Melitta 10-Cup Pour-Over Coffee Maker Review
It may be less convenient than an automatic pot, but unlike almost all drip coffee makers, the super cheap Melitta 10-Cup Pour-Over Coffee Brewer (starting at $13, Amazon) has almost perfect ratings in consumer reviews.
It comes with a large plastic cone for holding paper filters, which is placed over a glass carafe -- bare-bones and efficient. This model is simple to use, it's durable, and the enthusiasts at CoffeeGeek say it simply makes some of the best coffee you can drink. As users repeat in reviews, the key to the Melitta’s success is that it offers control over the coffee-making process. Java Jenius explains that pouring all the water through the filter at once makes a weaker but smoother coffee. Pouring carefully and slowly yields a stronger brew. This method of using just-boiled water and saturating the grounds ensures that the flavor is fully extracted from the coffee, says an expert writing at Serious Eats.
Many Melitta adherents came to this model after becoming disgusted with the death rate of automatic drip machines. One Amazon reviewer, for instance, claims to have gone through one every two years. Another did a back-to-back taste test with an expensive automatic drip machine and found that the taste of the coffee from this little low-tech device was less bitter, smoother, and far superior. On the Walmart website, a reviewer notes that it’s useful to have around during a power failure.
There are some drawbacks, of course, to using a pour-over model. For one, it's labor intensive. You have to boil water and stand over the brew cone to pour the water, whether you stir it or not. Also, there is no heated plate on which the carafe can sit -- although coffee could be brewed directly into an insulated pot instead. Finally, canned coffee bought at the supermarket will not turn out that well with the cone-shaped Melitta, which requires more finely ground coffee.
These drawbacks aside, you can’t buy a better coffee maker for the money -- or even for a lot more money.