You probably have a few questions after reading the title:
Why would a coffee dripper be called a clever one?
Does it have artificial intelligence?
Pros and Cons
All the right questions. The Clever Coffee Dripper doesn’t look much different from any standard, plastic, Melitta filter cone drippers. The appearance isn’t original nor super-innovative.
The cleverness comes from the addition of a special valve at the bottom that blocks the water flow. When the dripper is over a cup to brew, the valve opens and the coffee flows out.
This makes extraction much smoother. Another pros of this solution means that you can much more easily control the brew time. If you need a stronger coffee, for instance, you can easily steep it for a half or a full minute more. With a normal dripper, without a valve, you can’t.
You’d need to add more ground coffee over the already extracted coffee grounds, over-extracting it and making your cup bitter. Or pour less water, producing less coffee in the end. The Clever Coffee Dripper allows you to simply prolong the extraction time without any intervention.
Second, with the Clever Coffee Dripper you may do without a fancy gooseneck kettle. Water doesn’t need to be poured over in a specific manner, with complicated rotations and extreme attention. You can pour in all water at once. Any kettle you may have will be sufficient for the task.
Filters don’t need to have a specific shape and consistency. Of course, different filters will make a difference but it’s not vital to use one over another. The immersion time will even out the variables.
Cheaper and simple paper filters at your nearest supermarket will do just fine in the Clever Coffee Dripper.
Clever Coffee Dripper
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Things to consider before buying
The only two factors you need to take care of are the steeping time and the coffee to water ratio. This is valid for any coffee dripper. The Clever doesn’t make an exception here and lets you have full control over both as usual.
The catch with the Clever Coffee Dripper is that it works more like an immersion brewing method than a true pour over. In a proper pour over the time the ground coffee is in contact with the water is relatively short. That is what it takes to simply have the hot water to flow through the coffee.
With the Clever dripper, the coffee can stay in contact with the water for as little time as with a pour-over or for much longer. It depends on when you activate the valve at the bottom. Therefore, the immersion can go on for a length closer to a French Press, which works as a full immersion method.
That has an effect on the resulting coffee. It will favor a full bodied cup, with a heavier mouthfeel than with a classic dripper like the Hario V60.
The Clever Coffee Dripper sits in the middle between it and a French Press, which has a much fuller body and is preferred by those liking a more intense coffee. Not an earth-shattering difference, but to be taken into consideration before buying the Clever Coffee Dripper.
The other catch is that the Clever is made of full plastic, not the most resistant material. It won’t break if it falls, but it probably won’t last for a decade either. It tends to stain more easily than glass, and it’s less easy to clean. It won’t affect the taste of your brew, it’s simply an aesthetic issue.