The Essential Guide to the Best Pour Over Coffee Makers

Coffee Education  / May 24, 2018

Isn’t pour over coffee so much better than machine brewed coffee? The rich taste that highlights all the flavorful notes. The wonderful aroma that fills the room. There is something special about the pour over method that makes truly makes difference. Yet, many still opt for brewing coffee using a normal coffee machine. Why bother if you can just push a button? Who needs a pour over coffee when you have the convenience of using your coffee maker?

Yes, it may seem like brewing pour over coffee is more labor-intensive. But the process is not that complex at all. Pour over coffee easier to make than you realize. What’s involved? Only a few basic things: Freshly ground coffee, a filter, hot water, and a brewer — a pour over coffee maker. That’s it.

multiple pour over coffee makers

What You’ll Need to Make Pour Over Coffee:

1. Pour over coffee maker (We’ll get into these later)

2. Freshly ground coffee

3. A filter (paper or paperless)

4. Hot water

We want to show you how to make pour over coffee using with a Chemex pour over coffee maker. But you are free to use any pour over coffee you wish. Each works a bit different, but we will use this recipe just to give you a general idea of how to make pour over coffee. You can tweak depending on which one you’re using.

General Directions for Making Pour Over Coffee

1. Prep and Rinse the Filter

Open the filter so that it is one ply on one side, and three-ply on the other. Set it into the Chemex with the thicker side against the spout. Pour clean, hot water over the filter. This will rinse away any papery taste the filter might impart, as well as preheating the Chemex.

2. Weigh, Grind, and Dose Your Coffee

Weigh out 44g of coffee and grind it on a medium setting. Pour the coffee into the filter. Tare the scale to zero.

3. Bloom

Start your timer and pour 80g of hot water over the grounds. This is what we call the “bloom”. This is to evenly saturate the grounds and make sure there aren’t any dry pockets. The coffee will expand and bubble. Allow the coffee to bloom for 45 sec.  

4. Pour

After 45 sec, begin slowly pouring water over the grounds. Use a gentle spiral motion, starting in the center and working your way to the outside, then spiral back into the center. Avoid pouring water all the way to the edge of the filter. Once the water level is about 1” below the rim of the Chemex, stop and allow the liquid to draw down a bit. When you have more room, add more water. By 3:30, you should have added 700g of water.

5. Draw Down

Once the scale reaches 700g, stop pouring. Allow the rest of the liquid to draw down into the carafe. The brew should finish dripping around the 5:00 mark.

6. Finishing

Throw away the spent grounds and filter. Don’t forget to give your brew a swirl as it will be slightly stronger on the bottom than on the top.

Serve and enjoy!

Sure, it takes a little more time and attention with the pour over method, but it truly applies here that good things come to those who wait.

The next question is: What’s the best pour over coffee maker? Over here at Tradecraft Outfitters, we have our favorites, and we’ll tell you all about them next.

best pour overs

Best Pour Over Coffee Makers

Chemex

One of our favorite pour over coffee makers is the Chemex. We mentioned the Chemex brewer earlier when we showed you to make pour over coffee earlier. Now we want to tell you why we love it so much.

The Chemex is an elegant, one-piece vessel made of high quality, heat-resistant glass. This simple, reliable method of making coffee yields a full-flavored, clean-tasting brew using Chemex unbleached filter squares.

Glass Handle 8 Cup Chemex

The Eight Cup Glass Handle Series Coffeemaker used together with the scientifically designed, patented CHEMEX® Bonded Filters, will guarantee that our pour over brewing process will deliver the perfect cup of coffee, without any sediments or bitter elements.

V60 Porcelain Pour Over

The Porcelain Pour Over is widely recognized around the world. Why the cone shape? The cone-shaped paper filter adds depth to the coffee layer, so that the water flows to the center, extending the amount of time it is in contact with the ground coffee.

Is there anything worse than waking up and looking forward to your morning coffee, only to realize you have no more coffee filters? Well, what if we tell you there’s a way to brew yourself a delicious cup of pour over coffee without filters? If you think filters are a hassle to deal with, we’ve found some filterless pour over coffee makers you may like to try.

