Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers in 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide

If you’ve seen your local barista making pour-over coffee, why not try embracing this remarkably rewarding brewing method at home?

By taking full control of this manual, hands-on approach to making coffee, you’ll be able to dial in the variables to get that perfect golden cup of coffee.

The great news?

Pour-over coffee is not only deceptively simple to make – more on that below – but the gear you need is pretty reasonably priced, too.

We’ll be showing you how to make lip-smacking pour-over coffee the easy way. First, though, we’ll break down these 5 pour-over coffee makers:

5 Recommended pour-over coffee makers

We’ll get directly down to business with our reviews. After presenting 5 of the best choices on the market for your home and garden, we’ll walk you through how to focus on getting the most appropriate tool for your needs.

Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers in 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide 2

Hario dominate this small vertical of the coffee industry with a deep bench of impressive products to make your life easier.

The classic V60 dripper is a wonderful tool to add to any pour-over arsenal. What makes it so good?

In a word, simplicity.

This model is ceramic but you can also choose from glass, metal, or stainless steel.

You’ll get a single oversized hole allowing you to regulate water flow which in turn impacts extraction. Experiment until you have the taste dialed right in then replicate for consistent results every time.

Spiral ribs let your coffee grounds expand optimally while the conical shape of this dripper lends well to coffee with floral and fruity undertones.

Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers in 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide 4

 

Making pour-over with this dripper will take you less than 5 minutes and return coffee as good as anything you’ll get in your local coffee shop.

Pros.

  • Ceramic body for optimum heat retention
  • Stripped-down Japanese minimalism
  • Regulate water flow to alter the taste to suit
  • Spiral ribs allow your coffee to expand
  • Conical shape brings out the best in coffee with fruity or floral notes

Cons.

  • Quiet delicate so operate with a light touch

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Kalita is another heavyweight presence in the pour-over space. The iconic Wave 185 dripper comes with a unique shape allowing for the ultimate extraction with the very minimum of effort.

You can opt for this stainless steel iteration or roll with glass or ceramic if you prefer. There’s little difference in performance between them so it’s more a matter of which you like the look of.

The flat bottom of the dripper along with the trademark wave shape combine to generate a mouth-watering extraction rivalling any espresso machine.

There are no filters thrown in here so make provision before purchase if you want to get going right out the box.

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Pros.

  • Available in this stainless steel variant and also in glass or ceramic
  • Proprietary wave filter promotes a rich and even extraction every time
  • Flat-bottomed bed lends to great and consistent extraction
  • Elegant and understated aesthetic
  • Innovative 3-hole design improves extraction further

Cons.

  • You don’t get any filters at all included

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Chemex delivers a borosilicate glass beauty capable of turning out 6 cups of delicious pour-over so how do you use this contraption?

Well, it couldn’t be easier. We’d advise grinding your own beans directly before brewing for best results. A medium-coarse grind works well. Use a triple-layered proprietary bonded filter which you should dampen to preheat before brewing. Add your coffee grounds then slowly pour in the water as directed in our guide below. The ideal temperature is 200F. Ditch the filter, pour and serve.

If you fancy keeping some intense cold coffee concentrate on hand, pop your brewer directly into the refrigerator, cover, and keep chilled for up to a fortnight. Use this concentrate as the base for specialty coffees or to drink as cold brew.

For ease of use alongside exceptional value for money from a brand you can rely on, this brewer is one of our personal favorites.

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Pros.

  • Borosilicate glass durable and doesn’t leach and smells or residues either
  • Cover and refrigerate if you’re want cold coffee concentrate on tap
  • Use regular Chemex paper filters so no messy clean-up
  • Super-simple to use even for complete beginners
  • Makes up to 6 cups so ideal for the whole family

Cons.

  • Warranty only valid if you buy this coffee maker direct

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Right off the bat, this Bodum coffee maker has a commanding presence and makes a real conversation piece. Does it make good coffee, though?

Absolutely. You get a permanent filter with a fine stainless steel mesh so the sediment stays in the coffee maker and doesn’t end up in your cup.

Made from durable borosilicate glass, you won’t find any residue or flavor tainting your coffee. The carafe is also highly heat-resistant.

The generous 8-cup capacity means this brewer is great if you’re looking to caffeinate the whole family in the morning.

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Pros.

  • Permanent stainless steel filter is highly effective and economic, too
  • A straightforward introduction to pour-over coffee
  • Highly heat-resistant borosilicate glass
  • Make up to 8 cups of coffee in a single batch
  • Completely dishwasher-safe so no niggling concerns about clean-up

Cons.

