Last Updated on February 16, 2022 by John Moretti
Filter-style coffee is one of the most popular coffee drink types out there. Filter brewing methods can produce excellent cups of coffee and are often said to be the method with the most control for getting the most out of coffee beans. These brew methods are generally divided into two types: drip coffee and pour-over coffee. How do these methods compare?
Drip coffee is made in automatic drip coffee brewers. This coffee is typically full-bodied and well extracted. Pour-over coffee is made by pour-over brewers. This coffee requires more time and effort but usually brews more complex and better-tasting coffee than drip brewers.
Drip coffee and pour-over coffee are two of the most popular brew methods internationally. These two brew methods are both capable of producing excellent coffee, and depending on the brewer, are very difficult to compete with.
Let’s compare drip and pour-over coffee brewing methods to understand them better and to find out what the coffee is like from each method.
Closer Look at Drip Coffee
Drip coffee is the type of coffee that is produced by standard drip brewers, also known as batch brewers or coffee pots.
This type of coffee brewer has some significant advantages, but there are some drawbacks to using this type of brewer as well. Making coffee in a drip brewer is very easy and requires almost no skill or intervention from the person making the coffee.
These batch brewers tend to make large quantities of coffee at once, making them ideal for making a lot of coffee for many people very quickly. Some very large batch brewers can keep an entire coffee shop filling orders for a day with only one brew batch.
The coffee produced by this type of brewer is usually quite well balanced and has the typical coffee flavor that most people have come to expect. The coffee is not particularly strong, and this brewing style limits the extraction of the subtle and interesting flavor from the coffee.
This coffee is typically full-bodied, and this method is best used with darker roasted coffee that will extract relatively quickly.
Drip brewers work by placing ground coffee into the machine. Water is then automatically heated and dripped over the coffee grinds, which then runs through the coffee, extracting along the way. The coffee then drips into a glass coffee pot, where it is typically kept warm on a hot plate, ready to be poured.
The person brewing the coffee has control over the type of coffee and the grind size placed into the machine, but there is very little control after that. These machines are automatic and offer very little control overflow rate, extraction, water distribution, and brew time.
There are many important pros and cons to using this type of brewer. Let’s take a look at the ups and downs of drip coffee brewing.
Drip Coffee Pros
The pros of drip coffee machines and the coffee they produce include:
- Drip coffee machines are easy to use.
- Drip coffee machines brew coffee quickly.
- Drip coffee machines brew a lot of coffee at once.
- Drip coffee machines work best with dark roasted coffee.
- Drip coffee machines produce full-bodied coffee.
- Drip coffee machines typically extract coffee well.
- Drip coffee machines are easy to use.
Drip Coffee Cons
The cons of drip coffee machines and the coffee they produce include:
- Good quality drip coffee machines are very expensive.
- Drip coffee machines offer very little brew control.
- Drip coffee machines do not brew well with lightly roasted coffee.
- Drip coffee machines are bulky.
- Drip coffee machines do not highlight the subtle flavors in coffee.
- Drip coffee can be bland-tasting.
- Drip coffee can be weak.
- Cheap drip coffee machines are not very good.
Closer Look at Pour-Over Coffee
Pour-over coffee refers to coffee that is made from a particular brew method that is known as pour-over. This brewing method has its name because water is poured over ground coffee beans manually to extract the beverage from the beans.
This type of brew method is becoming more popular everywhere, especially among the specialty coffee community and those who are very interested in coffee and like to drink it a certain way.
This brewing method offers the most amount of brew control of any coffee brewing method. The person making the coffee is in complete control over every aspect of the brewer.
Everything including the type of beans, grind size, the water that is used, the amount of coffee used, the amount of water used, the brew time, the water pour rate, the temperature of the water, the filters that are used for brewing, and even when and where to pour the water are all in the control of the person making the coffee.
Unlike the automatic drip brewer machines that we discussed earlier, these are full manual brew methods.
This manual method of making coffee is a delight for some and a chore for others. Pour-over methods typically only brew one or two cups of coffee at once, which means that they are not ideal for making a lot of coffee quickly.
Pour-over brew methods are excellent at extracting the flavors from the coffee and can be used for any type of coffee and coffee beans of any roast level. The method is very involved, but this is the best way to extract the most flavor from coffee beans.
Pour-over coffee is fantastic if brewed well, but there are some pros and cons to these brew methods. Let’s examine some of them now.
Pour-Over Coffee Pros
The pros of pour-over coffee brewing methods and the coffee they produce include:
- Pour-over brew methods make excellent coffee.
- Pour-over is ideal for all types of coffee.
- Pour-over coffee is very complex and has many subtle flavors.
- Pour-over allows absolute brew control.
- Pouring over is the best brew method for coffee extraction.
- Pour-over brewers are very inexpensive.
Pour-Over Coffee Cons
The cons of pour-over coffee brewing methods and the coffee they produce include:
- Pour-over brew methods are difficult to learn.
- Pour-over brewing is complicated and can go wrong easily.
- Pour-over brewers only make one or two cups of coffee at a time.
- Pour-over brewing requires patience and skill.
Drip coffee is not bad coffee, depending on the beans that are used and how accurate the brewer is. A good drip brewer and good coffee beans can produce a lot of good coffee very quickly.
Pour-over brewing methods are far more complex and involved, but the coffee that pour-over methods produce is also more complex and more delicious. Pour-over coffee often outshines drip coffee, even though these methods are quite similar in execution.
Brewing with a drip brewer is best for making a lot of coffee quickly while brewing with a pour-over is the best for making intense, complex, beautifully extracted coffee for those who care about such things.