Auto drip coffee maker next to pour over coffee being made with a gooseneck kettle

DRIP VS. POUR OVER COFFEE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

While both coffee brewing methods are based on the same premise of pouring hot water over coffee grounds to produce a flavorful brew, there are some key differences between pour over and drip coffee. Each of these ways to prepare coffee differ in terms of the equipment used and the amount of control over factors including water temperature, pour speed and brew time. 

You might prefer waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from a quality drip coffee maker preprogrammed the night before. Or perhaps you enjoy the handcrafted precision made possible by the pour over method. Either way, you can kickstart your day at home using one of these two tried and true brewing styles.

WHAT IS POUR OVER COFFEE?

Pour over is a special manual drip brewing method that allows for a high level of control over the results. Using a cone designed to hold a filter and coffee grounds, hot water is slowly poured in a spiral pattern over all the grounds and collected in a cup below. Adjusting variables such as grind size, water temperature and pouring speed can achieve different results in terms of boldness and taste.

Home baristas can experiment with these variables and use specific pouring techniques to achieve a delightful and personalized result. The pour over method is worth it when you have time to enjoy the handcrafted brewing process and want to make coffee for one or two people. The process is about more than the flavor, though; many pour over coffee lovers find the careful attention to detail purposeful and calming.

BREWER’S NOTE

While pour over and French press are both manual coffee brewing methods, the extraction process is different. Pour over uses drip extraction while French press uses immersion. A French press coffee maker is used to steep coffee grounds in hot water for a set amount of time, then separate the grounds via a plunger with fine metal mesh. Pour over can give you a lighter, cleaner finish compared to French press, which tends to be more intense due to prolonged immersion of the grounds in water. Due to the lack of a paper filter, French press also tends to have more grit in the final brew.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO MAKE POUR OVER COFFEE

 

POUR OVER CONE

A pour over cone rests directly on top of your favorite coffee mug or carafe. Pour over cones are available in a variety of styles and sizes, including the KitchenAid® 2 Cup and 4 Cup Pour Over Cones.

FILTER

As with a drip coffee maker, the pour over method uses filters as part of the coffee brewing process. The filter rests inside your pour over cone to hold the coffee grounds. Pour over filters come in either paper, cloth or metal. Look for filters specifically designed for your size of pour over cone. 

MUG OR CARAFE

Depending on your personal preference and the number of cups you’d like to brew, you’ll need a coffee mug or carafe to collect your brewed coffee.

GOOSENECK KETTLE

Gooseneck kettles feature a unique spout that gives you more control over your pour to ensure evenly saturated grounds. KitchenAid® gooseneck kettles offer precise pour control with the addition of three unique flow rate settings to quickly and easily adjust your pouring rate for a range of brews.

According to the National Coffee Association, the optimal coffee brewing temperature range is between 195 and 205℉. Help ensure your water is at the optimal temperature with a gooseneck kettle featuring a built-in thermometer or an electric gooseneck kettle with variable temperature control. The Variable Temperature Selector on the KitchenAid® Precision Gooseneck Digital Kettle lets you select your desired brewing temperature customizable in one degree increments ranging from 140-212℉, with the option to hold for 30 minutes.

WHAT IS DRIP COFFEE?

A longtime household staple, auto drip coffee is brewed with a machine that automates the pour over brewing process—simply add water and coffee grounds. These coffee makers heat water from a reservoir, then pass it over coffee grounds in a filter basket. The brewed coffee is then collected in a carafe or other container below.

Because you can typically brew anywhere from 4 to 12 or more cups at once, an auto drip coffee maker is a good option for when you need to make coffee for a family gathering or brunch. The programmable options also make this a good choice for coffee lovers looking for convenience and consistency.

Close up of KitchenAid® auto drip coffee maker spiral shower head over coffee filter

IS POUR OVER BETTER THAN DRIP?

