Pour-over brewing is one of the most precise and effective ways to get coffee-shop standard drinks without needing a bulky machine.
We’ve got a selection today of the very best pour-over coffee makers from drippers and carafes through to complete kits.
We’ll also walk you through how to make pour-over the easy way, and we’ll give you some handy hints on the other equipment you’ll need to get started in fine style.
If you’re impatient for the main event, a brief snapshot of our two personal favorites from the kit we tested over the past couple weeks:
Our #1 Pick: Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper
This classic dripper sits well alongside your array of pour-over kit with a ridged design to promote optimum flow. Best for those with some experience making pour-over, this traditional dripper is our overall pick by some distance proving you don’t need a complex machine to get the very best coffee.
Runner-Up: Kalita Wave (185) Drippers
Another classic dripper and a close runner-up, the Kalita Wave is beloved by coffee aficionados the world over. Available in glass, ceramic and stainless steel, the 3 holes, flat bed and rippled filter work wonderfully together for deep and rich coffee with very little fuss.
Large Capacity: Chemex Classic Series Pour-Over Coffee Maker
A full kit capable of delivering 6 or 10 cups depending on the model, the Chemex Classic series is a legend with just cause. Made from Borosilicate glass with double-bonded filtration, the Classic is perfect if you want gourmet coffee for a large family in a single brew.
We’ll get straight down to business now with our reviews…
Table of Contents
I. Top 12 Best Pour Over Coffee Maker Reviews
1. Our Pick: Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper
Hario is a household name in the coffee vertical and this pared-down ceramic dripper is a powerful weapon in your pour-over artillery.
Available in an array of colors from simple black or white through to designs with a flash of pink and red, this dripper makes a conversation piece not just great coffee.
There are 3 sizes in the Hario range that remain constant:
- 01: 1 to 2 cups
- 02: 1 to 4 cups
- 03: 1 to 6 cups
The spiraled ridges inside promote free flowing with the coffee able to go down the sides not just through the substantial opening. You can fine-tune the size of the hole and customise your coffee a treat by manipulating the pace of water flowing through.
The ceramic build is perfect for heat retention so you can keep the temperature constant throughout brewing, critical with the pour-over method.
You’ll need to factor some cloth or paper filters into the equation so take account of these when budgeting.
Cleaning takes no time at all and you’ll get no taint building up over time.
While not exactly a dripper for beginners, if you’re accomplished with pour-over and you’re looking for a flexible addition to your arsenal without breaking the bank, the classic V60 is a must.
See Also: Top 10 Best Pour Over Kettles
2. Runner-Up: Kalita Wave (185) Drippers
The Wave series from the stellar Kalita is another enduringly popular way to get that pour-over coffee you love with the minimum of fuss at a pocket-friendly price-point.
Everyone has their preferred material with drippers so Kalita extend you the option of ceramic, glass, and stainless steel. It’s not a case of a right or wrong choice but rather finding what works best for you.
With a trio of holes, a neatly rippled filter and a flat bed, this proprietary filter leads to a consistent and perfectly even extraction every single time.
Sizing is not standardized with drip coffee makers and Kalita are no more precise than claiming this dripper makes between 16 and 26 ounces of brewed coffee. If you’re looking for a vessel capable of generating large batches, this is not for you. If, on the other hand, you want a smaller brew of deep and rich coffee the pour-over way, the Kalita Wave is a worthy runner-up in our collection of the best models up for grabs.
See Also: Top 7 Best Coffee Makers With Grinder
3. Large Capacity: Chemex Classic Series Pour-Over Coffee Maker
You can’t overlook the mighty Chemex when you’re considering a pour-over coffee maker. The legendary Classic is a combined unit with both dripper and carafe coming in a range of sizes from a mini 3-cup through to a 10-cup beast. We tested the 6-cup version.
Once you’ve picked the best size for your needs, choose from the straight-up design or the handled version depending on your taste.
Borosilicate glass is arguably the gold standard for drip coffee. You’ll get no taint spoiling your drink since none of the chemical residue or oils from the beans leach into this material. You’ll also be able to pop your carafe in the fridge safely so you can keep a supply of that delectable coffee concentrate on tap.
