Pictured: Kasey pouring coffee from a Kalita Wave Style Brewer wearing a sweater from Everlane.
We’re pretty obsessive about coffee around here. I’ve previously worked as a barista for a number of years; I own (or have owned) in the range of 20 pour over coffee makers; travel for us (both domestic and international) often involves hours of searching for the “best” local coffee in any given city; and when it comes to preparing great coffee at home we have consulted with numerous people just as (or even more) obsessive than we are including award winning baristas, coffee roasters, and owners of some of the world’s best coffee shops.
Using that knowledge and experience, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe are the ten best pour over coffee makers on the market today.
Pictured: Matthew brewing coffee in a Kalita Wave Style Brewer wearing a sweater from Everlane.
Why pour over coffee? So long as you’re doing it right, it simply tastes better. Coffee is like wine in that each bean packs information in it about where it was grown, the climate, the processing methods, the style of roast, and so much more. With a carefully and thoughtfully brewed cup of coffee you’ll be able to brew a cup of coffee that allows you to highlight all of those beautiful characteristics.
The Top Ten Best Pour Over Coffee Makers of 2019
- Kalita Wave
- Hario Woodneck
- Hario v60
- Clever Coffee Dripper
- Able Kone
- Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker
- Bee House Ceramic Dripper
- Bonmac Dripper
1. Kalita Wave
I was turned on to the Kalita Wave thanks to a recommendation from my friend Robert who recently observed that it was quickly replacing the Hario V60 as the go to coffee maker at many of Japan’s top cafes. Intrigued, I decided to put it through some tests. And, after some carefully side-by-side comparisons to its competitors, I came to the conclusion that he was right: the Kalita Wave is arguably the best pour over coffee maker on the market. We’ve been using it almost exclusively for several months now and are very satisfied. Easy to use and not too fussy, it’s my top recommendation for a pour over coffee brewer for both beginners and more devoted coffee enthusiasts.
Unlike the other drippers on this list the Kalita Wave has a flat bottom with three holes (instead of a cone or wedge shape). I also really like the design of the filters which flair out into numerous points which prevents the filter from coming into significant contact with the dripper itself. You can easily highlight the floral notes of a light roast coffee or expand upon the depth of more full bodied coffees.
It’s offered in two sizes – the Kalita Wave 155 and the Kalita Wave 185. The 155 is suitable for brewing 1-2 cups where as the 185 is suitable for brewing 3-4 cups.
You can get the Kalita Wave Style Brewer with a glass carafe from Amazon. Or you can purchase just the standalone dripper in glass, ceramic or stainless steel. We like the glass version best but the differences between each style are pretty negligible.
2. Hario Woodneck Drip Pot
We’re huge fans of the Hario Woodneck Drip Pot. We picked one up several years ago on a trip to Japan and instantly fell in love with it. It consists of an attractive glass carafe with a wood collar along with a reusable flannel filter.
In side by side tests to the other drippers on this list I’ve found coffee brewed in the Woodneck to be juicy, bright and more full-bodied than coffee brewed with a paper filter or metal cone. I have seen some describe that “full-bodied” flavor as “funky.” Although it wouldn’t be my choice of descriptor in this instance, I’m also not afraid of a little funk with my morning coffee or a glass of wine. In fact, I kinda like it.
The Chemex is a classic for a reason. It’s easy to use and is available in multiple sizes and a couple of different styles. We have an 8-cup Chemex that sees a considerable amount of use in part because it’s easy to brew up a large carafe of coffee for multiple people. You can find our Chemex recipe here.
The Chemex uses a thick, patented paper filter that delivers a sweet, bright cup of coffee. An easy recommendation – particularly if you’re regularly brewing coffee for multiple people.
The Chemex is available in 3-cup, 6-cup, 8-cup, and 10-cup sizes in the classic design (with a wood collar) or with a handle. You can select the one you want on Amazon.
The Aeropress is more of a hybrid-style coffee maker than a traditional pour over. However, many of our favorite recipes involve all of the same steps you’d use with a typical pour over (i.e. a 30 second bloom) but with the added step of plunging the coffee immersion style at the end of the process. And, of course, you’ll find plenty of recipes by baristas that have hacked the Aeropress for use as a standard pour over brewer.
