The drippers are part of what could be called “artisan methods” of coffee production. In other words, systems that do not use any technology or electrical components to extract the beverage, such as the French press, Chemex, or Aeropress.
They are not suitable for all types of consumers. But those who enjoy not only coffee but also the preparation undoubtedly know how to appreciate techniques such as those used in dripper coffee makers, also known as coffee cones or pour-over coffee makers.
The dripper method is brewing coffee by infusion (not filtration), spraying the ground coffee with hot water. Previously, the coffee has been placed on a drip cone or filter, which is called a dripper (hence the name of the method). It is responsible for the water passing through the coffee with just the slowness necessary for the optimum result.
The water filters through the coffee in the cone, absorbs all its aromas and nuances, and then falls down the bottom of the filter to a pitcher where it is deposited and ready to serve in a cup.
We could resemble the dripper to the system used by a filter coffee maker, but much more manual and with total control by the barista. The complete success of the operation, and the nuances of the resulting coffee, depend on how we serve the water with the dripper. You have to know when to wait, when to pour more water, how to distribute the water over the entire surface of the filter, and so on. It’s a delicate job, but very satisfying because we know that the result depends 100% on us.
The dripper or coffee cone is a popular method in the United States and Latin America, although, on the Internet, we don’t use it as much. That’s why we think it’s an excellent time to make it known.
Pour Over coffee maker
A coffee maker pour-over is the same as a dripper: different names for the same system and coffeemaker.
We want to clarify this to avoid confusion and make it clear that buying a pour-over coffee maker is the same as purchasing a dripper.
What is a dripper or drip cone?
Technically, a dripper is a cone made of plastic, metal, glass or porcelain, where a coffee filter is deposited, like the ones used in electric coffee machines.
Usually, dripper coffee machines not only consist of the drip cone. But they are also accompanied by an auxiliary pitcher on which the cone is placed and where the infused coffee finally falls.
The dripper is also called a drip cone or drip filter. It is also common to speak of pour-over coffee machines or coffee cones in Anglo-Saxon terminology.
The advantages of brewing coffee with a dripper lie mainly in the fact that the user has complete control over the characteristics of the coffee (although this requires a great deal of experience, of course). Also in price; both the coffee maker and the coffee are very cheap.
On the other hand, the disadvantages that we can find in the pour-over coffee machines derive precisely from the peculiarities of the brewing method: to make a coffee with a dripper, you have to be patient, spend several minutes, grind the coffee with the correct fineness. It is not the most suitable method to prepare a coffee in the morning.
We recommend its use in a way similar to the French press: to drink a delicious and intensely aromatic coffee in the middle of the afternoon, prepared calmly and with care to taste it in the best conditions.
When you buy a pour-over coffee maker online, there are a few things you need to know.
The pour-over drip coffee makers are composed of two essential elements:
- The coffee cone itself (which acts as a filter) is where we serve the ground coffee and then the hot water.
- The server or receptacle, generally made of glass, where the waterfalls once the ground coffee has been filtered (that is, the infusion of coffee ready to drink). This container must have a specific shape and on a full mouth compatible with the cone we are going to place on top. That is why most of the time, they are sold together as a single pack.
If we are strict with etymology, the dripper is only the coffee cone’s first element. And when buying your dripper coffee maker online, you will find several options: either buy only the cone (and you put the container at home) or buy a kit of coffee machine pour over complete. And apart, of course, you can buy only the independent server to use with several drippers. In the following galleries, you can see all these alternatives:
If you buy the dripper or loose coffee cone, you’ll have to make sure you have a compatible container or server at home. All drippers are mostly the same, with variations in size depending on the amount of coffee you brew. The only significant difference is the material made of plastic, ceramics, glass, copper. Logically it is only one piece, and they are very economical.
- Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper | V-Shaped Cone Coffee Dripper With Heat Retention
- Fackelmann “Nr.4” Plastic Coffee Filter Case, Brown, 4.1 x 5.9-Inch
Coffee servers for drippers are not conventional glass jars, so don’t get confused. They have a spout to pour the coffee over the cup, a heat-resistant handle to handle it safely, and a tight seal in the edge (usually silicone). And, of course, a width compatible with the standard coffee cones on the market.
Available in different sizes: 300 ml, 600 ml, 800 ml, so that you can choose the one that best suits your preparations.
- HARIO CD-V60-02 CD Cafetière Range Server V60-02 Microwave-600ml
- Hario CD Cafetière Coffee Server V60-02-700ml, Glass, 700 milliliters
Complete kits of coffee maker pour over
The most comfortable option: all the full set of the same brand. You ensure compatibility; all parts have the same design, spare parts, and so on.
- Hario VDD-02B Drip Decanter Pourover Coffee Brewer Server for 2 – 3 Cups, 700 ml
- Hario Pour Over Kit with 700 ml V60 Dripper/Coffee Server/Filter Papers
Where to buy a dripper
We have already anticipated that this method is not very popular on the Internet. Hence, dripper coffee makers are not utensils easily found in the usual shops and department stores. If you want to buy a dripper, the best thing is to go to Amazon. Nor is there a vast range of drippers to choose from, but you can choose from various designs and materials.
As you can see, there are even porcelain drippers, and in general, the prices are not excessively high (logical, bearing in mind that they do not have any electrical components).
There are also significant brands of coffee machines, such as Bodum, which include some models of this type in their catalogue, usually of high quality and more focused on the expert user who wants to start. Although, without a doubt, the best brand of pour-over coffee maker with the greatest variety is the Japanese Hario.
