If you aren’t familiar with the concept of pour over coffee, you might want to check out this article from my site which was written over two years ago. It details the actual process of using a ceramic funnel or dripper for making a cup of pour over coffee.
I actually bought that ceramic pour over dripper more than two years ago for my wife to use when she makes her coffee every morning. She didn’t see the need to brew up one cup of coffee using our full-size coffee maker since she only has one cup each day. By the time she makes her morning coffee on weekdays, I'm already at work so she is by herself. The pour over coffee method was perfect for her needs.
Well, a little bit after I bought the ceramic version for my wife, my daughter picked up a Melitta plastic pour over coffee funnel and she used it for years in her college dorm and now in her apartment. I think there are benefits to both versions but I think there is a clear winner if you are looking to save money and end up with a great cup of coffee each morning.
The ceramic model seen here, which I picked up at a local Starbucks, is very similar to the Hario Ceramic Coffee Dripper. It is certainly a classy-looking pour over coffee dripper. My wife loves it and, as I said, has used it for over two years. But, there are some drawbacks to this model which I have come to realize especially after my daughter purchased the Melitta Ready Set Joe Single Cup Coffee Brewer.
Making Pour Over Coffee
Click on any image for a larger view
The ceramic model runs for around $20 but, if you are looking for it to match your existing ceramic mugs or dinnerware in your home, it looks great sitting in your cupboard alongside your other china. The plastic Melitta model, on the other hand, runs for about $5.
Let’s face it, anything that is ceramic can easily break. We have ceramic tile on our kitchen floor and if the ceramic dripper ever fell off of our kitchen island it would break into bits. So, there is always that concern not only for your dripper but for your ceramic tile floor which could also be damaged if the dripper fell from the height of a kitchen island or counter.
With the plastic Melitta dripper, you simply have no concern whatsoever when it comes to breaking. I guess the only concern you could have is getting it anywhere near a hot surface that could melt it such as a stove burner but my daughter has never had this problem.
This is where that I feel that the plastic Melitta version has it all over the ceramic version. As you can see in the images above, the Melitta plastic pour over dripper has a convenient opening that allows you to see just how high up the coffee is coming up in the mug below.
With the ceramic model, you almost have to use a measuring cup with your hot water and pour it in from there or you could simply lift the funnel as you are pouring it to see just where the coffee level has reached. Another great benefit is that you can travel with this plastic dripper and you don't have to worry about it breaking in your suitcase.
If you are looking for a classy pour over coffee dripper that will match the existing decor and material of your kitchen, the ceramic pour over coffee dripper may be your best option. But, if you want to save money, not have to worry about it breaking, and have the convenience of seeing the coffee level as you are making the coffee, I would opt for the Melitta plastic pour over coffee dripper.
Whatever you choose, please remember to always use high quality coffee beans, a burr coffee grinder to grind your beans (this is the one I use), the best water you can find, and it couldn't hurt to pick up a cordless tea kettle to easily heat up your water. Life is short so you should never settle for a sub par cup of coffee!