Drip Coffee Vs Pour Over - Which Reigns Supreme

Drip Coffee Vs Pour Over – Which Reigns Supreme?

Last updated on December 4th, 2023 at 14:38

Many people ask about drip coffee Vs pour over at some point during their coffee journey and want to know which is best and what the differences between these two coffee brewing methods.

By the time you have finished reading this article, you will know exactly how these two coffee brewing methods are similar and how they are very, very different at the same time. You’ll also know which is best for you and why!

Keep reading for the details!

Drip Coffee Vs Pour Over

When it comes to comparing drip coffee Vs pour over it is good to get an around and general understanding of what both coffee brewing methods are and picturing them in your mind as despite the similarities they are both very different ways of making coffee and while one is effortless the other requires a lot of effort.

I detail both these techniques from different angles and from an open and honest point of view based on my experience and my own opinion.

Let’s get to the details.

Drip Coffee Vs Pour Over
Making A Pour Over Coffee

Read: Drip coffee ratio

Pour Over Coffee

Pour over coffee has its origins in from Germany, a lady and name you may be very familiar with. It was the invention of the first paper filter that brought about the pour over brewing method.

Invented by Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz, a German national in 1908.

There on after the Mellita Bentz company was founded.

Pour over coffee brewing is also referred to as filter coffee and as manual drip coffee but neither in my opinion accurately describe nor do the brewing method justice as it is a specific technique that takes a little practice to get right and to extract your coffee perfectly.

Idea of pouring a near constant flow of fresh hot water over a bed of coffee grounds and having full control over the pour rate, also known as the flow rate and all other variables and getting a great tasting cup of coffee.

By far the most popular type of filter used is a paper filter which results in a clean and crisp tasting coffee.

A semi-permanent cotton cloth filter produces a slightly bolder and fuller tasting coffee and a metal filter even bolder still.

The whole complexity of coffee filters is an entire article in its own right as it involves material science, the pore size, which affects the flow rate and the manufacturing process (oxygenated vs bleached filters) and other complexities like conical Vs flat bottom.

There is one stand out thing about pour over coffee – it can extract more total dissolved solids than other brewing methods, making it the best technique for getting the best out of your specialty grade single origin coffee beans.

It is by far the best brewing method for light roasted coffee beans as pour over coffee brewing can coax out the subtle and intricate flavors of the origin

Pros And Cons Of Pour Over Coffee

After having spoken about and given an introduction to the pour over coffee brewing method, let’s get straight to the pros and cons of this way of brewing coffee.

The Pros

Here are the plus points to pour over coffee making.

  • You have full control over all the variables associated with coffee brewing.
  • It’s very affordable.
  • You can brew a very nuanced coffee.
  • Fantastic for specialty coffee and light roasts.
  • Preparation can be like a meditation practice.

The Cons

Let’s talk about some of the drawbacks of this brewing technique.

  • To do it perfectly you will need specialty equipment.
  • Preparation can take a long time.
  • It requires patience and a specific technique.
  • It takes a little practice to get it exactly right.
Pros And Cons Of Pour Over Coffee
Vietnamese Pour Over Coffee

Read: Coffee dripping slowly

Drip Coffee

Drip coffee is the automatic way of making pour over coffee and is often referred to using the generic term brewed coffee.

The method requires very little effort other than measuring water and weighing how much coffee grounds to use and grinding to the correct size, which is medium coarse.

The hot water is sprayed over the coffee grounds, which then pass through a coffee filter, usually a paper filter.

The entire brewing process is automated after your machine is set up correctly and all that is needed for you is to switch your machine on.

Modern machines can be preprogrammed with the auto-brew facility to brew coffee at a preset time either when you arrive at home, a few min before your alarm clock goes off (guilty as charged, your honor!) or whenever it suits you.

The first drip coffee maker was in 1954, the Wigomat. Drip coffee makers did not become popular until the 1970s, by which time an electric drip coffee maker and the very familiar pot of coffee could be seen in many restaurants and diners all over America.

One of the stand-out features of an electric drip coffee maker is the hot plate that keeps your carafe of coffee hot.

It is, though, depending on your use case situation that you may prefer a thermal carafe. If you leave your coffee on the hot plate too long, it will start to have a stewed taste.

