Clever Coffee Dripper
Combines the best features of French press and filter drip brewing
Above: Donald Bell’s video review. Below: reviews by Jeff Shepperd and J. Sciarra
I was inspired by the recent review regarding a simple cone/filter combo for making a great cup of coffee. I’m of the same opinion. I’ve tried making single-serving coffee using various methods and once I found the Clever Coffee Dripper ($26) I have stayed with it.
It combines the best of pour-over and press methods to make a reliable single-serving cup of coffee. It acts like a pour-over cone except there is a valve on the bottom that doesn’t open until place the device on your cup. So you put in your filter, grinds and hot water and let it sit until your coffee is the desired strength. Then you place the dripper on your cup and it filters into your cup with no sediment.
I go a few extra steps: I weigh and grind my own beans, know just how long to microwave the water to get it to 190 degrees, moisten the grounds for 30 seconds before adding the rest of the water, and give it a stir once in the middle of the brewing process. However, I’ve had my kids make me a cup for Father’s day breakfast-in-bed where they just boil the water, scoop the beans and let it sit for four minutes and the coffee has been fine as well.
There are more buying options right now than when I bought it five years ago. I paid $20 but now you can get it for $25 with filters. The Amazon link should get you to the right one. I first bought the small version but it made a shy 8-ounce cup and I’m more of a 12 to 14-ounce mug guy. Even though the large version has a capacity of 18 ounces you lose some volume to the grounds and shouldn’t fill it to the brim anyway (if the water level goes above the filter you will get sediment in your cup). Another nicety is that it has a lid that helps retain heat during the brewing process. If you like a french press but don’t like the grit, this could be the solution for you. — Jeff Shepperd
This is in some ways a response to the recent post about the Melitta Perfect Brew Cone. The Clever Dripper is basically a Melitta-like cone with a stop valve at the bottom that releases when put over a cup or other receptacle. This means that you can place the Dripper on a countertop load it and pour water into it while not being perched on a cup. More importantly, the grounds get to steep for a whatever time period you deem correct (I generally give them a stir and leave for about 30 seconds) This is what makes the great pour over cup. The shortcoming of the regular Melitta system is the grounds don’t get a chance to release all their oils and such in a controlled manner. The clever dripper has the crowdsourced endorsement of friends and family. We all use it (my wife is an Aero Presser another good system working on the espresso principal.) This device, in my opinion, makes the best consistent cup of coffee with the least amount of fuss and cleanup. — J. Sciarra04/11/19