The 10 Best Pour Over Coffee Makers
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in June of 2015. For those who demand complete control over their java, or who only need an occasional cup, one of these coffee drippers may be the perfect solution. Ideal for any home or office setting, these pour-over designs allow just about anyone to easily and quickly brew a delicious cup of joe without the high cost of going to one of those specialty stores. And most take up very little space. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
February 04, 2020:
Coffee lovers have long adored the pour-over method for its versatility and the control it offers. Our list of brewers was carefully selected to cater to varying aesthetic tastes, experience levels (manual pour-over brewing can take some practice), and time constraints. For example, the newly-added Coffee Gator All-In-One, which came at the expense of the unavailable Diguo Drip Pot, is ideal for busy commuters. It's also great for keeping at the office if you'd rather avoid drip and Keurig machines. It can keep drinks hot for up to six hours and fits in most car cup holders.
If you do have time and want to savor the process, the elegant and simplistic Hario V60 is a reliable option. And while many electric brewers have yet to pass muster according to most aficionados, the Cuisinart CPO-850 and Motif Elements Glass, which is new to this list, are both pretty solid. These are ideal for beginners, people crunched for time, or anyone who wants an automated alternative to drip makers. We removed the KitchenAid Digital due to repeated complaints regarding electric problems, leaking issues, and the fact that the carafe seems to be discontinued, making it impossible to replace once broken.
Our priorities for this list included reliable, quality materials, durability, aesthetics, efficacy, and value for money. We also favored items with satisfaction guarantees and warranties for peace of mind.
October 23, 2018:
Removed Wilbur Curtis Commercial due to complaints about malfunctions. Removed Coffee Gator Standard due to availability issues. Added the Coffee Gator Brewer because of its environmentally friendly design and quality construction.
Ratio Eight Available in an array of finishes with handsome wooden accents and a BPA-free polymer or hand-blown glass carafe, the American-made Ratio Eight simulates a skilled barista by precisely controlling the water flow during both the bloom and brew phases. A die-cast aluminum element heats water to an ideal extraction temperature, which then flows through a stainless steel shower head designed for even distribution over the grounds. It brews up to 40 ounces, has a removable power cord, and is backed by a five-year warranty. ratiocoffee.com
Not Too Hot
The problem with percolator coffee, however, is the problem you’ll find with a vast majority of automatic coffee makers: they don’t give you control over water temperature.
I remember my first cup of coffee pretty clearly. I was eight or nine at the time, and my Nana (my maternal grandmother) had just whipped up a pot in her stovetop percolator. I used to love to watch the percolator come to a boil, as it was stainless steel throughout with the exception of a little glass knob at the top of the lid. When the coffee boiled, you could see the bubbles splashing around through the lid.
The problem with percolator coffee, however, is the problem you’ll find with a vast majority of automatic coffee makers: they don’t give you control over water temperature. Ask anyone in the know, and they’ll tell you that as soon as your brewing water exceeds 205˚F, you’re going to burn the coffee. If you’ve ever had coffee at an all night diner in New Jersey, you've tasted why this is a problem.
When you elect to go with a pour over method for your coffee brewing, you gain distinct control over your water temperature, provided you don’t just throw boiling water over the beans. Ideally, your water temperature should be between 195˚F and 205˚F to get the most flavor out of your java. With a pour over method, you can take the temperature of the water, or set an electric kettle to cook your water to a specific temperature before you begin to brew.
A pour over coffee maker works by settling something that looks a lot like a funnel on top of either a coffee pot or a single mug. First, you pop a filter into one and fill it with coffee. You then pour hot water over the grounds as quickly as you see fit. Different pour times and different spreads of water over the grounds are said to alter the flavor by palpable degrees, so you can fine-tune your brew in ways no other method allows.
Pouring Over The Options
Pour over coffee brewers are kind of like Christmas trees. They’re all more or less the same shape, and they all serve the same function, but the size and materials of each can make a significant difference in your selection process. There are automatic pour over coffee makers out there as well, and those we can think of like synthetic trees, but more on that later.
They’re all more or less the same shape, and they all serve the same function, but the size and materials of each can make a significant difference in your selection process.
The most important variable for you to consider when evaluating pour over coffee makers is your audience. Some of the finest pour over units only make a single serving at a time, and that might not be enough. Conversely, there are pour over machines that can service the multitudes.
If you're making a cup for yourself or for somebody else, and you really want to impress them both with the flavor of your coffee and with your knowledge of the brewing process, a single serve pour over is the way to go.
For the less discerning groups, you can utilize a pour over coffee maker that collects your brew for service in a pot. Some of these come with pots of their own, and they're designed specifically for use with this pot alone. Other pour over units are more universal, allowing you to fit it to any given receptacle, provided it's heat-safe.
Getting back to mechanical pour over makers, they do a much better job than cheap, drip-style coffee makers, and their quality compared to those units is undeniable. Among aficionados of the bean, however, these would have a hard time passing muster, especially against the more refined single-serving pour over coffee makers that populate the hippest coffee houses out there.
Coffee Gone Blotto
There are filters in this world that do very little, that are filters in name mostly and in action barely. Then there are filters whose purpose is clear and whose efficacy is undeniable. Cigarette filters belong to the former group, as well as – some would argue – the filters on Instagram. Aquarium filters and coffee filters, on the other hand, belong to the latter group.
Cigarette filters belong to the former group, as well as – some would argue – the filters on Instagram.
The history of the coffee filter is tied inexorably to the history of pour over coffee brewing. In 1908, German entrepreneur Melitta Bentz grew tired of cleaning up after linen coffee filters that would have been more at home in the former category above, as they did little to reduce the bitterness of her coffee. Her percolator did even less of a job. So, after a few rounds of material research, she used a nail to punch a bunch of holes in a piece of tin and she lined that with a sheet of blotting paper from her son's schoolbook.
The following year, at the 1909 Leipzig Trade Fair, Bentz and her two sons sold more than 1,200 coffee filters, launching their business into legitimacy. Today, the Melitta brand still forges forward as one of the leading producers both of coffee filters and of pour over coffee makers. And, while the advent of automatic drip coffee machines dampened the business, coffee purists have recently reemerged demanding the more careful brew that only a pour over can provide.