Thus, it is worth having a second thermal carafe for this situation and keeping your coffee hot for a long period of time without getting that stewed taste. If you just need your coffee to be kept hot for shorter periods, use the hot plate and the glass carafe.

The Pros And Cons Of Drip Coffee

Now that I have spoken briefly about drip coffee and this automatic coffee brewing method, let’s talk about the pros and the cons of drip coffee.

The Pros

  • You can brew large batches at a time.
  • Zero brewing skill needed.
  • Your coffee can be kept warm for a long time.

The Cons

  • There is little room for customization.
  • The flavor is mild for many coffee lovers.
  • Your coffee can taste stewed if left on the hot plate for too long.
Drip Coffee Machine
Drip Coffee Machine

Read: Drip coffee

Drip Coffee Vs Pour Over Coffee Maker

Now that I have given you a good overview of both the drip coffee method and the pour over coffee. You should have a good idea of what these two coffee brewing methods are and how they are both similar yet different.

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty details!

The Taste And Flavor Profile

The image and reputation of drip coffee invokes in many people truck stops and late night diners and traditional American diners of the 1970s and 1980s which unfortunately underrates and slightly berates this brewing method.

Sure, this particular way of making coffee has been on the decline as home espresso machines and Keurigs and Nespresso machines have become more popular in homes in America and all over the world.

Modern drip coffee machines and particularly the best ones are SCAA, the Specialty Coffee Association of America approved and brew to the golden ration ensuring a perfect cup of coffee every single time.

The typical flavor is clean, crisp and rather bright tasting.

The biggest problem is one of the most appealing features the hot plate which as I mentioned earlier if your coffee is left too long on the hot plate it can lead to a stewed and astringent flavors.

That is something you need to be careful of and manage well with a thermal carafe.

You can of course enjoy a great tasting drip coffee when you use quality freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee and a good quality modern drip coffee machine.

Pour over coffee brewing is often seen as the brewing method of the coffee geek and rightly so!

The pour brewing method is absolutely brilliant at extracting the nuanced and intricate flavors from the beans.

This is what makes it such a great method for high quality coffee beans and light roasts.

You will notice all the subtle flavors more when you brew using this technique.

The taste is also clean and crisp due to the use of a paper filter.

The clear winner is the pour over technique as it brews a much better tasting cup of coffee.


The obvious downside and drawback of drip coffee is the lack of customization as a large part of the process is automatic.

This leaves little room for customization and personalizing your coffee to your exact taste as you like and love it. The only variables that you can control are the grind size and the coffee to water ratio.

More modern and more advanced drip coffee makers allow for preinfusion and control over the water temperature and the brew time, which gives you a lot more control over the process.

Where pour over coffee is concerned, versatility is the name of the game!

You have a lot more versatility with this brewing method than all other coffee brewing techniques as you can control:

  • The grind size.
  • The flow rate.
  • The water temperature.
  • The contact time.
  • The type of filter used.
  • Coffee to water ratio.

Even how you pour your hot water will affect the outcome of your coffee.

There are different types of pour over coffee makers from Hario V60 which can be made from different materials from glass to a variety of metals with copper and stainless steel being popular choices to Chemex which requires its own special and notably thicker paper filters.

The winner, head and shoulders above drip coffee, is the pour over method. You have complete control compared to limited control with drip coffee.

Glass Hario V60
A Glass Hario V60 Pour Over

Ease Of Brewing And Use

There is literally no other brewing method that has the ease and convenience of drip coffee, other than perhaps single serve machines like a Keurig and Nespresso.

All that is needed is a filter and freshly roasted coffee beans, a grinder and grinding then to the correct grind size and adding your ground coffee to your filter and adding water to your drip coffee maker and switching your coffee maker on.

That is all there is to it.

Pour over coffee is a very hands-on brewing method which is also part of the charm that is has with coffee lovers.

It definitely produces a very delicious coffee, that is absolutely not in doubt.

What I personally love about pour over is the whole ritual and concentration is like meditation practice.

To get the perfect pour over you will need a digital temperature-controlled gooseneck kettle, accurate digital coffee scales and a ceramic flat burr coffee grinder.

