Clever Coffee Dripper Brewing Guide • Bean Ground

Clever Coffee Dripper Brewing Guide

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 brewing like 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

What You Need

  • Clever Dripper
  • Melitta No. 4 paper filters
  • 25 grams whole coffee beans
  • 450 grams water (plus additional for rinsing)
  • Kettle (gooseneck preferred)
  • Timer
  • Coffee mug or decanter
  • Burr coffee grinder (recommended)
  • Coffee scale

The Clever End Result

Total brew time: 4:00

Yield: 1 large full mug

Cup Characteristics: Well-balanced cup with beautiful body and delicate flavor

Clever Coffee Dripper Instructions

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

Step 1: Heat 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 in the ballpark of where you need to be. I strongly recommend you either invest in a thermometer or a kettle with one built in.

Step 2: Prepare Your Melitta No. 4 Filter

Prepare Your Melitta No. 4 Filter
coffee dripper

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

Rinse Your Filter

Any coffee brewing method that uses a paper 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

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 on how to use the clever.

Step 5: Grind Your Coffee

Grind Your Coffee

Set your coffee grinder to a medium to 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 my cheap burr grinder buying guide here.

Step 6: Add Your Ground Coffee

Add Your Ground Coffee To The Dripper

Simply pour your freshly ground coffee into your pre-moistened paper filter.

coffee gator kettle

Like the look of the pour over kettle I'm using? Make sure to check out my review of the Coffee Gator kettle which is the exact same kettle used in this Clever brewing guide. You can find that here.

Step 7: The Setting Up

The Setting Up

Place the Clever Coffee Dripper onto your coffee scale and tare it to zero.

Step 8: The Bloom

The Bloom

Time: 0:00-0:30

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

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

agitate your coffee grounds

Time 1:00-2:00

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

Clever Draining

Time: 2:00-3:00

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 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.

clever coffee dripper how to use

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)

The Clever Dripper could also be used to brew loose-leaf tea!

Don't Own The Clever Dripper?

clever coffee dripper

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coffee disclosureThis article may contain affiliate links on some of the products I use and recommend. Clicking on an affiliate link won’t increase the cost for you but makes it possible to identify the referral by this site. So if you find my article beneficial and decide to purchase via my links I will get a small amount of commission which I can put towards some coffee (probably not enough for a lobster dinner though). Read my full affiliate disclosure here.
Mark Morphew

Mark is a self-proclaimed coffee addict and the guy behind the coffee blog "Bean Ground". You'll almost always find him in a caffeine-induced rant talking about - Coffee! Discover more about Mark here.

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