High-end construction with durable, thick-walled glass. Easy to clean and looks great atop the kitchen counter. Makes an awesome cup of coffee.
Requires Chemex brand coffee filters.
Great option for travel and coffee on the go because of its lightweight and durable construction. Fits on virtually any mug and is dishwasher-safe.
Only useful for single-cup serving; not a good option for serving multiple people.
Great value for the price. Super easy to use device can handle even finely ground coffee. Compact enough to easily store and comes with its own mesh filter.
It's a pain to wash by hand and fits poorly in the dishwasher.
Makes good-tasting coffee for a reasonable price. No need to use your own filters since it's outfitted with a reusable one of its own. It's also easy to clean.
Very fragile glass construction that loses heat rapidly.
The pour-over topper has lines to help you measure your coffee and the bottom mug portion can hold up to 20 ounces of coffee. Its filters are also stainless steel. It comes in five colors.
It can take some effort to clean after a few cups.
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A pour over coffee maker is a cone-shaped tool that rests directly on top of your mug or over a carafe to quickly produce a brew of your preferred strength. The two common sizes are small, for single cups, and large, for multiple cups. Pour over coffee makers offer an inexpensive way to brew coffee just the way you like it. These simple devices are less expensive than most drip brewers yet generally produce better-tasting coffee.
There are three types of filters used with these devices — paper, cloth, and metal — each of which results in coffee with different body, acidity level, and flavor. Though there are no moving parts in these coffee makers, using one does come with a learning curve, and mastering it gives you tremendous control over how your coffee tastes.
While a pour over coffee maker isn’t an expensive purchase, it’s still one that you should consider carefully so that your morning brew turns out just how you like it. To learn more about the varieties of these coffee makers, continue reading our buying guide, and take a look at our favorites when you’re ready to buy.
Pour over coffee is coffee brewed by pouring hot water through a strainer containing grounds directly into a cup or carafe. These coffee makers are far less expensive than traditional drip coffee machines, last longer, and produce higher-quality coffee. While a bit more finesse is required, once you have the hang of the method, you can control factors like the material of the filter and your pouring speed to create coffee to fit your tastes.
For an avid coffee drinker, finding the right type of brewer for your preferred style of coffee can be as important as choosing items for your wardrobe. It means considering how many cups you plan to brew at a time and what filter type is the best fit for your flavor preferences.
Pour over coffee makers are designed to hold enough grounds for either a single cup or several.
Small: Single-cup models are a good option for anyone who is the lone coffee drinker in the house or who just wants to make a cup now and then. These brewers are designed to rest directly on top of your mug.
The filter type has the biggest influence on the flavor, strength, and mouthfeel of your coffee. Note that some pour over brewers can only use filters provided by the manufacturer.
Paper: These filters are disposable, which makes cleanup easy but results in more waste. In addition, if you drink a lot of coffee, you’ll need to purchase new filters regularly. Because paper absorbs the coffee oils and smaller particles, the result is a more acidic coffee with crisp flavor.
Metal: These filters are reusable and easy to clean. The openings allow oils and larger coffee particles to pass through, providing a richer flavor and distinctive texture.
The number and size of the holes in a pour over coffee maker determine how quickly the coffee passes through the filter. Fewer, smaller holes means coffee drips through more slowly, which is better suited to beginners. Larger holes give you more control but also more room for error. These coffee makers are generally preferred by experienced brewers.
The materials and overall design of a pour over coffee maker can determine its durability and heat retention. While these factors aren’t as important as the filter type, they should play a role in your decision.
Whether glass, metal, ceramic, or plastic, the material of a coffee maker affects its insulating properties and even the flavor of your coffee. In addition, the durability of some materials makes them more suitable than others for carrying with you.
Glass: Glass doesn’t affect the flavor of your coffee (which is a good thing). It looks stylish on your countertop, and it’s easy to see if your coffee maker needs cleaning, though glass is of course a more fragile option than metal or plastic.
Metal: Coffee can have a sharp, metallic flavor when it’s brewed in a metal coffee maker. Most metal pour over coffee makers are made of highly durable stainless steel. Metal can draw heat from the water, which may result in a different temperature than you intended.
Ceramic: This has essentially the same qualities as glass except that ceramic is opaque and usually thicker and heavier.
An insulated pour over coffee maker has a double-walled design that helps to maintain the temperature of the water as you pour. This allows you to more directly control the temperature and, in particular, the bloom of your coffee. However, this results in a thicker and often more fragile design.
Inexpensive: Pour over coffee makers that cost $5 to $10 are usually made of plastic and may be designed for single- or multi-cup brews. While these are a good option for those who want to try pour over coffee brewing or need a brewer they can take to work, these won’t produce coffee of the same quality as more expensive models.
Mid-range: At $10 to $20, you’ll find small and large coffee makers made of ceramic or stainless steel. These are usually designed to rest on top of a cup or carafe and don’t usually have included or built-in carafes.
Expensive: Pour over coffee makers that cost $20 to $40 may be made of stainless steel, ceramic, or glass. In this range are high-end brewers that may be insulated or include carafes, either built-in or separate. Some models in this range are specialty brewers that require a specific type of filter that you must order online.
Brewing coffee is a science, particularly so with a pour over coffee maker. Though the process is relatively straightforward, there are several factors in play that can affect everything about your coffee, from temperature to texture.
Heat water in a kettle to 200°F. Use one quart of water for every two ounces of coffee.
Grind the coffee to a coarseness appropriate for your filter. This may be stated by the manufacturer, but it also depends on the type of filter you’re using.
Place the filter in the cone of the brewer. If you’re using a cloth or paper filter, rinse the filter with water first. You can do this while the filter is in the cone to help the cone reach a temperature closer to that of the brewing water. Pour out any water in the cup or carafe.
Measure the ground coffee into the filter.
Pour a small amount of water over the grounds. Make sure the grounds are evenly damp. Wait for 30 seconds.
Q. How do I know what type of filter to use with my brewer?
A. There’s no need to wonder which filter is best with a metal brewer. With ceramic, glass, and plastic brewers, you can use either paper or cloth filters unless the manufacturer requires a special filter.
Q. How long does it take to brew a cup of coffee using a pour over coffee maker?
A. Between heating the water, grinding your coffee, and giving the coffee time to bloom, one serving should take you ten minutes or less to make.
Q. Can I use ground coffee from the store with a pour over coffee maker?
A. Yes, but as with other brewing methods, grinding your coffee beans each time will result in a fresher flavor.
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