  • Plastic on filter is less than appealing

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Last but certainly not least. Coffee Gator’s contribution is a solid contender for the best pour-over coffee maker. What makes it stand out?

The 14oz sizing gives you ample firepower for all the family. You can also roll with a smaller carafe or a supersized 27-ouncer at the upper end. There are 3 colors to choose from giving you great all-round flexibility.

The paperless mesh filter slashes running costs while also reducing your environmental footprint for the double-win. The fine mesh ensures no coffee grounds make their way into your cup.

A cool-touch filter grip means there’s no chance of scorched fingers when you’re serving up.

Embrace the majesty of the stripped-down pour-over method with Coffee Gator and you won’t be rushing over to your single-serve machine in a hurry.

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Pros.

  • Generous 14oz capacity allows you to brew up for the whole family
  • Efficient laser-cut filter cuts down on running costs and eco-footprint
  • Enjoy your coffee completely sediment-free
  • Choose from 3 sizes and 3 colors to suit
  • Carafe is completely free of BPA and other known contaminants

Cons.

  • Plastic on filter is less than appealing

OK ...

OK, with our review finished up, we’d like to round out with some handy hints on the rewarding process of making pour-over coffee. We’ve also curated a list of answers to all the most frequently asked questions about pour-over.

 

What Do You Need to Make Pour-Over Coffee?

You can get going with little more than a dripper if you want to use pre-ground coffee.

We do not recommend this. 

Coffee beans start losing their flavor and aroma within 30 minutes of grinding. Buy pre-ground beans and you’re already off to a poor start with coffee long past its best.

If you’re prepared to invest a little time, trouble, and money into the pour-over method, you’ll find the rewards more than worthwhile.

You should strongly consider adding the following kit to your arsenal to complement your pour-over coffee maker:

  • Electric Burr Grinder
  • Gooseneck Pour-Over Kettle 
  • Scale with Timer

 

Electric Burr Grinder

Grinding fresh coffee beans right before you brew up is central to getting that golden cup of coffee you’re searching for.

You could use a manual grinder like this JavaPresse. Quiet and easy to use with 18 settings, you’ll get the job done but with too much heat and friction. Blade grinders generate too much static and you’ll also struggle with precision.

Consider an electric grinder instead. One of our favorites is the Baratza Encore, an award-winner with 40 different grind sizes and steel burrs for precision and durability. You’ll get much more precision along with none of the heat or static that can damage your beans. 

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Gooseneck Pour-Over Kettle 

Gooseneck Kettle

You’ll need to pour the water very slowly using a circular motion when you’re making pour-over.

While this technique is not tough to master, it’s hard to pull of with a regular kettle. 

Use instead something like this OXO Brew Adjustable Kettle where you’ll get the slender gooseneck spout you need along with a timer baked right in.

Scale with Timer

Coffee beans all come in varying densities meaning you’re likely to miss the mark if you try gauging your coffee grounds by eye. What looks similar by volume could be markedly different in terms of weight.

Treat yourself to a precise digital scale like the Hario Scale and Timer and you’ll cut down on kit while guaranteeing you get the optimum coffee/water ratio for your pour-over coffee.

Right then…

With those basics in place and all the equipment you need lined up, how do you make pour-over?

How to Make Great Pour-Over Coffee

  1. Bring 20oz of water to boiling point
  2. Grind 30g of your favorite coffee to a medium-coarse grind. It should resemble sea salt in consistency
  3. Pop a filter in your dripper. You can wet the filter to pre-heat it with hot water if you want
  4. Add your coffee grounds and make sure the grounds are level
  5. Put your brewer onto the carafe or cup and place all your equipment on a scale. Hit Tare
  6. Start pouring as you start your timer. The first pour helps the grounds to bloom and lets any residual gases escape. Pour from the outer rim into the center using a slow, circular motion. Speed is not of the essence. Take it very slowly. Stop pouring when your scale reads 60g. This initial pour should take roughly 15 seconds and you should have saturated all the grounds
  7. Start pouring from the center moving outward then come back toward the center. Add 90g so you’re at 150g. You’re trying at this stage of pouring to sink all the grounds. You should be pouring for 60 seconds or so
  8. Add another 100g of water and pour as above for 15 to 20 seconds
  9. Make your final pour adding 100g so you’re at a total of 350g water. Pour for 20 seconds
  10. Serve

A Final Word

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