Filtration is double-bonded and delivers a blissfully sediment-free drink every time. The flipside of this is that purchasing these filters will run you slightly more than standard filters so factor this in when you’re budgeting.
This carafe is not the most durable if you don’t treat it with care but if you respect your Chemex, you’ll get gourmet coffee for years at a very reasonable cost.
See Also: Top 20+ Best Coffee Makers
4. Also Great: Kalita Glass Dripper (185)
This glass version of the hard-hitting Kalita Wave – mis-transcribed as “Wace” in the listing so don’t be confused – gives you the same great cup of pour-over as the ceramic or stainless variants. Aside from the glass model being rather less rugged, the difference is mainly in terms of aesthetics.
As with the other Kalita drippers, that patented filter and flat bottom help optimize the way the water works it way through while insulation is also first-rate.
One thing to always take into account before investing in a dripper is the ongoing cost of filters. We have to say Kalita’s paper versions are reasonably expensive. If, though, you insist on the finest and most consistent brew, the Wave is a pretty small investment when set against the stiff bill you’d get hitting Starbucks on the daily.
You should also consider the other equipment you’ll need when you get started down the pour-over route. From goose neck kettle to scales, there’s a fair bit of equipment so this brewing method is only for true coffee lovers. If you count yourself among that number, the Kalita Wave is a simple but highly effective way to get the party started.
See Also: Top 13 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers
5. Coffee Gator Pour-Over Brewer
Coffee Gator serves up an eco-friendly carafe and filter rolled into one neat unit. The permanent filter saves the cost to your pocket and the environment since you won’t need to keep topping up on pricey paper filters.
The carafe is 100% BPA-free and the stainless steel mesh filter keeps all the sediment out of your cup and all the flavor where it belongs in the carafe.
If you’re new to the pour-over method, you’ll get a handy recipe book thrown in to get those creative juices flowing. It’s also a beginner-friendly coffee maker so you don’t need to be a barista to get the most from the Coffee Gator.
You can also choose to invest in a broad range of separate accessories from a thermal, double-walled mug through to flavor-saving canisters to keep your beans at their finest.
The famous satisfaction guarantee from this brand lets you buy with complete confidence even if you’ve never experimented with the pour-over method before.
See Also: 7 Best Keurig Coffee Makers
6. Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Melitta, a household name in the coffee space, delivers an outstanding combined carafe and filter to get you started with pour-over brewing the easy way.
The carafe holds enough for 6 large coffees so this is ideal for all the family.
As with all pour-over coffee makers, you’ll get plenty of scope to dial in the variables and produce exactly the drink you want consistently. Buying scales and a kettle with a precise temperature reading helps you to replicate your brew with precision once you’ve settled on what works best for you.
One thing to be aware of is that you’ll need to wait for the whole carafe to fill before pouring. As long as you’re not impatient – and let’s face it, if you’re making pour-over coffee you can’t afford to be – this is not the end of the world.
You’ll need to use Melitta’s proprietary number 4 filters and you’ll get 5 of these thrown in to get you started along with a handy measuring scoop.
The crowning glory is that this coffee maker is very reasonably priced so what are you waiting for?
7. Bodum Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Bodum are perhaps best known for their French presses but this pour-over maker continues to mine the sea of quality the brand is famous for.
Made from Borosilicate glass, the carafe is heat-resistant but not as durable as touted by the manufacturer. All we can say, as with any glass coffee maker, is that you should handle the Bodum with care.
The permanent stainless steel filter means you won’t be constantly scurrying out for paper replacements, but the filtration here leaves something to be desired.
Taking these negatives into account, you’ll nevertheless enjoy a rich coffee with plenty of depth with the Bodum.
The silicone grip makes this carafe very user-friendly and you won’t end up with it slipping from your hand at the crucial moment.
We tested the mid-size 34oz carafe but there’s also a smaller 17oz model and a much more substantial 51oz beast so buy in line with your needs.
