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"Pour-over" Coffee makers


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#1 nakji

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 05:44 PM

I wanted to spread the love for a gadget I have in my kitchen. When I moved to Japan, I couldn't afford a full-on drip coffee maker - nor, quite frankly, would there have been room on my kitchen counter for one. So I picked up a plastic cone filter holder - the kind with a platform at the bottom and the handle on the side, so it can fit comfortably over a cup or a pot. I just fit a paper filter in it, add coffee, and pour hot water over until I get the desired quantity of coffee. Yeah, the hot water has to come from somewhere - but a kettle is more versatile than a dedicated coffee maker, so I opted to buy one of those first.Anyway, the thing has worked so great, I never bothered to replace it in Japan, or even in China, where I have a lot more room and money.

The advantages - I can walk away without worrying if I've left a machine on. And it makes a varying quantity of coffee - just a cup, or a pot for 6 equally well. In Asia, it's hard to find an economical coffee maker that makes more than two cups of drip coffee at a time. It cleans up with a rinse, and takes up virtually no room. I'm going to bring one into my office next week, I think; and it would be handy to throw in the car if you're on a long car trip or at the camp and don't like french press/instant coffee.

The disadvantages - If you're making a big pot, you've got to keep coming back to the thing to pour more water over it and give it a stir. Not so bad in the kitchen in the morning, but a pain in the office or some place where you'd want to set it and forget it. It's no replacement for a full-on dedicated coffee-maker in a place that requires a large amount of coffee without babysitting. Also, because there's no burner, the coffee is hot at the beginning, but doesn't stay that way without a thermal pot being employed. And you need some other equipment to generate hot water. In Asia, there's always a machine for hot water for tea floating around, but that's not the case everywhere.

#2 Dakki

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:16 PM

I have one of these (maybe not the same - it's basically a ribbed plastic funnel on a base) and a rather high-end programmable drip coffeemaker and the funnel gadget sees a lot more use. I think it makes better coffee, too.
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#3 heidih

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:27 PM

For years that was all I had- the one made by Melitta. It took a while to learn to wet the grounds first and then add more water. It is wonderful when you want just one cup. I like the way the coffee tastes as well, but I am not a "coffee person". I wonder if they make it with one of those gold filters that does not require a separate paper filter?

#4 nakji

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:36 PM

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that. I learnt to do that in Vietnam, where they always do that in the Vietnamese coffee makers. I wonder why it makes a difference - does it get the oils out better?

#5 heidih

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:40 PM

My learning experience was that if you just pour all the water in, the grounds start to float around and clump and some of the water seems to run through without really working on the coffee to extract flavor. That is my completely uneducated guess as to the science, but in practice it sure makes a difference.

#6 Dakki

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:58 PM

I wonder if they make it with one of those gold filters that does not require a separate paper filter?


I've wondered about that too. My gadget is shaped for the folding filters and all the gold filters I've seen seem to be of the other, basket-shaped sort.
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#7 nakji

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:01 PM

Here's a picture of mine - just a plastic one I got at Muji, and it takes the cone filters, too. I've never seen a metal/gold filter one.

2010 09 11 005.JPG

#8 Dakki

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:13 PM

I think we have identical ones nakji. Also, I love your little pot.
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#9 blue_dolphin

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:40 PM

I'm a big fan of the pour-over method. I have single cup version for both home and work.

A friend gifted me one of these Melitta ceramic pots that I use when I want to make a bigger volume.

I had a gold cone filter for a long time but went back to paper. It seemed to me that unless I washed the gold filter out promptly with lots of hot soapy water, it started smelling like old coffee.
The gold ones are available, more commonly in the larger #4 size, but also in the smaller size that would fit a single cup holder.

#10 nakji

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:47 PM

I think we have identical ones nakji. Also, I love your little pot.


Thanks. Also Muji. :biggrin:

I had a gold cone filter for a long time but went back to paper. It seemed to me that unless I washed the gold filter out promptly with lots of hot soapy water, it started smelling like old coffee.


You know, the funny thing about my one is that I never seem to give it more than a rinse from the tap, yet coffee oils and grit never seem to accumulate on it. Another reason why I love it.

#11 Snadra

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 12:44 AM

I have a Melita cone thingy which was sent to me from overseas. The filters are easy to get here, but not the cones they sit in for some reason.

