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Choosing The Best Pour Over Coffee Maker

The pour over method has established itself as the most popular coffee brewing style among the world’s top baristas. But even the casual coffee drinker ought to try this brewing method at home.

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Asser Christensen

Licensed Q Arabica Grader, M.A. Journalism

→ Learn about my qualifications and review process.

Over the years, I have tried and tested a bunch of different pour over drippers.

Some of them actually have something unqiue to offer, while many are just “different for the sake of being different.”

Around 2011 when hand drip started to really started to become popular, the selection was quite limited; everybody was more or less using the Hario V60.

Today you have a lot more options when you’re looking for a manual drip coffee maker.

Here’s my guide to the best models on the market.

Top pick: Best value

steel v60 transparent

My choice for the best coffee dripper is the Hario V60 Coffee Dripper.

It’s a modern coffee classic and the ideal place to start your coffee journey.

(I think the steel model is the best version, but the plastic model is also excellent and very affordable).

Please note: If you decide to purchase a product through a link on the site, I may earn a commission without additional cost to you. These commissions help to support the site.

The Ideal Pour Over Coffee Maker?

Investing in your first pour over brewer is a relatively simple task. Compared to something like an espresso machine, it’s a tiny post on the budget.

And since the technology isn’t that complicated, it’s less confusing.

Pouring water on ground coffee and letting gravity do the work is called ‘percolation’. This is one of the oldest coffee brewing techniques along with ‘immersion’ (aka steeping), which is what the French press relies on.

⬇️ Check out my big comparison video on pour over coffee makers below – some details are just easier to explain on camera ⬇️

Cone Shaped vs Flat Bottom Drippers

Some people say that it’s easier to brew with a flat bottomed dripper (Kalita style) compared to the cone-shaped one, because there’s some flow restriction going on. Personally, I don’t think that’s the case at all.

In my opinion, beginners are better suited with cone-shaped brewers such as the Hario V60 since they are more likely to brew darker roasted coffee or coffee of lower quality.

Both shapes have their own pros and cons, and I use them for different purposes. Let’s use an audio analogy to better understand what’s going on:

Which dripper I prefer depends on the mood and the beans that I have at hand.

A good rule of thumb, though, is that coffees under 82 points often need the extra oomph you get from the cone shape — attributes like increased acidity and complexity in the aftertaste.

Some thoughts on materials

Some models have a permanent mesh type filter. These manual drip coffee makers aren’t the best if you ask me, because they allow a lot of coffee oils to enter the cup. They tend to produce coffee with less acidity and clarity – two of the most distinguishing trades of a good cup of pour over.

Pour over coffee makers are typically made out of the following four materials. They all have their pros and cons, so you should also keep that in your mind before making any decisions.

My favorite pour over drippers

Hario V60 Pour Over Cone

Hario V60 steel on marble table

The Hario coffee dripper is the undisputed king of manual drip coffee. And for a good reason. The flavor is rich and nuanced at the same time with just the right amount of acidity.

I recommend it to all beginners since it’s easy to find recipes and instructions specifically for this model online.

The V60 gives you full control over how your coffee ends up by letting you manipulate brew time, water flow, and water temperature. This control means you can end up with the perfect cup of coffee. But remember that you need a gooseneck kettle to get the full benefits!

It has a ridged vortex shape designed to stop the paper filter from sticking to the side of the cone while you’re brewing. This feature ensures that the grounds get extracted the right way every time. Because of the shape, it is sometimes called a pour over coffee cone.

You can get the V60 in ceramic, glass, steel, or plastic, and it comes in several colors.

The material doesn’t matter that much, and many elite baristas actually prefer the affordable plastic model. However, my personal favorite is the steel model. It’s the most sturdy of the V60’s and the weight is less than half of the ceramic and glass versions, making it better for thermal stability.

The V60 comes in three different sizes, but the medium-sized one is by far the most practical and popular one. (It’s the size called ’02’).

✅ Pros:

❌ Cons:

Conclusion:

If you want to brew world-class filter coffee, consider the Hario V60. This pour over coffee dripper has been favored by most recent world champions (aka Brewers Cup winners) for a good reason.

