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Manual Brewers Buying Guide

Manual Brewers Buying Guide

Sep 2nd 2022 Written by Ragan LaTour-Kelley

We all long for the delicate, yet intricate, flavors that lie within a coffee bean. Freshly ground and brewed with precision, a well-brewed cup of coffee can unleash a world of unique flavors; from delicate florals, to sweet candy-like fruits, to even deeper, richer notes of dark chocolate and berries.

Manual brewing, in particular, provides complete control over the brewing process, and the brewer being used makes a huge impact on the flavor and mouthfeel of the cup. A pour over can leave you with a cup so clean it may almost be described as tea-like, whereas an immersion brew can produce a bold cup with a full body and mouthfeel. It all comes down to your preference and how much effort you want to exert during your morning coffee ritual. We’ve curated a guide of all our manual brewing devices to help aid you in deciding which brewer is right for you!

Part One: Manual Brewers Overview

We have broken down our brewers into four categories: pour over, immersion, siphon, and cold brew to help you get a feel for our catalog. Each option presents its core features and considerations to weigh before making your purchase. You’ll see a wide variety of pour overs, both cone and flat bottom; immersion brewers, presses, siphons; and even a few options for the folks that prefer their coffee served cold! So let’s get started!

Hario V60

Hario V60 02 turquoise

The V60 is the perfect choice if you:

  • Love to have options
  • Prefer a clean cup of coffee
Hario V60 meters

Features

  • Available in a variety of colors, sizes and materials
  • Option of paper or cloth filter
  • Specialty coffee mainstay with tons of resources available
  • Provides impressive control over brew

Considerations

  • Requires a gooseneck kettle
  • Requires some pouring technique

Bee House

Bee House

The Bee House is the perfect choice if you:

  • Love to have options
  • Enjoy simplicity in your coffee routine
Bee House meters

Features

  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • Sturdy ceramic design
  • Easy to use
  • Uses Melitta filters

Considerations

  • Doesn’t offer much room for technique
  • Best results with a gooseneck kettle

Chemex

Chemex 6-cup

The Chemex is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want coffee with tons of clarity
  • Want to brew multiple cups at once
Chemex meters

Features

  • Elegant design
  • Produces sediment-free coffee
  • Option of paper, cloth, or metal filter
  • Available in several sizes

Considerations

  • Produces very clean, almost tea-like coffee
  • Requires a gooseneck kettle
  • Requires pouring technique

Kalita Wave

Kalita Wave

The Kalita Wave is the perfect choice if you:

  • Are looking for a simple and reliable brewer
  • Enjoy size and material options
Kalita Wave meters

Features

  • Flat bottom design that encourages an even extraction
  • Available in multiple size and material options
  • Uses proprietary Wave filters
  • Many recipes and resources available

Considerations

  • Requires a Gooseneck kettle
  • Results vary based on model

Tricolate

Tricolate

The Tricolate is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want crazy-high extraction rates
  • Prefer a hands-off approach
Tricolate meters

Features

  • Produces consistently high extractions
  • Works with all kettles
  • Available in multiple color options
  • No pouring technique required

Considerations

  • Fully plastic design
  • Longer brew times

Espro Bloom

Espro Bloom

The Bloom is the perfect choice if you:

  • Long for clarity and complexity in your coffee
  • Get excited over increased flow rate
Bloom meters

Features

  • Fast flow rate that allows for finer grinding and higher extraction
  • Patented micro-filter design
  • Can be used with or without paper filters
  • Brews 1-2 cups

Considerations

  • Requires a gooseneck kettle
  • Brew times and extraction vary on filtration method

Immersion

Aeropress

Aeropress

The Aeropress is the perfect choice if you:

  • Love brewing coffee on the go
  • Enjoy experimenting with your coffee recipes
Aeropress meters

Features

  • Offers versatility in your brew method
  • Hundreds of recipes available
  • Travel-friendly
  • Dishwasher safe

Considerations

  • Made of plastic
  • Small batch sizes

Aeropress Go

Aeropress Go

The Aeropress Go is the perfect choice if you:

  • You love brewing coffee on the go
  • Want everything you need bundled together
Aeropress Go meters

Features

  • Travel-friendly
  • Bundled design
  • Versatile brewing options
  • Dishwasher safe

Considerations

  • Small batch sizes
  • Made of plastic

Clever

Clever

The Clever is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want simplicity in your brewing process
  • Enjoy versatile brewing options
Clever meters

