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Pour Over vs Drip Coffee: What's the Difference

July 16, 2020 | By Kuju Coffee | Coffee

 

You're not a coffee snob, you just know what you like. Cheap, burnt coffee is not what you are looking for when you wake up in the morning.

You are a coffee connoisseur and aim to learn what you can about different flavors and styles of brewing and serving coffee.

But, do you know the difference between pour over vs drip coffee?

The coffee may look similar, but these two styles produce two very different cups of joe.

Want to find out more?

Keep reading for a summary of the major differences between pour-over coffee and drip coffee.

The Basics

A drip coffee maker is the typical household coffee maker that uses an automatic process of heating up water and pouring it over coffee grounds. The coffee then drips through the showerhead and into the pot.

Pour over coffee is also a result of hot water being poured over coffee grounds, however, the process is manual. Water is heated and then poured over the coffee grounds by hand. The water then slowly drips through the filter producing hot coffee.

Pour over coffee requires a kettle, a filter, and a cup whereas a drip coffee maker is an all-in-one machine. 

While the two styles are fundamentally the same, there are some key differences that you should be aware of if you are deciding between drip coffee and pour over coffee.

So, let's dive in! 

Pouring Style

Both pour over and drip coffee are produced from water being poured over coffee grounds. However, your average drip coffee has a less consistent stream of water which can sometimes result in a weaker cup of coffee or a muddled flavor.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to adjust the showerhead of the drip coffee machine which is the reason for the inconsistent drip of water. A high-quality drip coffee maker may have a better showerhead, but those machines do not come cheap!

With pour over coffee, you have much more control over the outcome because you are manually pouring the water over the grounds.

Learning to use the pour over method may take a few tries, but it is relatively simple. It is recommended to start in the middle of the grounds and slowly work your way toward the outer edges. 

While you hold the water kettle you can evenly pour the water over the grounds exactly as you like it.

Some people prefer the manual process of pour over because of the control, and others are happy to set it and forget it with a drip machine.

Flavor

Flavor and quality of coffee are of the utmost importance to coffee loyalists. You may be surprised to learn that even with quality coffee grounds, drip coffee is often less rich and bold in flavor than pour over coffee.

The reason for this difference is likely connected to the speed with which the water is filtered through the grounds. The slower, pour over method allows more time for the water to pick up the bold flavors of the coffee.

Temperature

Most coffee drinkers like their morning coffee at just the right temperature. Sipping a lukewarm cup of coffee can be a big disappointment.

With drip coffee, the machine does a pretty good job of maintaining the temperature, but there is variability depending on the machine you get. Also, if you leave the coffee for too long it can result in a burnt flavor.

With the pour over method, you have more control over the temperature of the water and therefore the temperature of the coffee. When the water comes to a boil, let it settle for a minute and then it is time to start pouring. Quality pour over equipment will also keep your coffee hot.

If you enjoy iced coffee, you can still use the pour over method. It is more challenging to make iced coffee with a traditional drip coffee machine unless you want to just allow it to cool on its own.

Price

At this point you might be thinking, pour over coffee sounds great, but can I afford to buy the equipment for my home?

The short answer is, yes!

There are plenty of affordable options for pour over coffee equipment. Pour over cones can be purchased for about $20 to $30.

Drip coffee makers are highly variable in price. You can buy one for as little as $25, or as much as $400 to $600. In order to get a high-quality cup of coffee from a drip coffee maker, you may have to spend more money.

It should also be mentioned that pour over coffee makers are very durable. They can last for upwards of five years whereas drip coffee makers are known to break down sooner.

Time

While pour over coffee allows you to have more control over your coffee, it also involves more time and labor. 

A drip coffee machine can make 6 to 10 cups of coffee in a matter of minutes, but drip coffee could take almost twice as long. Drip coffee makers also typically allow you to set it to start on its own, while drip coffee relies on you to start and execute the process. 

However, if you are on-the-go and want to make a single cup of pour over coffee, there is now single cup pour over coffee. There are even pour over brew kits if you want to take your deluxe coffee experience camping or while traveling. 

Pour Over Vs Drip Coffee: The Verdict

Now that you understand the major differences between pour over vs drip coffee, it is time to make a decision.

Remember that regardless of which type of coffee you prepare, quality, evenly grounded beans are at the center of any good cup of coffee.

Nothing beats a great cup of coffee, and you deserve the best!

Interested in more coffee education? Check out our other articles

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