
  • Can fit in your pocket
  • Only weighs 4oz
  • Super durable and slip-proof
  • Cleanup is easy
  • Only makes one cup at a time

Best for Camping: Although embracing the great outdoors may mean foregoing the finer things in life. However, coffee should never have to be sacrificed. After all, if you’re planning on making the most out of your day, then you’ll need at least a morning pick-me-up. MiiR’s Pourigami is one of the handiest units around, featuring three 5″ x 2.5″ panels made of medical-grade stainless steel with powder coating for extra grip. When you’re ready to pack it away, the unit breaks down and stows away in a carrying case, weighing just 4oz and having a thickness of less than 1/3 of an inch.

Material: Medical-grade stainless steel
Size: 1 cup

Kalita Wave Dripper

Kalita Wave Dripper
  • High flavor extraction
  • Makes best-tasting coffee with minimal practice
  • Filters are costly and usually require special ordering

Best Overall: Caffeine deprivation can cause all kinds of shakes, which can affect your pouring style and grossly alter the end product when using one of these coffee makers. To combat this, the Wave has a kindly extraction method that gives you repeated results even when your hangover is keeping you from a perfect pour. The key is not in the device but rather the proprietary filters with their specially ridged system. Expensive and hard to find, true, but also better for capturing every nuanced flavor of your roast with each cup.

Material: Heat-resistant glass
Size: 3 cups

Chemex Classic Series

Chemex Classic Series
  • Proprietary filters are thicker to reduce oil
  • Looks great on countertop
  • Good for groups
  • Makes tasty coffee
  • Slow brew time
  • Hard to clean
  • Filters are expensive

Best All-in-One: Forget that this glass decanter looks more like a showpiece than a coffee maker. While this unit can make 8 cups, the brand also has sizes ranging from 3 to 10 cups, so you’ll be able to easily find the right choice for your household needs. Using thicker filters, the flavor is extremely clean, reducing oils to the bare minimum and highlighting the lighter, higher flavors of beans with sweet overtones. Movement is slower through the process giving the saturation phase more time to draw out every savory hint and hidden wonder. It’s fairly forgiving of impatient pours, but prep and brew times are both extended.

Material: Glass
Size: 8 cups

Fellow Stagg XF Pour-Over Set

Fellow Stagg
  • Dots inside let you know how much you poured
  • Super durable stainless steel build
  • Flat bottom creates even drip
  • Classy
  • Expensive
  • Hard to find filters

Best Upgrade: While $99 is a bit high for any pour-over unit, just know that you’re getting the creme de la creme with Fellow’s Stagg XF Set, the ultimate stainless steel pour-over, which also includes a classy double-wall glass carafe to go underneath. The inside of the dripper unit has helpful dots to inform you how much you’ve put in. Making for a more consistent end result, the dripper’s flat bottom admittedly makes it difficult to find non-proprietary filters, forcing you to buy Fellow’s, but if you’re heavy into the coffee scene, you know that the San Francisco-based company makes some of the best java gear on the planet.

Material: Stainless steel with glass carafe
Size: 2 cups

The Best French Press Coffee Makers

Photo: ESPRO P1 Travel

If you’re looking to switch up your coffee game, check out some of the picks from our guide to the best French press coffee makers.