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danar
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 43
Location: socal
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Feb 29, 2012, 12:52am
Subject: Ceramic Coffee Drippers
 

I'm looking for some help in trying to find the best ceramic coffee dripper for me because there are so many different ones on the market- Hario V60, Bonmac, Beehouse, Kalita, Meliita, etc..

So far, I've eliminated the Hario V60- I find it too inconsistent/ too depedent on how skillfully you pour it which can be an issue early in the morning when you're still only half-awake.

But, after that, I'm not too sure about the differences between the other ceramic drippers. Ideally, it'd probably be best to taste coffee side by side made by the different ceramic drippers but it's very difficult to find some of them in a coffeehouse, much less all of them in one single coffeehouse.

From the specs, can I assume that Bonmac and the Melitta might be the most consistent because they only have 1 small hole? I've heard people praise the Kalita for consistency too, but that seems a bit counter-intuitive for me. With the three small holes in the Kalita, doesn't that add up to 1 big hole so you'd have to be concerned about too much water rushing through that big hole without properly extracting the coffee unless you could control flow of water with proper technique? Then, doesn't that mean that the Kalita Wave would be as inconsistent as the V60?

And, if I get a Bonmac, I'm also a bit confused by all the different bonmacs on the market- BlueBottle sells their own branded bonmac for $20, Counterculture sells their own branded bonmac for $17, and SweetMarias sells a Bonmac for $14. Are they all the same Bonmac #2 model, or has Bluebottle and Counterculture tweaked it slightly?

I'm also seeing ceramic coffee drippers being sold in Starbucks and Peet's. Does anybody know who makes them? Peet's dripper has one hole and is made in Japan. Is Peet's a Bonmac #2 with the Peet logo slapped on top of it?
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,058
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Feb 29, 2012, 1:23am
Subject: Re: Ceramic Coffee Drippers
 

I guess Melitta is the classic coming from the inventor of the paper coffee filters. An alternative to a ceramic dripper would be a so called Carlsbad coffee machine which is entirely made of porcelaine and works without any additional filter, bringing out the full aroma.

NobbyR: Kalrsbader Kanne.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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SteveRhinehart
Senior Member
SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Wed Feb 29, 2012, 5:43am
Subject: Re: Ceramic Coffee Drippers
 

danar Said:

But, after that, I'm not too sure about the differences between the other ceramic drippers. Ideally, it'd probably be best to taste coffee side by side made by the different ceramic drippers but it's very difficult to find some of them in a coffeehouse, much less all of them in one single coffeehouse.

Posted February 29, 2012 link

I don't have experience with all the drippers you've listed, but I imagine you'd be hard-pressed to find considerable differences in the cup, if using the same filters. Many of the key differences are in drainage and technique, with single-hole cones like the Bonmac being a bit more forgiving of your brew technique because of the slower pour through.

danar Said:

From the specs, can I assume that Bonmac and the Melitta might be the most consistent because they only have 1 small hole? I've heard people praise the Kalita for consistency too, but that seems a bit counter-intuitive for me. With the three small holes in the Kalita, doesn't that add up to 1 big hole so you'd have to be concerned about too much water rushing through that big hole without properly extracting the coffee unless you could control flow of water with proper technique? Then, doesn't that mean that the Kalita Wave would be as inconsistent as the V60?

Posted February 29, 2012 link

There may be a trade-off for the ease of a single hole, which seems to be a diminishing of nuance. I bought my father a Bonmac for Christmas, knowing he may use it a few times at work, and took the liberty to "test" it. Side by side with my Beehouse, with the exact same specs and coffee, the Bonmac was a bit duller in flavor (but not bad) than the Beehouse, perhaps due to a bit more steeping in the cone. I had adjusted the grind slightly coarser to accommodate that, but didn't exactly dial it in. Perhaps that experience was a fluke - I'm not certain.

As for the Kalita, I find it to be one of the easiest cones to use, with great results. The technique is really just to pour right into the center, which agitates the whole coffee bed, and thankfully doesn't pour water straight into a drainage hole. I'd say the rate of flow on mine is comparable to a single-hole dripper, perhaps a touch faster. I'd strongly consider that, or the Tiamo look-alikes that Orphan Espresso keeps in stock.

danar Said:

And, if I get a Bonmac, I'm also a bit confused by all the different bonmacs on the market- BlueBottle sells their own branded bonmac for $20, Counterculture sells their own branded bonmac for $17, and SweetMarias sells a Bonmac for $14. Are they all the same Bonmac #2 model, or has Bluebottle and Counterculture tweaked it slightly?

