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What is a Pour-Over Coffee Maker

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated August 29, 2022

If you’re shopping for the best coffee maker, then you may wonder, what is a pour-over coffee maker? While the brewing process for this type of coffee maker seems straightforward, there are some essential tips you need to make a great-tasting coffee.


  • A pour-over coffee maker is a powerless device that looks like an empty, open-top hourglass.
  • Most models use a cone coffee filter filled with about 3-5 grams of coffee.
  • Slowly add water to the coffee in stages to brew a cup, letting your coffee drip to the built-in carafe.

In addition, most coffee experts agree that the pour-over method is the only surefire way to get a cup of coffee with nuanced flavor. With that said, you still want to know how to clean a pour-over coffee maker, as different types of coffee makers require different maintenance to keep producing excellent-tasting coffee. This rule also applies to small and large coffee makers, such as coffee urns and regular coffee machines.

So, if you’d like to learn about the classic drip coffee maker and how to get a tasty brew from manual brewing, read on. Although, if you’re looking to learn about coffee machine functions, then you need to read our guide on the 1-4 cup functionality.

What is a Pour-Over Coffee Maker?

Pour-over coffee, also called hand-dripped coffee, is the traditional brewing method invented in 1908 by Melitta Bentz. Although the pour-over brewer didn’t fully catch on until the 1930s and 40s, it is still the brewing method of choice for modern coffee lovers. The coffee maker itself is somewhat shaped like an hourglass, and hot water is slowly poured over coffee grounds in a brewing cone for maximum flavor.

Insider Tip

For the best results, ensure your coffee bed is level in the cone filter, and use a consistent grind size for your beans.

Luckily, the pour-over process doesn’t require many tools. First, you’ll need a non-porous borosilicate glass carafe, like the Chemex pour-over glass coffee maker. Some models use proprietary filters, but most units should work with a paper or stainless steel brewing cone. Lastly, an electric kettle will quickly reach the desired water temperature, but you can also use a stovetop.

If brewing coffee by hand seems like trouble, consider learning what a drip coffee maker is. In addition, an automatic coffee maker will make more cups of coffee on average than a manual process.

How to Use a Pour-Over Dripper

Using a glass coffee carafe, you place your cone filter in the open top and wet it with a bit of hot water. Next, add enough ground beans to meet your ratio of water to coffee. Next, use a few grams of water to wet the ground coffee and let it sit for one minute. This is called letting the coffee bloom, which helps extract rich flavors from your delicious coffee.

What Coffee Beans Should I Use in a Pour-Over Coffee Dripper?

The rule of thumb for a quality coffee in your pour-over brewer is about two grams of coffee per 30 grams of water. That said, the type of bean you use is up to your taste. For example, use a dark roast if you want the boldest and best-tasting coffee possible. In addition, manual brewing calls for a coarser grind than automatic methods. Finally, consider reading our guide on what a pre-infusion coffee maker is if you want specialty coffee shop-level drinks.


Always use the proprietary filters for your pour-over brewer because some third-party filters will throw off your water flow rate.


Why is pour-over coffee better?

The pour-over method gives your beans a chance to soak by pouring water into your brewer in stages — the extended contact with the flow of water assists in flavor and aroma extraction. Electric drip coffee makers are only beginning to replicate the taste of pour-over coffee.

What is the ideal water temperature for pour-over coffee?

While there isn’t a perfect temperature, most experts recommend using hot water of around 200 degrees. Of course, your optimum temperature might vary from bean to bean.

What should I consider when buying a pour-over coffee maker?

You should consider the size of the glass carafe and what type of filters it will use. For example, a model with stainless steel filters might cost less over time, but more grounds will get in your coffee.

STAT: According to a recent study from the Journal of Nutrition, 80% of current or former tobacco users drink coffee at least once per day. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image