The Aeropress is easy to use, very forgiving if you make mistakes, and very versatile. It produces a strong, clean cup of coffee. I typically use mine when brewing up a quick cup in the afternoon and because it’s virtually indestructible it accompanies whenever I’m traveling or camping.
5. Hario v60
In the coffee world, the Hario v60 is probably the most well known dripper on the market. It features a series of ridges on the interior of the dripper that spiral down towards the center towards a large, single hole at the bottom. The purpose of this design is to ensure full, even extraction of the ground coffee.
Although I selected the Kalita Wave as my favorite dripper, some of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever enjoyed were brewed using a Hario v60 and you’ll have no trouble finding professional baristas who name the v60 as their favorite brewer on the market. With the proper skill and technique the Hario v60 can produce a perfect cup of coffee. You can find plenty of v60 recipes on line but the main thing to remember is that slow and steady wins the race.
However, it is also less forgiving than the Kalita Wave and far less forgiving that tools like the Aeropress, Clever Coffee Dripper, and so on. The large single hole at the bottom can lead to either a very quick (thus, under extracted) brew or even a clog (created an over extracted brew) if you aren’t being careful. That means it does not lend itself to multi-tasking (i.e. cooking breakfast and brewing coffee at the same time).
6. Clever Coffee Dripper
On first glance, the Clever Coffee Dripper looks an awful lot like the Hario v60 or Kalita Wave but it’s technically an immersion brewer (more like the Aeropress or a French Press).
Whereas the Hario v60 or Kalita Wave can be rewarding if you know what you’re doing but punishing if you’re sloppy, the Clever Coffee Dripper is nearly fool proof. You basically just pour the water into it and release the water when you’re ready.
In my tests with the Clever Coffee Dripper, I’ve rarely poured something that was very exciting but I’ve also rarely poured a cup that was truly disappointing. You can grab the Clever Coffee Dripper from Amazon.
7. Able Kone
The Able Kone is a stainless steel cone with tiny pin-prick sized holes along it’s surface. Although the Kone is often referred to as a stainless steel “filter” for the Chemex, it is technically a brewer. You can place it into any carafe that it will fit into and get the same results.
The biggest benefit to the the Kone is that it eliminates the need for a paper filter. However, the two biggest downsides I’ve found are that it allows more fines and oils to pass through into the cup that a paper filter and that, over a few months of use, it will get clogged thanks to those oils. I’ve found that the quality of the brewer inevitably degrades over time as a result. It’s not my top choice, but I am grateful to have it whenever I run out of paper filters for my other coffee devices. You can grab one here.
8. Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker
Bodum makes a pretty slick looking pour over coffee maker with an included stainless steel mesh filter. It’s very attractive. In our testing, however, it was hard to produce a well balanced and full flavored cup. Most of what we brewed tasted a little weak and under extracted. We experimented with several grind types and ratios but couldn’t quite get a cup we were delighted by.
I’ll confess I’m a little biased against stainless steel mesh filters though and I suspect with further experimenting it’s possible we could be turned around on this one. I have seen people report very positive experiences with the Bodum and I’m really into the design. You can get a Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker from Amazon in several color options and sizes.
9. Bee House Ceramic Dripper
The Bee House Ceramic Dripper is a clean and attractive alternative to the v60 or Kalita Wave. One of the main benefits to the Bee House ceramic dripper is that it works with standard #2 or #4 cone filters that can be found in almost any grocery store whereas filters for the v60, Kalita Wave and Chemex can be hard to find outside of specialty coffee shops. It features a wedge shape design with vertical ribs running along the bottom of the interior.
Get a Bee House Ceramic Dripper here.
10. Bonmac Coffee Dripper
In many ways the Bonmac is the dark horse of the ceramic coffee dripper competition. It’s beloved by many coffee professionals but lacks the fame of the v60 or the buzz of the Kalita wave. It’s a ceramic wedge-shaped dripper with vertical ridges in the bottom and a small hole at the bottom.
Unlike the large hole at the bottom of the v60, for example, the small hole of the Bonmac Dripper takes a little pressure off your technique. Indeed, it’s been the preferred brewing tool of a number of coffee professionals including the folks at Blue Bottle Coffee who used them in their shops for years. Like the Bee House it works with standard #2 cone filters which can be found just about anywhere. This combination of factors makes it a great option for beginners.
Get one from Amazon.
Is your coffee not turning out quite right? Check out some of our tips for brewing better coffee.