🛒 Available on Amazon and Seattle Coffee Gear.

Kalita Wave

Kalita Wave on marble table

The Kalita Wave was the first model to challenge the dominance of the Hario V60.

The Wave is named after the unique shape of the filter. The idea is that the filter shelters the brew bed from the cone, thus creating a more stable brew temperature and an evenly extracted brew bed.

Compared to its rival, the Wave is often praised for being more beginner friendly. The three small holes in the bottom make it more forgiving when it comes to technique – or at least that’s the idea.

Personally, I think it’s more challenging to use than the Hario V60. If you ask me, the Wave is better suited for advanced home baristas.

The stainless steel version is the most common one, but I don’t recommend it since the filter has a tendency to get clogged and therefore slow down the drip rate. Read more about that issue here. Especially, the bigger stainless steel version named ‘185’ suffers from this issue.

Instead, I’d opt for the ceramic version which has a much more consistent flow rate. The glass model also brews great coffee but it’s very fragile. If you’re just a little bit clumsy – like most of us are in a caffeine-deprived early morning state – then go for the ceramic one.

(However, if money is no object, then the premium Steel Tsubame-version is worth going for. It’s arguably the world’s prettiest coffee brewer and has a consistent flow)

✅ Pros:

❌ Cons:

Conclusion:

The Kalita Wave is an excellent hand coffee dripper – just make sure to avoid the big stainless steel version, which suffers from a design flaw. My favorites is either the ceramic version or the pretty Tsubame-model.

Also, in spite of its reputation, I think the Kalita Wave is less beginner-friendly than the Hario V60.

That said, it’s still a great device that I often use myself.

Make sure to check out my Kalita Wave recipe here.

🛒 Available on Amazon and Prima Coffee.

HARIO SWITCH, POUR-OVER AND IMMERSION

Hario Switch on marble table

Hario Switch is a unique hybrid brewer that combines pour-over and immersion brewing techniques.

On the surface, it might look like a cone-shaped version of the Clever Dripper, but I think it’s better in some key ways.

The Clever Dripper is a steep-and-release device. On the other hand, with the Hario Switch you can toggle back and forth between “steep” and “open” mode.

The regular Switch can hold up to 250ml of water at the top, but you can open the switch for the water to flow down, allowing you to brew up to 500ml – like a regular V60. This makes it a versatile brewer that can produce different amounts of coffee depending on your recipe.

It is possible to detach the glass cone and purchase a larger 03-size glass V60 with a silicone base for greater capacity. (Additionally, the Hario Mugen cone will also fit!)

The Switch is compatible with 02 size V60 filters, which are widely available and easy to find. The V60 cone is made of Hario’s signature heatproof glass, ensuring durability and thermal stability.

The plastic switch (which has given this brewer its name) activates a stainless steel ball valve that controls the flow of coffee, providing a precise flow rate that allows for consistent and even extraction. The immersion feature gives you a fuller-bodied brew, while the pour-over feature produces a cleaner and lighter cup. For optimal results, combine the two!

Overall, the Hario Switch is a well-designed and versatile brewer that offers a unique combination of pour-over and immersion brewing. Its convenience and ease of use make it a great option for coffee lovers who want to experiment with different brewing methods and brew different volumes of coffee.

✅ Pros:

❌ Cons:

Conclusion

While the original V60 is still great, the Hario Switch offers all the same things plus more. You can use this for elaborate techniques that combine percolation and immersion. Or, if you prefer a more simple workflow, you can just follow the simple steep-and-release technique. The Hario Switch is a solid device that has really grown on me, and now I use it almost daily.

🛒 Available on Amazon and Prima Coffee.

Munieq Tetra Drip – travel friendly

Tetra drip on marble table

I adore this dripper by the Japanese brand Munieq. It’s created specifically for the travelling or outdoorsy coffee lover.

When you disassemble the three parts, it takes up almost no space and the weight is around the same as a regular toothbrush.

Even though this pour over cone is meant for travel it still produces an excellent cup. It extracts more flavor than the Hario V60 so the flavor profile tends to be full-bodied yet fruity.

It uses the cone-shaped filters like the Hario V60 and Cafec Flower, so the two models do have a bit in common flavor-wise.

