Pour-over coffee brewing takes a little more attention than other brewing methods, but the flavor payout is well worth it. Full immersion brewing (where the grounds are immersed in water and left to extract), like the French press, offers more control over the final product, from strength and temperature to taste and texture, so does a Clever Dripper recipe.
Clever Dripper brewing actually uses full immersion while looking more like a pour-over.
Many brands manufacture pour-over set-ups; you may have heard of the Melitta, the Hario V60, or the Kalita Wave drippers. At first glance, the Clever Coffee Dripper looks quite similar to these pour-over styles.
But don’t be fooled — it’s pretty unique! It holds the grounds and water, allowing them to steep the same way they would in a French press. Yet, it uses a filter, like pour-over coffee, and drips from the bottom of the brewer only once placed over a mug.
Even if this is your first time experimenting with immersion brewers, this Clever Dripper brew guide will make it a cinch.
Preparing to Brew With the Clever Dripper
First things first: you’ll need ground coffee beans. You can buy pre-ground coffee, but for the glory of your tastebuds, we always recommend buying freshly-roasted whole bean coffee and grinding it yourself.
For a clever dripper, you need a medium-coarse grind size. Bear in mind that the most common grind size for pre-ground coffee is a medium grind.
If grinding at home, do so right before you brew for the best results. Also, using a burr grinder over a blade will give you a more consistent grind (and protect your coffee from breaking down from heat!).
The Clever Dripper brewing process is much smoother with some extra equipment, such as a digital scale for weighing grams of coffee and water and a gooseneck kettle for controlling your flow of water during pouring. These products can even perform double duty since some digital scales include timers, and electric gooseneck spout kettles can often manage the temperature of your hot water.
Explore: Additional Coffee Brewing Methods
Pour-Over Accessory Product Recommendations
Did you think we’d just leave you hanging after all that talk of how equipment enhances your caffeine game?
Heck no! Here’re some options we enjoy:
Being able to grind freshly-roasted coffee beans at home is a game changer. Whatever your budget, you can find a burr grinder to meet your needs. If you have the space for it, we recommend going with an electric over a manual coffee grinder.
For electric, it doesn’t get much better than the SCA-award-winning Baratza Encore grinder. It’s blissfully straightforward to use, has 40 grind settings, and it’s backed by a one-year warranty.
If you’re looking to spend less than Baratza’s current price of around $170, OXO offers a conical burr grinder with 15 grind settings for half the price.
Many pour-over coffee recipes will include measurements for coffee and water in grams. By placing your setup on a digital scale, you can precisely measure out your grams of coffee every time.
What’s nice about digital scales marketed explicitly as “coffee scales” is that they often include a timer. This feature will come in handy when you’re making our clever dripper recipe below!
Here’s an affordable coffee scale option from KitchenTour. It has a backlit display and even comes with batteries — we love that for you!
Any electric kettle is convenient.
But an electric kettle that’s temperature controlled and has a gooseneck spout? That’s next level.
For most coffee recipes, you want your brewing water just under boiling; water temperature can be challenging to gauge when boiling water on a stovetop. This Amazon bestselling electric kettle from COSORI has five presets for coffee and tea. The gooseneck spout allows you great control over your pouring as well.
Related: Try a Turkish Coffee Maker for Your Next Brew
Clever Coffee Dripper Brew Guide
Before you begin, get your set-up ready:
- Coffee grounds
- Clever coffee dripper
- Hot water* (heated to 205 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Paper filters
- Digital scale
- Mug (or whatever you’re brewing into)
*Filtered water is best.
Coffee to Water Ratio
We’ve mentioned you’ll want to measure out grams of coffee and water, but how much of each do you need?
A good place to start is with a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio. So, if you’re using 20 grams of coffee, you’ll want 300 grams of water.
Clever Dripper Recipe (Step-by-Step Directions)
Total Brew Time: ~4 minutes
Without further ado (cause we’ve got coffee to a-brew), here are the clever steps:
- Place a coffee filter in the Clever Dripper over a mug. Use some of your hot water to pre-wet the paper filter (and wash away any paper taste!) and “preheat” the Clever Dripper. Discard the rinse water from the mug afterward.
- Place the Clever Dripper (mug not required here) on top of your digital scale and turn it on. If it reads anything other than 0, hit “tare.”
- Add 20 grams of coffee to the coffee filter. You can give the dripper a shake to level out the coffee grounds. Tare the scale again.
- Gently pour water (300 grams) into the Clever Dripper, being sure to soak the coffee bed. Set a timer for three minutes steep time.
- After one minute (when the timer still has two minutes remaining), give the coffee a gentle stir. You’re looking to break up the “crust” of coffee that forms on top.
- Put the lid on the Clever Dripper and let it sit until the timer goes off.
- When the three minutes are up, place the Clever Dripper on top of your mug; it should take around one minute to fully drip out.
- Add cream and sugar if desired; enjoy!
Remove the filter from the Clever Dripper and either toss the coffee grounds in the garbage or compost them! (We don’t recommend putting ground coffee down your garbage disposal.)
Rinse the Clever Dripper immediately with hot water; never put it through the dishwasher!
Settle the Debate: Moka Pot vs. French Press
Can You Make Iced Coffee With the Clever Dripper?
Yes, you can! The brewing process for iced coffee isn’t too vastly different from the instructions above.
A key part of successful Clever Dripper iced coffee is to change up your coffee-to-water ratio. Instead of 1:15, try using 1:10. This is because the ice will dilute the coffee, so you need it to be an initially stronger brew.
What You Need:
- 28 grams of medium to medium-coarse ground coffee
- 300 grams of water
- 150 grams of ice
- Clever Dripper, scale, kettle, paper filter, glass
Put the ice in your glass, then prepare coffee using the Clever Dripper recipe above. Let it drip into the glass of ice; some will melt, so add more ice and any other fixings you like!
Where to Buy a Clever Coffee Dripper
If you’ve made it this far but don’t actually have a Clever Coffee Dripper (yet), well, this section is for you!
If you can’t find one for sale at your local coffee shop, you can snag one off cleverbrewing.coffee. They’re available in clear or black for around $25 before shipping. Clever Brewing also sells #4 paper filters by the pack of 100 or a case of 40 packs if you’re stocking up for the caffeine apocalypse (we scared ourselves a little with that joke).
Or, head over to Amazon. Most of their options are combos (dripper + filters), and if you’re a prime member, you can get your gear ASAP!
Learn: Prepare Nitro Cold Brew at Home!
Where to Find Specialty Coffee for Clever Dripper Brewing
Medium roasts remain the most common choice for pour-over and Chemex brewers, yet these days, light roasts are getting a ton of love from the pour-over community.
As a full-immersion brewing method, Clever Dripper lends itself well to the brightness of and subtle flavors in lightly roasted coffee beans. With that said, you can absolutely brew a delicious cup of coffee with dark roast beans if those are your jam.
Try to find the freshest coffee you can:
- Check roast date’s on whole-bean coffee at the grocery store
- Look for roasters in your area (maybe your local coffee shop sells them!)
- Sign up for a subscription service that roasts to order
Check out what we think of these popular coffee subscription services:
As you’ve learned, the Clever Dripper is easy to use, easy to clean, and it’s an incredibly affordable coffeemaker. It makes excellent coffee, immersion-style brewing like a French press — but without the sediment!
To quote Peter Pan, “Oh, the cleverness of me!”
But really, it’s the cleverness of you in choosing to brew coffee with a Clever Dripper!