Pour Over Coffee vs Drip

scattered beans from the laid coffee cup

Have you ever walked into a coffee shop, and, after ordering a cup of coffee you hear the barista rattle off a list of ways for your coffee to be made? And after standing there confused for a minute, with a speechless look on your face, you maybe then responded with something novice like “just a regular cup, please.” Sometimes it's hard to have our finger on the pulse of the best way to do things. But believe it or not, there are interesting and life-shifting techniques for brewing up the best cup of coffee. You just have to start with understand pour over coffee vs drip coffee.

Pour Over Coffee vs Drip?

What's the verdict on pour over coffee vs drip coffee?... It's a matter of quality over convenience. Drip coffee is the type of coffee everyone is most familiar with. Think Mr. Coffee, Hamilton Bay, or Cuisine Art machines that sit on the kitchen countertops of most homes. After pressing a button or two, you're given a steaming cup of morning delight. 

Pour over coffee, on the other hand, is less common and you are talking about a very custom experience. Water is boiled, and when it reaches the perfect temperature it is hand poured over ground up beans and finally slow strained into a glass vial. With pour over coffee, you get a richer result and an overall better experience.

When comparing pour over coffee vs drip coffee, there are a lot of details to consider. But for a vast majority of the time, pour over coffee winswhen it comes to taste and experience, though not when it comes to convenience and price!

What Is Drip Coffee All About?

Drip coffee is the automated process of getting a cup of coffee, for cheap, and often at home. The process relies on simple machinery which holds ground coffee beans in a paper filter and pours the desired amount of water over it. The water is heatedup in the machine, and then it precedes to flow out of a shower head over the ground coffee beans. It moves through a paper filter and lands in a heated pot.

People love to set a timer on these machines, so when they first wake up a nice cup of warmed up coffee is sitting there waiting for them to enjoy. People on their way to a day with a hectic schedule usually get a great deal of enjoyment out of drip coffee. It typically means less time spent on things outside of getting ready and taking care of what calls for their attention.

When considering pour over coffee vs drip, the drip method has its meaningful application; but as all matters of convenience go, ultimately there is a significant loss in the quality.

Why Is There A Loss In Quality?

cup of coffee surrounded with coffee beans

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When using the drip method, there are many reasons as to why the cup of coffee falls short of being the best.


The National Coffee Association states that the optimal temperature to steeping coffee is between 195 degrees and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Drip machines simply won't reach that temperature, especially in a consistent fashion, as they pour water over the ground up coffee beans.

Inconsistent Steep

As most drip machines pour the hot water over the ground up coffee beans, the shower head only distributes to specific regions of the beans in the filter. This means that some of the ground coffee beans are soaked and steeped for more extended periods, while some areas (like the edges) of your ground coffee beans are hardly steeped at all. That situation puts a strain on some coffee grounds, causing them to soak, which spoils the flavors and aromas.


Most drip machines are made up of many different parts. Cleaning the entire device can be a real hassle. The inability to clean the drip machine thoroughly after each use leads to bacteria and mold growth, which definitely spoils the delectable joys of a nice cup of coffee. They also pose a threat to your health!

You might be seeking convenience through the drip machine to save some time throughout the day. But instead you may end up sick for days. Nobody wants that.

Lack Of Control

All in all, the major downfall of the drip machine and its level of quality stems from its lack of control. The more personal a touch we can put on our cup of coffee, the higher the quality will be and the more likely we are to enjoy it.

With the drip machine, we only get control over which beans we use and how ground up they are. The machines say that we can enhance the intensity of the brew, but they are really just machines which only offer basic functionalities, capable of only so much, and basically just give us a feeling of control.

Because of each reason listed above, the drip machine seriously losses its credibility as the go-to technique for making a cup of coffee in our competition match up of pour over coffee vs drip.

What Exactly Is Pour Over Coffee?

hot coffee being poured to coffee cup

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Pour over coffee is so similar to drip coffee that there is much confusion surrounding the two techniques. So how is it better? After all, in both processes, there are ground beans and hot water being poured over those ground beans through a filter.

With the pour over process, there is no machine involved. There is no automation of the process. There is you and/or a barista, the coffee grounds, a glass vial to catch the steeped coffee with, and a level of personal focus.

How the cup of coffee comes out is dependent on the person who is making it. There is so much customization that you can find unique character in almost every pour over cup made, even if they are from the same coffee bean!

Why Is Pour Over The Superior Technique?

person holding a cup of coffee

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With the pour over technique, you have remarkable control. You have control of the hot water, you have the pour, and you get to orchestrate their intimate interaction the whole way through.

If you want a lighter cup, you can pour less water in so it seeps right through the grounds and into the vial. If you want more bitter and flavorful coffee, you can pour more over the ground beans and allow the hot water to build up then soak over those beans for a prolonged steep. You get to utilize every bit of your ground bean for your final pot. You can pour your hot water over the sides, over the middle, and over the back. 


Some coffee brands and businesses have taken the issue of inconsistent pouring into consideration, so they have build machines that can rival pour over coffee: but these machines are going to cost you a solid $200 and up.

A huge factor in why pour over coffee ranks better in the showdown of pour over coffee vs drip is because of its affordability.

All the equipment necessary for a pour over is going to cost you somewhere between twenty and thirty dollars, typically. Some styled glassware can be found for $60 or so; but for the most part, all you need is a nice glass vial and a filter, which are both relatively inexpensive.


This factor isn't often the make or break point, but it is certainly worth the consideration. When buying a pour over coffee set, you are looking at an eco-friendly product that can last five-plus years.

With machines, you will typically have to throw them out because of wear and tear after 2-3 years. And they almost always make these machines of a bunch of plastic, so they are just going to sit, crowding up landfills for decades. Pour over sets will last as long as you are careful with the glass. And glass breaks down a lot faster than plastic.


Remember, the optimal temperature to steep a cup of coffee with is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. When dealing with pour over coffee vs drip, the pour over option actually gives you the opportunity to soak the beans in optimal temperature water. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so as soon as it is boiling you know it is just about the optimal temperature. You take it right from the kettle and allow it to soak over all of your ground coffee beans, extracting the greatest caffeine levels, aromas, and flavor profile.


Our lives deserve quality experiences. The depth of the quality in a pour over coffee vs drip is one to potentially marvel over. These quality moments can slow us down, take our minds off of stresses, and furthermore inspire us to include higher levels of quality throughout our work and lives. Pour over coffee is more than just abundantly aromatic and flavorful when compared to drip coffee, but it is inspirational.

If convenience is the main factor, it makes sense to use a drip machine. Or if you have the means to spend extra, you can find a machine that makes a higher-quality cup.

Overall though, the next time you're considering buying a cup of coffee, or coffee making set for the home, steer clear of the drip coffee! We told you what we think about pour over coffee vs drip, but how do you feel? 


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