The Best Pour Over Coffee Maker

TOP PICK: Kalita Wave

Kalita Wave

If you want to achieve a more consistent brew even if you're a beginner, the Kalita Wave Dripper should be your choice.

With its small size, lightness, and portability - you can practically take this sturdy machine anywhere, and it'll be flexible for your needs. Best of all - it's affordable!

How To Choose the Best Manual Drip Coffee Maker

Best Drip Coffee Maker

Before you get all excited to join the pour over revolution, consider the following as it will help you make the right choice, but first we need to make something crystal clear:

Your Grinder is Still the Most Important Purchase!

Talk to any Barista and they will tell you that the most important tool in making kickass coffee isn’t the brew method - It’s the grinder.

A Lamborghini is fast, yes, but if you’re filling the gas tank with cool-aid it ain't going anywhere.

True coffee lovers know that good quality burr grinders are critical for brewing the best cup of coffee possible. Consistent coffee grounds are critical to making this work.

For something quick and easy that’s also great for travelling, go for a hand/manual burr grinder – Here are the best hand grinders. But I'd recommend investing in a good burr grinder (Here are the best burr grinders)

Ok. Now onto the factors to help you choose the right brewer:

"Ain't Nobody Got Time For That" (How Patient are you?)

We are a time poor society. When choosing your pour over method, think about the overall time that will go into making your coffee.

Most pour-over methods will take about on average 3-5 minutes to brew your coffee and about 3-5 minutes to prepare the coffee after measuring, grinding, and boiling water. All in all, that's nearly 10 minutes dedicated to your brew.

Make sure that you know how much time you want to dedicate to making coffee.

Some coffee drinkers need less time to brew, and some need more time to brew. If you subscribe to the BS mantra 'time is money', choosing the wrong brewer will-piss-you-right-off. If that's you, you need a drip brewer like one of these.

Portability - Where will you Brew?

If portability is important to you: You need something that can easily fit in your bag and may not need any special tools to brew a “good enough” cup of coffee anywhere.

You also want to go for plastic or stainless steel drippers. Ceramic pour over brewers are great for home use but are way too fragile for constant traveling. Choose wisely.

I’ve created a rating system for portability in each brewer summary below. It’s on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being if your house was on fire and you had to save one thing, this could easily be taken with you. 1 indicates you should leave it behind..

Technique Required vs Your Skill Level

Consistency of the brew

Because pour-overs are manual brewing methods, there are a tonne of variables that need to be thought of in the brewing process.

Time of brew, the weight of ground coffee, aggressiveness of the pour, the temperature of the water, and other variables can make it challenging to brew (continuously) the same great tasting cup of coffee time after time.

If you think you've got what it takes to brew the best of the best, choose something that will allow you to customize the brew a little more, but remember that this means a higher chance of screwing up when you're learning.

In contrast to this, if you want something that will give you consistent great results without too much effort, go for something a little more forgiving.

Yes - you'll get instructions with each pour over contraption you buy, but in general, those instructions suck.

Mastering a pour over is no easy task so be prepared to practice.

For great brew guides, visit our brewing library here.

Accessories Required

If you want to master the pour over you’ll need a few extras. Depending on the pour over coffee maker you choose, you can skip few extras.

A typical pour over setup:

  • A good gooseneck kettle (most brewers require this but not all)
  • A serving vessel (for large-batch brewers)
  • Filters: some take regular paper filters, other have mesh filters and some require special paper filters that you can only order online.

Michael Phillips, head trainer at Blue Bottle Coffee, gives a good overview of the equipment needed to make a good cup of coffee:

Also consider:

  • How many cups of coffee do you want to brew? Some brewers are best for single use; others are best for making larger batches. You'll see this below in the 'capacity' section
  • Is material important to you? It should be as it makes the pour over ritual more enjoyable. I prefer the ceramic coffee drippers from the list below; but you may prefer a glass coffee maker (or plastic if you're a nomad)
  • Choose the right coffee beans - don't make the mistake of setting yourself up with a nice pour over kit and then ruining your cup of joe by using average beans. Here's a few guides to choosing the right coffee beans.

The Best Pour over Coffee Makers of 2019

It seems like there is another pour-over brewer being released every week as they gain popularity and traction in and outside of the coffee shop.

The following 5 are still the most popular and best performing manual coffee drippers:

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURES
hg-table__imageHario V60
  • Skill Required: Advanced
  • Accessories Required: Gooseneck Kettle
  • Filter Paper Type: Special Hario filter paper
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageKalita Wave
  • Skill Required: Average
  • Accessories Required: Gooseneck Kettle
  • Filter Paper Type: Kalita filter
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageBee House Ceramic Dripper
  • Skill Required: Low
  • Accessories Required: Gooseneck Kettle
  • Filter Paper Type: Standard filter
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageChemex Coffee Maker
  • Skill Required: High
  • Accessories Required: Gooseneck Kettle
  • Filter Paper Type: Chemex filter
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageClever Dripper
  • Skill Required: Easy
  • Accessories Required: No special accessory required
  • Filter Paper Type: Standard filter
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageMelitta Ready Set Joe
  • Skill Required: Easy
  • Accessories Required: No special accessory required
  • Filter Paper Type: Standard filter
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageKone Filter (and brewing system)
  • Skill Required: Medium
  • Accessories Required: A brewer
  • Filter Paper Type: No filter paper required -- the Kone filter is the filter itself!
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageWalkure Brewer
  • Skill Required: Easy
  • Accessories Required: No special accessory required
  • Filter Paper Type: No filter paper required
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageHario Woodneck Drip Pot
  • Skill Required: Advanced
  • Accessories Required: Gooseneck kettle
  • Filter Paper Type: Cloth filter
CHECK PRICE →

