Drip coffee makers are a thing of the pastwith the rise of electric pour-over coffee makers. Pour-over coffee has been done by hand in coffee shops for many years and now is making its way to your kitchen with an automated process. These newer machines take out the guesswork of how hot you need your water and the soaking process to create a perfect pour-over cup of joe. Chef Austin tested Everything Kitchens' top five electric pour-over coffee brewers to see which machine made the most comparable coffee to the old-school hand-pour method.
To do the ultimate taste test, we brought in our local coffee expert Case Howard from the Black Lab Coffee Company to help teach us about pour-over coffee and find the best tasting brew. Black Lab provided our beans for testing that they freshly roasted for our comparison. We brewed the same coffee grounds in each machine and then did a blind taste test of each brew to determine which machine made the best tasting coffee.
Everything you need to know about Pour Over Coffee
Goodbye Old-School Drip Method - Most all of the coffee makers out there are going to be drip style - a single steady stream of water runs through coffee grounds to make coffee. This method is fast and easy, but doesn't properly extract the maximum flavor from the beans.
Hello Pour-Over Method - This method is more gentle and has more stages. The beans are soaked evenly with a shower of water and are given a short time to "bloom" or naturally release carbon dioxide. After blooming, another shower is poured over the grounds and then drained into the carafe container which gives you the maximum flavor from your beans to make a much smoother cup of coffee.
Best For:People who appreciate fine design and want a work-of-art coffee maker to look beautiful on their counter. Moccamaster is available in many colors to match and accent your kitchen.
Fast Brewing - The fastest electric pour-over coffee maker we tested. Brews 40oz. in 6 minutes.
SCAA CertifiedHome Brewer - Specialty Coffee Association of America has rigorously tested this unit giving it the seal of approval for proper brewing temperature, appropriate brew time, uniform extraction, andmuch more
Doesn't evenly soak coffee grounds, the shower head is more narrow compared to our other coffee makers
No programmable wake-up timer to start coffee in the morning, but it makes coffee so fast, that it doesn't matter too much
Quick Specs: 40oz Capacity | 5-Year Warranty
Chef Austin's Test Results:
Handmade in the Netherlands, Moccamaster brings a beautiful pour-over coffee maker to your kitchen. The Moccamaster is a gorgeous coffee maker, the industrial designer aesthetic, metal body, and hefty weight definitely makes this feel like a piece made in the Netherlands. The interface is simple, an on/off switch for brewing and on/off switch for the carafe warmer.This coffee maker was the FASTEST out of all the machines we tested. The copper heating elements on the inside heat water so fast that our coffee was ready to drink in 6 minutes. Our guest coffee expert Case Howard from the Black Lab Coffee Company said the Moccamaster's coffeedetected some bitter notes from the coffee taste test - this is probably because the shower head on the unit is more narrow causing some of the grounds to not properly soak. Other than that, the Moccamaster did an excellent job, and looked good while doing it.
Best For:Those wanting the best tasting cup of pour-over style coffee without having to go to the coffee shop. KitchenAid delivers the perfect coffee bloom and perfect cup of joe without Joe the barista.
SCAA CertifiedHome Brewer- Specialty Coffee Association of America has rigorously tested this unit giving this KitchenAid the seal of approval for proper brewing temperature, appropriate brew time, uniform extraction, and much more
Perfect Coffee Bloom - Created a visible coffee bloom; KitchenAid is mimics the pour-over process perfectly extracting the maximum coffee flavor from the beans making this Chef Austin's Top Pick
Simple One-Button Interface - Simply just press one button to start the brewing process. Watch the indicator lights to see what brewing step the machine is on
Sometimes hard to judge how much water you are adding to the reservoir, the water level indicator has a delay making you wait to see how much water you've poured in
No programmable wake-up timer to start coffee in the morning
I usually don't think coffee when I hear the name KitchenAid but I quickly changed my mind after brewing in their Pour Over Coffee Brewer. Honestly, going into the comparison, I expected this model to come out near last place, but I was pleasantly surprised. The KitchenAid's brewing process actually does an excellent job of properly soaking and steeping the beans by alternate showering the grounds with water allowing the beans to steep. The gentle shower head properly "blooms" the coffee - releasing the carbon dioxide making the beans grow & rise - without breaking the fragile bloom. KitchenAid's coffee maker did this process better than all the others we tested! Our coffee expert Case Howard from the Black Lab Coffee Company said the KitchenAid's pour-over coffee was the smoothest and best tasting out of all five we tried in our blind taste test. After inspecting each coffee makers' grounds after brewing, Case saw that that the KitchenAid's bloom was the most intact which accounted for the better flavor extraction.
Best For: Coffee drinkers who want to keep their coffee hot for long periods of time. The stainless steel carafe keeps your properly bloomed pour-over coffee at the perfect temperture. Also looks like a sweet science experiment on your counter.
Fast Brew Time - Brew time is exceptionally fast and it even looks cool while brewing as the water moves from the tank to the brew basket.
