Brew Guide: How to Use the Clever Dripper

A cup of coffee on a table


There are endless ways to drink and enjoy great coffee. True coffee lovers are always looking to experiment with new brew methods, unique styles, and fresh flavors. Most every coffee lover has tried the classic French press, tasted coffee from an automatic drip brewer, and tried the pour over style.

But there’s another method that offers a unique combination of all three:

The Clever Dripper.

Haven’t tried the Clever Dripper yet? 

From how it tastes to how to make it, here is our complete brew guide on how to use the Clever Dripper.

What Is the Clever Dripper?

The Clever Dripper is a unique brew method that combines immersion-style brewing with using a paper filter. The Clever Dripper offers a flavor similar to what you get with a French press, but the use of a filter makes it sediment-free.

Similar to pour over coffee, it requires some manual labor. Its design allows it to drip through a cone filter, adding some of the characteristics of a classic drip. In a sense, it is a hybrid of the French press, pour over, and drip brewing methods.

The Clever Dripper is easy to use and it’s perfect for when you want to brew a single cup. It’s like the Melitta Cone Filter Coffeemaker, but it has a valve at the bottom that opens up when you place it over a cup and closes when you take it off your mug.

Your coffee cup needs to be a specific size to activate the valve. As long as your cup fits, you can make your coffee in the Dripper and have it drip directly into your cup.

If you’re looking for a brewing method that’s easy yet still provides some level of control, the Clever Dripper is one to try.

What You Need to Make Coffee in the Clever Dripper

To make coffee in the Clever Dripper, you’ll need a few things:

  • The Clever Dripper
  • No. 4 paper Melitta filter
  • A mug (or small carafe) with a 1.5-3.75” wide mouth
  • Digital scale
  • Filtered water
  • Burr grinder
  • Kettle
  • Timer
  • Your favorite coffee beans

No matter what brew method you use to make your coffee, it’s all about the beans.

To find the best beans, shop flavorful, natural, and organic coffee varieties here.

A cup of coffee

How to Make Coffee in the Clever Dripper

STEP 1

Begin by boiling filtered H2O. While H2O is heating weigh and grind 33g of coffee on a medium grind setting.


STEP 2

Fold straight edge of #4 paper filter, place in Clever dripper, and pour hot H2O to rinse filter. Remove H2O from heat when water reaches boil for 1 min before pouring.


STEP 3

Start 3 min timer & pour 16 oz (455g) of 202-204 deg H2O over ground coffee.


STEP 4

When done pouring, set cover on top and ready your drinking cup!


STEP 5

When 3 min timer is done set the Clever Dripper on your cup and let drain completely!


STEP 6

Clean up is quick and easy! Dispose of used filter, rinse and dry clever dripper, and finally enjoy your coffee!



It’s unnecessary, but some people prefer to stir the coffee about one minute into the brewing process. This helps to remove the crust from the top.

There’s no need to make the coffee bloom as with pour over coffee. You can simply add all the water at the same time.

When it’s done brewing you’ll have a dripped cup of coffee and a cone covered with grinds around the edges. Simply toss the filter away, rinse the Clever Dripper, and you’re ready to enjoy the perfect cup!

Related: Brew Guide: How to Use a Pour Over Coffee Maker

The Pros of Clever Dripper Coffee

Whether you prefer French press, espresso, cappuccino, or pour over coffee, every brewing method has its pros and cons. And the Clever Dripper is no different.

Here are just a few of the pros of using the Clever Dripper brewer:

Ease of Use

The Clever Dripper is extremely easy to use. It’s not automated in any way, but it’s almost as easy to use as an automatic drip brewer.

With an automatic coffeemaker, you still have to add the filter, add the water, and add the coffee grinds. The only real difference between auto dripping and the Clever Dripper is the fact that you’ll need to do the extra step of boiling your water first.

Other than that, it’s almost as simple as pressing a button. However, the result is a cup of coffee that you have much more control over.

Single Cup Servings

Only need to make a single cup? 

The Clever Dripper comes in a small size to make an 11-ounce cup or a large size for 18 ounces. If your morning routine consists of making a single cup before you head off to work, the small Dripper generates the perfect amount.

Temperature Control

Coffee lovers know that the temperature of the water can make all the difference. By boiling your water before adding it to your coffee grounds, you get to control how hot or cold that water is.

We find that 202 to 204 degrees Fahrenheit, just below the water's boiling point, is the ideal temp.

Grind the Beans the Way You Like

There's something incredibly satisfying about grinding your coffee beans. And while you can buy already-ground coffee, we prefer to use a burr grinder to grind our beans ourselves.