Hario V60

The V60 is arguably one of the most iconic pour-over coffee brewing methods available; you'll see it being used in cafes around the world.

Made in Japan by a Hario ('Hario' translates to 'King of glass' in Japanese) means the glass or ceramic pour over drippers are of the highest quality - however, they also come in a range of different materials.

It requires a meticulous pour over routine, complete with timers and gooseneck kettles, but boy oh boy is the end result worth it:

With its conical spiral design and triangular paper filters, this coffee maker produces a great cup of coffee and is an amazing conversation starter in cafes.

Read our full Hario V60 review here.

The V60 Summary:

  • Available in: Ceramic, Glass, Plastic, Copper.
  • Sizes available: Single cup + 2,4,7 cup
  • Portability: 10
  • You'll also need: Special paper Hario filters, Gooseneck Kettle
  • Skill required: Advanced

Kalita Wave

When you're looking for a pour over coffee maker but aren’t interested in turning it into such an involved process with scales, manual grinders, and spouted kettles, then consider using the Kalita wave – of course, we don’t want to discredit this dripper - it's kickass.

The Wave was designed in response to the market demand for a pour over method that was easy to use, efficient, and addressed some of the extraction issues present in conical designs.

Like other pour-over drippers, you’ll achieve a very clean and beautiful tasting brew (when done right), just with less effort.

The design of the Kalita wave is clever. With its flat bottom, as opposed to conical shaped, means it brews with longer steep times and removes more of the margin for error.

If that doesn’t make sense to you, it means you’ll consistently get a great brew, even with a half-assed ‘in-a-rush’ attempt. If you like slow coffee, but don’t have like the meticulous nature of the V60, go for the Wave.

Read our full Kalita wave review here.

The Kalita Wave Summary:

  • Available in: Ceramic, glass, stainless steel
  • Sizes available: 2,4 cups
  • Portability: 10
  • You'll also need: Kalita filter, Gooseneck kettle
  • Skill required: Average

Bee House Dripper

The Bee House is yet another ceramic Japanese import with a lot to offer. It comes in two sizes, large and small, so If you're a home barista without a lot of room to spare in your kitchen the smaller size can be very handy.

A huge plus of this brewer (which the V60 and the Kalita Wave can’t offer) is the ability to use any old standard cone coffee filter with it. This is important because if (or rather: when) you run out of filters you can easily find them in a grocery.

Design: It’s wedge-shaped with vertical ridges along the bottom half of the dripper only and two drip holes at the bottom. The wedge-shaped nature of the Bee House means better heat retention more consistent contact between the grounds and the water. This results in an evenly extracted brew with very minimal effort.

The main selling point, however, is ease of use.

Forget fancy kettles, forget strict brew time rules – this coffee maker delivers a gorgeous brew without the hard work.

Read our review of the Bee House Dripper here.

The Bee House Summary:

  • Available in: Ceramic only
  • Sizes available: 2,4 cups
  • Portability: 10
  • You'll also need: Gooseneck kettle
  • Skill required: Low

Chemex

A classic series, all-in-one glass carafe brewer that requires your time, a willingness to learn and some medium coarse grounds.

It’s not exactly portable because of its size, but that’s also one of the highlights of this product since you can brew larger quantities of coffee in one go.

The Chemex classic filter is like no other filter you’ve seen before, and it all adds to the magic.

It’s the thickest filter you’ll come across, and for two reasons:

  1. It will keep the bitter oils out of the coffee for a much smoother cup.
  2. It prevents the water from flowing through the grounds too quickly – meaning you get the opportunity to taste the hidden flavors of the coffee (without the bitterness)

Fun fact about this brewer: It’s part of the permanent design collection at the Museum of Modern Art. So, having it on your kitchen counter is not only functional but a statement too!

All in all you'll get a very clean great tasting coffee that is balanced and full of body. Perfect for large households, offices, or art snobs.

Read our full Chemex review here.

The Chemex Summary:

  • Available in: Glass only
  • Sizes available: 3,5,8,10 cups
  • Portability: 3
  • You'll also need: Gooseneck kettle, Chemex filters
  • Skill required: High

Clever Dripper

The Clever Dripper is the best choice if you're only getting started in the world of pour over coffee. It’s easy to use, even easier to clean and delivers time and time again, regardless of your skill.