Features

  • Versatile immersion or pour over brewing
  • Compatible with standard #4 filters
  • Easy to clean
  • Doesn’t require a gooseneck kettle

Considerations

  • Made of plastic
  • Full body mouth feel

Hario Switch

Hario Switch

The Hario Switch is the perfect choice if you:

  • Love the V60
  • Enjoy a versatile brewer
Hario Switch meters

Features

  • Brew either pour over or immersion
  • Uses V60 02 filters
  • Convenient switch to begin drawdown
  • Classic V60 cone design

Considerations

  • Requires gooseneck kettle
  • Stainless steel ball may fall out during cleaning

Delter Press

Delter Press

The Delter Press is the perfect choice if you:

  • Love brewing coffee on the go
  • Are a fan of the Aeropress
Delter Press meters

Features

Considerations

  • Complex brew method
  • Flavor closer to a pour over than immersion

Pro 1 Cezve

Pro 1 Cezve

The Pro 1 Cezve is the perfect choice if you:

  • Prefer a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee
  • Enjoy experimenting with unique brew methods
Pro 1 Cezve meters

Features

  • Handmade in Turkey
  • Promotes more even extraction
  • Perfect for brewing traditional Turkish Coffee
  • Beautiful design

Considerations

  • Requires fine grind
  • No filtration

Espro Press

Espro Press

The Espro Press is the perfect choice if you:

  • Prefer a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee
  • You want an immersion brew with less sediment
Espro Press meters

Features

  • Two different size options
  • Two fine mesh filters
  • Double-walled vacuum insulation
  • Stainless steel construction

Considerations

  • Cleaner mouth feel than standard French Press
  • Can be more difficult to clean

Espro Travel Coffee Press

Espro Travel Coffee Press

The Espro Travel Coffee Press is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want to brew your coffee on the go
  • Enjoy an immersion brew with a cleaner mouth feel
Espro Travel Coffee Press meters

Features

  • Travel-friendly design
  • Vacuum insulated for long-lasting warmth
  • Dual-wall filter for cleaner cup of coffee
  • Optional paper filters

Considerations

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Some sediment in coffee

Yield Design Ceramic French Press

Yield Design Ceramic French Press

The Yield Design Ceramic French Press is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want a brewer that makes a statement
  • Simple brew method with full body mouthfeel
Yield Design Ceramic French Press meters

Features

  • Gorgeous glazed ceramic designs
  • Stainless steel filter
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Optional paper filters

Considerations

  • Stainless steel filter may retain some sediment
  • Fragile

Hario Olivewood Coffee Press

Hario Olivewood Coffee Press

The Hario Olivewood Coffee Press is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want a brewer that makes a statement
  • Want simplicity in your morning coffee routine
Hario Olivewood Coffee Press meters

Features

  • Beautiful olivewood accents
  • Available in two size options
  • Stainless steel mesh filter
  • Made of heatproof glass

Considerations

  • Hand wash only
  • Stainless steel filter may retain some sediment

Hario Metal Coffee Press

Hario Metal Coffee Press

The Hario Metal Coffee Press is the perfect choice if you:

  • Are looking for an affordable, no-frills immersion brewer
  • Want simplicity in your morning coffee routine
Hario Metal Coffee Presss meters

Features

  • Full immersion method with stainless steel mesh filter
  • Available in two size options
  • Made of heatproof glass
  • Produces tasty, full-bodied coffee

Considerations

  • Simple, no-frills design
  • Stainless steel mesh filter may retain some sediment

Hario Double-Walled Glass Coffee Press

Hario Double-Walled Glass Coffee Press

The Hario Double-Walled Glass Coffee Press is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want a brewer that makes a statement
  • Want simplicity in your morning coffee routine
Hario Double-Walled Glass Coffee Press meters

Features

  • Elegant design with olivewood and leather accents
  • Great insulation due to thick double-walled design
  • Simple brew method
  • Glass components are dishwasher safe

Considerations

  • Only brews 1-2 cups at a time
  • Wood and leather accents shouldn’t get wet

Siphon

Yama Coffee Vacpot Tabletop Siphon

Yama Coffee Vacpot Tabletop Siphon

The Yama Coffee Vacpot Tabletop Siphon is the perfect choice if you:

  • Enjoy a heavily involved brewing method
  • Want to brew without a stovetop
Yama Coffee Vacpot Tabletop Siphon meters

