Comparing Pour-Over and Drip Coffee Techniques

9 min read NOV 17, 2023

Tired of breaking the bank at coffee shops every day? Fear not, as there are numerous ways to brew barista-level coffee from the comfort of your own home. Two of the most popular methods for brewing coffee are pour-over and drip coffee. These methods produce a delicious, savory cup of coffee in no time. Keep reading to discover more about these brewing techniques and how you can become a pro at crafting the perfect cup of coffee.


Although the pour over method has existed for a while, it has recently regained popularity thanks to the third wave of coffee. The intricate brewing process and efficient extraction ability of the pour over have led coffee enthusiasts to revisit this method in search of a simple yet flavorful brew.


Although coffee has been brewed for centuries, it wasn't until Melitta Bentz that they saw significant progress in the practice. Before the early 1900s, coffee makers struggled to prevent coffee grounds from seeping into brewed coffee. While cloth and linen filters existed, they were arduous to clean and maintain. That all changed in 1908 when Bentz invented the paper filter.

With just a blotting paper from her son's school book, she mastered the art of brewing coffee. Her creativity led to the innovation of paper coffee filters, which became essential in the pour-over brewing method. By using filters, she has forever changed how coffee is brewed, and her contribution to the world of coffee will never be forgotten.


One of the reasons baristas love the pour-over method is that they have complete control over the brewing process. It means they can monitor the even and thorough saturation of the grounds to extract the perfect flavor. The result? A delicious cup of coffee that's enjoyable to both make and drink.

Pour over coffee is a favorite among many coffee lovers, particularly those who like it black. It's believed that this method produces a richer and more flavorful brew due to the longer making process, which allows intricate flavor extraction. The slower the filters, the more taste is extracted, making the pour over method a top choice for those seeking a more refined coffee experience.


Electric coffee makers are ubiquitous in American homes. While there are various methods of brewing coffee using the "drip" method, most aficionados refer to coffee brewed through an electric machine as drip coffee.


Bentz's invention revolutionized the pour over method and paved the way for the electric drip coffee maker in the 20th century. Gottlob Widmann invented the Wigomat, Germany's first electric drip coffee maker, in 1954. Before the 1950s, coffee was conventionally brewed using Moka Pots, percolators, or the pour over method.

Disposable filters made brewing drip coffee easier and more efficient. The convenience of disposable filters allowed coffee drinkers to brew coffee more frequently, contributing to the surge of electric coffee makers in American homes. These factors combined to make electric coffee makers the preferred choice of many people.


The electric drip coffee makers witnessed an incredible surge in popularity during the 20th century, primarily due to their efficiency in complementing the 9-to-5 work routine. By the 1970s, electric drip coffee brewer had almost entirely replaced percolators as the preferred coffee-making apparatus in American households.

The electric drip coffee maker is all about efficiency - arguably its most intriguing characteristic. The machine takes care of the brewing process, leaving the brewer with minimal work - just pour water into the reservoir and coffee into the filter. It's a simple process that yields delicious coffee every time.


Let's now dive into learning how to brew.


Simply place a coffee grounds and filter inside a funnel to brew a pour-over. Position the coffee mug or funnel over a carafe, and voila. While there are many pour-over stands with these pieces, there are also devices like the Chemex specially designed for this process.

The pour-over coffee brewing process is a hands-on experience where the coffee extraction process is entirely under your control. This method depends on timed pouring intervals to achieve a balanced flavor extraction. By pouring a specific amount of water in a circular motion for a few seconds, the grounds begin to rise and "bloom," releasing the gasses and flavor inside.


Drip coffee is brewed by pulling cold, filtered water from a reservoir through a machine. The water is then heated and pressurized to draw it up through the machine and filter it down through the grounds. This process produces a smooth and rich cup of coffee, perfect for every occasion.

The extraction begins when the freshly brewed coffee is filtered through paper and collected in a carafe. Once brewed, you're left with a delicious pot of black coffee to sip on all day.


While both brewing methods are excellent for making coffee, they should acknowledge crucial differences and distinctions between them. Here are some of the most common ones to keep in mind.


Pour overs offer richer flavors than regular drip coffee due to the differences in brewing methods. The brewing process is typically longer, allowing the water to extract more flavors and oils from the coffee grounds, resulting in a more vibrant taste.

While both drip coffee and pour over coffee can be satisfying, pour over coffee often stands out with its rich and vibrant flavor. It's bold yet smooth, and its well-rounded body provides a simple yet satisfying taste. So if you're looking for a truly flavorful coffee experience, pour over coffee is worth a try.