The main difference between the Clever Dripper and other brewers on this list: a stopping mechanism that stops the coffee flowing until it has been placed on your cup. This allows you to customize your brew based on steeping time, rather than pouring skill.

Think of a French press: but without the silt or sediment. For the price: you really can’t go wrong.

Read our full Clever Dripper review here.

The Clever Dripper Summary:

  • Available in: Plastic only
  • Sizes available: 1, 4 cup
  • Portability: 9
  • You'll also need: Standard filters
  • Skill required: Easy

Melitta Coffee Dripper

Looking for a quick, easy and cheap way to make fancy coffee? Look no further than the Melitta Ready Set Joe: the most newbie-friendly brewer, and is the most inexpensive option on this list.

The simple nature of the Read Set Joe is its strong point – but it’s a double edged sword; there aren’t any special features to get excited about. You simply put in a filter, put in your grounds and pour the water all in one go.

Easy? Yes. But can you control the final brew? No.

In summary; this un-pretentious dripper is (very) cheap, easy to use and highly portable – meaning it’s a great fit for anyone who likes to camp or travel without baggage.

The Melitta Ready Set Joe Summary:

  • Available in: Plastic, glass, ceramic
  • Sizes available: 1 cup
  • Portability: 10
  • You'll also need: Standard filters
  • Skill required: Easy

#7 - The Kone Filter (and brewing system)

Kone Filter

Important - this is just a cone, as you can see from the image above. You can use the Kone to make pour over as is, but I recommend you try the Kone Brewing system.

Able Brewing had a goal to create a sustainable and reusable coffee filter – because don’t we all feel guilty every time we throw out a paper filter?

The answer was the Kone coffee filter; a stainless steel filter that allows for more oils than a paper filter, resulting in a fuller bodied cup of coffee for your dripper.

The Kone filter works with your Chemex and Hario v60 – however you do have the option to purchase it with the Kone brewing system - a super sexy-looking, functional pour over coffee brewer inspired by Japanese mid-century design.

In fact, if you love the minimalistic way of thinking, you can just plonk your Kone filter directly into your cup (providing its deep enough), throw in your coffee and start brewing!

Because of its conical design, again it is important to stress a steady circular pour pattern.

We thought we’d include this here because if you’re going to use any type of manual drip coffee maker, you may as well get a reusable filter!

The Kone Filter Summary:

  • Available in: Stainless steel
  • Sizes available: 6,8,10 cup
  • Portability: 10
  • You'll also need: A brewer
  • Skill required: Medium

Walkure Coffee Maker

The Walkure Brewer; it’s the Cadillac of pour over brewers.

It was designed by a German artist so it combines style with an easy way to brew.

Sure, it costs a bit more than your average dripper, but you’ll find the added price is worth it because it’s easy to use, delivers a very high quality brew and requires no accessories (not even filters).

I love the Walkure because it’s a true all-in-one system. Just add your coarse grounds and hot water; no carafe or filter needed.

The even saturation I mentioned earlier comes from the “dispersion plate” that allows the water to spread out and wet the grounds evenly - ingenious - those Germans really know what they’re doing. First gummy bears, now the Walkure Pour Over Brewer. Danke.

The Walkure Brewer Summary:

  • Available in: Porcelain
  • Sizes available: 1 cup
  • Portability: 2
  • You'll also need: Nothing
  • Skill required: Easy

Hario Woodneck Drip Pot

The Woodneck is a glass pot system from Japan that creates small quantities of effing high quality coffee. Apart from its very Japanese inspired design, what separates the woodneck from the pack is the fact that you use a cloth filter for it. This produces heavy coffee with a lot of depth of flavor – all from a medium-fine grind.

It looks and sounds expensive and difficult to use. But its not.

The Woodneck represents great value for money, and is surprisingly easy to use. It comes as a complete system with the mentioned cloth filter, the holder and the serving vessel – all in one.

When it comes time to brew, just add hot water and follow simple instructions.

Read our full review of the Woodneck here.

The Hario Woodneck Summary:

  • Available in: Glass
  • Sizes available: 2 cups
  • Portability: 5
  • You'll also need: Cloth filter, gooseneck kettle
  • Skill required: Advanced

THE VERDICT: What's The Best Manual Drip Coffee Maker?

So, for the burgeoning home barista looking to get into the world of pour-over coffee, which one should you choose to help you start your day?

For us, It's the Kalita Wave Dripper for the following reasons:

  • It’s designed to help you achieve a consistent brew without too much technical know how.
  • Its small, portable and light, meaning you can take it anywhere
  • You have more flexibility with grind size due to the flat bottom
  • It’s affordable!

Kalita Wave

...Closely followed by the Hario V60 (however, the Hario requires your pour over skills to be a little more developed, so we suggest starting with the Wave, and graduating onto the V60)...

With that being said there is no right or wrong option in the world of pour over coffee – you’d be a fool to try just one as each has its own strong points and leaves you with a different experience and brew.

After reading this piece on the best pour over coffee makers we hope, like us, you’re excited to try more than just one! What's your choice? let us know in the comments below!