If you just googled best pour over coffee maker, you’re probably getting some mixed results. The pour over method of coffee making is traditionally a manual process. It gives you the power to control the water temperature and water contact time, and you can also “bloom” the coffee by pre-soaking the coffee grounds. What is blooming and why is it important? There are numerous explanations out there, but let’s just say blooming causes carbon dioxide to be released from the coffee grounds, then more science happens, and suddenly the coffee tastes amazing. Anyway, the pour over method (and blooming) really is the best way to ensure that your coffee is done right. The only problem is that doing the pour over method manually takes a bit of effort! That also means it takes time. Sure, this is fine on Sunday mornings when you’ve got all day, but what about the rest of the week? If that’s the issue you’re looking to address, then the best pour over coffee maker is going to be an automatic one.
In this article, we’ll go over both manual and automatic pour over coffee makers. We’ll start with the automatic ones which, to be perfectly honest, will mostly be a rehash of my list of top 10 SCAA certified coffee makers. This isn’t because I’m lazy (but I most certainly am!). It’s because SCAA certified coffee makers all happen to be pour over machines. Pour over functionality, which basically just means pre-soaking the grounds, isn’t a prerequisite for SCAA certification. Still, it seems to be a feature you can expect in many high-end coffee makers. Cheaper coffee makers don’t do the pour over pre-soak bloom because then they wouldn’t be so cheap anymore. After the automatic pour over coffee makers, we’ll look at some relatively inexpensive and, dare I say, “elegant” ways to do pour over coffee manually. With that said, let’s start off by looking at which of the automatic models might be the best pour over coffee maker for you.
In terms of SCAA certified coffee makers (and automatic pour over coffee makers), the KitchenAid KCM0801OB is sort of an “entry level” machine. Keeping in mind that this kind of coffee maker tends to be pretty pricey, it’s low on the price scale. That’s good. The coffee is also GREAT. That’s also good (or, actually, great). Even people who aren’t impressed by this coffee maker say they love the coffee it makes. The downside of this unit is that, according to a lot of buyers, it’s kind of cheaply made. It’s reportedly made of “cheap plastic parts” (and many have registered the same complaint against the $300 Technivorm Moccamaster). The printed symbols by the buttons rub off over time. Some have even said that it leaks water. That might be enough to scare you off, but it’s worth noting that KitchenAid’s customer service is also reportedly wonderful. Amazon’s top (most helpful) negative reviewer of this pour over coffee maker said that KitchenAid had no problem sending her a free replacement even though she was four months past her warranty period. Other unhappy campers have made similar reports of getting a free replacement.
Bottom line? If your budget is limited but you want an SCAA certified pour over coffee maker, this one just might be what you want. Plus, KitchenAid stands by their products, so that’s a great safety net to have if you buy this coffee maker and experience problems. Also note that KitchenAid offers a more expensive digital model of this same machine (the KitchenAid KCM0802OB) if you want to get fancy.
I reviewed the Behmor Brazen Plus and have waxed poetic about it numerous times since. The Behmor Connected Brewer is more or less the same coffee maker, but the thing that makes this model “connected” is that you can control it through a smartphone app! The app is available on both iOS and Android. It allows you to set the number of cups, brew temperature, and pre-soak (blooming) time, and you can even monitor the progress of the brew. It will also notify you when your coffee is ready in case you happen to be off doing something else. The app also lets you store “flavor profiles” in case there’s a desire to have different settings for different people, or perhaps different coffee types. Brewing can also be accomplished without the app if you prefer. OR…you can show off for the neighbors and start the brew cycle by ordering Alexa to do it! Yes, if you have an Amazon Echo, the Behmor Connected Brewer will take orders from it. It will also connect to Amazon Dash and reorder coffee for you if you have that particular thing set up.
The Behmor Brazen Plus, this pour over coffee maker’s unconnected brethren, comes with fancy features such as altitude adjustment and manual release. This Connected Brewer appears to be missing those features, so be sure you’re ordering the model you want if that stuff is important to you.
This is indeed one of the best pour over coffee makers out there and, yes, it’s SCAA certified. Also, Behmor is so concerned about customer satisfaction that they actually have someone monitoring reviews on Amazon! Apparently that person’s job is to address complaints by offering solutions or pointing customers to the right Behmor resources to get problems handled. Behmor is literally the only company I’m aware of that does this.
The best pour over coffee maker doesn’t have to be fancy or digital or “connected.”
Do you hate technology? Does the Behmor Connected Brewer (above) scare the living daylights out of you? Then you’re probably going to be way more comfortable with the Bonavita BV1900TS. The best pour over coffee maker doesn’t have to be fancy or digital or “connected.” This coffee maker literally has ONE button on it. Still, it does its job so well that it’s worthy of SCAA certified status, and there are coffee snobs aplenty who wouldn’t give up their Bonavita for anything. Also, there is an optional pre-infusion (bloom) mode that is activated by holding down the button for five seconds. Bonavita is known for making great coffee makers, and the BV1900TS is a study in simplicity and performance. Some people have complained that the brew basket sits directly on top of the stainless steel carafe, but if that doesn’t bother you, then you should give this one a good look.
Oh, and P.S. If the one frill you actually DO want is a coffee maker that’s programmable, it’s available! The Bonavita BV1900TD has a little clock (second picture down below) and can be programmed to start your morning coffee. Like its luddite cousin, the programmable version is also SCAA certified.
