The Clever Dripper might be the most underrated coffee brewer. The device is a sort of hybrid brewer that offers elements of both immersion and gravity drip methods. It’s easy to use, and most importantly, capable of making a really great cup of coffee.
Essentially, the device is a pour-over dripper with a sealable valve at the bottom. The valve allows you to steep the coffee as long as you desire. The resulting brew is somewhere between the body of a French press and the clarity of a Hario V60.
There are several practical reasons I love the Clever dripper:
1. It doesn’t need a gooseneck kettle like pour-over drippers.
2. İt uses Melitta #4 filters, easily the most ubiquitous coffee filter in the world.
3. The BPA-free plastic dripper and accompanying lid is very temperature-stable, which makes for easier extraction.
The only drawback, in my opinion, is that the draw-down can be hard to predict. If your grinder produces a lot of fines, it could easily take 2+ minutes for your brew to finish draining. Different coffees will drain at different rates, so when you’re brewing a new coffee there’s a decent amount of guesswork.
Without further ado, here is our Clever Dripper recipe.
1. Place 24 grams of medium ground coffee in the Clever Dripper.
2. Briskly pour 400 ml of 96° C water. Try to evenly saturate all of the grounds.
3. After 1:00 minute, gently stir the slurry, making sure all coffee grounds are immersed. Then place the lid on top of the dripper.
4. At 2:00 minutes, carefully place the Clever over the carafe, initiating drawdown.
5. Aim for 4:00 total brew time, plus or minus 30 seconds. If your brew takes much longer than that consider adjusting your grind size or shortening your steep time.
If you did steps 3 and 4 properly, the coffee bed should be perfectly flat at the end of brewing with little to no coffee grounds stuck on the sides of the filter. Be careful when placing the Clever dripper over your carafe— I’ve tipped more than one brew over at this step!
Have you experimented with a Clever Dripper? Feel free to share your go-to recipe in the comments section below.