For a great introduction to paperless pour-over brewing, the Bodum – if handled with care – is a smart move for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
See Also: Top 10 Best French Press Coffee Makers
8. Maranello Pour-Over Coffee Dripper
Next up we’ve got a design-driven dripper from Maranello which comes in at a very keen price-point.
The base is designed to slot neatly onto pretty much any cup or carafe so you will need some extra equipment. On the plus side, this is an extremely portable piece of kit so you can quite easily take this dripper with you on your travels and you won’t need to go without your favorite pour-over when you’re away from home.
The stainless steel two-tiered filter has a super-fine insert to complement the main filter. Flow is optimized but you won’t end up with floating sediment spoiling your drink.
Choose from brewing up a single cup or up to 4 drip coffees giving you a great deal of versatility.
You can buy with total confidence since you can claim a no-quibbles refund during the first 3 months if you’re not entirely satisfied.
See Also: Top 20+ Best Espresso Machines
9. Crislan Sumiyoshi Taisha-Brown Spin Scrubber
This complete kit looks fantastic on the kitchen counter and is capable of yielding some great pour-over coffee even if you’re new to the art.
As with many of the models we tested, the permanent 18/8 stainless steel filter removes the need for pricey paper filters that hit you in the pocket while also damaging the environment. The further issue with paper filters is the way the oils get stuck on rather than giving your coffee that full flavor.
The fully heat-resistant carafe is made from Borosilicate glass and holds enough for 6 full cups. Much like the filtration, the carafe won’t hold in any of the chemicals or residue from brewing and you’ll get a crisp, clean cup every time.
Despite looking so good and delivering fully on the performance front, this pour-over coffee kit costs little more than a round of drinks at Starbucks so why not treat yourself and start enjoying gourmet pour-over from the comfort of home?
See Also: Best Ninja Coffee Bar
10. Melitta Porcelain Gourmet Coffee Maker
We’ve got another fantastic coffee maker from Melitta up next with this porcelain kit comprising a dripper, carafe and starter set of 5 paper filters so you can get going straight out the box.
Melitta has been in the coffee business since the early 1900s and their expertise and attention to detail shines through with this dripper.
Choose from a selection of sizes and colors to suit. We tested the classic white model but the red version adds a real splash of color to the kitchen. There’s a 1-cup and 6-cup model so there’s something for singles and families alike.
Pour-over coffee takes a little time and you’ll need a fair amount of paraphernalia. The trade-off, though, is a finished drink that gives you the very best from your beans as long as you don’t mind spending a little time making you caffeine fix. And don’t worry, if you haven’t used this brewing method before, we’ve got plenty of handy hints for you in due course so you can get started with confidence.
11. Hario Woodneck Drip Pot
Looking at first glance like something out of a science lab, the Hario drip pot finished with olive or dark wood is an innovative way to enjoy pour-over coffee the connoisseur’s way.
There’s a 2-cup and 4-cup model so choose which best gels with your needs.
Where most pour-over makers boast either permanent stainless steel filters or disposable paper filters, the Hario has a cloth alternative that’s a neat twist. You’ll get 3 of these thrown in. You only need to wash them after each use, and you can keep them in the cupboard or the fridge. Expect perhaps a couple months of daily use before you need to replace them.
The carafe is made from treated glass so it’s reasonably durable but, as with all glass coffee makers, you should still take care not to knock it about for obvious reasons. Hario means king of glass in Japanese and this is certainly among the best and strongest glass carafes in a glutted market.
If you’re a skilled pour-over artist and you’re looking for something slightly different, we can’t recommend this Hario highly enough.
12. BEEHOUSE Small Coffee Dripper
Rounding out our look at the best pour-over coffee makers, we’ve got a mini dripper from BEEHOUSE that’s well worth popping on your shortlist.
Made from ceramic, you’ll get a winning combination of performance and durability set off with simple but striking aesthetics. You can rest easy knowing there’s no lead, BPA or any other contaminants.
Filter-wise, use either Melitta or Filtropa size 2 paper filters. The dripper itself will fit onto a cup, carafe or other suitable pot. If you’re looking for a complete kit, this is not for you. If you want a simple dripper to complement your existing gear, on the other hand, the BEEHOUSE makes perfect sense.
