If you’re fed-up with your French Press, annoyed with your Moka Pot or you’re simply looking for a new way to brew your next cup, I recommend taking a look at the Clever Dripper if you haven’t before.
The Clever Coffee Dripper has gained a lot of buzz in recent years, and many of the best coffee blogs are claiming that it offers the best of both the French Press and Drip coffee without any of the associated negative drawbacks, big claims, but is there any truth to the hype?
After playing around with the Clever Coffee Dripper, I must admit it does make a great tasting brew. For anyone who enjoys using the popular French Press I can see how they could be drawn to this and use it as a stepping stone to then move up to a pour over method such as the Chemex of the Hario V60.
If you’ve heard some of the buzz surrounding the Clever coffee maker and you haven’t used one before this article is probably a good place to start. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll have a better understanding of exactly what the Clever Dripper is and how to use it correctly. Grab yourself a large mug of coffee, sit back and let’s crack on.
What is the Clever Dripper?
Okay, before we get ahead of ourselves it’s probably a good idea to take a few minutes to unmask the Clever Brewer, so you know what all the fuss is about.
At first glance, the Clever seems just like another pour over dripper that uses a paper filter. However, that’s where the differences between the two coffee brewers end. The Clever Dripper uses a unique stopper and release mechanism to hold the brewed coffee inside of the cone until it’s ready to be poured into your coffee mug. Let’s take a closer look.
The Clever Coffee Dripper is a Japanese cone brewer that’s similar to a Melitta or the ceramic drippers such as the Hario V60 or Bonmac. However, unlike most of the other coffee drip cones, the Clever marries together the principles of immersion brewing (like brewing in the French Press) with the principles of coffee extraction by pouring water over coffee grounds inside of a conical brewer which holds the immersion until the coffee is released into your cup. Often you’ll hear that it’s similar to using a Chemex, well, no it isn’t – Clever uses full immersion whereas the Chemex is a pour-over brewing method.
This “Clever” coffee brewing combination using the pour over extraction style combined with the longer contact of grounds-with-water produces a delicate, well-balanced, final coffee brew that you must try (if you haven’t already).
The good news is that the Clever Coffee Dripper comes with a small price tag, in fact, you can get a Clever Coffee Dripper For under $20 bucks! So, to be honest, there’s no reason not to add this coffee maker to your brewing kit.
How to Brew Coffee in a Clever?
Brewing coffee in the Clever isn’t hard; you don’t need a Ph.D. nor do you need to be very “clever”! I think it’s fair to say that if you can brew coffee using a French Press you should have no problems, it’s just as easy once you have given it a go and tweaked the steeping time to your liking.
The Coffee Grind
The Clever Coffee Brewer requires a coarse coffee grind: One thing I love about this coffee maker is just how forgiving it is when it comes to the grind of your coffee. It doesn’t matter what kind of coffee grinder you have at home, damn, even a cheap blade grinder like the KRUPS F203 will do to achieve the required coarse grind.
However, the more expensive Burr grinders are going to give you a better more consistent coffee grind, but if you’re on a budget and your pockets aren’t that deep the blade grinder is going to be perfectly fine.
Clever Dripper Brew Technique
The Clever requires coffee filters – I have tried various paper coffee filters, and I have settled on the Melitta Filters #4 this seems to be a great fit for the Clever. However, depending on the size of the Clever you buy you may need to experiment with a different size until you find a good fit. You can also use a reusable gold coffee filter if you prefer, like this which also fits perfectly.
Once you’ve settled on a filter for your Clever place it inside of the cone and then pre-moisten with hot water and drain off any excess.
Next place your Clever Dripper onto a flat surface (or if you prefer to use the provided coaster you can use that). Add about 22 grams of fresh ground coffee (remember coarsely ground), slowly pour just enough hot water over the bed of coffee to saturate it, or to bloom the coffee.
After roughly 30 seconds continue to evenly pour water over the coffee grounds until you reach the top ridges on the side of the Clever Cone.
There’s no right-or-wrong way of doing this, some folks like to stir the bed of coffee while others like to finish the pour by hitting the walls of the Clever so that any excess coffee grounds are brought down making for a more even coffee bed. Like I said there are no set-in-stone Clever Dripper instructions, so I encourage you to experiment until you have a brew that you’re happy with.
Next, place the lid onto the Clever Drip coffee maker this helps to retain the heat while the coffee is steeping.
Once the steep has finished, place your Clever Drip coffee maker on top of your cup to engage the drain. Total extraction time should only take approximately 45 seconds once the stopper on the base has been released. Once fully drained remove the Dripper, toss away the used coffee grounds and wash with hot water.
Two Popular Clever Coffee Drippers
I’ll leave this Clever Dripper review with two of my favorite brewers; the first recommendation is the Clever I’m currently using, but both brewers are durable and well made.
Abid Clever Coffee Dripper
This Clever Drip by Abid brews a tasty cup of coffee and just like other drippers, it’s super easy to use. The rim of your coffee mug engages with the release valve on the Abid Dripper and the coffee then begins to drain through.
This Clever is 100% BPA free which is good to know, I’m not a fan of plastic products when it comes to coffee, but this acceptable. You can pick the Abid up at Amazon along the filters to fit.
Clever Dripper And Filter Bundle Package
If you’re looking for Clever Coffee Dripper bundle that includes everything you need to get yourself up and brewing in no time, this is it! With this kit, you get the Clever, 100 coffee filters, along with lid and coaster. You can pick this up at Amazon.
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