I also have one of these Bodum Solo set-ups. It has three pieces, plus the cup. The coffee goes into the bottom section, then you insert a plastic cup which has holes in it and slows the water flowing through, and there's a lid to top it off, which I don't always put on (sometimes the coffee 'burps' at me as it's filtering through).

I love them! I generally prefer filter coffee to espresso style and using these is nearly as easy as making a cup of tea (and much better than these. I also find them easier to deal with than a small plunger pot.

#12 vice

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:28 AM

Chemex also makes pour-over pots that are great for larger quantities.
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#13 andiesenji

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:37 AM

Chemex also makes pour-over pots that are great for larger quantities.



I still have a 10-cup Chemex that I bought in 1969. I still have an unopened box of the big filters, unfolded. I used these handy filters for a lot of things besides coffee - they are thicker than other coffee filters and hold together well when carrying a heavy load. Before I got a dedicated yogurt cheese filter some years ago, I used the Chemex to drain yogurt.
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#14 Chris Birkett

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 01:47 AM

One of the popular things in the coffee world right now is the Clever Coffee Dripper. It's a regular pourover coffee maker with a valve that doesn't open unless it's placed on a cup, like the BREWT for tea. It's basically the best of both worlds: full immersion brewing like a French press, but with the sludge filtered out.

I have one both at home and at work, and use them regularly. Highly recommended.

#15 andiesenji

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 12:40 PM

You can also use Adagio's Ingenuitea brewer that works the same way and you can get it in either a 16 ounce or a 32 ounce size.

I use the 32 ounce all the time for tea and decant the tea into a glass teapot that can be microwaved to reheat or can be set on a warming plate. I have three so I can brew different types of tea when I have guests.

I have one of the 16 ounce that I mainly use for brewing herbal infusions for cooking.

I gave one to a friend who was traveling, as she can't stand the coffee brewers in hotel rooms and this brewer is microwaveable so can heat the water too. She uses regular grind coffee in it and it works just fine.
The filter does get a bit discolored but a bit of bleach in water will easily remedy that.
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#16 TheFuzzy

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 09:32 PM

All,

I have a cone filter which has a little conical screw-on mesh "capsule" at the bottom. This doesn't even require a filter, since you put the coffee grounds in the capsule. It's nice for camping, but doesn't make quite as good coffee as a regular cone filter does.
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#17 Anna N

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:57 PM

Pour over coffee maker.jpg

Kerry Beal spotted this at our local Re-Use Centre this afternoon and I had to have it - for less than the price on it - which is a mere $1. Great fun. It is branded as BonJour. I don't drink tea but it makes coffee as well and I see using it as Andie suggested, for infusions. Love a toy that costs so little.
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#18 nakji

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:49 AM

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#19 ensete

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 02:07 AM

i usually use a melitta cone with unbleached filter. the coffee i prefer is only sold pre-ground with a somewhat coarse grind, good for my french press, but if i put the coffee into the melitta filter, the water would just run right through. so i put the coffee into a cup and pour the heated water over it, set a timer for 2 min and pour that mixture into the paper lined cone. it really strains the coffee, so it actually works much like the french press, but without the coffee oils you get using the french press. the french press makes better coffee, but is a hassle to take apart for cleaning. cleaning the extra cup in the dishwasher is far less work.

#20 Foodietopo

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 02:55 AM

I use a combination of Chemex, Kalita and Hario V60 dripper. I had never used a pour over dripper until I moved to Japan in 2008. The first time I saw my wife use one, I almost believed that the pour over was just a weird replacement for a proper machine. After visiting a few very good café, we bought a magazine about coffee and we both started to improve our pour over technique.

We also recently graduated from Starbucks coffee to a small local roaster. Poor over is really nice. I am now thinking about trying a nel drip and the siphon maker.

I recently visited a very nice coffee shop where they used a nel drip. Japan is truly the land of great coffee artist.

If you are interested, I wrote about coffee shops which uses pour over method on my blog.
http://foodietopogra...ategory/coffee/
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#21 Paul Kierstead

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 07:32 AM

One of the curious things about the Technivorm is that really is basically a pour over; you could actually use the filter holder as one. Of course, all filter drips are also essentially pour over, especially if they are fast enough. To get closer to pour-over, especially for small quantities in the Technivorm, I close the valve till some water gets in there and do something close to the full immersion.