You can grind your beans as finely or as coarsely as you like; the grind size is entirely up to you. But, the best grind for the Clever Dripper is a coarser, medium texture.

Control the Steep Time

The valve on the bottom of the Clever Dripper coffee brewer won’t open and start dripping until you put it on top of a coffee cup. So if you prefer to steep your coffee for a longer period of time, you can extend the brewing process.

Three minutes is the ideal steeping time, but some people prefer a few seconds less or a minute more. You have control over the steep time, so go ahead and try out different lengths of time to see which you prefer.

Affordable Price

Unlike automated coffeemakers, the Clever Dripper is exceptionally affordable. Priced at just $22, this plastic immersion brewer is only a fraction of the cost of other coffee makers. And with all the money you'll save on buying a coffee maker, you can afford to buy better beans!

Easy to Clean

The Clever Dripper is incredibly easy to clean. The entire bottom comes off, so you can clean the valve and stopper in one shot. They craft the whole piece from BPA-free plastic, so it should resist cracking, even with repeated use and frequent cleaning.

Stylish Design

The Clever Dripper is stylish and straightforward. The design is unassuming, and it's small in size, so you won't have to worry about it taking up precious counter space. 

It also comes in various cool colors, such as blue and pink, if you're looking for something a bit more distinct.

Love Coffee? Read our Guide to Becoming a Coffee Connoisseur.

The Cons of Clever Dripper Coffee

Not sure if the Clever Dripper is the right choice for you? 

Here are a few of the cons, though we think its benefits far outweigh these.

A picture containing person, table, indoor, food

 

You Won’t Enjoy the Oils in the Coffee

A lot of coffee drinkers prefer the ease of the Clever Dripper to the French press. This is for one key reason: the Clever Dripper doesn't leave any sediment in your coffee.

But if it’s the oils in the coffee that make you a fan of the French press method, the Clever Dripper disappoints.

Getting the flavor of the coffee oils is one of the best features of French press coffee. With the Clever Dripper, those oils get absorbed into the paper filter. So if it’s those oils that you love, you’re better off sticking with your tried and true French press.

It Needs to Fit Your Coffee Cups

If you're incredibly particular about using an individual coffee cup or a specific thermos, you may be out of luck. The bottom valve on the Clever Dripper (the part that makes it so clever to use) won't fit every cup.

For the Clever Dripper to work, cups and thermoses need to be wider than 1.5” and less than 3.75” in diameter.

There is a workaround for this. If the Clever Dripper doesn’t fit your favorite vessel, buy a small carafe or pitcher between 1.5” and 3.75” wide. You’ll have one more component to clean when you’re done brewing your coffee, but at least you’ll be able to enjoy your brew from your favorite cup.

Requires Manual Labor

Depending on how serious you are about drinking and making coffee, the fact that the Clever Dripper requires some manual labor could be a pro or con.

Between boiling the water and grinding the beans, the Clever Dripper requires some hands-on work. For many coffee drinkers, the ceremonial aspect of making it is just as important as drinking it. But if you prefer to do nothing more than pushing a button, you may not enjoy the level of work involved.

As with all methods, brewing coffee takes practice. So just have a little bit of patience. In time, your Clever Dripper coffee maker might turn you into the best barista in town.

Related Reading: The Pros and Cons of the Electric French Press.

Is the Clever Coffee Dripper Better?

Coffee aficionados are like wine enthusiasts — everyone has their preferred version. We can’t necessarily say that Clever Dripper coffee is better than any other brew, but it is a bit different.

If you love French press coffee but don’t love the sediment, the Clever Dripper is a great alternative. If you like the ability to control your water temperature and the coarseness of your beans, as with pour over coffee, it’s a viable option.

But if you’re the type of coffee drinker who simply wants to pour some water into a reservoir, press a button, and walk away, it’s probably not for you.

There's no doubt about it: with the right beans and the proper water temperature, the Clever Dripper makes a flavorful cup of coffee. You have control over the process, it has a relatively short brew time, and if it fits on your favorite coffee mug, the clean-up is super simple.

Our suggestion? If you want to become a well-rounded coffee expert — give it a try.



The Clever Dripper is affordable, easy to use, and easy to get the hang of. But, like all brewing methods, it’s all about the beans.

In the mood for a robust dark roast with chocolate notes? Try our Organic Goat Rock Roast with beans from Sumatra and Peru. 

Prefer something lighter and brighter? Our Organic Rise & Shine Blend features the best coffee beans from Guatemala, Peru, and Ethiopia.

Shop Taylor Lane now for our full collection of organic coffee, single-origin coffee, and delicious decaf blends.