If you love a good cup of hot coffee but want more control than a traditional drip coffee maker offers, a pour over is the best way to go. These simple devices will allow you to brew a cup of joe quickly and easily.
Update, 12/11/21: Verified content and links still good.
Pour over coffee makers work a lot like drip coffee makers in theory, but the end result can be quite different. This is due to several different variables, including brewing temperature, grind size, filter type, and more.
And while you can get a similar cup of coffee from a drip machine, you’ll likely have to end up spending a pretty penny to do it. Unless you’re willing to drop upwards of $200 on your drip brewer, you’ll end up settling for a less than ideal cup of brew. By contrast, a good pour over will set you back a tenth of the price.
Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that your pour over will only be as good as your grind, so you’re going to want to invest in a good coffee grinder. A burr grinder is generally recommended since it will grind the beans uniform in size, but any grinder is going to be better than buying pre-ground coffee (though you can use pre-ground in a pinch). Just something to keep in mind.
If you’re looking for a good brewer that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Hario V60. The Starter Kit is inexpensive, and not only includes the pour over itself, but also a small glass carafe. It’s a great deal.
The V60 can brew about five 600ml cups (6oz) at one time, making it nice if you drink several cups throughout the day and don’t want to brew it fresh every time. The carafe is also microwavable for easy reheating.
The biggest downside to going with something like the V60 is the filter situation—you’ll need individual filters for every pot you brew (which isn’t unlike many drip machines). If you’re not into the idea of needing a disposable filter every time you want to brew some coffee, our next pick is the one for you.
This inexpensive starter kit sets you up to make a good cup of joe every time.
If you can’t be bothered to mess with paper filters, the Yitelle Stainless Steel Pour Over is a great choice. It has a built-in, non-removable stainless steel filter that will brew a great cup without constantly needing to buy paper filters. This also makes it a great simple option for travel.
Priced at less than a Jackson, the unit itself is already a good deal, but as a nice little bonus, it comes with a coffee scoop and cleaning brush, giving you basically everything you need in one box to brew and clean.
You can brew a single cup with the Yitelle pour over or brew a modest pot worth, just by adjusting the amount of grounds and water you use.
Yitelle Stainless Pour Over
Skip paper filters and opt for a coffee maker with a reusable stainless steel filter instead.
If you typically use a french press but are looking for a dripper that brews a similar cup, the Clever Coffee Dripper is the pick for you. This innovative system pairs the brew methodology behind a french press with the simplicity of a pour over for a truly bold cup of coffee that’s also simple to brew.
The idea behind the Clever is pretty simple: you pour the water over the grounds, and it’s held in the brewer—just like a french press. When the brew is finished, you release the shut-off valve, and it drips the coffee into the cup or carafe below. It can also be used like a traditional pour over—you’ll just need to hold the shut-off valve while pouring the water. Just keep in mind that it won’t brew the cup exactly like other pour overs because of its dual-use nature.
Clever Coffee Dripper
Ditch French press coffee for the drip method, with this clever pick!
If brewing two or three cups at a time isn’t going to work for you, then the Chemex Classic brewer is the way to go. The brewer uses a filter system to drip the coffee into the reservoir below, then you simply remove the filter and toss it—the coffee is served directly from the same container in which it was brewed. It’s clean, simple, and best of all: delicious.
While this is our pick for the best large pour over system, there are several versions of the Chemex available: 3-, 6-, 8-, and 10-cup options, all of which can be purchased with or without a handle for easier pouring.
So even if you’re not in the market for a 10-cup pour over system, this is still a system you may want to take a closer look at in the smaller sizes.
For more coffee (and coffee that just tastes better), grab the iconic Chemex.