The Tetra Drip is available in a cheaper plastic version as well as a steel version.

✅ Pros:

❌ Cons:

Conclusion: 

If you travel a lot and want to have great coffee on the road, get this dripper. If you solely want something for home use I’d probably go with one of the more traditional models.

🛒 Available on Amazon and Munieq Japan.

Timemore B75 Wave Flat bottom (plastic)

b75 timemore on marble table

The Timemore B75 is a relatively new gadget, but it has already impressed me and many other pour over geeks. Known for its incredibly fast and consistent flow rate, this dripper guarantees a quick, one-cup brewing experience.

Its ideal size makes it perfect for brewing between 12-20 grams of coffee, with 15 grams being the sweet spot for most enthusiasts. The Timemore B75 is not only more affordable than competing brands such as Orea, April, and Simplify, but it also offers equal or even better quality in terms of materials and design.

The design of the Timemore B75 is noteworthy, featuring a hollowed-out base with ribs that provide excellent filter support. These ribs help keep the filter in place, ensuring that it remains secure even after wetting.

Constructed from a premium, sturdy plastic, the Timemore B75 is more solid than other plastic drippers. Despite this, it remains lightweight compared to ceramic or steel alternatives.

This device can work with both Kalita 155 and 185 filters.

In my recent side-to-side comparison, I was really amazed at how quick this little guy is, as it managed to brew 15 grams of coffee with 250 grams of water in a mere 2:05 seconds!

To sum it up, if you’re on the hunt for a speedy, consistent brewing experience that doesn’t skimp on quality, the Timemore B75 Flat Bottom Dripper is the way to go. It’s budget-friendly and versatile, making it an excellent addition for anyone looking to grow their coffee gear collection.

✅ Pros:

  • Compatible with both 155 and 185 Kalita filters.
  • Lightning-fast flow rate ensures quick brewing.
  • Affordable, providing excellent value.

❌ Cons:

  • Plastic material may not be preferred by all.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Timemore B75 Flat Bottom Dripper is a fantastic choice for coffee lovers who want a fast, consistent, and high-quality brewing experience without breaking the bank. Its versatility and user-friendly design make it an excellent addition to any coffee enthusiast’s collection.

🛒 Available on Aliexpress and Sigma Coffee EU

How to make hand drip coffee

With percolation, the shape and type of the filter will affect the flavor of the final cup.

However, it’s definitely possible to overthink these things. Most of the models out there (except the Clever Coffee Dripper) have a lot in common.

Even though certain drippers may have ‘signature’ flavors it’s definitely possible to steer whatever brewing contraption in a direction you like by using certain techniques and recipes.

For instance: The Clever Coffee Dripper is known for producing less acidic cups compared to the V60 but a different recipe could make up for that.

Pro-tip: Remember that you need a gooseneck kettle to get the best results with a coffee dripper. Check out my background article that covers everything regarding kettles for coffee.

Think about the filter

If you ask me, your primary concern should be the paper filters.

With something like the Hario V60, Kalita Wave or Chemex, you’ll end up using proprietary filters. These can be slightly expensive and difficult to find in your local supermarket. Are you ready for this kind of task or not?

Other models, such as the Clever Dripper, work perfectly fine with a standard coffee filter (‘Melitta’ style).

💡No matter which model you go for, however, make sure that you get some proper oxygen bleached filters.

White filters aren’t unhealthy or bad for the environment. Just make sure that they are oxygen and not chlorine bleached.

All brown filters give off a bit of cardboard flavor to the coffee – avoid them at all costs. 

When you become more comfortable with the pour over method, you can also experiment with different filter types. For instance, there are several premium brands that produce cone-shaped filters; all with a slightly different flow rate and mouthfeel/body balance.

 

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Asser Christensen

Hello, and welcome! I'm the editor & founder of this site.
I have been a coffee geek since I started home roasting more than a decade ago. Since then, coffee has taken me on countless adventures: From ancient coffee ceremonies in Ethiopia to the volcanos of Sumatra.
My background is in journalism, and today I'm also a licensed Q Grader under the Coffee Quality Institute.