You’ll also need a pour over device of some type like a Hario V60 and coffee filters.

The technique requires a good quality pour, which is why a gooseneck kettle is needed.

The pouring technique requires you to pour in a spiral fashion without flooding your coffee grounds. A pencil thin steam of water is needed. During your pour, you need to be aware of maintaining your water temperature within the set 92C to 96C (195F to 205F).

That is only a brief explanation of the pour over method.

The winner clearly by a country mile is an automatic drip coffee as it is almost completely hands-off brewing with very little effort required.


We all love to travel and coffee on the go is very convenient as not all hotels have a coffee machine in their rooms, and you may want or need a coffee when their bar is closed.

Obviously, taking a drip coffee machine with you is out of the question, and they simply have no use at all in the great outdoors or the camping site.

A pour over coffee brewer will take up very little space in your luggage and can be taken with you on that business trip or on the campsite. All that is needed is a source of hot water – a camp fire will do the trick.

Just don’t go packing that large and clunky Chemex pour over system!

The winner by far is pour over as they are completely portable while that electric drip coffee maker is going nowhere – it’s staying put in your kitchen!

The Final Verdict – Drip Coffee Vs Pour Over

Coffee is a very personal thing and which of these two you prefer is a matter of your own gusto and what you want. It’s a straight question: do you want convenience or do you want truly amazing coffee and to learn how to get the best out of your beans and the intricacies of brewing.

If you are dedicated to learning about coffee and how all the individual variables affect the brewing process, and the flavor, you will learn a lot with pour over brewing.

If you want and need convenience, a drip coffee machine is what will suit your needs better.

Frequently Asked Questions About Drip Coffee Vs Pour Over

Is Pour Over Coffee Better Than Drip?

Yes, pour over coffee is better than drip coffee due to the brewing method being able to extract more total dissolved solids into your brew which means it is more flavorsome than not only drip coffee but other brewing methods also.

This is why pour over coffee brewing is better for light roast and specialty coffee beans. It’s a method that is much better for extracting the intricate and nuanced flavors.

What Is The Taste Difference Between Pour Over And Drip?

The brewing method of pour over coffee results in getting more of the intricate and nuanced flavors into your coffee than drip coffee.

A drip coffee is also more vibrant due to the longer contact time that the hot water has with your coffee grounds.

Is Pour Over Coffee Considered Drip?

Many coffee lovers consider pour over coffee to be a drip coffee, while others don’t, and they like to differentiate between an automatic drip coffee machine and pour over brewing.

While we have no desire to be pedantic, a pour over coffee can be considered as drip coffee and as filter coffee. It is exclusively a manual coffee brewing method.

What Is The Disadvantage Of Pour Over Coffee?

The biggest disadvantage of a pour over coffee maker is the brewing method requires a lot of effort and takes longer to brew a cup of coffee.

There is a set skill to brewing a perfect pour over to ensure an almost even and uniform extraction which is easy to learn.

Is Pour Over Worth It?

Yes, despite having a long brew time and being a brewing method that requires a lot of effort, the reward is well worth it due to the silkier mouthfeel and more pronounced flavor.

Why Is Pour Over So Strong?

A pour over is better and stronger than full immersion brewing methods due to the continuous cycle of fresh hot water, making it a more optimized brewing technique.

Why Is Chemex Better Than Drip?

Chemex is considered as better than drip coffee due to thicker paper filters required for this method. The thicker filter filters out more of the oils than drip coffee and produces a more delicate and very, very smooth coffee.

What Is Drip Coffee With Milk Called?

Drip coffee, often called brewed coffee with milk, is café au lait, brewed coffee with steamed milk.

Café au lait simply translates to coffee with milk.

Final Thoughts – Drip Coffee Vs Pour Over

If you have read this far, you will know all about drip coffee vs pour over and should no longer need to ask that question or winder how the two brewing methods are different. You’ll also have a great idea about which of the two methods you prefer and want to try.

What is for you, drip coffee or pour over?

Let us know!

Join our cool coffee community and share your own experiences with both pour over and drip coffee brewing and share your brewing tips and tricks with your fellow coffee lovers. Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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