Ever wondered why two coffee brewing methods produce different taste when both use the same mechanism of having water poured over coffee grounds? – That’s all right, let us tell you how pour over VS drip coffee can give you very different results.
Since the past few years, technological advancements in the coffee brewing industry has helped consumers to be able to make barista-level coffee at home with little or no hassle at all.
However, even with all those modern-day drip makers available at competitive prices, the old-school pour over coffee making has enjoyed considerable success, too.
What is Pour Over Coffee
Pour over coffee is a brewing method that is quite simple – it involves a beaker and a conical-shaped filter. Freshly ground coffee is placed in the filter and hot water is poured over it. That is pretty much it.
As far as its history is concerned, it is true that we do not know when exactly were the first pour over coffee makers made, however, it is quite evident that they have been around since the past many decades.
Having said that, their main element – the paper filter – was the idea of a German woman named Melitta Bentz in 1908. Prior to this, most coffee makers would allow the coffee grounds and sediments to pass through to the coffee.
How to Make Coffee using Pour Over Method
Although it might seem a very simple coffee making process, however, if you want to have full control over the extraction process and eventually, the final coffee taste, you need to do it the right way.
At first, the coffee filter is rinsed with a little amount of hot water so that the coffee doesn’t taste papery and to maintain a consistent coffee temperature while brewing.
After that, add coffee grounds to the filter paper and pour hot water on the coffee grounds in two steps – first, add a quarter of your total quantity of the beaker in circular motion and let the extraction take place.
After 30-40 seconds, add more hot water and fill the beaker as per your desired quantity using the same circular motion and allow for the blooming process for 3-4 minutes. After blooming is complete, your coffee is ready.
What is Drip Coffee
These types of coffee makers are the ones that you would normally see at your friend’s or family member’s home or at your own workplace. Although nowadays even the drip coffee makers have a lot of variations, the basic mechanism remains the same.
Blent’z invention of paper filters was not limited to pour over technique, it did play a vital role in the development of modern-day drip coffee makers. In 1954, a German inventor, Gottlob Widmann, came up with the first electric drip coffee maker called the ‘Wigomat’.
Prior to that, coffee was made using either the hand drip coffee brewing techniques (also known as pour over) or by using a coffee percolator, mostly the ‘Moka Pot’.
How to Make Coffee with a Drip Coffee Maker
It can be argued that the drip coffee maker is just an electric version of the traditional pour over coffee methodology. To some extent it might be true, however, there is a huge difference between the final brewed result.
The machine consists of a water reservoir, an electric system that helps create heat and pressure, and finally a chamber that lets hot water pass through the coffee grounds for the extraction process and into the carafe.
The mechanism of drip coffee largely relies on the machine with no human involvement whatsoever. Once you have added water into the reservoir and your favorite coffee, the rest of the work will be done by the machine itself.
The machine gets cold filtered water from the reservoir, warms the water, filters it down the grounds all the way through the filter paper and in your carafe for you to enjoy your black coffee.
Major Differences Between a Drip Coffee VS Pour Over
Is it only about the manual VS automatic element between these two coffee making techniques? You wouldn’t think so and quite rightly so.
Let us have a look at the major differences between a pour over and a drip coffee maker:
Control Over Temperature
One of the most important factors for any type of coffee brewing is the temperature that is considered as ‘adequate’ in order to get the best possible taste in your cup of Joe.
It is true that drip coffee makers might take the lead in several other aspects, perfect temperature is one thing that most mid-range brewers fail to achieve.
On the other hand, pour over coffee makers don’t have anything to do with temperature stability, which means that it is entirely up to you how good your can brew your coffee by maintaining the temperature right from the word go.
Control Over Water Flow
Most baristas do not like the individual elements during the coffee brewing process to be ‘taken over’ by another person or a machine. They love to have control with themselves.
Same goes for water flow as well. The pour over coffee makers give this control to you as well. Whether you are doing it in circular motion, pouring it too quick or too slow – total control of water flow is with you.
Contrary to this, the drip coffee maker’s water flow is totally machine-controlled. Although the modern versions come with those LED panels and adjustable water flow, still, can’t match the traditional way of doing it.
Most mid-priced drip coffee makers are not meant to last for a longer period. They are meant to brew multiple cups relatively faster. Even with regular maintenance, these coffee makers will give up on you rather soon.
