Coffee is brewed using various methods, giving you different levels of satisfaction and delight. In this read, we are going to discuss two famous brewing techniques – pour over VS drip coffee.
The basic mechanism of these two brewing methods is quite similar. However, both these methods have their own individual fan-base globally.
Let us now have an in-depth look at the differences between these two brewing techniques.
What is Pour Over Coffee
In the simplest of definitions, pour over coffee is when hot water is poured over freshly ground coffee, placed in a conical-shaped filter in a beaker.
Brief History of Pour Over Brewing
The true origins of this coffee brewing methodology is not known, however, it has been around for a while. The main component of this method is the paper filter.
The innovation of paper filter is attributed to a German woman, Melitta Bentz, who came up with this idea in 1908. Before this, coffee makers would let coffee grounds to pass on to the mug.
Making Coffee using Pour Over Technique
Pour over coffee brewing might look quite simple – however, if not done the right way, you might not get the perfect taste.
Let us have a quick overview of the ingredients and steps involved in pour over coffee-making.
What You’ll Need
For a 2-cup serving, you will need:
- Coffee Grinder
- Whole Coffee Beans (32 g)
- Filtered Water (500 ml)
- Pour Over Coffee Maker
- Paper Filters
- Water Kettle
- Measuring Scale
What You Need to Do
- Using a measuring scale, measure 32 g of fresh, whole coffee beans for two coffee cups (250 ml each). If you have a different serving, you can use a similar ratio (1g of coffee per 16ml of water).
- Heat 600 ml of filtered water just below boiling temperature (extra 100 ml is to make the coffee filter wet – see step 5).
- Grind coffee beans according to your preference (consistency that matches table salt is recommended).
- Unfold paper filter with three folds on one side and one fold on the other side, and insert the filter into the pour over coffee maker in a way that the three-folded side is placed towards the spout.
- Wet the paper filter enough for saturation and using the spout, get rid of the excess water.
- Add your coffee grounds to the paper filter and shake it very slowly to allow them to settle.
- Add a little amount of water again to let the coffee bloom. This is the process when gas escapes from the coffee.
- Once the blooming process ends, pour the remaining water over coffee grounds in a slow, circular motion – majorly focusing on the inner circle.
- Now, you can either achieve a constant pour VS filter rate if you pour very slowly, or you can pour 200 ml of water in batches and wait until it filters completely before allowing you room for more water again – in both cases, total pour time remains the same (around 3.5 minutes).
- Once pouring is done, you can remove the paper filter and enjoy your pour over coffee!
What is Drip Coffee
All those modern-day electronic coffee makers that you see around you, fall into the ‘drip coffee maker’ category.
This method uses a water reservoir, an electronic heat and pressure mechanism and a chamber that allows hot water to pass through the coffee grounds before going into your carafe.
History of Drip Coffee Making
Drip coffee making is largely inspired by the basics of pour over coffee brewing methodology. The first electric drip coffee brewer, the ‘Wigomat’, was made by a German inventor named Gottob Widmann back in 1954.
Before his invention, coffee was mostly made using coffee percolators or by hand drip coffee method – better known as pour over.
Making Coffee using a Drip Coffee Maker
Even though the modern drip coffee makers will do most of the work on their own, you still need to provide the basic items to the machine before it can start with the brewing process.
Here is how you can do it:
What You’ll Need
For a 10-cup serving, you will need:
- Drip Coffee Maker
- Paper Filter
- Filtered Water (1250 ml)
- Ground Coffee (2.75oz per 80 g)
What You Need to Do
- The first step is to fill the water reservoir with cold water (filtered water is preferred over distilled water).
- Prepare your paper filter. For coffee brewers that use a cone-shaped filter, fold the edges in opposite directions and place it in the filter basket. For coffee brewers that have a reusable stainless steel filter, no filter preparation is needed.
- If your coffee maker comes with a built-in grinder, grind your coffee. If not, you will need a coffee grinder. And if you are using pre-ground coffee, you can skip this step altogether.
- Add coffee grounds in the filter and place the filter basket back in the machine.
- Press the ‘start’ button on your drip coffee maker and wait for the brew cycle to complete.