Let’s clear up some confusion though, filterless pour over coffee makers are not without filters. But instead of paper, they are actually cone-shaped devices with filters built in them. The filters are normally made out of stainless steel so they are rust proof, corrosion proof, and stain resistant. You can just wash them and reuse them.

Also, because they are stainless steel, some argue that they don’t add that papery or plastic taste that paper filters give off, and the coffee tastes even better as a result.

Reasons to Go Filterless

Besides the fact that they are environmentally friendly and cost-effective, there are many other reasons to use a filterless pour over coffee maker.

First, they are tiny, so they are perfect if you’re on the go. They are usually around 5 inches tall and 5 inches wide and they weigh no more than 6 oz. This means it’ll save you counter and cabinet space. And because they are small and durable, it also makes them ideal for traveling.

Second, is that filterless coffee makers are easy to use and easy to clean. Set up is as simple as plopping them on top of your mug or tumbler and you’re good to go. For cleaning, you can rinse them with warm soapy water or put them in the dishwasher.

Last but not least, since there is no paper involved, you get to enjoy all the natural oils and nutrients from the coffee beans instead of it being soaked up by paper filters.

Filterless pour over coffee makers range from $15-$25 and many of them come with lifetime warranties.

Here are our top 5 recommendations for filterless pour over coffee makers:

Hario Cafeor Stainless Steel Coffee Dripper

Hario is a Japanese heat-resistant glassware company that specializes in making coffee products. They have a reputation for making durable and long-lasting products and the Hario Cafeor Stainless Steel Coffee Dripper is no exception.

With its precise construction and fine mesh, this coffee dripper makes strong and rich coffee. People love the Hario filterless pour over coffee maker because it’s user-friendly and it has a fun and colorful design, which is different from most other stainless steel pour overs.

Tip: when using the Hario pour-over or any pour over devices, pour 50g of hot water over the grinds and let it “bloom” for 30 seconds before pouring in more water. This will give your coffee a richer and fuller body.

Arctic Tumblers Pour Over Coffee Filter

At 5.3 inches tall and 5.3 inches wide, this little guy holds a lot of power to make clean tasting coffee. It’s made of laser cut 18/8 kitchen grade stainless steel which means its rust proof and stain proof and completely BPA free.

To make your coffee, simply stand the filter over your tumbler or cup and slowly pour water over the coffee grinds. The best part is you can use it to make a cup for yourself or for several people.

The Arctic Tumblers Pour Over Coffee Filter comes from a company that specializes in making beverage products for those always on the go so you can be sure it’s durable. You can use it when you’re going camping this summer or climbing up Mount Everest, the possibilities are endless.

This product also comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not 100% satisfied, you can get a full refund.

Gooseneck Pour Over Coffee Maker

You might not see it but coffee has nutrients and natural flavor oils that can sometimes get stuck on paper filters. With this finely meshed filterless pour over coffee maker, you can make sure every drop of flavor ends up in your cup.

The Gooseneck Pour Over Coffee Maker is made of stainless steel and has a plastic grip on the side for you to hold onto without burning your hands.  

As an added bonus, the company also provides a little spoon for precise scooping and measuring. This product is also dishwasher safe.

Tip: Chill your filterless pour over coffee in the fridge for a few hours in the summer for cold, delicious coffee (another option for cold brew is the french press).

Osaka Coffee Stainless Steel Pour Over Filter Cone

You might be wondering, if a filterless coffee filter has no material surrounding it, how does the water stay in? Doesn’t it just leak out? Good question.

It doesn’t because of the cone shape. Even if a few drops somehow squeeze out, they’ll simply drip down the sides and into your cup. Genius, right? With the Osaka Coffee Filter Cone, you never have to worry about spillage.

Another unique feature of the Osaka Coffee Pour Over Filter is that it was designed with two layers of mesh which helps prevent spillage and allows for a fuller body brew. You can get away with using coarse coffee grinds with this filter because the water will go down a little slower than the other ones.

