How to Make Great Coffee with the Clever Dripper (Recipe + Instructions)
For the true coffee lover, the Clever Coffee Dripper is one of the best brewing methods around. Combining the best aspects of pour-over brewers, like the V60, and full immersion brewers, it’s truly the best of both worlds.
Thanks to a draining valve that keeps your coffee in the brewer until you’re ready, the Clever Dripper gives you the ease of use and full-bodied flavour of a French press. But thanks to its paper filter, you don’t get any of the resulting sediment — or sludge — in your cup.
Looking for a full-bodied cup with exceptional clarity? Check out our brew guide to learn how to brew with the Clever Coffee Dripper.
- Clever Coffee Dripper (large, 18oz/500ml model)
- Paper filters (#2 for the smaller Clever Dripper, #4 for the larger)
- 23 grams of freshly roasted coffee beans
- 345 grams of water (plus 15g for pre-rinse)
- Burr grinder
- Variable temperature kettle or kettle
At a glance
For this Clever Dripper recipe, you will need the following:
If you don’t yet have the main ingredient – the Clever Dripper itself, here’s a full Clever Coffee Dripper review to help you decide if its the right one for you.
How to Make Coffee with the Clever Coffee Dripper
The Clever Dripper is one of our favourite pour over brewers because its so simple to use, yet it makes such an amazing filter coffee. Follow these instructions to make your drip coffee.
Or follow along with this YouTube video, where Steven from HomeGrounds walks you through it step by step:
1. Grind your coffee and heat your water.
Before you begin brewing, you need to grind your coffee beans. Almost every brew guide calls for a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio and we’re no exception. Using the larger 18 oz/500 ml model, our Clever Dripper recipe calls for 23g of coffee and 345g of water. The remaining 15g of water is used for pre-rinsing the filter.
Using your scale, measure out 23 grams of coffee beans and grind your coffee to a medium-coarse grind. Your Clever Dripper grind size should be similar to a French press, but slightly finer.
Next, heat 400 grams of water to a temperature of 90-93°C.
2. Prep your brewer.
One of the great things about this dripper is the fact that it uses a paper filter. It catches all the sediment that you normally get from French presses and it simplifies the cleaning process. Using it also comes with a number of health benefits (1).
Take your paper filter – #2 or #4 depending on your brewer size – and fold along the seams at the bottom and side of the filter. Drop your filter into the dripper.
Next, you’re going to want to pre-rinse your filter with hot water. This serves three main purposes.
- Preheating your brewer
- Eliminating the stale paper taste from your filter
- Preheating your mug
Pre-wetting or pre-rinsing your filter also helps improve the uniformity of the extraction and therefore improves the taste of your coffee (2).
Be sure to discard the rinse water before brewing your coffee! There’s nothing worse than brewing directly into the rinse water, which just creates a mess, terrible coffee, and sadness.
3. Place the dripper on the scale and add your grounds.
Place your dripper onto your scale and add your freshly ground coffee. Make sure to tare, or ‘zero’, your scale.
4. Pour water and let the coffee bloom.
Every brew guide seems to be torn about blooming your coffee first. If you’re like us and want to leave no stone unturned in your quest for great coffee, we say go for the bloom.
Pour enough coffee to completely saturate your coffee grounds, about 50g or so. Similar to brewing with a French press, this doesn’t need to be super technical. Wait 30 seconds.
Now you’ve got the green light. Pour the rest of your 345g of water quickly, almost aggressively even. Again, this isn’t a V60. There’s no special technique here. The goal here is to completely saturate all of the grounds and start the brewing process ASAP.
Now pop the lid on to keep in that heat!
5. Break the crust.
As your coffee brews, a layer of crust will form on the top of your coffee. Once your timer hits the 2-minute mark, agitate your coffee (3). To do this, take your spoon and give another gentle stir to break up the crust.
Agitation […] will disperse grounds and, in doing so, help ensure even extraction.
You’re not trying to agitate the coffee too much. The goal here is just to make sure none of the grounds are sticking to the sides of the brewer. We want every single one of those grounds to end up on the bottom of the filter and contributing to the brewing process. No coffee left behind and all that.
Once you’ve broken up the crust and given it a gentle stir, quickly move on to the next step and…
6. Let your coffee draw down.
Almost there! Place your Clever atop your mug and watch that oh so clever draining valve activate, beginning the draw down process.
And now we wait for the coffee to drain until the coffee bed is level. The total draw down process should take about 1-1.5 minutes, leading to a total brew time of 3-3.5 minutes.
And there you have it! Enjoy your clean, full-bodied, delicious cup of coffee made with the Clever pour over coffee dripper. Wanna learn more about pour over coffee brewing techniques to master your slow coffee? Start with this guide.
Something tastes off? Can’t get your brew right even after reading all the guides? We’ve all been there. If you’re having a hard time, you may want to give some of these a try.
If your coffee is drawing down too quickly, your coffee isn’t providing enough resistance. Coffee moves more easily through coarse grinds. To extend your draw down time, try to brew using a finer grind.
if your draw down time is taking longer than it should and adding to your total brew time, try brewing using a coarser grind.
If you find your coffee not strong enough or too strong, you can adjust the coffee to water ratio. If your coffee isn’t as strong as you’d like, adjust your ratio to add another gram or so of coffee. Conversely, for a cup that’s a bit too strong, feel free to disobey the brew guides and subtract a gram or so.
- Sheehan, K. (2018, November 27). Benefits of Using Coffee Filters. Retrieved from https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-using-coffee-filters-7625.html
- Rao, S. (2016, October 28). Prewetting: When to do it, when not to. Retrieved from https://www.scottrao.com/blog/prewetting-when-to-do-it-when-not-to
- Koh, S. (2018, May 10). What Is Agitation & How Does It Make My Filter Coffee Better? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/08/what-is-agitation-how-does-it-make-my-filter-coffee-better/