With so many different options available for brewing coffee at home, you are probably not the only person to feel a little bit confused trying to figure them all out. If you’re like a lot of people, you might be struggling to figure out what the difference is between drip and pour over coffee. After all, they both appear to work in the same way, with water poured over the coffee grounds, and gravity pulling the brewed coffee down. So, what’s the difference?
You might be surprised to learn that, despite the fact that these two methods of brewing coffee have very similar mechanics, you will get very different results from the two. What is pour over coffee? It’s similar to drip coffee, but with different results, there are many reasons why it has been getting more and more popular around the world recently. If you’re still feeling confused, let’s take a closer look at some of the main differences between regular drip coffee maker vs pour over.
The Taste Test
No matter what brewing method you are using, the most important thing is always going to be the taste of the coffee. When you drink drip coffee and then pour over coffee, one after the other, you will immediately notice that there is a big difference in the quality. As long as you are using high-quality, freshly ground coffee beans, the right technique for pour over coffee, and the right grind size, pour over coffee will usually always be a much better quality than drip coffee.
That being said, you can find excellent, top of the range drip coffee brewers that will make an excellent cup of coffee that gives pour over coffee a run for its money. But if you’re brewing at home, you’re probably not willing to spend the amount of money that will be required to buy one of these machines. On the other hand, most pour over cones are not even $50, meaning that this is a much cheaper way of getting high-quality coffee at home.
Pouring Consistency and Style
Unfortunately, most drip coffee brewers have shower heads that are fairly inconsistent. This will usually result in some areas of the coffee grounds getting too much water, while others do not get enough. As a result, the coffee you get from this is completely unbalanced and not very satisfying at all.
In comparison, when you use a pour over brewer, you have full control over how the water is poured over the coffee grounds. There is no need to rely on a machine that might have a poorly designed spout and hope that it gets it right. You can simply pour the water over exactly how you want and make any changes that are necessary easily. When you’re holding the kettle, it’s completely up to you to make sure that the water is poured evenly. Rather than relying on a drip coffee machine, it gives you the chance to take the brewing process into your own hands, which ultimately results in coffee that tastes better and is much more balanced.
The temperature stability is another main difference to know about between pour over filter coffee vs drip coffee. Most mid-range drip coffee brewers that you can get don’t reach the right temperature range of water for coffee. Some drip coffee pots will get the temperature right, but even then, they probably aren’t going to be able to stay at that temperature, which will then still have an impact on the quality and flavor of your final cup.
On the other hand, a pour over brewer does not have any control over the water temperature, and getting it right is completely up to you. All you need to do is put a kettle on the stove until it gets to the right temperature, so this is never a factor that you will need to worry about with pour over coffee brewing.
For the most part, typical drip coffee makers tend to follow some pre-programmed actions. Some do come with customizable settings that you can change, but in general, these don’t put you in control of anything, help you learn anything new, or allow you to brew better coffee. On the other hand, you can make adjustments as and when you need to make better coffee with a pour over brewer. For example, you can use a longer brew stage or slow down your pouring if you want your coffee to brew for longer. You can use less water if you want to extract less coffee compared to last time or allow your kettle to cool for a little bit longer if you want the temperature to be lower. When you use a pour-over brewer, this gives you the chance to make adjustments each time until you get the perfect brew for you. On the other hand, an automatic drip brewer will prevent you from reaching your full potential when it comes to the coffee that you brew, since you won’t be able to make as many adjustments and changes to get the perfect brew for you.
Another factor to consider when comparing drip coffee makers and pour over brewers is the durability. Drip stop coffee makers are a popular choice for households, but unfortunately this has led to a situation where they are now more likely built to generate sales rather than to be durable and last for a long time. Many drip brewers are made with cheap, plastic parts that will easily break or even worse, can be dangerous. And automatic drip brewers have a bad reputation for bacteria that grows in places that are hard to clean. The bottom line is that a drip brewer simply won’t be designed to be something that you’re going to still be using after a couple of years, and most end up in landfill while a sturdy pour-over brewer will still be going strong. What is a pour over? Pour over brewers have a very simple design, so there’s never any worry about keeping them clean or finding bacteria hoarded in them. Most are made with just a couple of parts at the most, from durable plastic, metal or glass.
A pour-over coffee machine is typically designed to be the type of item that you will buy and use for life. As long as you take good care of it, you could pass it down to your children. In comparison, a drip thru coffee brewer is likely to cost you a lot over time, as you’ll need to replace it quite often.
Reward and Satisfaction
If you like to take a hands-on approach to brewing your coffee, them making coffee with a pour-over brewer is going to be the perfect option for you, with a much more rewarding experience due to making something delicious and tasty by hand. Unlike using a drip coffee brewer, there’s a mental and emotional reward that comes with using a pour over brewer to make your coffee. The only downside is that it will take a little bit longer to make your morning coffee compared to letting the drip coffee maker do it all for you, which is well worth it.
Manually brewing coffee can put you in a meditative state in the morning – something that you’re never going to experience when using a drip coffee brewer. As you go about your morning routine, there’s something quite calming about focusing on pouring the water over the coffee grounds for a few moments, allowing you to relax and take a moment as the fresh, delicious aroma of the coffee fills your kitchen.
Tips for Making the Best Pour Over Coffee
If you’ve finally been convinced that there’s a big difference between pour over and drip coffee and have been sold on pour over brewing, there are a few tips to keep in mind for getting the perfect brew before you get started. Some of the main things that you will need to consider include:
- Getting the Pour Over Technique Right: This one sounds more complicated than it actually is, when you get the hang of it. Basically, you should pour the water over the coffee grounds in slow, steady circles starting from the center of the coffee bed and working your way out towards the edges. It can take some practice, but you’ll get it after a few tries.
- Use a Gooseneck Kettle: If you’re committed to making pour over coffee, a gooseneck kettle is worth investing in for your hot water. With a longer and narrower spout, it allows you much more control over the flow and pressure of water, resulting in a more balanced coffee compared to using a regular kettle.
While drip coffee and pour over coffee are both made by running hot water through coffee grounds, pour over coffee is superior quality for many reasons. Along with pour over coffee pots being cheaper and more durable compared to drip coffee machines, this method also allows you much more control over your brew.