You’ll be able to see your mug filling up at a glance without needing to remove it. To brew a single cup takes perhaps 3 minutes so don’t be put off thinking that the pour-over method always takes an eternity.
With that collection of pour-over coffee makers in place, you should be spoiled for choice.
Before settling on which one makes the best fit, we’ll give you the lowdown now on the minutiae of the pour-over method so read on…
II. Coffee Ratio for Making Pour-Over Coffee
One of the first things you should take into account with pour-over is luckily one of the easiest to get right, and that’s the water to coffee ratio.
You should filter your water rather than using it directly from the faucet. If you already use filtered or bottled water, continue with that, but if not you should certainly use a water filter to start with the freshest, cleanest foundation for your drink.
How about the ratio of water to coffee, though?
As a rough but fairly precise baseline to operate from, use 1 part of coffee to 17 parts water. This is based on a Chemex.
With pour-over, part of the fun is in the experimentation stage. Don’t be afraid to tinker with this ratio if you find the taste not quite to your liking. There’s no magic number that’s intrinsically right, so don’t hold back on fine-tuning.
With so many variables on the pour-over method, though, you’re advised to make adjustments in one area at a time so you can more accurately dial things in and assess where you need to make changes. Once you’ve got everything to your exact liking, this method enables simple replication so you can get the consistency you want every single time without standing on ceremony or tinkering around.
So, with that ratio sorted out, what kind of coffee grinds should you be using?
III. What is Coffee Ground Coarseness Level for Making Cold Brew
If you’ve got even a passing interest in making fresh coffee, you’ll be well aware that different brewing methods call for different coarseness levels.
To get the best end result, we always recommend buying whole beans and grinding them directly before brewing. This allows you to stay in full control while ensuring the beans are at their freshest. If you’re stuck for ideas on the best grinder for the job, check out some great examples right here.
So, what coarseness level should you use for cold brew?
A coarse grind generally works best with this method. This will simplify the filtration process and reduce bitterness in your coffee.
With pour-over brewers, you can edge a little further toward medium grinds so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Choosing the wrong grind size does have some repercussions, namely that your coffee could end up either underextracted or over extracted. When it’s underextracted – the grinds are too coarse for the method at hand – you’ll end up with a limp coffee lacking in flavor. Go too far in the other direction and you’ll get an overpowering drink verging on the unpleasant. Too much flavor is not always a good thing.
Once you’ve got your preferred grind size dialed in, stick with it and you can replicate results every time with ease.
Stick with coarse for cold brew, though, and you can’t go wrong.
With the grinds in place, how about filtration?
IV. Paper Filter For Making Pour-Over Coffee
One of the key components to successfully making pout-over coffee is filtration.
Many pour-over makers have permanent filters made from stainless steel. Others, like many we tested, call for disposable paper filters.
We’ll briefly highlight a pair of the best options for paper filters before examining which type of filtration works best…
Hario V60 Paper Filters
As you’d expect, Hario covers all bases with their paper filters.
Choose from size 01, 02, or 03 and tabbed or untabbed according to preference. The filters are available in white or natural.
You can pick up a pack of 100 for a very reasonable price so make sure you always have some in stock and make sure you only use each filter once for best results.
Kalita Wave Filters 185
Kalita filters are marginally more expensive but the ridged paper responds particularly well to pour-over brewing and they’re still great value.
Also coming in packs of 100 and bleached white rather than natural, you can pop the used filters on your compost so you won’t need to worry about the environmental footprint.
Paper Filters vs Metal Filters
There really is no right or wrong when it comes to filtration, simply a question of what works best for you.
- Paper Filters: Paper filters, as you can see above, are reasonably priced but the cost does mount over time, especially if you consume lots of coffee. Clean-up is almost non-existent since you simply dispose of them after each use. You can usually compost paper filters if you’re concerned about your environmental footprint. Coffee from a paper filter will be sweet and bright. You’ll also eliminate practically all the sediment. As well as being easier on the palate, this can help slash away some of the bad cholesterol lingering in coffee.
