Product Review – Clever Coffee Dripper

October 24, 2011


It’s about time I review the Clever Coffee Dripper; after all I use it at least as much as my French press and very often I prefer the results. I’ve had a great deal of success with this device and the fact that it uses a finer grind with a lower dose as compared to the French press means that I tend to get more consistent results as well.



The Clever Dripper is a hybrid system, it uses a full contact and protracted infusion much like your basic French press. What makes it Clever (ha!) is that it also works like a pour-over in that after the infusion the coffee is strained through a filter when it is poured into your glassware. Genius.



I first saw the Clever Dripper used at Café Fixe in Boston. I asked what the thing was and the barista told me about it, and also mentioned a website where I could buy it. As it happened I stopped by Elemental Roasters in Oklahoma City soon after and saw it for sale for about $15 and picked it up right away.



Note: I use your basic coffee filters which I do rinse with hot water before brewing; it is recommended that you use hemp or parchment filters of a higher quality, but I haven’t gotten around to ordering any yet.



The instructions for this device say to use a finer grind than what you would use for a French press pot, and that makes a big difference for me at the moment because I use a Hario Skerton hand grinder, and as I mentioned in a previous review the Hario is materially less consistent when it is grinding coarsely then when it is grinding for espresso or even stovetop espresso maker.



My rule of thumb is I use 24 grams of beans with 12 oz of water, and let steep for 4 minutes. As the instructions suggest I let steep uncovered for 30 seconds, stir, and steep covered for three and a half minutes. Another thing I like about the Clever Dripper is that, unlike porcelain or glass, the (BPA free) plastic does not leech heat away from the water, so the coffee comes out nice and hot.



Overall I like the Clever Dripper; it gives a very aromatic and “light” cup compared to the thick and rich cup you get from the press pot and sometimes I’m in the mood for exactly that. One thing I really do like about it is that cleanup is such a breeze, you just toss the filter! No scooping grounds out of the press pot (can’t hit the carafe or you will break it, as I’ve done a number of times) and disassembling the plunger to clean grounds out of the mesh.



Thanks for reading



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