The Best Pour Over Coffee Maker – 9 Picks, Reviews and Buying Guide
Ah, pour over coffee: with just a little skill and know-how, you can achieve a cup of joe that tastes beyond amazing.
First things first: you’ll need to know how to find the best pour over coffee maker for your situation. Here’s our list of the best available right now, and a guide to help you choose the right pour over coffee maker for your needs.
At A Glance:
How To Choose the Best Manual Drip Coffee Maker
New to pour over brewing? If so, we’d recommend first reading our beginner’s guide to pour over coffee.
Before you get all excited to join the pour over coffee 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!
Any barista will tell you that the most important tool in making kickass coffee isn’t the brew method – it’s the grinder (1). Consistent coffee grounds are critical to make this work.
…always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible for maximum freshness. A burr or mill grinder is best because the coffee is ground to a consistent size.
True coffee lovers know that good quality burr grinders are essential for brewing the best cups of coffee possible (2). For something quick and easy that’s also great for travelling, go for a hand/manual burr grinder. But I’d recommend investing in a good burr grinder.
Ok. Now onto the factors to help you choose the right coffee dripper:
“Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” (How Patient are you?)
We live in a time-poor society. When choosing your pour over coffee maker, think about the overall time that will go into making your coffee. Most pour over coffee methods take on average 3-5 minutes for measuring, grinding, and boiling water, followed by another 3-5 minutes to brew the coffee. All in all, that’s closing in on 10 minutes dedicated to your brew.
Paying attention to the details, following the steps, slowing down just a bit so you’re not rushing, carving out the right time—this is what makes the difference.
Make sure that you know how much time you want to dedicate to making coffee. Some coffee brewers need less time to brew, and some need more. If you subscribe to the BS mantra ‘time is money,’ choosing the wrong coffee dripper will piss you right off.
Portability – Where will you Brew?
If portability is important to you, you need something that can easily fit in your bag and doesn’t need any special tools to brew “good enough” coffee anywhere. You also want to go for plastic or stainless steel coffee dripper. Ceramic and glass pour over coffee makers are great for home use but are way too fragile for constant travelling. 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
Because pour over is a manual brewing method, there are a ton of variables you need to think of in the brewing process: time of brew, weight of ground coffee, aggressiveness of the pour, water temperature, and other variables can make it challenging to brew the same great-tasting coffee time after time (3).
Mastering a pour over coffee is no easy task, so be prepared to practice with your new coffee dripper.
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, although it means a higher chance of screwing up while you’re learning. In contrast to this, if you want something that will give you consistently great results without too much effort, go for something a little more forgiving. Yes – you’ll get instructions with each pour over coffee contraption you buy, but in general, those instructions suck.
If you want to master pour over coffee, you’ll need a few extras. Depending on the pour over coffee maker you choose, you can skip a few extras.
A typical pour over setup might include:
- A good gooseneck kettle – most brewers require this but not all
- A serving vessel (for large-batch brewers) – insulated if you need to keep the water temperature hot for a while.
- Filters: some take regular paper filters, others have mesh filters and some require special paper filters that you can only order online. Here’s a list of the best coffee filters.
- If you really want to get hipster, create or buy a pour over stand like one of these.
We’ve made a video about different filter types and how they affect the taste of your coffee:
- How many cups of coffee do you want to brew? Some pour over coffee makers are best for single cup servings; others are best for making larger batches. You’ll see this below in the ‘capacity’ section
- Is the material important to you? It should be as it can make the pour over coffee 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 coffee kit and then ruining your cup of joe by using average beans
Best Pour Over Coffee Makers 2021
It seems there’s a new pour over coffee maker released every week as they gain popularity and traction in and outside of the coffee shop.
||The Hario V60||
||The Kalita Wave||
||Creano Porcelain Dripper||
||New Clever Dripper||
||Melitta Ready Set Joe||
||Apace Living Pour Over Coffee Filter||
||Oxo Brew Pour Over Coffee Maker||
||Hario Woodneck Drip Pot||
The following 9 are still the most popular and best-performing pour over coffee brewers:
The Hario V60 is an iconic pour over method 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 coffee brewers are of the highest quality – however, they also come in a range of different materials. It requires a meticulous pour over coffee routine, complete with timers and kettles, but boy oh boy is the end result worth it (4).
To see just how worth it, check out our brew guide here or the video below:
With its conical spiral design and triangular paper filters, this pour over coffee maker produces a great cup of joe and is an amazing conversation starter in cafes. Read our full Hario V60 review here.
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 Wave pour over coffee maker. Of course, we don’t want to discredit this flat-bottom coffee dripper – it’s kickass.
If you like slow coffee, but don’t like the meticulous nature of the V60, go for the Wave.
The Wave was designed in response to the market demand for a pour over method that was uncomplicated, efficient, and addressed some of the extraction issues present in conical designs. Like other pour over coffee makers, you’ll achieve a very clean and beautiful tasting brew (when done right), just with less effort.
The design of the Kalita Wave pour over coffee maker is clever. With its flat bottom, as opposed to conical shaped, it brews with longer steep times and removes some of the margin of error. If that doesn’t make sense to you, it simply means you’ll consistently get a great brew, even with a half-assed ‘in-a-rush’ attempt. Read our full Kalita Wave review here.
