The Hario Drip Pot Review – The Woodneck
I’ve heard a French woman refer to drip coffee as “piss water,” and though the French are terrible coffee brewers themselves (speaking from personal experience), I knew what she meant: Compared to espresso, drip coffee is very light.
If espresso isn’t your game, yet you like a coffee with a bit more body, there’s the Hario Woodneck (aka “Drip Pot”).
To see if this coffee maker suits your taste, continue on for my Hario Drip Pot review.
The Woodneck ‘In A Nutshell’
The Hario Drip Pot is the odd cousin in the pour over family. It is shaped like the Chemex, but it has a basket-like cloth filter. This thick filter gives the Woodneck’s coffee an unmistakable flavor that resembles French press coffee but without the mess.
It is a manual brewer that fits in the hands of any coffee lover, from the first-timer to the well experienced. The Woodneck is a fun pour over brewer to use and makes a soothing cup of coffee. It comes in two different sizes: one for single servings, and another for two to three cups of coffee.
- Its eye-catching design looks great on any countertop.
- Open to beginners and pros alike.
- Highlights darker and more robust coffee roasts.
- The filter requires special upkeep and storage.
- It is not great for lighter, more acidic roasts.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Drip Pot Like The Hario
In simplest terms, a drip pot is a pour over coffee maker and a carafe fused together. The shape resembles an open-top hourglass, with the drip cone sprouting from the top of the carafe. Because of the large opening at the bottom of the dripper cone, these coffee makers can brew a similar coffee to the Hario V60. However, the filter makes a big difference.
Some drip pots use paper filters, others (like the Woodneck) use cloth filters. Either way, these filters are typically much thicker than what you’d use for the standard pour over brewers, and thus produce more full-bodied coffee. Therefore, these coffee makers aren’t a good choice for someone who really enjoys a bright cup of coffee.
Furthermore, like any pour over, a drip pot requires patience and attention. Pour over coffee takes time and would be frustrating in a rush. If you are someone who likes the hands-on approach, then these coffee makers are worth a look. Take a look at the best rated drip pots in this article.
A drip pot is made for someone who appreciates coffee with a thicker body and who wants control over each step of the process.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while you are shopping for the perfect drip pot:
- How much coffee can it make in a single batch?
- What type of filters does it use?
- How much upkeep does it require?
The Hario Drip Pot Review
This funky little coffee maker may not be as popular as other pour over drippers, but not for any lack of quality. The Drip Pot is an exceedingly capable brewer that can make a fine cup of joe.
Compared to the host of other pour overs, Woodneck coffee has a more weighty body that brings out the deep flavors of your beans.
Its most distinctive feature is the cloth filter that hangs from a wooden handle like a basket.
This filter sits atop the curvy frame and gives the Woodneck an appearance unlike any other coffee maker. It also has an effect on taste: this coffee maker is best for someone who likes darker or more chocolatey brews.
Additionally, it is great for someone taking their first steps into manual coffee, but it can also keep up with someone more experienced. However, if you enjoy fruitier or more acidic coffee roasts, there are better options than the Woodneck.
Aesthetic Appeal: 4.5/5
The Woodneck’s design is the first thing that sticks out in most people’s minds. The Chemex has a similar shape, yet the Woodneck still stands out from the rest like Mark Hamill at a Star Trek convention.
The offbeat appearance of this coffee maker might even leave some of your guests puzzled as they try and figure out what it’s used for. Whether or not they figure it out, they will agree that it is a novel design.
Its curvy frame makes it less modern looking than the Chemex’s cold minimalism. The Hario has a more lively aesthetic, which gives it a calm and natural vibe. And best of all, using this coffee maker is just as peaceful as looking at it.
Ease of Use: 4/5
The Woodneck shares an important feature with one of pour over brewing’s most popular coffee makers, the Hario V60: a large opening at the bottom of the brew cone This is one of the V60’s most celebrated features, but it is also what makes it notoriously unforgiving.
The Woodneck, on the other hand, also uses a large opening but is much easier to operate.
The thick filter and vertical slant of the cone walls are what make the Woodneck an approachable coffee maker.
Whereas the V60 requires the steadiness of a Shaolin monk, the Woodneck’s filter does most of the flow control for you, and the steep walls help the water flow at an even pace. And like the V60, the space between the filter surface and the glass of the brewer helps airflow, which increases the consistency of the extraction.
Though this brewer doesn’t need as much precision as the V60, it can still sing in the hands of a practiced professional. If you are someone with lots of pour over experience, you will find that the Hario Woodneck is still flexible even while being open to beginners.
Something to keep in mind about the filters is that they require some special attention. You must clean and store your filters in a water bath in the refrigerator, or else they will ruin the taste of your coffee. This isn’t a hard thing to do, but some people might find it annoying. This extra step is one of the reasons we took a point off the ease of use score.
And if you want a tool to help you control the flow of water even more, consider snagging yourself a gooseneck kettle like one of these.