Cafellissimo Paperless Pour Over Coffee Maker

The Cafellissimo Paperless Pour Over Coffee Maker is converting coffee lovers into die-hard pour over fans every day. It has two layers of double mesh and a bottom mesh which allows all of the natural oils that sometimes collects at the bottom of other filters to fall through. Fans say this device brews some of the strongest and move flavorful coffee they’ve ever tasted and even their most hard-to-impressed friends were impressed.

This pour over coffee maker is also made of stainless steel which means you never have to pre-rinse it because stainless steel heats up in contact. Paper filters can also add a papery taste to your coffee if you do not rinse them out thoroughly but with stainless steel, you don’t have to worry about that.

When you’re done, simply soak it in warm soapy water and rinse or throw it in the dishwasher.

Best Pour Over Commercial Coffee Makers

If you’re looking for a pour over coffee brewer to bring to your restaurant, coffee shop or university, we have some options that we’d love to share.

Modbar Pour Over System

Modbar’s Pour-Over System brings precision-temperature water to the counter – no more pitchers losing valuable temperature between the back wall and the pour-over solution.

You can pour directly into your Chemex, Hario or other pour-over system — you define the temperature. Modbar even provides a holder for many Chemex and Hario systems as well as optional spray or stream nozzle tips.

Curtis Seraphim Pour Over Brewer, Under Counter

This under counter brewing system has a water heating unit that is installed below the counter to remove barriers between you and your customers. It includes two brew heads (seraphs)―one under- counter water heating unit, and one touchscreen controller, and one drip tray. Once you set the temperature and flow rate, it won’t change. It will  on this pour over brewer, so you can set it and let it do all the work.

Curtis Gold Cup Pour Over Brewer

This high-tech pour over brewer has a digital control module – a large 4.3” touch-screen with onscreen instructions that streamlines operation. The touch-screen has a special feature which helps train staff rapidly.  

Bonus Tips for Making Pour Over Coffee:

Always Use High Quality, Freshly Roasted Coffee

Our advice is this: Whatever coffee beans you’re using, make sure that each bag is labeled with a roast date and is use it within 2-3 weeks. If you don’t know what coffee beans to use, check out our favorite ones.

Use Filtered Water When Making Pour Over Coffee

One of the reasons why the coffee at your local coffee shop taste much better is because they use water filtration systems that remove chlorine and other contaminants that interfere with taste and smell of coffee. If you are brewing from home make sure you are using filtered water. Don’t invest in a good quality pour over coffee maker and expensive beans if you’re just going to use unfiltered tap water.

Use the Appropriate Coffee Filters

There are many different sizes and types of coffee filters. Make sure you’re using the correct filter for your brewing equipment.

Use the Correct Coffee to Water Ratio

For batch brewing, the standard recipe is 4 oz of ground coffee for a 1/2 gallon batch of coffee. Manual brew methods will each have their own unique recipe, but the ratio tends to stay between 1:15 and 1:18.

Clean and Maintain Your Pour Over Coffee Maker

Pour over coffee makers have to be cleaned and maintained so that they continue to work properly and last you longer. Make sure that every part of your brewing setup is being cleaned regularly. This includes brew baskets, serving vessels, and grinders.  

Also, make sure to clean brew baskets and servers at least once a week with Tabz –  a coffee brewer cleaner. This will remove stains, oil build up, and residue and keep your coffee tasting great.  

You can clean your grinder once a month using Grindz pellets. This will remove any oil build up inside the grinder and ensures that the grinder continues to grind and portion consistently.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for pour over coffee makers that come with filters, without them or if you’re in search for something more on the commercial end, we hope you’ve decided what best pour over coffee maker is for you. What’s important is that if fits your lifestyle and serves the purpose you intend to use it for (home, office, coffee shop, etc).

Also, as long as you’re making pour over coffee the right way — using fresh coffee beans, filtered water and you’re cleaning and maintaining your pour over coffee maker, you’re all set. Remember that it’s the small things that make a difference.  

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