The essence of pour-over coffee is the control it gives the barista over the brewing process. The process involves regulating the saturation of the grounds, water flow, and brewing time. It is important to complete the brewing process correctly to ensure that the coffees aren’t over-extracted or under-extracted.


Both drip coffee brewing and pour overs require specific equipment. However, the drip coffee style requires only one piece of equipment, an electric drip coffee maker. This method is effortless as it does all the brewing for you, leaving you to enjoy your coffee with minimal effort.

When it comes to pour overs, you have many options. You can use pour over cup stands like the Bee House Ceramic Coffee Dripper, Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, and the Mecraft Ceramic Coffee Dripper. For those looking for something more substantial, using the same method, the Chemex is an effortless and straightforward way to make a pour-over.


Cold brew is the perfect solution if hot coffee isn't your thing. However, using drip coffee for cold brew isn't ideal since it's only meant for hot coffee. While hot drip coffee may cool off over time, it's not the best option to store long-term in a cool setting. It can alter its flavor, causing it to eventually taste sour.

Cold-brew enthusiasts can make the beverage easily using the pour-over method. Unlike traditional brewing, the pour-over method doesn't require heating water. Instead, immerse the grounds in cold water, cool it for a few hours, and slowly pour it through a Chemex. This process provides a smooth and rich flavor that many cold-brew lovers crave.


Ultimately, both brewing methods will produce a rich, satisfying cup of coffee. The best choice for you depends on your preferences, such as flavor, brewing time, and desired automation level. Consider which qualities matter most and let that guide your selection.

Frequently asked questions

How do I make the perfect cup of coffee with a pour over?

Making the perfect cup of coffee using a pour-over requires attention to detail alongside the right equipment. Use freshly ground beans and measure enough coffee for your desired volume of water. Boil the water, let it sit for about 30 seconds, and then pour it over the grounds. Use a slow, steady stream to ensure all the grounds are properly saturated with water. Wait until all of the water has dripped through, and then enjoy your perfect cup of coffee.

How long should I let the cold brew sit?

Cold-brew enthusiasts recommend letting the beverage steep for 12-24 hours. It will produce a flavorful concentrate that you can dilute to your desired strength and flavor. If it sits for too long, the cold brew may begin to taste sour, so be sure not to let it steep for more than 24 hours. Enjoy your freshly brewed cold-brew coffee.

What are the differences between pour-over and cold brew?

The main difference between pour-over and cold brew is the brewing time. Pour-over coffee can be brewed in minutes, while cold brew takes up to 24 hours. Cold brew uses a coarser grind of beans, while pour-over uses a finer grind. Finally, the flavor of cold brew is typically stronger and more concentrated than pour-over. Ultimately, the decision between the two comes down to personal preference. Try both and see which one you prefer.

What types of equipment are needed for a pour-over?

To make a quality cup of coffee with a pour-over, you will need a few essential pieces of equipment. It includes a gooseneck kettle for precise water pouring, a filter holder, and paper or metal filters. Additionally, you will need a burr grinder to achieve an optimal grind and scales to measure the desired amount of coffee grounds. You can easily make an excellent cup of pour-over coffee with the right tools.

What is the best way to store coffee beans?

The best way to store your coffee beans is in an airtight container away from sunlight and moisture. Also, keep them away from other food items with strong odors, as this can affect their flavor. Additionally, try not to grind more than you need for a single cup of coffee, as this can negatively impact the flavor of your coffee. With proper storage and preparation methods, you can ensure that each cup of coffee is as fresh and flavorful as possible. Enjoy!

What is the French press method?

The French press method is an alternative way to brew a great cup of coffee. It's a popular method due to its simplicity and ability to produce bold, full-bodied coffee. To make French press coffee, add coarsely ground beans into the bottom of the carafe, fill it with hot water, stir for 30 seconds, then cover and wait 4 minutes before pushing down on the plunger filter. It will separate the grounds from your freshly brewed coffee.

What is immersion brewing?

Immersion brewing is a method of coffee preparation where the grounds are completely submerged in water, allowing for an even extraction. To do this, add coarsely ground beans to a pot or French press and pour hot water. Allow the mixture to steep for several minutes before straining or pressing the grounds. This method results in a smooth, evenly extracted cup of coffee with rich flavor and aroma.

What is cold brew?

Cold brew is a popular alternative to traditional hot-brewed coffee. It's made by steeping coarsely ground beans in cold water for 12 to 24 hours and then straining or pressing out the grounds. This method produces a smooth, full-bodied coffee concentrate and is less acidic than other brewing methods. Cold brew can be enjoyed independently or mixed with water or milk for a refreshing and flavorful beverage.

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