- Coffee Gator Pour Over Coffee Maker – Stainless Steel Filter & Glass Dripper
- BODUM 11593-109 Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent s/s Filter
Pour over Bodum coffee makers
If one brand disputes Hario’s hegemony of pour-over coffee machines in Europe, it is undoubtedly Bodum. This manufacturer specializes in manual (without electrical intervention) coffee processing methods, evidenced by its leading position in the plunger coffee segment.
Bodum’s drippers are carefully designed, perhaps more modern and attractive than their rivals. And they are characterized because they are marketed as complete pour-over coffee machines (not the coffee cone or the separate container).
If you intend to purchase a Bodum pour-over coffee maker, here is a summary of the main options available on the market:
- Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Filter, Borosilicate Glass – 1.0 L, Black
- Bodum 11571 109 1L Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter, Layered
Pour over Hario coffee makers
We have already spoken throughout the page about Dripper coffee makers from Hario, the benchmark company in this sector and the one that has somehow made the popularity of this type of preparation its own.
The three differences between Hario’s pour-over coffee machines and Bodum’s are as follows:
- They have a greater variety and breadth in their catalogue. Much more to choose from.
- Their appearance is somewhat more traditional (less careful design in most models).
- Components can be purchased separately. For example, buy the coffee cone, or just the container, or even the complete kit if you need it.
Thinking about buying a Hario pour-over coffee maker? Here is a summary of some of the most exciting options available on Amazon:
- Hario CD Cafetière Coffee Server V60-02-700ml, Glass, 700 milliliters, Transparent
- Hario VCSD-02R 1-Piece Plastic Coffee Sever Set, Red
Best dripper: Hario V60
Among all the drippers available on the market, perhaps the most popular and most recognized worldwide is the Hario V60. Possibly the best pour-over coffee maker in the world, or at least the most iconic and recognized.
In this set, we find both the dripper or dropper and the large pitcher where to deposit the coffee (of 700 millilitres of capacity), both constructed of crystal, which is the speciality of Hario.
The Hario V60 has an approximate capacity of 4 cups of coffee (with the filter at maximum filling), and apart from the pieces themselves are also included 100 special cleaners for the V60. This detail is always appreciated, and much more if we want to use our dripper from the first moment.
It is a much more sensitive coffee machine than others to many variables. To know the particularities of Hario’s V60 drip cone, it is necessary to review these details and know-how they influence the preparation of the coffee:
- The cone has a 60º angle and ensures that the water always flows towards the centre of the cone.
- The spiral grooves are engraved inside the cone. Their function is to release the air upwards (towards the outside of the funnel) and expand the coffee grind.
- The hole in the lower part of the cone – quite extensive – serves to control the final taste of the coffee according to the speed of the flow of water.
The dimensions of the Hario V60 dripper are 17 x 24 x 13 cm, and it weighs just over 600 grams.
In short: a good dripper or coffee maker to get you started.
How is the Hario V60 cone used?
Here is a summary of the variables you should consider when preparing a coffee with your Hario V60. You must balance two factors: the thickness of the grind (fine or medium, never coarse) and the flow of water that we serve in the cone (slow or fast).
- Fine grinding and slow water flow full-bodied coffee.
- Fine grinding and constant water flow medium body.
- Medium grind and slow water flow very light body.
- Medium grind and constant water flow low body coffee.
Drip kettle for pour-over coffee makers
In an electric drip coffee maker, the machine itself makes sure that the waterfalls drop by drop towards the coffee and that the spray is perfect. However, when we use a pour-over coffee maker, we have to manually take care of the process. And of course, the difficulty increases slightly because serving the water on the coffee filter is vital to obtain a good result later.
To spray the water on your dripper accurately and just the way you want it, you need a suitable instrument: a drip kettle. It is a kettle with some unique features:
- On the one hand, it must be ideal for heating or putting on the fire, as the water must be very hot (almost boiling) when it is served on top of the coffee.
- Very important: it must have a tube or spout with a specific shape, with a very fine swan neck, so that when we pour it, the water comes out with a very fine jet. Of this, it is much easier to control with procession the direction and the quantity of water that we serve.
If you see the following images, you will surely understand what we are talking about. Again, the Hario brand is the best reference to buy this type of kettle. They have called them Hario Buono kettles:
- Hario VKB-120HSV V60 Buono Drip Large Stovetop Stainless-Steel Gooseneck
- Hario CD-Copper Buono Kettle 900ml New
How to make coffee with a dripper
The most immediate doubt that everyone has when confronted for the first time with a coffee machine like this is how to use a dripper. They are very nice, cheap, and the coffee is handmade, but how do you use a dripper?
- Boil as much water as you need to prepare the coffee (1 litre of coffee = 1 litre of water approx.). Set aside a little more to moisten the filter afterwards.
- When it is already hot, briefly soak the filter or cone so that it is moist when you serve the ground coffee. It will enhance the aromas of the raw material.
- Place the dripper or coffee cone over the container in which you are going to serve it.
- Serve the ground coffee in the filter.
- We begin to serve the water. Important: don’t serve it all at once. First, spray it slowly over the whole coffee so that all the beans come into contact with the liquid. Half the water in this step will be enough.
- Wait a few seconds until the coffee sprouts and all the beans are well hydrated. Some baristas advise at this point to stir the coffee quickly with a spoon to make sure that all the beans get wet.
- Once this is done, gradually add the rest of the water left in the jar. Preferably we add it in circles over the widest part of the cone, intending to dampen as much coffee as possible.
In any case, and to clear the doubts, we leave you this excellent video that collects in a precise and very graphical way how is the complete process of elaboration of coffee by manual drip, and how is used a coffee maker pour over:
Do you usually use a pour-over coffee maker at home? Do you want to share with us some tricks? Is any dripper worth knowing that we missed it? Tell us in the comments!