The traditional pour over coffee makers require low-to-none maintenance whatsoever. Due to the fact that there are merely 2-3 components, these coffee makers are far more durable as compared to drip coffee machines.
For any coffee maker or brewing technique that you know or might have seen, in the end it all comes down to the final taste you are getting from your cup of Joe.
Since pour over coffee makers give you complete control over the whole process and how it is being run, the final product that you get is pretty much a direct result of the way you had it brewed.
The drip coffee makers, on the other hand, only require you to fill in the water and the coffee, and then your involvement is pretty much done. This usually results in a taste that is not up to your expectations, unless you are going for a $200+ drip coffee maker that will be somewhat better.
Like any other human practice that was at some stage taken over by a machine, yes drip coffee makers save a lot of your valuable time and effort as far as coffee making is concerned – without a doubt.
Pour over coffee makers follow a more traditional approach and will require you to administer almost the whole process each time, which means you can’t really multitask with this coffee brewing technique.
Who Should go for a Pour Over Coffee Maker?
If you are someone who likes to pay attention to detail when it comes to your coffee and the way it is brewed, and with it you do have the luxury of time – you certainly should go for the pour over coffee brewing method.
The opportunity cost of time, concentration and additional effort that you pay for using a pour over coffee maker is usually rewarded with better, full-bodied and clean coffee flavor.
Who Should go for a Drip Coffee Maker?
We live in a competitive world today – most of us are usually running to catch our train or a bus to reach work on time. If you are also part of this sort of a fast-paced lifestyle, drip coffee maker is the right choice for you.
In addition to this, drip coffee makers can make multiple cups that makes them a perfect choice to be used at small or mid-sized offices, restaurants, hotels, cafes, coffee shops, and other commercial places.
Our Product Recommendations for Pour Over & Drip Coffee Brewers
Below are some of the best products in both categories that can be used for home or commercial purposes.
Let us have a look at the pour over coffee brewers first:
CHEMEX Classic Series, Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker
Chemex coffee makers are one of the renowned and widely accepted products made in the pour over industry niche. These come in sleek design, ergonomic usability, are easy-to-clean and give the perfect pour over coffee flavor and aroma that you would normally expect.
As far as the drip coffee makers are concerned, here are a good options that you can choose from:
Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker
Using this coffee maker, you can have an 8-ounce cup made in less than 90 seconds. A nice, compact stainless steel device that is certainly a good option for single-serve coffee brewing.
Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Black
Whether at home or at a commercial setup, when you want quick coffee brewing to satisfy the needs of more than one coffee lovers, this drip coffee maker will come in quite handy.
Is pour over coffee really better?
Due to the differences in brewing methods, pour overs tend to have more flavor than regular drip coffee. Since the brewing process typically takes longer, the flavor tends to be more vibrant. This is because the water has more time to pull the flavors and oils from the grounds.
Is pour over coffee bad for you?
The filters used for the pour over method of coffee brewing help to trap oily substances in coffee called diterpenes. Although the actual health benefits of coffee are an often debated, it is most definitely the case that a cup of filtered coffee is better for your health than a cup of unfiltered coffee.
Why does pour over coffee taste better?
Pour Over highlights the finer qualities of the coffee bean. If at home, the ability to control the speed with which you pour water over the coffee grounds is important. The slower the pour, it allows time for the water to pull out more flavor from the grounds. The result is a richer and bolder flavor.
Is it worth buying a coffee machine?
If you drink coffee every day or almost every day and you’re looking to make your own custom coffee for a lower cost and more convenience, then yes, buying a coffee machine is worth it.
Our Conclusion for a Pour Over VS Drip Coffee
You must have already figured out that all coffee brewing methodologies eventually come down to your personal preferences and requirements. If we compare a pour over vs drip coffee maker, there is no winning or losing here.
For some, investing considerable amount of time for coffee brewing might not be something that they possibly can – hence, electric drip coffee maker is the answer for them.
For others, compromising on the final taste they get from their coffee is what defines the overall success or failure of their rest of the day – pour over being the right choice for them, hands down.
In the end, you need to know what your lifestyle is, what you can and cannot do when it comes to coffee brewing and only then you can make the right decision for yourself.