The Clever Dripper – a simple way to make great coffee, with easy clean-up.

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The Clever Dripper is pitched as being a cross between a pour-over filter cone and a French press.

It certainly has the appearance of a filter cone, but with one key difference. It has a valve at the bottom.


While you’re making the coffee, the valve remains closed. So when you pour water into the cone it stays there.

In this way it’s like a French press. It’s an immersion method of brewing. The water and the ground coffer sit in the cone together for about 4 minutes.

It’s only when you place the Clever Dripper on your mug that the valve opens and the coffee pours down.

Let’s take this in sequence, from start to finish.

First, you add a #6 filter to the cone and give it a quick clean and rinse with hot water. This gets rid of any “paper taste” from the filter.

Next you add the ground coffee to the filter, just as you would with a regular filter cone brewer or a Chemex.

With the right amount of ground coffee in the filter, you begin to pour the hot water. Be sure you have measured your ground coffee and water in advance, so you get the proportions just right.

Pour a little water to let the coffee bloom. Pause for a moment or two and then keep pouring until the cone is full.

Unlike with a regular filter cone, the water doesn’t just flow through the coffee and filter into your mug. It stays in the cone.

This is what puts the “easy” into the Clever Dripper.

While pour-over is a great way to brew coffee, it’s quite tricky.  You have to pour slowly, but not too slowly. In other words, you have to gauge your pour so that the hot water and the ground coffee are in contact for about four minutes.

With the Clever Dripper you don’t have to do that. It’s more like using a French press. You just add the water to the ground coffee and wait. 

Once the four minutes are up, place the Clever Dripper on your mug. The valve automatically opens and your coffee pours into the mug.

Clean-up is simple too. Certainly easier than with a French press. Just bin the filter, or add it to your compost. The dripper is now easy to clean, with no pesky coffee grounds to worry about.

While this is a super-simple way to make a cup or mug of coffee, it does give you room to experiment. Try slightly different proportions of water to ground coffee. Try a slightly longer or shorter immersion time. Try a slightly higher or lower temperature for the water.

In other words, the Clever Dripper give you the flexibility of a pour-over method, but makes it easier.

If you can’t find one locally, you can buy the Clever Dripper at


The Clever Dripper coffee maker.The Clever Dripper brewer is a cross between a pour-over filter cone and a French press.

About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…

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