If you want to experience quality coffee at its finest, you need one of the best pour-over coffee makers. However, when it comes to this style of coffee brewing, there are really multiple pieces required to make a great cup. This roundup will focus primarily on the best pour-over coffee drippers, the most important item required for the manual drip method. But, if you're looking to buy a complete pour-over setup that includes a pour-over kettle and bean grinder, I've also included my recommendations for those as well, so that you can stock up on all the equipment you need for a perfectly nuanced cup.
But, back to drippers. There are tons of options available today, so it's worth considering how much time and money you're willing to spend. Some coffee drippers will require more water pulsing than others, so if you prefer to pour your water and walk away (rather than having to pour in water throughout the brew cycle), look for a model with a flat bottom instead of cone bottom. It's also worth considering whether you're up for the ongoing expense (and hassle) of buying paper filters. Some dripper models will require that you buy their proprietary filters, while others come with a reusable permanent filter.
Lastly, are you looking to brew a single cup or an entire carafe? If you're looking for the latter, some drippers will come with an attached carafe, like the much-lauded CHEMEX model, which is a bit pricey but has the added benefit of having a vessel for your brew (so there's no hunting for mason jars or appropriately sized mugs).
With that in mind, take a look at the options below. All of the drippers (and extras) come highly rated on Amazon, and some have even amassed thousands of positive reviews.
1. The Best Overall
Not only does the Kalita 185 Coffee Dripper come with an impressive 4.3-star Amazon rating, it's also Wirecutter's top pick for best coffee dripper, thanks to its ability to bring out the most pronounced flavors. The lightweight glass dripper retains heat well and is supremely easy to use. Plus the flat-bottom design, with three drain holes, allows for even water drainage. Designed to make 16 to 26 ounces, this coffee dripper is small enough to fit over most mugs but you'll need a large pitcher for larger brews.
The biggest drawback with this model is that you must use the brand's proprietary wave filters, and they're somewhat expensive since they're imported from Japan.
Fans say: "The best coffee dripper that I've owned. Regular coffee now compares to a more expensive blend. I don't know if it's the placement of holes, drip rate, or the paper filters that must be bought to fit; but it works!"
2. The Best Coffee Dripper & Carafe Combo
For a dripper-and-carafe-in-one setup, the elegant Six Cup Classic CHEMEX is a fantastic choice. The pour-over allows you to brew six cups at a time, and you can cover and store the carafe in the fridge until you're ready to reheat, all without the risk of losing flavor. It's made of non-porous Borosilicate glass which will not absorb odors or chemical residues. Plus, it wins points on aesthetics: It comes with a lovely polished wood collar and leather tie. However, since there's a cone-shaped filter, you should be prepared to hover over the dripper with your kettle to pour the water, as one reviewer noted, "bit by bit."
Similar to the Kalita, this CHEMEX dripper requires that use CHEMEX filters (FP-1, FC-100, FS-100, or FSU-100). While they're also a little pricey, many fans swear that the filters are part of what makes a cup of CHEMEX-brewed coffee so great.
Fans say: "I've had this for a few weeks now and I still get a kick out of using it every morning. It is extremely simple - one piece of glass in the exact right shape, with a little button molded in so you can make half a pot, and a wood handle held on with a rawhide lace. A really cool, timeless design that also happens to make the best coffee I've ever had at home. Make sure you get the Chemex filters to go with it. They're much heavier than the ones from the supermarket and you'll need them both to fit the carafe properly and to make the best coffee."
3. The Best Single Cup Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Whether you're looking to brew a single cup at a time or you don't want to deal with filters, the Meltera Single Cup Coffee Maker is the way to go. The dishwasher-safe, stainless steel dripper is reusable and eco-friendly, and its ultra-fine mesh keeps coffee grounds and sediment out of your cup. The dripper comes with a removable stand that fits most cups and mugs, and a non-slip silicone ring for stability. Plus, it's extremely portable so you can take this with you while traveling.
It's worth noting, however, that since this is a cone-shaped dripper, you'll need to pour small amounts of water in at a time.
Fans say: "I love this product and now use it every morning. I especially liked the pdf of the instructions that I was emailed before the product arrived. It made me excited to try out the product even more. The filter is amazing, it works great and makes a really strong and delicious cup of coffee. I highly recommend it - it is perfect for a quick, delicious, single serving cup."
4. The Best On A Budget: A Filterless Dripper With A Carafe
This pour-over coffee maker from Osaka comes with a stainless steel reusable filter (so you won't have repeated paper filters to factor into your budget), and also includes a thermal shock-resistant glass carafe and a glass lid so you're getting a lot of bang for your buck for less than $30. The unique double filter design is laser cut with additional mesh to prevent grinds or sediment from getting through, and the paperless design allows the coffee's natural essential oils to get through. Plus, the filter's curved flow channels help you get optimal extraction. The colorful, heat-resistant collar (available in four different colors) lets you hold and pour from the hot carafe with ease. For caffeine lovers, this carafe has a large, 1.1-liter capacity.
Fans say: "The filter is very well [made]. It doesn't need a paper filter, so the coffee keeps all its flavor. The glass is thick enough to feel sturdy without becoming cumbersome. With the size, I'm able to pour about 6 cups of coffee."
Also Nice: The Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Having the freshest ground beans can make all the difference for a premium pour-over, and that's where a conical burr grinder comes into play. The OXO Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is reasonably priced at $100 and has a simple, intuitive design. It offers 15 grind size settings, plus additional micro-settings, and its 40 millimeter stainless steel conical burrs create uniform grounds every time.
Fans say: "[...]The consistency of the grind for my pour-over was perfect - SO much better than the inconsistent grind I was getting from my old machine. My morning cup of Joe is better than ever! I was also concerned that it would be noisy, but compared to my old mill grinder, it's really quiet. :-) It's easy to use, too. I simply pour in the amount of beans I want, set the grind # for the kind of coffee I'm preparing, set the timer (it usually takes about 20 seconds for the amount I use) and, voila! It auto-magically appears in the metal cup, which really does help with the static issue so many products have."
Plus, This Best-Selling Kettle
Backed by more than 2,000 Amazon reviews, the Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle is a fan favorite for a reason. The gooseneck spout allows for precise pour control, an essential quality for pour-over coffee brewing. The elegant stainless steel kettle comes with 1500 watts for quick heating, and heats water to precisely the temperature you need. You can adjust the temperature in one degree increments from 140 degrees to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The digital display lets you monitor the temperature in real time. Plus, it will heat and hold your desired temperature for up to one hour. Best yet: it comes with a one-year warranty.
Fans say: "[...]Quietly brought water to exact temperature. I found the pour and flow rate perfect. Balanced precisely to allow the maximum amount of water to be easily controlled. Super easy to use controls. The accuracy of the temperature display allowed me to keep my water at a constant heated level. [...]"
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