What Makes The Clever Coffee Dripper So Clever? Full Review
You probably have a few questions after reading the title:
Why would a coffee dripper be called a clever one?
Does it have artificial intelligence?
Pros and Cons
All the right questions. The Clever Coffee Dripper doesn’t look much different from any standard, plastic, Melitta filter cone drippers. The appearance isn’t original nor super-innovative.
The cleverness comes from the addition of a special valve at the bottom that blocks the water flow. When the dripper is over a cup to brew, the valve opens and the coffee flows out.
This makes extraction much smoother. Another pros of this solution means that you can much more easily control the brew time. If you need a stronger coffee, for instance, you can easily steep it for a half or a full minute more. With a normal dripper, without a valve, you can’t.
You’d need to add more ground coffee over the already extracted coffee grounds, over-extracting it and making your cup bitter. Or pour less water, producing less coffee in the end. The Clever Coffee Dripper allows you to simply prolong the extraction time without any intervention.
Second, with the Clever Coffee Dripper you may do without a fancy gooseneck kettle. Water doesn’t need to be poured over in a specific manner, with complicated rotations and extreme attention. You can pour in all water at once. Any kettle you may have will be sufficient for the task.
Filters don’t need to have a specific shape and consistency. Of course, different filters will make a difference but it’s not vital to use one over another. The immersion time will even out the variables.
Cheaper and simple paper filters at your nearest supermarket will do just fine in the Clever Coffee Dripper.
Clever Coffee Dripper
Things to consider before buying
The only two factors you need to take care of are the steeping time and the coffee to water ratio. This is valid for any coffee dripper. The Clever doesn’t make an exception here and lets you have full control over both as usual.
The catch with the Clever Coffee Dripper is that it works more like an immersion brewing method than a true pour over. In a proper pour over the time the ground coffee is in contact with the water is relatively short. That is what it takes to simply have the hot water to flow through the coffee.
With the Clever dripper, the coffee can stay in contact with the water for as little time as with a pour-over or for much longer. It depends on when you activate the valve at the bottom. Therefore, the immersion can go on for a length closer to a French Press, which works as a full immersion method.
That has an effect on the resulting coffee. It will favor a full bodied cup, with a heavier mouthfeel than with a classic dripper like the Hario V60.
The Clever Coffee Dripper sits in the middle between it and a French Press, which has a much fuller body and is preferred by those liking a more intense coffee. Not an earth-shattering difference, but to be taken into consideration before buying the Clever Coffee Dripper.
The other catch is that the Clever is made of full plastic, not the most resistant material. It won’t break if it falls, but it probably won’t last for a decade either. It tends to stain more easily than glass, and it’s less easy to clean. It won’t affect the taste of your brew, it’s simply an aesthetic issue.
Who should buy it?
So, all things considered, who is the Clever Coffee Dripper for?
People who drink at most 1-3 cups of coffee will benefit from the Clever brewer as it is designed for these small-medium amounts of coffee. Those who don’t have the time or patience to learn exactly how to best brew with a normal pour over will find the Clever immensely easier to use! Making a good cup of coffee won’t require accurate movements to pour water and super-precise measurements.
Those who like to bring their coffee equipment with them when traveling will love the Clever Coffee Dripper. It is small, plastic and light. Much less bulky than an Aeropress or French Press, but less fragile than a V60 or Chemex. It’s ideal to put into a small bag and forget it until you’re ready to use at your destination.
The cheapness of this dripper is also an important factor. Hard to beat it at this price range between $20-30.
Yet before buying the Clever Coffee Dripper a few considerations need to be done. If you need coffee for a large group, it just won’t do. A large French Press or a big Chemex will make more coffee in a single brew than the Clever, but for a steeper price.
If you are a fan of bubbly coffee with a crema on top, the Clever Coffee Dripper won’t be for you. An Aeropress will be closer to what you want, or a better small, manual espresso machine will make a coffee more similar to what you’re looking for.
If you need portability also, the Aeropress will be perfect.
For fans of full-bodied coffee, the Clever will get close to what you love but not quite. As it is a brewing method somewhere between a pour over and a French Press, the coffee it makes will have qualities from both methods but won’t be exactly as either.
The body will be fuller than with a pour-over but less than with a French Press. For a heavier body, a small French Press will work, while maintaining good portability.
The body and crema are the two biggest differences with popular brewing methods like the Aeropress and the French Press. The former may be easier to travel with and it’s nearly impossible to break, but the Clever is easier to use and makes slightly more coffee with a single brew. The French Press coffee will have more body, has a higher capacity, and is arguably more aesthetically pleasing. The Clever will produce cleaner coffee for fewer people at a time.
Last but not least, the Clever Coffee Dripper will make a less clean tasting and slightly fuller coffee than a classic pour-over. The advantage will be in ease of use and costs, as quite a few pour-overs cost twice or at least more than the Clever. They will allow you to play more with the brewing to obtain the best coffee for the beans you’re using, at the cost of more knowledge, testing, and time on your part.
The Clever Coffee Dripper is overall an extremely accessible, cheap, and reliable coffee brewer. For small amounts of coffee, with a clean and medium body, it is an awesome choice. A simple tool that can brew coffee for you and your partner, without the fuss and attention needed by other methods.