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What pour-over dripper should I get?

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Filter coffee is fast becoming one of the more popular ways to enjoy coffee at home. But with so much to choose from, what should we get? - I have done a quick overview of my top 5. This is all based on my intimate experience with these drippers.

This plastic dripper could be dubbed the “everyday hero” simply because of its versatility. This dripper is for the brewer that likes to try a variety of different coffee roasters at home but also doesn’t have the capital to splash out on a bunch of drippers. Compared to other materials and drippers, the plastic V60 is always going to give you great temperature stability. I find the plastic doesn’t highlight any specific elements of the coffee and just allows it to be itself. Based on my experience, I tend to find brews on a plastic dripper sweeter, higher body and a sound/safe representation of what the coffee has to offer. However, I also find that the coffees aren’t always expressed to their full potential + I have found a tendency of plastic drippers to collapse in structure slightly as they cool. Overall, the plastic dripper is the cheapest dripper on the market and it’s not going to let you down.

Pros - Versatile, durable, cheap, great heat retention.

Cons - Structure collapse, not pulling out the full potential of the coffee.

I have always been a big fan of the Kalita Wave and flatbed brewers. This dripper isn’t very popular in Australia. However, this dripper is very popular overseas, and some of the best coffees I have ever tasted have been from a Kalita. The theory behind flatbed brewing is that all coffee grounds would be extracted more “evenly” over, say, a V60 cone. The small holes crate a small draw downtime. I find that this creates a higher perceived body. This allows you to potentially grind a lot courser than you usually would for a V60, which can unlock new potential flavours in your coffee (I will explain this in more detail in an upcoming blog).

They have 4 different materials and 2 different sizes. My favourite material and size are the 155 metal Kalita (small size). Typically what you will find from the 155 is a vibrant and elevated acidity experience, accompanied by great clarity and transparency of the coffee. This dripper is really good for people who don’t typically want to be using high doses and using slightly darker or more developed coffees. With all Kalita drippers, you will also need to purchase the papers as well. I tend to find more texture from these papers at the expense of maybe losing the subtle notes in more delicate coffees. One of the biggest downfalls of this dripper, in my experience, is that not all roast types work with it; it struggles to capture the full picture with faster and lighter roasted coffees. Overall, a great dripper if you’re looking for clarity and lifted acidity in your filters.

Pros - Increased clarity, elevated acidity, flatbed brewing, more perceived body.

Cons - Loses subtle notes of coffee through a paper filter, not all coffees work on this dripper and limited brew methods.

This dripper is by far the most popular dripper I have seen in cafes and for its affordable price, it's a great first dripper. In my first brewers' cup campaign ever I used ceramic v60s and I remember telling judges on stage why I used them. The ceramic material retains heat over a longer period while taking a while to heat up. What's cool here is that you have the option to pre-heat the cone for more extraction, or you could opt for a hotter temperature in the early stages and allow the bed to head up naturally with water poured onto it. They both have their benefits. In correlation to flavour, the most common characteristic of a ceramic dripper is the texture. I always find a bigger body and more texture than expected with a ceramic dripper. The ceramic also amplifies the dominant notes of the coffee. In the cooler stages, the coffee develops more, resulting in increased texture and sweetness. Coffees that lack texture and body work extremely well with the V60. All coffees are going to be represented well through this dripper, however, I find that

subtle notes in the coffee may be overshadowed by the main notes.

Pros - Affordable, Good texture and body, great for coffees lacking body, cooling down great.

Cons - they are fragile and can break, subtle notes may be overshadowed by dominant notes.

This dripper is by far one of my favourite drippers of all time. This dripper became very popular at my workplace and competition after Sam Corra brought it to the World Brewers Cup Stage with one of the most delicious coffees I have ever tasted in my life, Finca Deborah Washed Carbonic Maceration from Jameson Savage in Panama. This dripper is the fastest draining dripper out of all the Hario V60 range, and quite frankly out of most drippers. Being made of metal, it has very volatile heat retention, allowing you to brew coffees slightly hotter and finer if you wish. Typically with the metal filter, I find clarity, acidity and vibrancy are always elevated to a new level. You get to taste all that the coffee has to offer in a very easy drinking experience. I love to use the 4/6 method, and interchange between 15g when I want to have highlighted flavours, and 20g for a more rounded and textured experience. The downfall of this V60 is that if there was an issue with green/roasting, you won’t be able to hide it. There’s also much more room for error with this dripper, a miss pour or poor brew method will be punished with dryness and wateriness. It puts the spotlight on the coffee and allows it to be itself. This dripper is for the serious brewer.

Pros - Transparency, vibrancy and acidity boost, fast draining.

Cons- Expensive, will expose bad coffees/roasts, not much room for error.

This dripper by far is my favourite pick of the bunch. I have used it in pretty much all of the brewing competitions that allowed for it. It may just be personal preference, yet there’s not much to dislike with this gorgeous looking dripper. Apart from its visual aesthetic, this dripper is also extremely versatile with the ability to take 2 completely different types of paper filters; The V60 & Kalita Papers. This in itself gives you so much more versatility if you like to try lots of different brew methods and roasters. You can easily adapt brew methods from other drippers onto this brewer + use its own. I love using the 4/6 method with V60 exercising extended time between pours for more extraction power (more on this one soon). For me, it provides the best representation of the coffee without losing anything either. It may take some time to figure out the perfect brew for you, but once you’re there it's such a great time. The material used is ceramic, and it isn’t that thick, so not as much thermal retention as a V60 Ceramic dripper but enough that you will notice most brews done on the Origami will display an increased body & texture as it cools. The “zig-zag” shape of the brewer can either slow down drawdown time (with a Kalita Paper) or speed it up (with a V60 paper). The shape and size of the dripper are pretty much perfect for all types of brewing, however, this dripper is extremely fragile so you will need to take care. Also, the wooden stand it comes with does not level the dripper out at all, it fits very loosely. This will negatively affect the consistency and even extraction of this brew. I suggest either doing a ghetto style stand yourself as I have made with PVC pipe and double-sided tape, or visit Broken Gooseneck to get a 3d printed stand. Overall this is a must-try brewer for anyone serious about filter coffee, it gives awesome clarity and texture to coffees, it looks great, and it's versatile.

Pros - Increased texture as cools, great clarity and balance from coffees, can use two types of a paper filter, versatile with brew methods and very aesthetic.

Cons - Stand doesn’t level out dripper, fragile.

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