Posted February 29, 2012 link

Blue Bottle, Counter Culture, etc., just have their logo printed on the cone. No other modification, not worth the premium IMO.

danar Said:

I'm also seeing ceramic coffee drippers being sold in Starbucks and Peet's. Does anybody know who makes them? Peet's dripper has one hole and is made in Japan. Is Peet's a Bonmac #2 with the Peet logo slapped on top of it?

Posted February 29, 2012 link

Not familiar with either of these, sorry.
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danar
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 43
Location: socal
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012, 1:43am
Subject: Re: Ceramic Coffee Drippers
 

SteveRhinehart Said:

I don't have experience with all the drippers you've listed, but I imagine you'd be hard-pressed to find considerable differences in the cup, if using the same filters. Many of the key differences are in drainage and technique, with single-hole cones like the Bonmac being a bit more forgiving of your brew technique because of the slower pour through.

Posted February 29, 2012 link

But, most of them have their own proprietary filter that's supposedly designed for each dripper- the Bonmac has their own filter, the Kalita has these filters that look like cupcake liners etc.. So, I'm not sure if it would be a fair way to test the difference if we used the same filters.

Although, I do have to say that the Bonmac shape and Melitta does look roughly similar so maybe it wouldn't really matter if you used the same filter for both of them.

SteveRhinehart Said:

There may be a trade-off for the ease of a single hole, which seems to be a diminishing of nuance. .

Posted February 29, 2012 link

I'm willing to accept lower highs as a trade-off for higher lows because the Intelligentsia V-60 pour overs didn't blow me away as signifigantly better.

SteveRhinehart Said:

As for the Kalita, I find it to be one of the easiest cones to use, with great results. The technique is really just to pour right into the center, which agitates the whole coffee bed, and thankfully doesn't pour water straight into a drainage hole. I'd say the rate of flow on mine is comparable to a single-hole dripper, perhaps a touch faster. I'd strongly consider that, or the Tiamo look-alikes that Orphan Espresso keeps in stock.

Posted February 29, 2012 link

I've kind of been reluctant to jump on the Kalita bandwagon because its so new and with that scarcity leads to a lot of hype that its hard to separate the hype from what's real. It seems every year, there's a new coffee toy that everybody proclaims its the best ever before moving on to the next big thing. But, I'll have to take a closer look at it.

Its too bad that I can't try it and taste for myself the Kalita. All I can do is look at other people's reviews of the Kalita, which aren't too many since its new and scarce, and look at the specs. With the Bonmac, you've got greater number of reviews to get a sense if it'll be a good fit. I was concerned about the Kalita's three holes increasing the drainage rate, but yet it doesn't seem as bad as I feared. I wonder what the underlying science for that is.

And, even if the Kalita is all that its hyped out to be, there's also the issue of sourcing their filters. Do you order on-line for them each time they run out?
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SteveRhinehart
Senior Member
SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012, 4:31pm
Subject: Re: Ceramic Coffee Drippers
 

danar Said:

But, most of them have their own proprietary filter that's supposedly designed for each dripper- the Bonmac has their own filter, the Kalita has these filters that look like cupcake liners etc.. So, I'm not sure if it would be a fair way to test the difference if we used the same filters.

Although, I do have to say that the Bonmac shape and Melitta does look roughly similar so maybe it wouldn't really matter if you used the same filter for both of them.

Posted March 1, 2012 link

Bonmac, Beehouse, Melita, etc. all use tapered cone filters, brand agnostic. You can use whatever #2 or #4 cone filter you like, and be fine. I believe you can even use those filters for a V60 as well, you just need to fold in a triangular tip.

danar Said:

I've kind of been reluctant to jump on the Kalita bandwagon because its so new and with that scarcity leads to a lot of hype that its hard to separate the hype from what's real. It seems every year, there's a new coffee toy that everybody proclaims its the best ever before moving on to the next big thing. But, I'll have to take a closer look at it.