Features

  • Available in 3 cup and 5 cup options
  • Comes with denatured alcohol burner
  • Produces beautifully clean, yet full-bodied cup
  • Different filter options available

Considerations

  • Complex brewing method
  • Does not come with denatured alcohol

Yama Coffee Vacpot Stovetop Siphon

Yama Coffee Vacpot Stovetop Siphon

The Yama Coffee Vacpot Stovetop Siphon is the perfect choice if you:

  • Enjoy a heavily involved brewing method
  • Have access to a stovetop
Yama Coffee Vacpot Stovetop Siphon meters

Features

  • Available in 5 cup and 8 cup options
  • Sits directly on the stove for heating
  • Beautiful design
  • Different filter options available

Considerations

  • Complex brewing method
  • Does not come with heating element

Hario Coffee Siphon NEXT

Hario Coffee Siphon NEXT

The Hario NEXT is the perfect choice if you:

  • Enjoy a heavily involved brewing method
  • Long for an upgraded version of the classic siphon
Hario Coffee Siphon NEXT meters

Features

  • Redesigned, rubber handle that doesn’t heat while you brew
  • Improved aesthetics that focuses on sleek curves
  • 600 ml capacity
  • Multiple filter options available

Considerations

  • Complex brewing method
  • Does not come with denatured alcohol

Hario Tabletop Coffee Siphon

Hario Tabletop Coffee Siphon

The Hario Tabletop Coffee Siphon is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want to brew without a stovetop
  • Appreciate the quality of Hario products
Hario Tabletop Coffee Siphon meters

Features

  • Comes with denatured alcohol burner
  • Compatible with Yama Butane Burner
  • Produces beautifully clean, yet full-bodied cup
  • Different filter options available

Considerations

  • Complex brewing method
  • Does not come with denatured alcohol

Cold Coffee

Hario Mizudashi

Hario Mizudashi

The Hario Mizudashi is the perfect choice if you:

  • Have a deep love for cold coffee
  • Want cold brew coffee made easy
Hario Mizudashi meters

Features

  • All-in-one device
  • Produces sweet, syrupy coffee
  • Available in two sizes
  • Also suitable for hot tea and coffee

Considerations

  • Contains some plastic parts
  • Takes 18 hours to brew

Hario V60 Fretta

Hario V60 Fretta Iced Coffee Brewer

The Hario V60 Fretta is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want cold coffee and you want it now
  • Don’t want your ice coffee to be diluted
Hario V60 Fretta Iced Coffee Brewer meters

Features

  • Produces a clean, chilled cup of coffee without being watered down
  • Can brew hot or cold coffee
  • Heatproof-glass carafe with pop-in lid
  • Produces 2-4 cups of coffee

Considerations

  • Consistency of iced coffee more than cold brew
  • Brews with hot water

Yama Cold Coffee Brewer

Yama Cold Coffee Brewer

The Yama Cold Coffee Brewer is the perfect choice if you:

  • Want slow-drip cold brew
  • Appreciate brewers that resemble art
Hario V60 Fretta Iced Coffee Brewer meters

Features

  • Available in two size options, 32 oz and 124 oz
  • Glass is dishwasher safe
  • Cold drip method reduces acidity
  • Made of hand-blown borosilicate glass

Considerations

  • Takes at least 3-12 hours to brew depending on grind size and drip rate
  • Large footprint

Bruer

Bruer

The Bruer is the perfect choice if you:

  • Are looking for an easy and convenient way to make iced coffee at home
  • Want control over your drip rate
Bruer meters

Features

  • Made of borosilicate glass, stainless steel, and food-grade silicone
  • Adjustable drip rate
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Makes about 20 oz. of cold brew coffee

Considerations

  • Fragile build
  • Slow drip takes between 4-8 hours

Part Two: Deciding Factors in Choosing a Manual Brewer

A lot goes into deciding which brewer is right for you, so we broke it down into easy-to-read visuals to help make it easier. Take a quick glance at levels of technique required, brewer capacity, cup clarity, and filter options.

Capacity

Capacity Chart

Capacity

An important factor to consider when choosing the right manual brewer for your home setup is how much coffee you'll be brewing at one time. For example, if you're the host or hostess of your friend group, you will likely want a brewer that is capable of brewing multiple cups at a time, like a Chemex. But, if you're brewing coffee for only yourself, you may opt for something small like the V60 01. This chart clearly displays the brewers available in our catalog from the lowest capacity of 1/4 a cup, all the way to the brewer with the greatest capacity of 10 cups.


