The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Coffee Pour Over Accessories: Grinders, Kettles, and Scales Explained. Cone Shaped vs Flat Bottom Drippers Compared

Are you searching for the secret to the best coffee pour over? Look no further, for today we delve into the world of grinders, kettles, and scales, uncovering the age-old debate of cone-shaped versus flat bottom drippers. Get ready to unleash the full potential of your morning brew as we explore this fascinating topic that will revolutionize your at-home coffee experience. Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or simply an avid caffeine lover, this article promises to captivate and educate, leaving you eager to elevate your coffee game to new heights. So, grab your favorite mug and join us on this aromatic journey!

Grinders, kettles, and scales

To try a pour-over coffee setup, we have gathered the necessary items in addition to the dripper itself.

The Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder shown on a kitchen counter, next to a container of kitchen utensils and a bag of coffee beans.Photo: Michael HessionThis versatile grinder consistently produces a perfect grind, essential for brewing delicious coffee, without breaking the bank.

For the best-tasting coffee, a burr grinder is necessary, regardless of the brewing method used. After extensive testing, we have determined that the Baratza Encore is the top electric grinder for most people due to its affordability and consistent performance. It is user-friendly, reliable, and produces coffee grounds that are evenly and precisely ground. For more details, you can refer to our complete coffee grinder guide.

  • The Best Coffee GrinderAfter years of testing, we have yet to find a more valuable option than the consistent, reliable, and repairable Baratza Encore.
A high-quality burr grinder allows for precise adjustments in coffee coarseness and produces uniform grounds. In contrast, a cheap blade grinder produces inconsistent particle sizes, resulting in a mix of fine and coarse coffee grounds. Our coffee grinder guide explains these differences in greater detail. Grinding coffee evenly is crucial for achieving a balanced and smooth brew, particularly in pour-over methods. Uneven and poorly ground coffee can lead to a bitter and unbalanced taste. Even a budget-friendly burr grinder will significantly improve the quality compared to a blade grinder.

The Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder shown on a kitchen counter.Photo: Michael HessionThis compact grinder delivers a consistent grind, but manual effort is required.

For travelers in need of a pour-over dripper, the best choice is a manual grinder, such as the Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder. It is easy to grip and has a relatively fast hand-cranking operation. Moreover, being made of stainless steel, the Porlex is sturdy and won't break if accidentally dropped. However, it is worth noting that grinding enough beans for a single cup of coffee can be time-consuming and physically demanding. Therefore, if you brew larger quantities regularly, an electric grinder would be a more suitable choice.

The matte black Cuisinart Gooseneck Kettle.Photo: Michael HessionWe recommend this precise-aim gooseneck kettle for anyone preparing pour-over coffee, or for tea lovers who will appreciate its accurate temperature control.

A pour-over kettle is defined by its long spout, allowing precise control over water pouring speed and direction during brewing. Since pour-over requires water heated below boiling temperature, electric kettles with temperature control are preferable, eliminating the need for a separate thermometer or waiting for water to cool.

In our comprehensive electric kettle guide, we have tested numerous models. For pour-over brewing, we recommend the Cuisinart GK-1 Digital Gooseneck Kettle. It features intuitive and straightforward controls, allowing you to adjust water temperature in 1-degree increments ranging from 140 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, this kettle can maintain the set temperature for up to 30 minutes. The gooseneck spout enables precise water flow, an essential factor in perfecting your pour-over technique. Furthermore, the kettle's matte black design resists smudges better than stainless steel.

  • The Best Electric KettleAfter countless hours of research and testing since 2013, the Cuisinart CPK-17 remains our favorite electric kettle. It offers speed, accuracy, and ease of use, all at an affordable price.

The American Weigh Scales LB-3000 Compact Digital Scale shown on a wooden surface next to measuring cups.Photo: Michael HessionUsing a scale is crucial for consistently brewing excellent coffee. As explained in our measuring cup guide, volume measurements are unreliable. Even a slight variation in the amount of coffee can significantly impact the taste.

In our kitchen scale guide, we recommend the American Weigh Scales LB-3000 for its precision. Among scales capable of measuring fractions of a gram, it provides the most accurate readings. It is the ideal choice for those looking to fine-tune their coffee recipes. However, if you are new to pour-over brewing, a basic kitchen scale, like the Escali Primo Digital Scale, which measures in whole grams, may suffice. Although less precise, it still ensures good coffee quality.

