Making coffee at home is often a personal process. It’s therapeutic, (hopefully) tastes good, and you save money on coffee that you would normally buy out! It’s fun and rewarding, but getting started is often the hardest part.
There are so many equipment options for coffee including, but not limited to, the Clever Dripper and the AeroPress. The Clever Dripper is an immersion-based coffee brewer that combines a french press and pour over together. The AeroPress a manual coffeemaker with a cylindrical chamber and a plunger with an airtight silicone seal, that works just like a syringe.
We’re going to be comparing the Clever Dripper and AeroPress coffee brewers based on price, quality, and ease of use to help you decide which one is right for your coffee preferences and lifestyle.
History/Background on the Clever Dripper and the AeroPress
The Clever Dripper was designed to make coffee brewing easy for the novice coffee drinker. Its immersion-style brewer is hailed as one of the easiest brew methods out there. It’s conical-shaped like a pour-over and retains water in the device like a French press. By mixing the two methods, the Clever Dripper can filter out fine sediment while immersing all the coffee grounds during the brew. (Source)
The AeroPress was born in 2004 by Adan Adler, a renowned inventor and retired Stanford University engineering instructor. He started his company, Aerobie, to manufacture and sell his sporting goods inventions, like the Aerobie Pro flying ring, which set a Guinness World Record for the longest throw. Adler wanted to create a device that would brew a superior cup of coffee and began studying the coffee brewing process and analyzing coffee maker designs. In November, 2005, Aerobie debuted its breakthrough AeroPress coffee maker at a coffee industry trade show. (Source)
Here's a full rundown on the AeroPress:
Clever Dripper Brewing Guide
For a Clever Dripper, the bare minimum you need is medium-coarse coffee grounds, hot water, and coffee filters. More skilled/advanced brewers will use a scale, timer, specific ratios of coffee to water. You start by putting the filter in the brewer and rinsing it with hot water, discarding the water after. Then, adding your pre-measured coffee grounds and blooming them for ~30 seconds with some hot water.
Once bloomed, add the rest of your water and saturate the grounds, letting it sit for ~2 minutes. Then place the brewer on top of a decanter or carafe and let the coffee drain. That’s it! (Source)
Clever Dripper Review
- Very easy to use
- Doesn’t last forever
- Not the most aesthetically pleasing
- Only comes in one size
The points that make the dripper “bad” may not necessarily be negative but personal preference. The best thing about the Clever Dripper is its ease of use. It’s probably the most uncomplicated coffee brewer to use and doesn’t require any fancy techniques compared to a pour over. You can set it and (kind of) forget it, making it approachable for novice coffee connoisseurs and those new to coffee alike.
It’s very lightweight, easy to hold, and made of BPA-free plastic. Additionally, it’s versatile in its brew—you can do a pour over or an immersion-style brew with one tool! In terms of flavor, the Clever Dripper doesn’t extract coffee oils as well as a drip coffee would and produces a fuller-body coffee that would work better for medium to dark roasts. This means that the fruity and floral notes of light roast coffees won’t be as prominent.
Also, while plastic is durable, it’s not durable forever and could start to wear down depending on how often you use it. Aesthetic-wise, it’s not the most elegant, but it does the job—crafted for utility.
One last thing to note is that the Clever Dripper doesn’t come in multiple sizes and is mainly a single serving brewer, meaning that it might be a hassle to make many cups of coffee.
AeroPress Brewing Guide
The AeroPress works using a plunger system. All you need is a fine drip coffee grind, the AeroPress brewer, and hot water. The beauty of the AeroPress is you can be as novice or experienced in coffee and still brew a great cup of coffee. You add your coffee grounds according to the number of cups you're making (the cylinder portion of the AeroPress has marked numbers to help you). Then, add your water (the company recommends 175°F (80°C) for hot brewing), stir the grounds and water for 10 seconds, and then plunge the coffee into your cup of choice.
- Very easy and quick to use
- Only comes in one size (two people brewing max)
- Physically challenging to use
- Under extraction is a common issue
The AeroPress is championed for being easy to use, portable, durable, and most importantly, makes great tasting coffee. It’s one of the most portable coffee brewing systems in the market and widely popular with camping and outdoor enthusiasts. The AeroPress is very forgiving to technique and doesn't require any fancy weighing or pouring. It's one of the perfect brewing methods for coffee beginners and connoisseurs alike.
Like the Clever Dripper, it’s also virtually indestructible, since it’s made with durable BPA-free plastic. The AeroPress is also versatile in its brew—you can brew immersion-style, espresso style, even cold brew! In terms of flavor, the AeroPress has a clean and acidic taste with clearly defined flavor notes thanks to the paper filter that prevents oil and sediment from dripping into the cup. As a result, it's best used with washed coffees that are a light to medium roast.
A potential downside to the AeroPress is its size: it brews 6-8 ounces, which, depending on how you brew it, can be at most for 2 people to enjoy. It’s also quite challenging to plunge down as it creates a vacuum that creates a lot of resistance when pushing down (careful not to break any cups)! Between the coffee and the cup, the filter doesn't do a great job of retaining water in the chamber.
Clever Dripper vs. AeroPress Pricing
In terms of price, both the Clever Dripper and AeroPress run for around $30. Both are similarly priced and offer slightly different brew results, but focus on making coffee less intimidating to the regular consumer. If you are choosing between one or the other, it really comes down to what you’re looking for.
Similar to our Clever Dripper and Kalita Wave comparison, there is no clear better product. Each dripper offers different brew methods, brew flavor, and functionalities. If you are looking for an easy, no-fuss brewer that makes a full-bodied cup, the Clever Dripper is the coffee dripper for you. If you’re looking for an easy brewer that is portable and forgiving on brewing mistakes, then the AeroPress is for you. You can shop both on our website: AeroPress & Clever Dripper.
- Tags: Home Brewing