The Best Pour-Over Coffee Maker: Unlike the Chemex and V60, Kalita’s Wave brewer isn’t cone-shaped; it has three drip holes instead of one. This changes things more than you’d think. The flat-bottomed brewer ensures the all water that’s poured over it, one way or another, interacts with the coffee grinds. Water sloping down the sides will run into the coffee before it can reach the holes in the base.
It’s also the easiest brewer to nail down quickly. The compact size makes it a poor choice for making large batches, but it’s perfect for one- or two-person households, outdoorsy people or frequent travelers. Two of our experts said it was the most user-friendly, while the third said it was second. To read the full review, click here.
our-over coffee is nothing new. The Chemex brewer, now iconic, has been around since World War II. Decades before that, a German housewife named Melitta Bentz invented the Melitta filter and pour-over system. But for some time, the place of the pour-over coffee brewer was largely in the cafés and kitchens of coffee professionals. Today, however, pour-over brewers are in the middle of something of a popularity renaissance.
When I asked Dylan Siemens, the 2017 Brewers Cup Champion and Head of Coffee Education at Onyx Coffee Lab, what pour-over systems have over automated drip machines, his answer was technical, practical and scientific.
“There’s really no way to replicate the feeling of making a pour over the right way if you use a machine.”
“It’s much simpler to make the exact amount of coffee you want and you can bring most pour overs with you if you travel or go somewhere else and still want great coffee. There’s also a lot more experimentation you can get into with changing pour technique, water temperature, pour over device and all that,” he said. “But I think for most people it’s a lot about the ritual of it. I feel like I still learn something every time I make a cup of pour over.”
Edward O’Hickey, Educator at Toby’s Estate, echoed Siemens’s sentiment. “There’s really no way to replicate the feeling of making a pour over the right way if you use a machine,” he said. “It’s a completely different experience — it just puts me in a better mood.”
Steve Willingham, Director of Coffee at Oklahoma-based KLLR Coffee said much of the same: “[Pour over] doesn’t make this magical, unattainable cup of coffee, but it does make excellent, fresher coffee — it’s almost meditative. It’s a completely different experience.”
I asked each coffee pro which pour-over brewers are the best, and each said the same three names: Chemex, Hario V60 and Kalita Wave. “Those are the big three. There are others, but none are close to those in popularity,” Willingham said.
So we decided to test each for convenience and quality to determine which is the best for you, the everyday consumer.