Pour over makers -- is there really a difference?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
chockfullofbutts

#1: Post by chockfullofbutts »

I've always been a bit of a skeptic but I'm very curious if people here have opinions based off experience...

I just read the Wirecutter's review of the best pour over gear and I really have trouble believing that these plastic pour over devices can be worth the money and can make a difference.

I MIGHT believe that the number of holes / size of holes can make a difference because of flow rate / extraction time but the various 'waves' and 'flat vs conical' seem like a stretch.

Are there any people here who have taken a deep dive with this?

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mkane
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#2: Post by mkane »

There all very different. We have quite a few. But then again, it's just coffee. The key is repeatability.
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coffeeOnTheBrain

#3: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain »

For a budget friendly test get a plastic Hario V60 and a Kono Meimon. Try to make the coffees taste the same from the 2 cone drippers ;)

Since you are convinced after the first test shell out the big bucks for a Hario Switch and be even more convinced and maybe a little impressed how different the same coffe can taste. I would recommend the Switch to anyone but especially to someone getting started.

If you like your coffee a little lighter get a April Brewer and follow their recipe.
If you like it more extracted get a Orea and some of their filters.
You can pit these 2 flat bottoms against each other too or against the cones.

drH
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#4: Post by drH »

I can also offer a perspective.
I used a Chemex for a long time and really enjoy it. The very thick filters are the magic- producing a very clean cup.
When I use a Kalita, I can tell the difference in that the coffee feels a bit heavier in texture. Is that better? It depends on the coffee and what you prefer.
As a further counterpoint, occasionally I use a V60 and grind very fine but aim for the type of fast flow that you can't as easily achieve with a Kalita. When I do this with lighter roasts and aim for a short brew (2:15) ... very clear sweet cups- again very different then Chemex and Kalita.

I still tend to prefer the Chemex but that's probably because that was what I really started with and perfected.

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luca
Team HB

#5: Post by luca »

chockfullofbutts wrote:I've always been a bit of a skeptic but I'm very curious if people here have opinions based off experience...

I just read the Wirecutter's review of the best pour over gear and I really have trouble believing that these plastic pour over devices can be worth the money and can make a difference.

I MIGHT believe that the number of holes / size of holes can make a difference because of flow rate / extraction time but the various 'waves' and 'flat vs conical' seem like a stretch.

Are there any people here who have taken a deep dive with this?
Maybe take a look at Jonathan Gagne's blog and his book.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Exam, WBrC #3, Aus Cup Tasting #1 | Insta: @lucacoffeenotes
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Jeff
Team HB

#6: Post by Jeff »

Not only are there significant differences in the drippers, but among the various filters as well. Some prefer "fast" or "slow" filters, as well preferences among what and how much or how little they retain from the coffee.

If your preferences run to pre-gound Dunkin' Donuts, Tim Horton's, or your regional equivalent, you're right, spending more on drippers and papers probably isn't going to make a huge improvement in the cup.

Mbb

#7: Post by Mbb »

I don't know how much of it has to do with swirls and ridges or such but there's definitely a difference. They all have some blend of immersion and percolation going on depending on how you use them. Pour over makers can be divided into two categories I think, flat bottom and cone bottom. Supposedly the flat bottom is more forgiving ... A lot of cases better..but I've never used a real flat bottom

My first was actually a Melita plastic pour over cone from the grocery store. I was looking for something to take coffee with me when traveling for work. Even using the stale store coffee I was blown away that the coffee I made was better than what came out of my coffee maker. That's actually what started me down the rabbit hole of pour over, buying fresh coffee from local roaster, and then home roasting.

I pretty much just mostly use the v60 plastic because 1) I'm okay with the way it tastes on my coffees. 2) it's quick and easy. I've got some other methods but they take longer require more cleanup etc and that is a negative.

coffeeOnTheBrain

#8: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain »

Since people tend to like ratings here we go. I used the drippers I recommended above as I like them the best out of all I tried. With the exception of the Kono, while I liked it, it stayed in my drawer for a while now mostly because I like 20g doses rather than 12g and I find them hard to pull off.

The contenders:
- Hario Switch 03 (Hoffmann's recipe)
- April Brewer plastic (April's recipe)
- Hario V60 red plastic (Gagne's recipe: bloom + 2 pours)
- Orea Dripper plastic with Orea's no bypass filters (Lance Heddrick's Kono recipe)


Each dripper in one word and a few more:
- April - light - when used with April's recipe it is truly unique and somehow only pronounces the fruity and sweet notes of a bean, if that bean is actually suitable for the dripper (the dripper will excel at pretty light beans that are also developed to a specific degree plus some April voodoo I guess)
- Orea - high extraction - the only no bypass dripper that actually produced cups that I sometimes prefer to a V60 depending heavily on the beans
- Switch - balanced - why would anyone even bother using a gooseneck kettle if this was their first dripper, to learn about pour over history maybe?
- V60 - complex - the classic, master it and you will love it, I used complex not only as a taste description, but also as a warning ;)


Execution from fool proof to expert level is required:
1. Switch
2. April
3. Orea
4. V60

Highest extraction (actually not measured, but I am pretty positive the order is correct) from "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" to sober but happy
1. Orea
2. Switch
3. V60
4. April

Fruity, from actual fruits to fruit cake:
1. V60 / April
3. Switch
4. Orea

Body from thick to thin:
1. Switch
2. Orea
3. V60
4. April


Sweetness from fruit cake (not organic) to actual fruits.
1. Orea
2. Switch
3. V60 / April

Clean from white sneaker to white sneakers after actually wearing them once:
1. April / V60
3. Switch
4. Orea

Complex from chess to checkers:
1. V60
2. Switch
3. Orea
4. April


The following is for context:

20g dose and 320ml of water for all recipes.

I like really light filter roasts to properly developed filter roasts, omni roasts are too dark for my liking, roasty flavors are a defect to me.

Recommended filters:
V60 from the old factory, without tab, 40 in a paper box
Kalita Wave, I never found a significantly different flat bottom filter. Except for the Fellow Stagg X their filters worked better for me.
Orea's proprietary filter are great for no bypass brewing


Other drippers I have used:
Timemore crystal eye
Fellow Stagg X small
Chemex
The Gabi
Brewista smart dripper - double walled flat bottom
Simplify
Tricolate
Kalita Wave
Origami
(I might have forgotten some)

chockfullofbutts (original poster)

#9: Post by chockfullofbutts (original poster) »

Wow, thanks. That's quite the comprehensive answer and warrants me giving these another shot.

chockfullofbutts (original poster)

#10: Post by chockfullofbutts (original poster) »

Thanks, Jeff. Not sure that I mentioned anywhere in my original message that I prefer Dunkin' Donuts, Tim Horton's, or any other inexpensive pre-ground coffee.

Therefore, what you wrote sounds a little bit arrogant. If I've misinterpreted that, my apologies, but I'm just letting you know that's how it read to me.

T