4 Reasons Why Pour Over Coffee Is Better Than Drip


Pour-over and drip coffee are excellent ways to make brewed coffee, but there are recognizable differences between them. Both methods require special equipment. However, the only equipment necessary for drip is an electric drip machine, and it does all the brewing for you. In contrast, pour-over is a manual technique that requires more paraphernalia.

Coffee enthusiasts prefer pour-over coffee to drip as the process gives you more control over the water’s temperature, the speed at which it flows through the grounds, the length of time it takes to brew, and how much coffee it makes. As a result, you have more influence over the brewed coffee’s taste, texture, and strength.

Drip coffee makers offer a lot of value, and the machines are user-friendly. You will see them in many homes, offices, and canteens throughout the United States.

A decent coffee maker will produce nice coffee; however, the flavor doesn’t compare to pour-over coffee as it is a lengthier brewing process.

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Both coffee-making methods have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to know what is involved in both methods.

What Are The Differences Between Drip And Pour-Over Coffee?

One of the most common kitchen appliances in homes across the United States is the drip coffee maker. You can brew coffee through numerous devices using the “drip” method. However, when referring to drip coffee, most people mean coffee from an electric coffee maker.

Those who own a drip coffee maker thoroughly enjoy using the machine. It’s efficient, convenient, and it complements the 9 to 5 working life.

The drip coffee maker has been around since the 1950s, but it took off after the 1970s, completely replacing the traditional use of percolators in many American households.

One of the main highlights of drip coffee is that the machine takes care of the entire brewing process for you; all you need to do is fill the water reservoir and place coffee grounds inside the filter. It couldn’t be simpler.

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The pour-over method is similar to the drip method in the way it involves saturating the coffee grounds and collecting the filtered liquid, but that is where the similarities end.

There are a number of devices you can use to create pour-over coffee, although the process itself is always the same:

  • Heat the water to your preferred temperature. Use a long-necked kettle or goose-necked kettle to control the flow of water.
  • Place the filter and coffee grounds on top of your brewing device.
  • Pour enough hot water to saturate the grounds.
  • Stop pouring and wait for exactly thirty seconds before pouring the water over the grounds at a consistent and slow rate.
  • Your brewed coffee is ready to taste. 

As previously mentioned, one of the key similarities between drip and pour-0ver coffee is that hot water goes over your ground coffee until it is sufficiently wet before collecting the filtered liquid. Beyond that, there are many noticeable differences between the two processes:

1. FLAVOR

Some people like robust, dark-roast coffee. At the same time, others prefer a light, medium-roast. The brewing method that allows more variety is the pour-over method because it is an entirely manual technique that allows you to customize your brew to create your desired flavor. Pour-over extracts more flavors than drip because the process takes time.

This method requires your full attention and a decent skill level, so if you are new to the technique or don’t know how to use the tools, it is possible to make lousy-tasting coffee. On the other hand, if you lack time and patience, then the electric drip coffee maker is better for you.

2. CONTROL

The pour-over method gives the user more options and control than drip coffee. When using an electric drip machine, you can control the ratio of coffee to water and the amount of coffee, but that is all. You have no control over temperature, brew time, or pour speed, as the machine controls all of that.

The pour method requires maintaining slow and consistent pour speed. If the pour is too slow, the coffee can become too bitter and strong. If it’s too fast, the coffee will taste weaker as the water spends less time contacting the ground coffee. A gooseneck kettle can help you to control the pour.

3. TIME

The brewing time is the same for both methods; however, pour-over demands more preparation and attention. The traditional coffee machines require you to pour in the water, add the filter and coffee grounds before pressing a button. Some models offer you the option of pre-setting it at night and set a timer to brew it in the morning.

The pour-over technique is more complicated, as it involves more lengthy steps. Firstly, you must heat the water, add the filter and coffee grounds before pouring the water continuously for several minutes.

This technique requires more of your attention, so, understandably, it’s not a popular option for people with limited time to make coffee.

4. QUALITY

Many pour-over devices are made of ceramic, glass, or stainless steel – they are built to last a lifetime. In comparison, electric coffee makers are not always reliable, especially if you purchase a substandard model.

The machines generally last a couple of years before needing another one. Because they are electric, they can always go wrong internally – they can circuit out, the heating element can stop working, or the water tube can clog.

In addition, many models are made of plastic, so components are more likely to break off over time. If you want a coffee maker to last you all of your life, pour-over is the ideal choice.

5. CLEANLINESS

Since many pour-over devices are made of durable materials like ceramic, glass, and stainless steel, you need to wash them often to avoid stains. In addition, they are usually made from one or two pieces, making them easy to clean.

On the other hand, electric coffee machines are not easy to keep clean because the water and coffee pass through many of the machine’s parts, making it impossible to clean without dissembling them.

Aside from that, it’s hard to keep them dry because they are used daily, so they are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria to grow.

Why Is Pour-Over Coffee Better Than Drip?

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Pour-over coffee, when made correctly, tastes better than drip coffee due to the factors affecting extraction, and most of the steps are within your control.

For example, you choose the coffee’s grind size, saturation speed, water temperature, and pouring frequency. Tiny changes in the technique can detract or enhance the coffee’s final flavor.

As one example, pour frequency is crucial to make the perfect pour-over coffee. Four pours are the correct number of pours as each one targets a particular volume of water in a set time frame.

The essential pour is the first one, also called “the bloom.” It is called such by the way the grounds swell as carbon dioxide releases.

When you pause at the bloom and get the timing right for the other three pours, you extract the best flavors from the grounds and none of the bitter ones.

For a clearer picture, it helps to compare coffee to wine. A wine’s quality is established upon bottling, whereas coffee requires someone to turn the roasted coffee beans into a drink. The best technique for someone who wants more control is the pour-over.

Is Drip Coffee Bad?

Drip coffee machines don’t always work as well as advertised, particularly the lower-end models. You are likely to encounter some problems because they don’t always heat the water to the correct temperature.

Others get the timing wrong and often take too long to brew, which keeps the grinds immersed in water for too long, resulting in over-extracted, bitter-tasting coffee.

Some high-end coffee makers offer temperature adjustment, but you cannot change the immersion time. The ideal water temperature is close to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and it should stay at that temperature throughout the entire brewing process.

For the proper extraction of coffee, the water should make contact with the grinds for four to six minutes. However, some machines take a much longer brewing time, which is not good for your brew.

If you want to find out if your coffee machine is bringing out the best flavors:

  1. Perform a test to see if it does.
  2. In the first test, make your pot of coffee; as usual, don’t change anything.
  3. Pour the coffee into an insulated vessel to taste.

For the second test, measure the water and coffee to make three cups. Pour precisely 18 fluid ounces into the reservoir with a kitchen measuring jug.

Next, measure your grinds and add them to the filter. You will need ten grams of coffee grounds to fill each cup, which is 30 grams in total to 18 fluid ounces of water.

When the coffee is brewed, pour yourself a cup. Compare both samples. If the second tastes better, you can improve your coffee by being more precise with your measurements.

Final Thoughts

Pour-over coffee is typically superior-tasting coffee when compared with drip coffee from a machine. That doesn’t mean that drip coffee is always terrible, but the process is mostly machine-based which doesn’t allow you to control essential coffee-making elements.

Pour-over can go wrong if your timing is off and you don’t know how to use the tools correctly. You need time and practice for excellent pour-over coffee.

You can still achieve decent coffee with a drip coffee maker by being more exact with your measurements and using fresh-filtered water, if possible.

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