Brew Control Ability: 4.5/5
In the land of pour over coffee, paper is everywhere. Although most pour over coffee makers use paper filters, this Hario uses a cloth filter. The company has quite a bit of experience with cloth filters – more than 60 years, in fact (1).
In 1949, Hario launched its first home product: a glass filter coffee syphon. By 1957, this had become a cloth filter coffee syphon.
A quick glance and you might assume that the Woodneck’s distinctive filter is just some overly hipsterish throwback to “vintage” coffee; however, it is more than just quirky cosmetics. First off, there is no waste with a cloth filter.
Though you can get away with using a paper filter twice or even three times, it won’t be sticking around for long. And if you go through coffee half as often as I do, then all that paper will quickly add up to an unhappy Mother Earth.
Switching from paper to cloth also has an impact on the taste of your coffee, though it is subtle. Compared to other, paper-addicted brewers, the Woodneck produces a well-rounded coffee with a fuller mouthfeel.
The best way to describe this difference is in terms of sex appeal (just stay with me for a second). Whereas a typical paper filter pour over could be described as a tall and athletic blonde, Hario Drip Pot coffee is something with a lot more booty. I’d even go as far as calling it “voluptuous.”
Though a Woodneck brew might not hit those high flavor notes, its coffee is going to have a deeper feeling and a more balanced flavor profile. It is similar to a French press brew, though cleaner and smoother.
The Woodneck is cumbersome, fragile, and uses a filter that needs to remain wet at all times. If this sounds a lot like traveling with a baby, you’re not far from the truth (though the Woodneck doesn’t require juice boxes). The Woodneck has many virtues, but easy packing for traveling isn’t among them.
It’s just not something, neither by shape nor by materials, that naturally lends itself to being stowed in your carry-on luggage. And if you’re the kind of hiker who tears pages out of your guidebook every time you leave an area because what is behind you doesn’t matter, I can’t imagine carrying a borosilicate hourglass and a water-soaked filter is going to be high on your list of necessities.
If you travel, hike, camp, or otherwise need to carry a pour over with you everywhere, the Hario V60 (in plastic) is one of our highest-rated pour over makers when it comes to portability. Lightweight, compact, and much less fragile, the V60 will brew rings around the Woodneck on the trail or in an efficiency hotel room.
It should be no surprise that an all-in-one drip pot costs more than a stand-alone pour over filter cone. There’s more than twice as much material because of the built-in carafe. Add to this the wooden collar and the unique filter handle and cloth bag, and it’s a cinch to see there’s more to the Woodneck than, say, the Melitta Ready Set Joe – about four times as much more, if the price tag is any indication.
For all that, it’s less expensive (by almost 25%) than the Chemex, with a similar appearance (and that aesthetically pleasing and insulation-providing wooden collar). Plus, with the reusable filter, you will save money down the road by not having to pop for a package of filters every few months.
Taken together, we nicked a point off the Woodneck’s price score.
Alternatives To The Hario Woodneck
Before I give you that oh-so-appetizing Amazon link, I’m going to make you read (or scroll through) a few other suggestions first.
An important lesson that my highschool sweetheart taught me is that the first choice isn’t always the best choice. Though you may think the Hario Woodneck is love at first sight, here are a few other options to consider: the Chemex, the GROSCHE, and the Clever Dripper.
Side by side, the Chemex looks like the dad of the Drip Pot. Both of these coffee makers share the same hourglass shape and a wooden collar with a leather belt around the midsection. If you want something that looks good on your counter even when not in use, the Chemex and the Woodneck are both serious contenders.
There are three different pour over models to chose from with the GROSCHE: the Austin, the Seattle, and the Portland. Each follows the standard hourglass shape, with minor stylistic differences.
What separates GROSCHE from other drip pots is the fine mesh metal filter. These filters allow for flavor complexity to shine through, while simultaneously saving the planet from mountains of paper filters.
Though you won’t get as thick of a body using a mesh filter, it won’t be as light as a V60 brew either.
The Clever Dripper
Though the Clever Dripper is a drip coffee maker, it isn’t your standard pour over. At the base of the Clever is a unique locking mechanism that holds your brew slurry inside the cone until you place it on top of a cup or carafe.
This allows the Clever to both be an immersion brewer (like a French press) and a pour over brewer, with the characteristics of both. Compared to other pour over coffee makers, the Clever is very forgiving and doesn’t require a lot of know-how.
Although easy to use, it won’t create as rich a cup of coffee as most other pour over brewers. More on the Clever Dripper here.
The brighter and more acidic coffee that most pour over brewers make isn’t for everyone, and the Hario Woodneck is there for those who like a coffee with a bit more “oomph.” Its thick cloth filter allows for a fuller-feeling coffee without being gritty like a French press brew.
And what it loses in flavor complexity it makes up for in depth, with a coffee that you can easily sink into.
If this Hario Drip Pot review has convinced you, click here to check it out.
- Perfect Daily Grind. (2018, February 26). Hario V60 – The History & Brewing Guide. Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2015/07/hario-v60-the-history-brewing-guide/