The pour over method allows you to manually ensure full saturation of your coffee grounds for even extraction and a rich, balanced brew. You can achieve similar results when you choose an auto-drip coffee maker with a showerhead that helps distribute water evenly over your grounds.
 

Anyone who’s savored a heavenly cup of joe at their favorite neighborhood coffee shop knows that drip coffee excellence is indeed possible with the right design. KitchenAid® drip coffee makers feature a unique 29-hole spiral showerhead that evenly saturates coffee grounds for optimal extraction, producing an exceptionally flavorful cup of coffee.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO MAKE DRIP COFFEE

AUTOMATIC DRIP COFFEE MACHINE

There are nearly endless options when it comes to auto drip coffee makers. Though it’s an automated process, you can still choose from a range of capacities and features to customize your brew. Choose models with a warming plate to help keep coffee warm, a brew strength selector to help you achieve your ideal cup or preset brewing times so you can wake up to a freshly brewed batch.

Reusable gold tone filter on white background

FILTER

The drip coffee method is sometimes called filter coffee because it relies on filters to produce a quality brew and reduce grittiness from coffee grounds. Paper filters are one way to go, or you can opt for a coffee maker equipped with reusable filters. KitchenAid® drip coffee makers feature a reusable gold tone filter with a dosage ladder for easy measuring.

ACCESS TO POWER

Unlike the pour over coffee method, you’ll need a place to plug in your automatic drip coffee maker.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POUR OVER AND DRIP COFFEE?

Both pour over and drip are great ways to make coffee by pouring hot water over grounds. The difference between these coffee brewing methods lies in the journey to a flavorful cup and your personal preferences. Pour over is a good option if you enjoy having more control over the process, and drip coffee is a solid choice if you prefer convenience or greater quantity.

BREWER’S TIP:

Whichever method you choose, freshly ground coffee beans will elevate your results from ho-hum to brimming with joy. The KitchenAid® Burr Coffee Grinder lets you fine-tune your grind for your ideal results. Opt for a medium grind for flat-bottom filters and medium-fine grind for cone-shaped filters.

PROS OF THE POUR OVER COFFEE BREWING METHOD

The pour over coffee method is ideal for dedicated coffee connoisseurs who like to experiment and enjoy the process of controlling different brewing variables to achieve singular results.

Pour over coffee is a good choice for people who:

  • Have more time in the morning to savor the brewing process

  • Have a craftsman mindset and enjoy making by hand

  • Love experimenting with variables like grind size and pour speed to hone the taste

  • Are coffee connoisseurs seeking the crisp, vibrant and nuanced pour over coffee flavor

  • Appreciate the mindful experience of working with their brewing equipment 

  • Sip just one or two cups of coffee each day

PROS OF THE DRIP COFFEE BREWING METHOD

Drip coffee is great for casual coffee aficionados and those who prefer convenience or need to brew enough coffee for a group. Many drip coffee makers come with a variety of settings that still allow for a personalized experience and result. If you’re that person who hovers in front of the coffee maker while it brews—no judgment—a Pause and Pour feature on select KitchenAid® models lets you grab your cupful mid-brew.

Drip coffee is a good choice for people who: 

  • Enjoy waking up to the aroma of coffee that’s already made, thanks to a programmable auto brew setting on some models

  • Need to get out the door quickly and want hot, delicious coffee ready when they wake up

  • Want to expend less effort without sacrificing quality

  • Prefer more flexibility on when to enjoy their cup with features like Pause and Pour or warming plates

  • Like to have more than one cup, or to brew coffee for company

SHOP THE KITCHENAID® COFFEE COLLECTION FOR A VARIETY OF BREWING METHODS 


From precision kettles for pour over to programmable coffee makers for drip coffee, KitchenAid has everything you need to craft your perfect cup of coffee. Whatever method you prefer, grab a coffee grinder from KitchenAid to elevate the freshness and flavor. For more tips on getting a delicious start to your mornings, here’s a helpful guide to making the best cup of coffee at home.

 

 

FURTHER READING FOR COFFEE CURATORS