A classic, all-in-one glass carafe coffee dripper that requires your time, a willingness to learn and some medium-coarse coffee grounds. Unlike some coffee drippers on this list, it’s not 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. The double-bonded paper makes this the thickest filter you’ll come across, and it adds two benefits:
- It will keep the bitter oils out of the coffee for a much smoother cup.
- It prevents the water from flowing through the grounds too quickly – meaning you get the opportunity to taste the hidden flavours 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.
Related comparison: The Chemex vs the Aeropress
The Clever Dripper is an aptly named device, because upon hearing about how it works, it’s nearly impossible not to exclaim, “Well, isn’t that clever?” Essentially, the Clever Dripper is a cross between an immersion brewer and a pour over dripper, and it’s design makes it incredibly easy to use.
First add ground coffee to a filter, either metal or paper, in the cone. Then add hot water and let it steep as you would with a French Press. When brewing is complete, you release the water and coffee drips into a waiting cup below. You’ll get the rich flavour of an immersion brew with the clean cup of a pour over — without the need for special skills or equipment.
This NEW Clever Dripper is the same design as the original, but it’s now glass rather than plastic. This improves heat retention and gives it a more premium feel, though it does make it a bit less durable for travel. The cone is sized for a standard #4 filter and can be used to brew between 1 and 4 cups at a time.
Read our full OLD Clever Dripper review here.
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 pour over coffee maker, and the most inexpensive option on this list of manual coffee drippers. The simple nature of the Ready 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.
This un-pretentious coffee dripper is (very) cheap, a breeze to use, and portable like the new Wacaco Cuppamoka – meaning it’s a great fit for anyone who likes to camp or travel without baggage.
Let me state upfront that this is not a pour over brewer; it’s a pour over filter. If you love the process of pour over brewing, but prefer the richer mouthfeel of a coffee that hasn’t been filtered through paper, this is exactly what you need.
Aside from taste, there are lots of great reasons to use a stainless steel filter like this. It’s a better choice for the environment, and perfect for taking camping. It yields no waste, you don’t need to worry about it getting wet and ruined, and it’s virtually unbreakable. On top of all that, you’ll save money not buying paper filter.
The grid is precisely cut to allow for optimal filtration, and it makes for a beautiful look. The size is just right to fit the most popular cone brewers, including the Chemex and the Hario V60. Depending on the size of the brewer, you can brew from 1 to 10 cups at a time.
If you’re not convinced you want to learn the process of pour over brewing, this Oxo coffee maker is a perfect introduction. It does all the work for you. All you need to do is savour the coffee.
You just equip it with a #2 filter (10 are even included with purchase) and ground coffee, then add hot water and close the lid. The lid idea is smart, because it retains heat really well and can even save you from a messy spill. The 355 mL cone can brew one or two cups at a time.
The water tank has a precise hole pattern that controls the flow of water and how it showers over the ground coffee. It guarantees a consistently perfect cup regardless of your skill level. I especially love it for busy mornings because of its “set it and forget it” and design. No need to hover nearby with your gooseneck kettle. Just sit back and await your morning brew.
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 flavour – all from a medium-fine grind. It looks and sounds expensive and difficult to use. But it’s not.
The Woodneck represents great value for money, plus it’s 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 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.
- It’s 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!
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 Hario 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!
The best coffee for pour over is a single-origin bean. The beauty of pour over coffee is its ability to highlight intricate flavours when compared to other brewing methods. The extraction process allows the water to naturally draw out the coffee’s oils and fragrances, which are then caught in the filter leading to a cleaner cup of coffee.
How much coffee you use in a pour over depends on the device and the amount of coffee you’re wanting to brew. Most coffee experts will recommend a ratio rather than giving volumetric measurements. For that reason, we’ll recommend a coffee to water ratio that lies between 1:15 – 1:17 (6), allowing lots of room for experimentation.
You can make your pour over coffee stronger in two ways: increase your brew ratio (more coffee grounds but using the same amount of water) or try a single-origin from a different region with a stronger taste.
- Mazzarello, B. (2018, April 04). The Right Grinder for You. Retrieved July 8, 2019, from https://blog.bluebottlecoffee.com/posts/the-right-grinder-for-you
- How to Perfect Your Pour Over: Stumptown Coffee Roasters Blog. (2015, October 29). Retrieved July 8, 2019, from https://www.stumptowncoffee.com/blog/how-to-perfect-pour-over
- Soque, N. (2019, February 06). Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Pour Over Coffee. Retrieved July 8, 2019, from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2019/01/everything-you-need-to-know-to-brew-great-filter-pour-over-drip-coffee/
- Sinnott, K. (2010, December 23). Hario V60. Retrieved July 8, 2019, from https://www.coffeereview.com/hario-v60/
- Demos, C. (2014, October 23). Kone Brewing System: Coffee: KThe Weekend Edition. Retrieved July 8, 2019, from https://theweekendedition.com.au/food-drink/kone-brewing-system/
- Coffee Basics: Brewing Ratios – How much water to coffee to use? (2018, June 13). Retrieved July 8, 2019, from https://counterculturecoffee.com/blog/coffee-basics-brewing-ratios