Cuisinart makes a lot of coffee makers, and most of them range from meh to pretty good. Their Brew Central DCC-1200 was one of the first coffee makers I ever reviewed here at Buy/Don’t Buy, and I actually said don’t buy! That doesn’t happen very often. Thankfully, the Cuisinart CPO-850 PurePrecision™ Pour Over Coffee Brewer is better than that. A lot better. In addition to a very long name, it comes with a fairly hefty price tag, but sometimes you just want what you want. It hasn’t been on the market for all that long, but 51 of the 63 reviewers on Amazon have given it 4 or 5 star ratings. One reviewer even claims it is, and I (mostly) quote:
Hands down *THE* best pour over coffee maker on the market right now!
(click that link to read his review)
Well, he didn’t say “pour over” but he did say the rest. I added the words “pour over” because this is a pour over coffee maker and once again I’m shamelessly dancing for Google. Okay, so back to the point…great coffee maker. Some naysayers have complained that the coffee isn’t any better than cheaper coffee makers, or they complain about coffee temperature. These people are in the minority, but it’s always wise to consider all perspectives before sinking a lot of money into anything. Also, speaking of money…if price is an issue, there is a CPO-800 model that comes with a glass carafe instead of stainless steel, and it’s a LOT cheaper! It doesn’t look as cool, but it’ll save you some cash.
Hey, you know that company that makes pizza wheels and can openers that are too expensive but you just want them anyway? That’s OXO. You probably have some of their rubbery little kitchen tools in your house right this minute. Turns out they also make a couple of pretty amazing coffee makers! Spoiler alert, their coffee makers are also expensive, but like the other stuff OXO makes, they’re worth the money. They definitely have a certain oh-man-I-want-this quality about them. The OXO On Barista Brain 9-cup coffee maker may have a weird name, but it is definitely a stylish piece of equipment. It’s SCAA certified, comes with an insulated stainless steel carafe, and it makes amazing coffee! If you like OXO products, and really who doesn’t, put one of these in your kitchen.
Like it’s 9-cup sibling, the OXO On Barista Brain 12-cup model is an SCAA certified coffee maker, and it’s glorious. You’ll notice right away that this coffee maker has a drastically different design, and there’s a good reason for that. Check out the picture below. That’s right…this thing has a detachable water kettle! As of right now, this is the only coffee maker on the market that has this incredibly cool feature. If you entertain guests with any regularity, you’re going to be using the water kettle a lot. Also, if you do a lot of cooking, you’re going to be using the water kettle a lot. If you’re looking for the best pour over coffee maker and appreciate a design that’s both beautiful and functional, this is the coffee maker you’re looking for.
Behold, the Technivorm Moccamaster! This is basically the benchmark by which all other coffee makers are measured. Sure, some people are less than thrilled about the “finish” of the product (some call the construction “cheap”) but it makes incredible coffee. Just about everyone agrees on this point, even if they have some other gripe about it. With all the other great coffee makers in this list, it’s hard to say that the Moccamaster is THE best pour over coffee maker, but it certainly belongs in that conversation.
Manual Pour Over Coffee Makers
I’ve written about the Chemex on numerous occasions (read review here). You simply can’t talk about pour over coffee makers without starting off with the Chemex! And you most certainly can’t talk about the best pour over coffee makers without including Chemex. That would just be looney.
So what’s so special about it? It’s just a glass carafe, right? Well, not really. The magic of the Chemex really comes from the proprietary filters that Chemex has developed. They aren’t your average paper filters. In Chemex’s own words:
Chemex filters are 20-30% heavier than competitive brands and remove even the finest sediment particles, and well as oils, and fats.
Earlier in this article I alluded to an “elegant” way of doing the pour over method of coffee making, and this is what I was referring to. In addition to the special filters, the Chemex is a classic design that has remained unchanged since its introduction in the 1960s. If pour over coffee is what you’re after, the Chemex is certainly a great way to go.
If Chemex is too cool for you, or possibly just too big, this little Coffee Gator pour over carafe is a great option. It comes with a stainless steel filter which means you’ll never have to worry about buying filters separately, and it’s a nice size for just having a quick cup or two. But does it work as advertised? Well, consider this: Out of the 696 customer reviews on Amazon as of this writing, 86% of them are full 5-star ratings! And 11% gave it 4 stars. Overall, that’s 97% of buyers who love this thing. That’s the mark of a great product.
There’s no shortage of standalone pour over coffee filters that you can just put on top of any coffee cup. There are tons of them on Amazon. One in particular that stands out is the Brewologist Pour Over Coffee Filter. They used to call it a “coffee cone” but I guess “coffee filter” is better for marketing. I reviewed this pour over coffee filter a long time ago, and it remains one of the highest rated pour over filters you can buy. It’s dead simple, and it’s made of 18/8 stainless steel. I don’t know what “18/8” means, but I guess that’s the good kind of stainless!
So, which is the best pour over coffee maker for you? That really depends on what you want. You really can’t go wrong with a Chemex, but if you’re looking for an automatic pour over coffee maker then you’ve got a few things to consider. If you like the idea of using your smartphone to set and monitor the brew, go with the Behmor Connected Brewer. If you want the simplest coffee maker imaginable, Bonavita would be a good choice. Are you looking to make a statement with something that brings some sparkle to the kitchen? Wanna make your guests ooohh and aaaahh with envy? Then OXO’s On Barista Brain 12-cup coffee maker and the Technivorm Moccamaster are both great options. Whatever you wind up going with, you’re really going to enjoy your new pour over coffee maker! Bloom that coffee and taste the difference it makes.