Pour-over coffee: Is it worth the hype?


Jett Birsner

Pour-over coffee.

Jett Birsner, Editor-in-Chief

Caffeine has become such a staple of American life over the years. According to the National Library of Medicine, 85 percent of Americans consume caffeine every day with coffee being the most popular form of caffeine consumption, but is there more to it than a simple energy boost?

During the 21st century, there has been a larger emphasis on the taste of coffee rather than focusing just on the physical effects coffee has on your body. One of the prime examples of this is  Chemex, a coffee maker manufacturer from Massachusetts, which is set on delivering the best cup of coffee via pour-over coffee. Pour-over coffee is a much more hands on way to make coffee when compared to your typical out of the pot or Keurig coffee maker because you are controlling nearly every step of the coffee-making process.

Chemex claims that their product provides “The best cup you’ve ever had, every time you have it.” 

Today, I would like to see if pour-over coffee is really worth the hype in comparison to your everyday cup of joe. 

To do this, I drank and compared two different cups of coffee. The first cup of coffee was a 12oz cup of coffee from 7-Eleven, and the second cup was made using an Eight Cup Classic Chemex. The first cup had a distinctly strong taste, so I used 800ml of water and 50g of coffee beans while preparing the Chemex cup to create a similar level of strength. I tried both cups with and without creamer, and I did not add sugar to either cup. 

After comparing the two cups, I came to the conclusion that pour-over coffee definitely creates the superior cup. Due to the strength of the coffee, both cups were similarly bitter, but they gave off their bitterness in two very different ways. The 7-Eleven cup had a very sharp taste. The bitterness came in hard and left a nasty taste in my mouth. The Chemex cup had a much softer bitterness while maintaining the strong flavor from the 7-Eleven cup.

After trying both cups of coffee black, I then added creamer to both. When creamer was added to the two cups of coffee, the subtle differences between the two cups didn’t matter as much. The Chemex cup had a little bit of a brighter taste than the 7-Eleven cup, but I wouldn’t say that it was necessarily worse, and if I was to have the two cups an hour apart rather than a second apart, I doubt I would have noticed a difference.

The biggest difference between these two cups however is the difference in convenience. The 7-Eleven cup cost me a little more than a dollar and it took me two minutes to go into the store and buy the coffee. The Chemex cup cost me no money, but it took me around half an hour to make. Spending thirty minutes in the morning to make a cup of coffee is simply not worth it to gain a subtle amount of difference in the taste of the coffee. However, if you have the ability to take time out of your morning and spend thirty minutes making coffee, then I would definitely recommend giving pour-over coffee a try because It has a softer yet more rich flavor, and you can control nearly every step of the coffee-making process.