I think the point of wetting the grinds in a pour over is, indeed, as someone said: stop them from all displacing when you pour. Well, it definitely helps in my experience anyway.

#22 Darienne

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 07:23 PM

I'm not sure where it came from, but we have one of the pretty gold filter thingies that HeidiH and others are talking about. I don't use it for the same reason we quit using the French press.

Although the coffee tastes better without the paper filter, the filter filters out a lot of the oil which reacts badly with my internal GERD-prone person. The oil is yummy but very hard on the digestive system...or so I've heard.
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#23 andiesenji

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 07:46 PM

I'm not sure where it came from, but we have one of the pretty gold filter thingies that HeidiH and others are talking about. I don't use it for the same reason we quit using the French press.

Although the coffee tastes better without the paper filter, the filter filters out a lot of the oil which reacts badly with my internal GERD-prone person. The oil is yummy but very hard on the digestive system...or so I've heard.



On my Vintage coffee brewer page
If you scroll down to the "Curtis Coffee Brewer" you will see a pour-over brewer from 1959 that does not require a paper filter.
It actually has two filter elements, a removable "medium" filter and one attached to the metal cone that is extra fine.

Back in the '30s the "drip" coffee brewers made by stoneware and china companies were very popular and had both ceramic filters or metal filters.
This page exhibits several interesting old drip brewers.
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#24 nakji

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:29 PM

I wonder why they're not more popular? They're perfect for singletons or people with small/mobile kitchens.

#25 Dakki

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:46 PM

Too cheap and low-tech for people to believe it really works well?

I got mine for a camping trip and I was really surprised what good coffee it makes.
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#26 nakji

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:02 PM

I'm not sure I'll ever go back to a coffee maker. It's so easy to clean up my little one.

And it doesn't burn the coffee.

#27 andiesenji

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 11:19 AM

I'm not sure I'll ever go back to a coffee maker. It's so easy to clean up my little one.

And it doesn't burn the coffee.


Exactly the reason I don't like most coffee brewers. I absolutely can't stand "stale" coffee and for me that staling occurs in as little as 20 minutes after brewing and I have become more sensitive to this over the years.
Needless to say, I don't drink coffee in restaurants.
I've used the various types of pour-over brewers and they work fine if the coffee is served immediately - it's when it has to be kept heated for a time that engenders my complaint.
Pour-over, single cup brewing is just fine, as long as the coffee itself is of very good to excellent quality.
At home I use a single serve Senseo and I grind my own coffee (sometimes roast it too) and make my own pods with a little appliance that does the job beautifully. This is just a bit less messy than using a single serve pour-over filter.
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#28 natasha1270

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 08:31 AM

Does anyone have experience with these permanent coffee filters with pour-over brewer?

http://www.amazon.co...9252495&sr=1-64

Edited by natasha1270, 04 March 2011 - 08:32 AM.

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#29 Hassouni

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:06 AM

So I had my first ever pourover coffee today, from Filter Coffeehouse in DC. It was all made using Hario gear, from the v60 cone to the Buono kettle to the little glass beaker thing that the coffee dripped into. I really liked it (I usually drink either French Press, Turkish, or Vietnamese coffee), and I'd like to maybe get a setup for myself. I'm curious as to how the open-style cones like the Hario differ in end result from the restricted cones such as the classic Melitta design. If I can avoid spending $50+ on a fancy kettle (as needed by the open design), that'd be great, if the end product is comparable.

#30 MikeHartnett

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:38 PM

I'm not sure what you're referring to when you ask about the difference between open-style and restricted cones. The V60 cone has spiral-ribbed walls to aid in proper extraction (no idea whether this actually does anything). I will say that to achieve optimal results, you will need a kettle in the style of the Buono - standard kettles don't provide you with the level of control that the Buono does, and proper pour over depends on a consistent pour. If the idea of standing over the cone pouring for several minutes is a turn-off, I'd suggest the Clever dripper. It's basically a combination of a pour over and a french press. It has a valve at the bottom to keep the water in; you pour in all the water, wait for the desired amount of time, and then place on top of the cup, where it will release the water. It uses paper filters, so it results in a cleaner cup than french press, but does have a heavier body as a result of the complete immersion style of brewing.