  • The Best Kitchen ScaleAfter over 60 hours of research and testing since 2013, we believe the precise and affordable Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale is the best option for most people.
We also evaluated several coffee-specific scales equipped with built-in timers and additional features for this guide. Among them, our top choice is the Hario V60 Coffee Drip Scale/Timer. It is lightweight and compact, and the built-in timer provides convenience, making it easier to time pours compared to using a separate device like a phone. While it can measure in half grams, its accuracy falls short of the LB-3000. Nevertheless, it promptly registers weight changes.

The Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale shown in white.Although not as accurate as the LB-3000, the Hario V60 scale includes a built-in timer. Photo: Sarah KobosOn the other hand, the OXO Precision Coffee Scale with Timer displays fluctuating measurement readings, making it challenging to determine the exact amount of coffee or water used. While the Brewista Ratio Pour Over Coffee Scale intrigued us with its progress meter for guiding pour pacing, we found its timing to be too inflexible. Since each pour-over requires slight adjustments, it is best to develop your technique through practice. By exercising judgment in water volume and frequency, you can achieve better-tasting coffee.

  • The Best French PressAfter brewing and tasting over 75 pots of coffee, we conclude that the cleverly designed Espro P3 is the best French press for a bold yet balanced brew.
  • The Best Cold-Brew Coffee MakerThe OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker is the best option we've found after extensive testing. It produces smooth, well-balanced, and delicious cold brew.
  • The Best Espresso Machine for BeginnersAfter more than 120 hours of research and testing, we believe the Breville Bambino Plus is the best espresso machine for beginners.
  • The Best Coffee GrinderSince 2015, we have tested various coffee grinders and have yet to find a better value than the reliable and repairable Baratza Encore.
  • The Best Electric KettleAfter multiple rounds of testing since 2013, the Cuisinart CPK-17 remains our top pick. It combines speed, accuracy, and user-friendliness at an excellent price.
  • The Best Cheap Coffee MakerAmong coffee makers priced under $100, the Ninja CE251 brews the best-tasting coffee and is easy to use.
  • The Best Keurig Machine (But We Really Don’t Recommend It)Keurig machines brew expensive coffee that we didn't find particularly strong or tasty. They also have a reputation for frequent malfunctions and contribute to environmental degradation.
  • The Best Drip Coffee MakerSince 2015, we have tested numerous coffee makers and believe the OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker offers the best combination of convenience and delicious coffee.
  • The Best Nespresso Machine (But It’s Not for Everyone)All Nespresso machines produce identical drinks. We recommend the Essenza Mini due to its space-saving design and lack of unnecessary extras.
  1. The Brew Guide, Stumptown Coffee Roasters
  2. Brew Guides, George Howell Coffee
  3. Brew Guides, Blue Bottle Coffee
  4. Home Brewing Guides, Café Grumpy

    Cone Shaped vs Flat Bottom Drippers

    When it comes to brewing coffee, some people argue that using a flat bottomed dripper (referred to as Kalita style) is easier compared to a cone-shaped one because it provides some flow restriction. However, I personally disagree with this viewpoint.

    In my opinion, beginners are better off using cone-shaped brewers such as the Hario V60, especially if they are brewing darker roasted coffee or lower quality coffee.

    Both cone-shaped and flat bottom drippers have their own advantages and disadvantages, and I find them useful for different purposes. To help illustrate this concept, let's use an analogy related to audio equipment:

    • Cone-shaped drippers can be likened to a pair of speakers that produce a rich bass and clear treble frequencies. Some audio enthusiasts might describe this as a "fun sounding" calibration.
    • On the other hand, flat bottom drippers are more comparable to a pair of neutral studio monitors. They provide a balanced EQ and offer a clear, unbiased representation of the sound stage. This makes them ideal for brewing high-end, light roasted coffee, where you want to discern various flavor notes simultaneously.
    Which dripper I prefer to use depends on my mood and the type of beans I have at hand.

    However, a general guideline is that coffees scoring under 82 points often benefit from the additional qualities that cone-shaped drippers provide, such as increased acidity and complexity in the aftertaste.

    So whether you prefer the precision and control of a flat bottom dripper or the clean and bold flavors of a cone-shaped dripper, there is no denying the incredible versatility and satisfaction that the coffee pour-over method can offer. With the right tools and techniques, you have the power to unlock the full potential of your coffee beans, capturing their unique flavors and nuances in every delicious cup. So go ahead, experiment, and find your perfect pour-over setup. Your taste buds will thank you. Happy brewing!

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Posted: 2023-11-23 07:07:01
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