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How to Brew: Clever Coffee Dripper

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Clever Coffee Dripper brewing video

The Clever is one of our favorite coffee makers for no-fuss, no-matter-where, single-cup brewing. Gather a few familiar tools (#4 filters, a scale, and a stirrer), quality ingredients (fresh coffee and clean water), and your new Clever and you'll have a delicious cup in front of you in just minutes, sans hassle.

How do we brew with the Clever? Let Chris walk you through our method, below.


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Just discovered your site. Please could you confirm if you have a distributor in the UK ?

Few notes - Filtropa coffee filters work much better (and are more consistent and reliable) than Melitta when used with a Clever. The Melitta's sometime tear and release grounds into the cup during extraction. I never experience this problem with Filtropa.

Also, follow Clever's instructions - 4 minute extraction, stir 90 seconds into the extraction, stir a bit more while the coffee is dripping into the mug.

Love these things. Very easy to use, very consistent coffee, and also very good.

With any Melitta-style filters, we recommend folding the seams over to prevent rips and tears. It's a surefire way to make sure the grounds stay where they're supposed to - out of your cup!

Looking everywhere...has anyone had good luck using Cleaver as a pour over? Thinking about doing a small bloom and after 30s moving to the mug to finish the pour over. Rather than trapping all the water. Feel it could double as a ifull immersion and pour over dripper.

Chris, after reading the beginner's guide post and watching you talk about the Clever in this video and on the product page, I just decided to order it. Looking forward to using it soon!

Your informational posts are always so great! Despite being deeply familiar with most of these brewers I learn something new in nearly all your articles & videos.

In regards to this post, it was fun to try your specific ratios/method; it produced great results with this months Counter Culture Apollo offering.

The Clever has become my "go to" method for manual brewing. While I still love the V60, chorreador, Aero, french press, etc. the Clever is so amazingly flexible and forgiving I find it the most to "play with". By contrast the V60 is far more fussy and while in some ways it can be more rewarding I don't always want focus that much energy into making coffee at 5am.

Thanks, Jason! We're glad you enjoy them. Keep playing.

I've used hundreds of the cheap Rockline filters and haven't had a single tear. I fold the seams, which I'm guessing the people who have had tearing issues, do not.

I always (carefully) fold the seams, but would still get small tears once every couple of weeks in Melitta filters, but almost never with Filtropa.

Interesting. Thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to avoid the Melitta filters.

For what it's worth, I've filled the Rockline filters to the max capacity of the Clever (and filter) before, and haven't had a single tear.

When do you start the timer for extraction? I can't tell if it's best started at the blooming stage or after you reach the 400 mL fill point.

For consistency we always recommend starting your timer when the water first hits the coffee grounds. This is, after all, when the extraction actually begins, and it can help you diagnose potential issues with flow rate and pouring later on.

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