Brewing Method - Clever Coffee Dripper

I never really cared for drip coffee; espresso was always my drink of choice. I now realize the reason I never liked drip coffee was because it wasn't being prepared properly. I was unaware of what I was missing out on until I took a beginners coffee class at Ipsento - a Chicago coffee roaster in Bucktown. In the class we learned how to brew coffee using the "pour-over" method, specifically using a Clever Coffee Dripper. I was instantly intrigued by how I could get fresh, tasty drip coffee without using a conventional coffee machine. After months of obsessing over my new discovery, for Christmas my husband bought me everything I needed to properly brew coffee using a Clever. A Clever is just one way to brew using the pour-over method. I like this device because it is the least complicated and easiest for maintaining consistency. Below is a tutorial on how to brew coffee using this method.

What you'll need:

  • Clever Coffee Dripper
  • #4 coffee filters
  • Burr coffee grinder
  • Scale
  • Fresh whole bean coffee
  • Mug

Before we begin, it's important to learn one math conversion. The ratio of water to coffee grounds is 16:1. So for every 1 gram of grounds you'll need 16 grams of water to make coffee.

For example: We'll be making a single cup of coffee in this experiment. To get a 10 oz. cup of coffee we're going to use 360 grams of water (some water will be lost in the process). By starting with 360 grams of water we'll use 22 grams of coffee grounds (roughly a 16:1 ratio).

Step 1

Place a filter inside the Clever and run a small amount of warm water through. By getting the filter damp prior to brewing it will reduce the chance of a paper taste in the coffee.

Step 2

Place the Clever on the scale and set it to "zero".

Step 3

Add 22 grams of fresh ground coffee.

Note: For this method, I've found it's best to stay somewhere between a fine and a course grind. Coarsely ground coffee will be too pervious, meaning the water will pass through quickly. Fine grounds will block the water from penetrating through, causing pooling. The consistency of the grounds should be similar to sand or salt.

Step 4

"Zero" the scale again and add 360 grams of hot water. The water should be close to a boil. Pour the water in a circular motion so that all of the grounds get wet.

Step 5

Stir once to make sure all of the grounds are fully saturated and then cover the Clever to trap the heat.

Step 6

Set the timer for 2 minutes and wait. Halfway through you can gently stir.

Step 7

After 2 minutes place the Clever on top of either a vessel or mug to release the coffee (there is a plate at the bottom of the Clever that opens a valve and releases liquid when pushed).

Step 8

Drink up!

You can purchase a Clever Coffee Dripper for about $16 on Amazon. The rest of the items can be found at just about any Target or Walmart store. I strongly encourage people to only buy fresh, locally roasted coffee. For more information and where you can shop, read Fresh Coffee: Fresh Roasted.

Do you have any tips for this pour-over method or other brewing methods? Let me know!

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