Its too bad that I can't try it and taste for myself the Kalita. All I can do is look at other people's reviews of the Kalita, which aren't too many since its new and scarce, and look at the specs. With the Bonmac, you've got greater number of reviews to get a sense if it'll be a good fit. I was concerned about the Kalita's three holes increasing the drainage rate, but yet it doesn't seem as bad as I feared. I wonder what the underlying science for that is.

And, even if the Kalita is all that its hyped out to be, there's also the issue of sourcing their filters. Do you order on-line for them each time they run out?

Posted March 1, 2012 link

I wouldn't (and didn't) say that Kalita is the best dripper out there. I said that it produces good results with high ease of use. You're right, though, that it's a newcomer, and thus the cones and filters are not widely available. The filters are also unbleached, requiring a fair amount of rinsing to cleanse the paper taste away. For that reason, I more often reach for my Beehouse when I do single cup pourovers.  I've got some good cone filters (made by Kalita, actually) that have very little paper taste, even unrinsed (I've actually licked them straight to see if I was just missing something with the hot beverage, and found that whatever taste is there is  quite marginal). I don't even like all aspects of the Beehouse though - the handle is cumbersome, unbalanced, and slippery.

I recommended the Kalita because I think it's a pretty good place to start with manual drip brewing. The frustration of a botched V60 brew can be enough to turn somebody off of the brew method, whereas the Kalita has been more forgiving to me. I've simply found that brewing with the Kalita is a bit easier for a good cup than the other cones I've tried. As always, YMMV.

I think the truth is that each cone has a short list of strengths and weaknesses, there's no perfect device. Maybe the Clever Dripper is closest to that, aside from being made of plastic. The level of control there is great, the ease of use equally so, and the results negligibly dependent on technique, and more of brew parameters. Not technically a pourover though,
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irishmice
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Oct 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Boston
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Braun Burr
Drip: Cusinart, Bunn, Capresso
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 1:29pm
Subject: Re: Ceramic Coffee Drippers
 

I have been playing with the majority of the pourover cones and find advantages in all, and minor disadvantages in a few.  So much depends on the grind that simply talking about the cone itself is misleading.  If you have a single hole cone like Melitta or Cilio it is worth making the grind a little more coarse because otherwise it will take forever for the water to drip through.  I think the easiest cone for someone who simply wants a great cup of coffee is the Beehouse dripper, which has two small holes.  It also has a very nice look, which may or may not be important to the buyer.  Hario and Beehouse are both made in Japan, while Melitta is made in Thailand.  Cilio seems to be made in Germany.  The advantage that Beehouse, Cilio, and Melitta have is that they all take standard #2 filters in either brown, white, or bamboo, and available at any grocery store.  The only real difference between the Cilio and Melitta ceramic filter that I can see is that the Cilio is lighter weight.  They both have one hole and do a great job, so it is totally up to the buyer which is their favorite.  I prefer the lighter weight of the Cilio.  Hario requires their own pointed filters, which come to a point, although the regular filters can be folded in such a way to make them come to a point if needed, but they cost more per filter than the standard filter papers.
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Sun Apr 7, 2013, 12:16pm
Subject: Re: Ceramic Coffee Drippers
 

Maybe the Bonavita Immersion Dripper would work---porcelain, has a switch to control the drip, can use paper or metal filter.
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eew_bugs
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Apr 27, 2013, 7:41am
Subject: Re: Ceramic Coffee Drippers
 

In my coffeehouse, we use the V60. It has worked well for me, but now we have other baristas working for us and it is difficult for them to get a consistent brew. Also, it would be nice to have one that required less attention so that multi-tasking is easier.
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Intrepid510
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 355
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Apr 27, 2013, 1:14pm
Subject: Re: Ceramic Coffee Drippers
 

Whatever you do get a pouring kettle of some type. I like my electric Bonavita very convenient. I use a V60 and agree that unless I am hunched over it and concentrating I am most likely going to end up with a not quite there cup of coffee, for that reason I order a Kalita wave that's in the mail.

If you go the Kalita route, Seattle Coffee Gear has them now and offers free shipping over 50 dollars and typically there is a coupon that pops up if you browse their site long enough. I got 5 dollars off a 50 dollar purchase and a 10 dollars off a 75 dollar purchase last time I was there.

 
Less water, more grounds.
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