- Metal Filters: If you need to buy a metal filter, they can be pricey. The pour-over makers we tested with permanent filters come with these included, though. Even if you do choose to purchase a metal filter – stainless steel is the most common material – you can save money over time since they last for well over 5 years if you care for them properly. Clean-up is much messier, though. You tend to get your coffee darker and with more body when using a metal filter although you’ll get more sediment and more oils remaining. If you don’t mind a little extra effort on the clean-up front, metal filtration is arguably the most effective overall but it really is entirely down to you.
With filtration in place, it’s time to get down to brewing…
V. Instructions to Make a Great Pour-Over Coffee
One of the key selling points of the pour-over method is the amount of control you can enjoy in stark contrast to single-serve machines or other methods where convenience trumps fine-tuning.
You should consider accumulating the following kit if you really want to get serious about pour-over coffee:
- A temperature controlled kettle, ideally goose necked. This gives you the precision you need along with the ability to perfectly control the pour
- Digital scale for getting the exact amount of beans every time
- Timer to make your life easier and keep things consistent
- Water filter
- Pour-over coffee maker
This paraphernalia is not compulsory, and you’ll still be able to make serviceable pour-over coffee without all these extras. It just won’t pack quite the same punch, and it will be awkward to get the same results every time.
With all your kit in place, it’s time to get busy!
- Heat Your Water: You should use a temperature-controlled kettle and fire your water up to 200 degrees for optimum results. By using filtered water, you’ll ensure there are no nasty chemicals or mineral sediment that would otherwise taint your drink
- Preparation: You should set up your equipment according to what you have in place. Ensure the dripper is in place, whether positioned above a carafe or lined up to drip directly into your cup
- Filtration: If your pour-over coffee maker has a permanent filter, make sure it’s completely clean. If you’re using paper filters, pop in a fresh one and you’re ready to break out the coffee beans
- Beans: Measure out perhaps 25g of beans but this can be tweaked to taste. Use your scale and, once you’ve found the sweet spot for your coffee maker, stick with a winning recipe
- Get Grinding: Whether you use an electric or manual grinder, a blade model or the superior ceramic burr grinder, there’s no substitute for grinding directly before brewing. This might seem like an unnecessary and tasky step, but it’s well worth the modest expense and minimal time required
- Prepare the Filter: If you’re using paper filters, gently wetting these will see off any residual taint or flavor in the paper. Again, don’t be tempted to skip this stage
- Heat Dripper and Carafe: Another valuable preparatory step is pre-heating both the carafe and the dripper so you’re fully primed for action
- Timer: 3 minutes is a sound starting point from which you can make micro-adjustments to suit
- Slowly Pour: If you use a gooseneck kettle, you’ll be able to exercise the control you need to get the best from the pour-over method. Begin with only a tiny amount of water to help degas the grinds. This is a worthwhile move that will help you achieve even extract while seeing off the gasses that have built up
- Start Pouring More: 30 seconds of slow pouring to degas is sufficient. You should now pour, still slowly, so a crater forms in the center and remains there. Do not allow this to collapse. A circular motion is key when pouring and you work outward from the center. If you need to stop pouring to maintain the integrity of that crater, stop. More haste, less speed here. Focus on evenness and precision over raw pace and keep going until your timer beeps
- Stir and Serve: Stir everything slowly then take out your filter and serve.
Follow these simple steps, and as we said before, don’t be afraid to experiment. You’ll soon see getting the best coffee using the pour-over method is not as tough as it might first appear.
With any luck, you’ve now got a thorough overview of making pour-over coffee, and you’ve also got a fine selection of the best drippers and complete kits to make your life easier.
If you decide to commit to this method, it’s well worth investing in a gooseneck kettle to streamline pouring. Kettles with precise temperature gauges are also invaluable for making consistently great pour-over coffee. A scale is a useful addition to your artillery if you don’t already have one in the kitchen. Think about which type of filtration makes most sense for you then all that remains is grinding up your favorite beans and getting down to business!
Come back soon since we’ll be continuing to bring you everything you need to get to barista-level expertise without needing to leave home.
Drop us a line if you have any questions at all and we’ll help out in any way we can.
See you soon!