What is the difference between brewing pour over coffee and auto drip coffee at home? Coffee homebrewers often ask us this question. Both methods of brewing coffee are similar—they involve pouring hot water over coffee grounds. While they both result in a delicious cup of joe, the key differences are the equipment used, the level of control you have over the brewing process and temperature, how long it takes to brew, and how long you have to pour. Both methods of homebrewing will give you a bolder, better tasting cup of coffee than you can get at Starbucks. Want more tips like these? Check out all of our blog articles on homebrewing.
What is pour over coffee?
Pour over is a technique involving manually drip brewing coffee. It allows for a high level of control over the brewing process. From grind size to water temperature to pouring speed, you can extract different tastes to your liking. Pour over allows for a personalized cup of joe. Unless you’re using an extra large pour over coffee maker like the Big Joe, brewing pour over often requires you to brew a cup at a time, which can make it a time consuming process if you’re also making coffee for friends and family. However, despite the brewing process taking time, it also can be a calming and therapeutic experience for those who do it. Compared to a french press, pour over will give you a much cleaner taste with less grit in your drink.
To brew pour over coffee you will need:
- Pour over coffee maker
- Cup, carafe, or growler
- Coffee grinder
What is auto drip coffee?
Auto drip coffee automates the pour over brewing process, allowing you to do something else while your coffee brews. They work by heating water and passing it over coffee grounds in a filter in a basket. For those with a busy schedule or if you’re brewing for a lot of people, you might go with this option. Auto drip coffee makers’ settings allow for a consistent brew each time. Most auto drip coffee makers have the ability to brew anywhere from 4 to 12 cups of coffee at once.
To brew auto drip coffee you will need:
- Automatic drip coffee machine
- Electricity and a power outlet
What is better, pour over coffee or auto drip coffee?
Both methods of brewing coffee, you can adjust the amount and quality of the water with both brewing methods. Pour over requires more equipment than auto drip, and unless you’re using an extra large coffee maker like the Big Joe, it will take longer to brew larger amounts of coffee. However, the key difference comes down to the temperature, the distribution and flow of the water and the clean up. While both methods can brew delicious cups of joe, auto drip coffee makers offer only a single temperature for the water and most do not reach the 195 – 205 degree temperature needed to extract the best flavors from the coffee. Most auto-drip machines can only reach 165-175 degrees, which will leave many flavors of your coffee grounds under-extracted and can lead to more bitter taste profiles. Auto-drip machines are also significantly harder to clean up. The tanks that hold the water often do not fully drain and can over time lead to build up of limescale and mold that will impact the cleanliness and flavors of your brews. Auto drip coffee makers require you to continuously perform deep cleaning and descaling of your coffee maker. Pour over coffee makers only requires you to discard your grounds and paper filter and wash the filter basket/cone and many like the Big Joe are top-rack dishwasher safe. So while you might save some time in the auto-drip brewing process, that time is then spent cleaning your coffee maker. And who wants limescale, or mold in your morning cup?
Want to learn more about homebrewing and pour over?
Want more tips on improving your coffee brewing experience? Read all of our articles on homebrewing on our blog. If you settled on becoming a pour over expert, the next thing you need to learn about is the difference between flat bottom and cone pour over coffee makers. The good thing is that we wrote a blog about just that. Check it out and let us make your decision making process easier.