The Clever Coffee Dripper is a great piece of kit to include in your home coffee brewing setup. As the name suggests this coffee brewer is pretty “clever” and combines many elements of a pour-over cone and the principles of immersion like brewing in a French Press. However, unlike a French Press, the Clever Dripper uses a paper filter and the coffee drains through the bottom.
One of the standout features of the Clever brewer is the weight-controlled valve at the base of the cone which allows you to suspend the immersion process until you choose to release the coffee by placing the Clever on top of your coffee mug or decanter. Once the valve is pushed up your coffee will start to slowly drain through.
It’s this combination of pour over-extraction combined with the longer contact of grounds and water that produces a very well-balanced cup with a delicate flavor and beautiful body.
Coffee geeks praise the Clever Coffee Dripper as being a brew method that is simple to use, quick to clean, and super easy to get a consistently good cup every time.
Clever Dripper Brewing At A Glance
Clever Coffee Dripper Instructions
Below is a step-by-step beginners guide to Clever Coffee Dripper brewing. These are my recommended parameters which will give you a solid foundation from which to start.
I highly encourage you to experiment as you gain confidence with this brewing method and tweak the various ratios such as water temperature, grind size, and steep time to your own personal taste.
Step 1: Boil Your Water
Boil your water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If your kettle doesn’t have a built-in thermometer like mine above then simply boil your water and then let it stand for 30 seconds. This should bring you to the ballpark of where you need to be. I strongly recommend you either invest in a thermometer or a kettle with one built-in so that you are using the correct water temperature.
Step 2: Prepare Your Melitta No. 4 Filter
There is a bit of preparation required before you place your paper filter into the Clever cone. You need to make 2 folds along the crimped edges, this allows for a better fit inside of the dripper.
Place your filter inside of the dripper cone.
Step 3: Rinse Your Filter
Any coffee brewing method that uses a paper filter rather than a permanent filter I always recommend that you pre-rinse the filter with hot water. Not only does this pre-rinse help to seal the filter to the sides of your cone it also helps to eliminate any unwanted paper taste from the filter. The water uses can also aid in pre-heating your coffee mug or decanter.
You don’t need a lot of water just a quick pour making sure the filter is slightly damp. Drain the rinse water by placing the brewer on top of your coffee mug. Be sure to dump your rinse water from the mug once done.
Step 4: Weigh Out 25g Of Whole Bean Coffee
Once your paper filter is nicely rinsed and you’ve drained the excess water from your mug it’s time to weigh out your whole coffee beans. For my Clever Coffee Dripper brewing method I like to use 25 grams of whole coffee, but feel free to experiment when you gain confidence in how to use the clever.
Step 5: Grind Your Coffee
Set your coffee grinder to a medium to a coarse setting, see my coffee grinding guide for reference. I highly recommend you use a burr grinder for better grind size consistency if you don’t have one check out this burr grinder guide – I have handpicked excellent cheap grinders!
Step 6: Add Your Ground Coffee
Simply pour your freshly ground coffee into your pre-moistened paper filter.
Step 7: The Setting Up
Place the Clever Coffee Dripper onto your coffee scale and tare it to zero.
Step 8: The Bloom
Make sure you have your hot water and your timer handy. Start your timer and pour 50 grams of water over the coffee bed, making sure to try and coat the ground coffee evenly. Allow the coffee to bloom for 30 seconds.
Step 9: The Pour
Time 0:30-1:00 (or 450 grams)
Once your timer reads 30 – 45 seconds begin to pour water over your coffee grounds and continue to pour until your coffee scale reads 450 grams. Try and pour in a circular pattern making sure to keep your pour away from the sides of the filter, just be sure to fully saturate the grounds.
Step 10: Steeping
Once your scale reads 450 grams stop pouring and let your coffee steep, at this stage whilst you are waiting take a spoon or if you own an AeroPress use the supplied plastic stirring stick to agitate your coffee grounds. Keep your coffee steeping until the timer has reached 2 minutes.
Step 11: Draining
When your coffee scale reads 2 minutes gently lift the Clever Dripper and place it on top of your coffee mug or decanter. As soon as the Clever touches your mug the bottom valve will open and your coffee will start to drain through. Depending on how coarse or fine your coffee grind is this should take anywhere from 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 12: All Done – Enjoy Your Coffee!
Some Clever Brewing Tips
The water temperature, extraction time, coffee quantity, and grind size are all brewing variables you can play around with to make your final cup of coffee your own.
If you find that your extraction time is longer or if the water pools inside of the Dripper instead of draining try and use a coarser grind. If it drains through the Clever too quickly (under 30 seconds) simply make the grind a little finer.
As with any coffee brewing method, I highly recommend that you grind your whole beans fresh immediately before brewing. (A burr grinder is always recommended)
Interesting fact: The Clever Dripper could also be used to brew loose-leaf tea!