Clarity

Clarity Chart

Clarity

The consistency and clarity of your coffee can really make a difference. However, it all comes down to preference. If you prefer a bold cup of coffee with a full-bodied mouthfeel, you may lean more toward an immersion brewer like a Aeropress or French Press. Conversely, if you love a coffee bursting with clarity and delicate flavors, you'll likely enjoy a pour over brewer like the Bloom or Kalita Wave.


Technique

Technique Chart

Technique

Some people treat their coffee as an artform, a precise and thorough endeavor that results in a beautifully balanced cup thanks to the careful consideration of each variable. Others prefer simplicity — add the coffee, add the water, and enjoy. Your prefered brewing technique is important to consider when choosing the right brewer.


Filters

filters chart

The type of filters used to brew coffee can make a significant impact on the flavor and body of your coffee. Paper filters are disposable and do a fantastic job at producing exceptionally clean cups of coffee. Cloth filters are resuable and brew with more body than paper, but less sediment than metal mesh filters. Again, these all come down to what matters most to you. Different brewers use different filters, and some come with several options.


Part Three: Comparing Similar Brewers

Now that you've been fed a plethora of information on the manual brewers we offer and explored the considerations that must be made when choosing one to fit your needs, we felt the need to break it down one more time. By now you likely have a general idea of what you want, but perhaps you're stuck between two options, so we've taken it upon ourselves to compare a few similar brewers side-by-side to better help you make the decision that best fits your coffee brewing needs.

V60 or Chemex?

Hario V60
Chemex

Hario V60 Feautures:

  • Available in numerous color and material options to fit any coffee setup aesthetic
  • Available in 3 sizes
  • 03 can brew for 3-4 people
  • 60 degree cone angle with swirling ribs encourages even extraction
  • No built in carafe
  • Brews a clean, sediment-free cups of coffee
  • Paper and cloth filter options


Chemex Features:

  • Avilable with Wood Collar or Glass Handle
  • Available in 4 size options
  • Largest variant brews up to 10 cups
  • Made of chemically inert material that does not absorb odors or chemical residues
  • Combined brewer and server
  • Brews incredibly clean, sediment-free cups of coffee
  • Paper, cloth, and metal filter options



Kalita or Bloom?

Kalita Wave
Espro Bloom

Kalita Wave Features:

  • Available in several material options
  • Available in 2 sizes
  • The 185 brews for 3-4 people
  • Flat-bottom design gives a consistent brew bed for even extraction
  • 3 outlet holes
  • Brews a delcious, clean cup of coffee





Espro Bloom Features:

  • Made of stainless steel with a silicone sleeve
  • Brews 1-2 cups
  • Micro-filter design crafted with 1500 holes in a spiral pattern
  • Option to brew with or without paper filters
  • Fast draw-down that allows for finer grinds
  • Produces high extractions



Aeropress or French Press?

Aeropress
Hario Metal French Press

Aeropress Features:

  • Travel-friendly
  • Capable of multiple brewing styles
  • Tons of different recipes available
  • Brews 1-3 cups
  • Available in paper and stainless steel filter options
  • Brews a clean but full-bodied cup

Hario French Press Features:

  • Made of heatproof glass
  • Brews 1-3 cups depending on size
  • Stainless steel mesh filter that allows some sediment through
  • Acts as a brewer and server
  • Easy and straightforward brew method
  • Produces a rich cup with full mouthfeel


Clever or Switch?

Clever
Hario Switch

Clever Features:

  • Immersion or pour over brewer
  • Plastic construction
  • Easily accessible #4 filters
  • Immersion brew yields 16 fl oz
  • Available in three color options
  • Drawdown begins when set on cup or server

Hario Switch Features:

  • Immersion or pour over brewer
  • Made of heatproof glass
  • Uses V60 02 filters
  • Immersion capacity of 240 grams
  • Classic V60 cone design
  • Drawdown begins with the flip of a switch

Final Thoughts

Your daily coffee is a big deal. Whether you're just starting out in specialty coffee and looking for you first manual brewer, or you're a seasoned professional still chasing that perfect cup, we're thrilled to get to be a part of your coffee journey. We hope this buying guide has helped you determine what brewer is right for you, and be sure to join the Prima Coffee Community to get exclusive content like brew guides, live events, and one-on-one help from a member of our team!

Sep 2nd 2022 Ragan LaTour-Kelley

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