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Kalita Wave vs. Clever Dripper Review

Posted by Bean & Bean on
Kalita Wave vs. Clever Dripper Review

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 all fun and rewarding, but getting started is often the hardest part. 

There are somany equipment options for coffee including but not limited to, the Clever Dripper and Kalita Wave. The Clever Dripper is an immersion-based coffee brewer that combines a french press and pour over together. The Kalita Wave is a pour over or drip coffee brewer with a flat bottom filter.

We’re going to be comparing the Clever Dripper and Kalita Wave coffee brewers based on price, quality, and ease of use to help you decide which one is right for your coffee preferences and lifestyle.

Background on the Clever Dripper and the Kalita Wave

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)

Kalita Co. started in Japan in the 1950’s and is a family-owned business that produces coffee equipment. The Kalita Wave dripper is a pour-over, similar to a Chemex or V60, yet, the Kalita Wave has a different extraction method. Rather than water dripping through a singular hole, it features a flat bottom with three holes which eliminates water channeling in the coffee bed. The filter and the dripper have little contact with each other, resulting in consistent water temperature and even water saturation. (Source)


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 premeasured 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

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile 

Cons: 

  • 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.

Kalita Wave Brewing Guide

For the Kalita Wave, the bare minimum you need is medium-coarse coffee grounds, water, a gooseneck kettle, and a coffee filter. More skilled or 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 premeasured coffee grounds and blooming them for ~30 seconds with some hot water. Once bloomed, add the rest of your water in three parts, 20 seconds each and a 10 second pause in between. Let the water drain completely before serving.

Kalita Wave Review

Pros: 

  • More control over your brew
  • Beginner friendly
  • Comes in a wide variety of materials and sizes

Cons: 

  • Uses a special filter
  • Not an elegant design
  • Small handle

The Kalita Wave brings out the brighter notes of coffee, and makes a very clean cup. It highlights more complex flavors in coffee and lends itself well to light roast coffee that are more fruity or floral. It also isn’t too difficult to learn how to use and fairly forgiving of mistakes in brew technique. Compared to the Clever Dripper, it offers more control over the resulting brew. As a result, it makes a very consistent brew for a pour over and is very beginner friendly. It also comes in a wide variety of materials, including glass, metal, etc. and sizes ranging from 1 to 3 cups of coffee. (Source

That being said, Kalita Waves use a special filter which may be annoying to purchase once you run out. The design is also not the most beautiful, but it feels sturdy, has a smart design, and is easily portable. The handle is a little small, so if you have large hands it might be inconvenient or uncomfortable to pick up. (Source)

Clever Dripper vs. Kalita Wave Pricing 

In terms of price, the Clever Dripper, which runs for $29, is a little less expensive compared to the Kalita Wave, which runs from $30 - $40. The glass Kalita Wave retails for $36 and the stainless steel Kalita Wave retails for $40

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. 


Final Thoughts

 

Similar to our Clever Dripper and Hario V60 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 allows for some control over the resulting brew, but forgiving on brewing mistakes, then the Kalita Wave is for you.





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