Coffee in the last 50 years has become completely mainstream across the globe. So have the methods of making coffee and several coffee aficionados and hobbyists love getting involved in the intricate process of getting the right beans, roasting to the right level, grinding to a particular grade, and using the best possible means and machines to prepare the result.
All this involved a serious commitment apart from time and effort. But not all are up for this game of coffee, and some would like to pursue simpler methods that will still enable them to give that exquisite taste, flavor, and aroma they so desire.
There are several different versions of quicker processes like drip coffee, instant coffee, and many more. Today we will focus on a product that’s used for drip coffee.
The product we are reviewing today is named the Clever dripper, and rightly so because it cleverly takes care of all the hard steps and all you have to do is follow some quick small steps to get it done and enjoy your coffee. Let me break down all the details for you to understand if this is the product you have wanted so far.
What is the Clever Dripper?
The Clever dripper is a simple mechanism coffee dripper that was made for convenience and ease over anything else. That’s one reason. It’s not just our favorite but also a favorite among the masses today and makes an excellent cup of coffee.
You must have seen pout over brewers before, and they come in conical sizes. This product is designed on the same lines and has a conical shape, at least on the inside, where the magic happens. The idea is so simple yet genius that you will be left wondering why you didn’t think of it before.
The cone’s bottom has a watertight seal that prevents the liquid from drip below unless you want it to. In other words, you can hold hot water in the cone for as long as you want, without worrying about any leakages.
Differences and Similarities of French Press and Clever Dripper
There are some fine differences and fine similarities between this filter and the French press coffee machine. In the French press machine, the coffee sediment layer is left at the bottom of the vessel, and you can pour off the coffee from the top. It’s the reverse in this immersion-style coffee unit.
Using the Clever Dripper is one of the easiest ways to make coffee. The coffee maker is thankfully made of BPA-free plastic, which makes it light and durable. Other alternatives like glass or metal would have been heavy and prone to damage or breakage, and expensive.
The unit sits upright and comes with a lid to cover its opening. The lid is useful to retain the heat if you have the coffee sit in there for 3-4 minutes, and you do not want it to cool down or let the aroma escape.
How Does Clever Dripper Work?
The unit is designed to use paper filters. You will need a larger size paper filter for this unit’s size. There are a variety of paper filters available, and you can choose anyone as per your budget.
The paper filters are one-time use only and have to be discarded once used. The Clever dripper’s size allows you to brew 500ml of liquid, although we recommend you use only 400ml at the maximum. The coffee ground to liquid ratio would be 15 grams for every 250ml of water.
You can play with this ratio a bit to understand what works best for you. 20-25 grams would saturate the taste, and that’s why we recommend you start with 15 grams per 250ml of water.
One more important factor at play will be the ground size of the coffee. If you have a grinder, experiment with different ground sizes to understand how the taste and texture change when you change the ground size.
How to Make Coffee With Clever Dripper?
Fold the edges of the paper outwards, which will help the filter paper sit neatly in the brewer. Then place it in the brewer and open it up. A medium-fine ground of coffee would be the best point to start.
What Goes First?
Measure the weight of the coffee ground if you have a weighing scale. Also, heat the water and measure it to an amount you want to start with. The trick to making excellent coffee with this unit is to first pour the hot water first and then follow the coffee. This will help all the coffee granules mix and release their contents in the water effectively.
Why Water First?
Let us understand why this works. Suppose you put the coffee ground into the unit, inside the filter paper first, the coffee will settle on the bottom of the brewer like some sediment. So even after you pour the boiling hot water, the coffee ground will stick to the bottom. It will, therefore, not be able to mix with the water correctly and will not release its full flavor into the water.
There is nothing wrong with this method, except for the fact that the coffee ground remains under-utilized, and a lot of the flavor (remains inside the ground) is wasted. Also, the coffee sediment layer on the bottom clogs up the paper filter in the Clever dripper.
By pouring the water first and then the coffee, you give the coffee enough liquid to mix in, and also, the coffee will be ready quicker and can be as fast as twice the speed. This way, when you drain the coffee, in the end, it will drain out the contents much faster.
This is an interesting and great little technique that you have to see to understand. Gently stir the contents until all the air pockets in the coffee give way, and all the ground is mixed in the water. Don’t go overboard with the stirring; just ensure there are no air pockets.
Finishing Touches and Conclusions
Now close the lid of the Clever dripper and let everything sit for around 2 minutes. The lid will prevent the steam from escaping and cooling down the coffee.
Apart from this, we found in testing that there is no other use for the lid. Every 30 seconds or so, try to break the liquid and stir it so that the mix evenly spreads out. If the brew size is small, just give the Clever dripper a little shake to shake the contents inside. But nothing too hard, please! Keep a timer handy to ensure you measure the time accurately.
Once the brew is ready, just place it on top of a cup or a mug and press lightly. There is a small push valve mechanism at the bottom that keeps the coffee sealed in for the entire time. This valve mechanism is released, releasing with it the coffee in the brewer.
The draw-down time should take about a minute, and the coffee sediment should comfortably sit on the bottom of the filter. Wait for the entire coffee to flow out, and your coffee is now ready to drink. The coffee tastes wonderful, has good clarity and texture, and a beautiful aroma.
If the coffee tastes hollow, you need to ground the coffee beans finer and follow the same process again. On the other hand, if you hit a level of bitterness in taste, you can back off a bit and ground the coffee a little coarser, and make it again. That’s it; it does not get any more complex than this.
As for the immersion, the longer your coffee stays in the filter before releasing it, the stronger it will be. Also ensure, you use boiling hot water for the best effect. Ultimately it’s about extracting all the flavors from the coffee ground. While the instructions recommend 3 minutes, test it from 2-4 minutes and check what works best for you.
Ease of Operation – Extremely Easy and Intuitive
You will need to pay attention a few times to get it right. It looks simple but may not be the very first time. You will have to carefully regulate the temperature and time you leave the water in the funnel and the quantity of coffee ground and water volume.
These factors will determine the result. As the individual tastes differ, you will have to experiment a bit with different coffee grounds to get a taste that you prefer. Because of its ease of operation, it’s recommended for beginners who do not want to invest much and also want something easy to operate.
However, the Clever dripper is a passive unit, and you are free to experiment as you like because we are aware that you would like to come up with something better.
The unique valve at the bottom of the unit makes it a Clever immersion-style brewer. Just take care that you have aligned the unit with the drip pot correctly, else you will end up spilling the coffee on the table.
Usage and Looks – Simple and Beautiful
We love the looks. The Clever dripper will look great anywhere in the kitchen and is tiny enough to fit even restricted cupboards in the kitchen. It’s simple to use, clean, and maintain.
The valve has a rubbery silicone seal to keep the unit watertight. So plan to clean it thoroughly once every 2-3 weeks to maintain hygiene. Other than that, there’s nothing much to bother about apart from cleaning and wiping after every use.
It’s also extremely portable, and you can carry it to your picnics, camping trips or hikes, or even on trips out of the country. The only additional thing you have to carry is the paper filters.
Clever Dripper Affordability – Cheap
For the kind of coffee that you get in the end, this is an excellent piece to start with or gift your friends. It has a good build, is light yet durable, and will certainly last a long time. So it can be an ideal gift for someone. It will cost you around $40 depending on where you buy it and the available deals.
Simple Coffee Maker
It is probably one of the simplest products that we have reviewed, yet the simplicity does not affect the taste produced. It makes the same coffee as a French press but without any pressure applied. So the taste will reflect a non-acidic and non-bitter taste compared to the French press filters.