The Best Pour-Over Coffee Setups for Your Home, According to Baristas

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Photo: Prima Coffee

Making pour-over coffee first requires the right setup. Specifically, you need three things: a pour-over coffee maker (sometimes called a manual drip coffee maker), a pour-over kettle, and a scale, in order to keep track of the coffee bean–water ratio. But with so many different coffee makers, kettles, and scales out there, it can be hard to know which pour-over gear makes the best coffee. You might be tempted to go with the most recognizable name in pour-over coffee makers: Chemex, which is a great option. But we wanted to know if there were Chemex alternatives that were a little less expensive but worked just as well.

So we talked with coffee experts from Manhattan’s Black Fox Coffee and Brooklyn’s Variety Coffee Roasters about their preferred pour-over coffee setups and the gear they say makes the perfect cup.

Kris Wood, Co-Owner, Black Fox Coffee

Brita Soho 5-Cup Water Filtration Pitcher
$20, Bed Bath and Beyond

“The most important factor that everyone overlooks is water. If your water is clean and has the right combination of minerals, you’re going to get a delicious result. New York water is very clean, but it picks up a lot of particles from the old pipes. A water filter is absolutely necessary if you’d like to achieve café-quality coffee at home. Brita does a good job; just make sure the cartridge is fresh.”

Hario V60 Pour-Over Kit
$28, Bed Bath and Beyond

“At Black Fox we use a Hario V60, and the extraction it delivers is even and consistent when used with skill. Plastic is best, as it does not retain heat. Having your water at the consistently hottest possible temperature will ensure consistent extraction from brew to brew. There are three main things that affect extraction when brewing at atmospheric pressure: grind particle size, contact time of water to coffee, and temperature of water.”

Hario V60 Pour Over Kit
$21, Amazon

It’s also available on Amazon.

Hario Filter Paper for 02 V60 Dripper
$8, Bed Bath and Beyond
Bonavita 1.7-Liter Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle
$110, Bed Bath and Beyond

“We use a Bonavita variable-control temperature kettle, as we brew teas at different temperatures. For coffee, we brew at just off-boiling, as it is a consistent machine, and we know what temperature it’s really at.”

Bonavita 1.7-Liter Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle
$66, Amazon

It’s also available on Amazon.

Hario V60 Coffee Drip Scale/Timer
$65, Bed Bath and Beyond

“For a scale at home, I’ve used the same Hario scale for three years, and it’s not missed a beat.”

Hario V60 Drip Scale and Timer
$46, Amazon

It’s also available on Amazon.

Mike Jones, Director of Retail, Variety Coffee Roasters

Abid Clever Coffee Dripper
$21, Prima Coffee

“If you want to make great coffee at home, you should aim to eliminate as many variables as possible. Therefore, any product or method that enables you to achieve a repeatable outcome will inevitably yield the best results. For this reason, I think the Abid Clever Coffee Dripper is the best manual coffee maker for home use. The Clever is a mix between a full-immersion brewer like a French press and a traditional pour-over cone. You use time as a brew control. You can use grind as a control by timing how long it takes to drain, and make adjustments if you want it stronger or weaker. The best part is that, due to its design, these steps are measurable and repeatable — you can steep the same amount of time, measure how long it takes to drain, and do the same thing every day without having to overthink it.”

Melitta 100-Count Number 4 Natural Brown Super Premium Coffee Filters
$4, Bed Bath and Beyond
Hario Electric Buono Kettle
$89, Bed Bath and Beyond

“The best pour-over kettle is the Hario Buono. This kettle has been the industry standard for years, and for good reason. It’s cheaper than other options, pours perfectly consistent, looks nice on your stove top, and is super sturdy.”

Hario Electric Buono Kettle
$72, Amazon

It’s also available on Amazon.

American Weigh Scales AMW-SC-2KG Digital Pocket Scale
$21, Amazon

“The best scale for home use is the AWS-SC-2KG Digital Pocket Scale. For [about] $20, you get an incredibly durable and highly sensitive scale that measures to the tenth of a gram and is only four inches squared. Can’t beat that.”

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The Best Pour-Over Coffee Setup, According to Baristas