- Once the brewing process is complete, you have some freshly brewed, delightful coffee to enjoy!
Based on your drinking preferences, you can always change the grind settings (from coarse to fine) or brew strength (from weak to strong) using your drip maker’s settings.
Core Differences Between Drip Coffee VS Pour Over Coffee Making
By now you might be wondering if both methods use more or less the same mechanism of pouring water over coffee grounds, then what is the difference?
Here are the major differences between these two coffee brewing methods:
Element of Control – Water
One of the main differences between pour over and drip coffee making is the amount of control that you can exert in each of these methods.
Drip coffee makers do not allow you to have much control over the flow of water during the brewing process – whereas a pour over coffee maker gives you more control in the speed and motion in which you pour water over the ground coffee.
Element of Control – Temperature
Talking about control, temperature is another element that has an impact during the brewing process.
Drip coffee makers might have all the modern-day fancy features, however, temperature control is something that you have no control over using these machines.
On the other hand, pour over coffee making is all about the way you can maintain temperature during the brewing process right from the start.
Durability and Affordability
Since pour over coffee makers are low maintenance devices, they bring down the ownership cost and last longer.
Drip coffee makers (low to mid-priced) are not durable machines and might only last for a while. In addition to this, they have multiple components that requires cleaning on a regular basis.
Ease of Use
Drip coffee makers are electronic machines, that makes them really convenient and user-friendly.
Pour over coffee makers require you to be physically present by the coffee maker during most of the brewing process. This means that you need to take out a few dedicated minutes from your busy schedule to brew a coffee cup using a pour over coffee maker.
Final Taste of Coffee
Since pour over coffee makers give you a whole lot of control during the brewing process, the final taste that you get using this method is almost what you might have anticipated.
On the other hand, low-to-mid priced drip makers will do the brewing on their own once you have filled in the water and coffee. Unless you are investing in a high-end drip maker, the taste that you get from these devices might not be consistent.
Which Brewing Method Should You Go For
It all comes down to your preferences, daily routines and the amount of time or effort you are willing to put into your cup of Joe.
If you are someone who is usually running late for work in the morning or doesn’t have much time even during the rest of the day – drip coffee maker should be a good option for you.
However, if you are someone who is willing to invest some sort of time and effort in your coffee cup to achieve absolute perfection in terms of the final taste – go for a pour over coffee maker.
Best Coffee Maker for Drip Brewing VS Pour Over
Here are some of our top picks for both brewing methods:
CHEMEX Classic Series, Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker
If you are a lover of pour over coffee, Chemex is probably one of your favorite brands already.
Chemex coffee makers are quite well-known in the pour over coffee making product category. With their sturdy designs, convenient usage and easy maintenance, these devices will give you a perfect pour over coffee making experience.
Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker
This drip coffee maker by Mr. Coffee is an affordable, convenient and quick coffee brewer.
With all the basic options and functionalities that you would expect from a low-priced drip maker, this machine will give you nice and fresh coffee cups of coffee.
Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker
If you are looking for a quick, single cup of coffee, this Hamilton Beach single-serve coffee maker should do the job.
This is a compact coffee maker that comes with all the basic drip coffee maker options and brews your cup in less than 90 seconds.
Why is my pour over coffee bitter?
If your coffee tastes weak, you should adjust your grind setting to make it finer. If it tastes too bitter, adjust your grind to make it coarser.
Can I use ground coffee for pour over?
You can use pre-ground coffee, however, if you want to get the most out of your coffee, use freshly ground coffee.
Why is pour over better than drip?
Due to the differences in brewing methods, pour over coffee brewing tends to have more flavor than regular drip coffee.
What’s the best grind for drip coffee?
For most auto drip coffee makers you want a fine or medium grind depending on the type of filter your coffee maker uses.
Our Final Word on Pour Over VS Drip Coffee Brewing
Although there is no good or bad way of brewing coffee, pour over VS drip coffee brewing comes with their own pros and cons – in the end, it all depends on what works best for you.
Technology keeps evolving and there will be more innovations and additions in the coffee-making industry. However, you do not have to compromise on your coffee preferences whatsoever!
Whichever brewing method helps to quench your coffee thirst the best – go for it and enjoy your coffee like a boss!