Smart & Simple Control Dial - By far the easiest to use controls, Oxo has a sleek dial and LCD for choosing brew size and counts up to let you know how long the coffee has been sitting in the carafe to enjoy before the flavor starts to degrade
Programmable Wake Up - Start the pot of coffee right as you wake up and get ready for work
Stainless Steel Carafe - Keeps brewed coffee hot and has a mixing tube attachment. As coffee brews, the tube evenly disperses it - no more weak coffee on top and strong coffee on the bottom of the pot
Rainmaker Shower Head - Evenly soaks all coffee grounds to extract maximum flavor from your beans. Computerized to soak beans once to properly bloom coffee, then soak again to brew
SCAA Certified Home Brewer - Specialty Coffee Association of America has rigorously tested this unit giving this Oxo the seal of approval for proper brewing temperature, appropriate brew time, uniform extraction, and much more
Wake up timer can be tricky to set with the single dial interface when compared to the Cuisinart
Oxo always impresses me with how they take a tool I use and making it even easier to operate. Their Barista Brain Coffee Brewer takes the hardest part of pour-over brewing, creating the coffee bloom, and makes it dummy-proof. Oxo's Rainmaker shower head is larger than Moccamaster's, so it can evenly soak your coffee grounds every time.Oxo's Barista Brain is programmed to heat water to the perfect temperatureof 200°Fthen transfers it over to the Rainmaker. Steaming hot water will drip down gently and evenly like rain over the beans and create that magic, flavorful bloom you want to see brewing coffee. Improper spout placement, like on the Moccamaster, can easily break this bloom by pouring too fast or unevenly; the Rainmaker takes all the hassle out. It's mystifying to watch the Oxo drain water from clear water basin to the rainmaker shower head - the design of the machine is nice enough to leave on the counter.
Best For: People who love to sleep in and let your coffee makerdo all the work while you lay in bed. You can program the Cuisinart PurePrecision to the perfect brew strength and temperature and have it start brewing at a set time.
SCAA Certified Home Brewer - Specialty Coffee Association of America has rigorously tested this unit giving this Cuisinart the seal of approval for proper brewing temperature, appropriate brew time, uniform extraction, and much more
Programmable Wake Up - Smell coffee as soon as you crawl out of bed, program the Cuisinart to brew at a certain time with its easy-to-use LCD interface
Paper Filter Free - Included is a reusable stainless steel mesh filter so no paper filters are required
Charcoal Filter - Purifies water before brewing your coffee grounds making for better tasting coffee
Large Shower Head - Evenly distributes hot water over all of the coffee grounds for an even soak
No coffee bloom observed, the timing of the water soaking cycles could be programmed better for the coffee to potentially be even more flavorful
Cuisinart is the Cadillac of electric pour-over coffee makers. It's stainless steel finish and high-quality LCD control panel make the Cuisinart look like a spaceship on your kitchen counter. The unit is programmable to where you can set exactly what time you want your coffee to start brewing. This makes getting out of bed less of a struggle when you can smell fresh coffee brewing in the kitchen while still under the covers. The Cuisinart PurePrecision has a huge shower head design to gently drip hot water over your coffee grounds in its permanent stainless steel coffee filter. We saw that our ground beans were evenly soaked and passed the taste test according to our coffee expert Case Howard from the Black Lab Coffee Company. We didn't see a coffee bloom in our grounds like we did with the KitchenAid's, but it was still an excellent cup of coffee.
Perfect for a couple cups of coffee in the morning, the fun-size Zojirushi Zutto pour-over coffee maker does a great job. The coffee filter is in the lid of the pot instead of being attached to the maker, drastically reducing the size of the entire machine. The Zutto also has a removable charcoal filter to remove impurities from water; if your water taste bad, your coffee is going to taste bad too. This little guy from Zojirushi is designed for the minimalist; it only sports an on/off switch with no other functions. It does keep the glass carafe hot with the warmer sitting underneath it. The only real issue I ran into was the machine uses a #2 size coffee filter (which I had none of) so I had to use my origami skills and fold a #4 size filter into the size of a #2 filter. Other than that, the Zutto by Zojirushi is a great pour-over coffee maker if you only see yourself drinking a smaller amount of coffee.
Surprisingly, I'm going to say my TopPick isKitchenAid's Pour Over Coffee Brewer. I would have never guessed a company famous for mixers would be able to put together a pour-over coffee maker of this caliber. Although not my favorite looking design, the KitchenAid delivers barista-level performance. Every pot of coffee we made with KitchenAid produced the coffee bloom - where the carbon dioxide in the coffee grounds is gently being released. All the other pour-over makers could not do this or broke the bloom, making a less smooth and slightly more acidic coffee. Our guest coffee expert the Black Lab Coffee Company's Case Howard said the KitchenAid's coffee was the smoothest and best tasting out of the five machines we tested.
Again, we want to thank Case Howard from the Black Lab Coffee Company for providing freshly roasted coffee beans for all of our tests. Order fresh beans directly to your door by checking out the Black Lab Coffee Company online or visit their Republic, Missouri location at 545 East Elm Street.
About the Author:
Chef Austin Merath is Everything Kitchen's Culinary Wizard, Kitchen-Gadget Reviewer, and New-Product Tester. He studied under chefs in College of the Ozarks' Culinary Program. It's his job to make sure you choose the kitchen tools that are right for you by testing the best we have to offer. When not cooking, Austin is tinkering with computers or exploring the Ozarks with his wife Amy. Click here for his full bio.