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Clever Coffee Dripper

Although the Clever Coffee Dripper itself has very little sex appeal, the coffee it brews does. Sexy as.

The Pour Over coffee making technique, with the Clever Coffee Dripper.

The Clever Coffee Dripper (CCD) has become a very popular way to brew filter coffee. It’s very simple – a truncated cone in the size of a standard filter paper with a valve at the bottom.

Image of Clever-Coffee-Filter

The Clever Coffee Dripper – odd to look at but makes great coffee.

To use it: put a filter paper in, preheat, put coffee and water in, stir and wait. Once the coffee has brewed, you put the vessel on a catcher – this could be a mug, a jug, a pitcher, whatever – the valve opens and the coffee flows out.

It’s advantages are:

  • super cheap
  • doesn’t need any weird filters
  • extremely consistent results (if you follow the same process each time)
  • very easy to use
  • very easy to clean
  • good amount of coffee for one person
  • doesn’t require a gooseneck kettle

Although the device itself has very little sex appeal, the coffee it brews does. Sexy as.

This is classified as a ‘full immersion’ brewer because the coffee is steeped in the water for the duration of the brew.

It’s absolute maximum capacity is 620g of water, but the realistic brewing maximum is 450g of water. The recipe below uses a brewing ratio (coffee:water) of 1:17 – 22g of coffee and 374g water. You can use any brewing ratio you like but I would start here.

The big CCD uses a number 4 filter, and the small uses a number 2. We prefer white Filtropa over brown filters. The brown ones taste like paper no matter how much you rinse them.

 

CCD BREWING GUIDE

CCD-available-from-Leaf-Bean-MachineTo use it: put a filter paper in, preheat, put coffee and water in, stir and wait. Once the coffee has brewed, you put the vessel on a catcher – this could be a mug, a jug, a pitcher, whatever – the valve opens and the coffee flows out.

You will need:

Here’s what to do:

  1. Fold the filter so the bottom seam is up and the side seam is around.
  2. Fill the brewer with boiling water and put the lid on. This preheats the vessel and rinses the filter. Let it sit while you weigh and grind the coffee. Don’t skimp on the water – fill it up until the water reaches the top of the filter paper.
  3. Measure 22g of coffee and grind it. Not too fine, not too coarse – kind of like coarse polenta. See ‘Dialling in your brew, or, how good can you make your coffee taste’
  4. Release the water from the brewer into your serving jug or whatever to preheat that.
  5. Put your 22g of ground coffee in the brewer.
  6. Put the brewer on the coaster on the scales.
  7. Pour 374g of hot water* into the brewer and give a stir, making sure all the grinds are wet. Start a timer as soon as you pour.  *Not boiling water! Let the kettle sit for 30 seconds or so after it comes to the boil – we want the temperature to drop to 95 or so degrees. You will get best results with freshly boiled water.
  8. Gently dunk the crust on the surface for 30 seconds or so, until it becomes a bit thin and pales in colour. I use the back of a soup spoon for this.
  9. Put the lid on and let it sit until the timer reads 4 minutes.
  10. Put it on your server to open the valve. The coffee will flow out the bottom. This is called the ‘drawdown’. Take the lid off and give it a stir . Make sure you get all the way to the bottom but don’t break the paper.
  11. It should drain in 1 – 2’ . Sometimes the brewer ‘chokes’ a little, and it doesn’t drain completely – some water is retained in the slurry. If you put it to the side and come back in a minute then it should flow out easily.

Cleaning

To clean it, tip the spent grounds and filter into the compost bin and put the brewer in the dishwasher or handwash it with soap and water. Make sure you rinse the soap off really well if handwashing.

The valve is made from medical grade silicone. It may discolour over time but this does not affect the way it brews coffee.

Enjoy!

Variation: iced filter

Cold brew and cold drip coffee is currently very fashionable. There is a variation on this theme that has a more underground popularity, at least in Australia. This style of iced coffee is very popular in Japan. Instead of brewing the coffee with cold water, you brew a concentrated batch with hot water then crash chill it to lock in the freshness and vitality of hot coffee, characters so often lacking in cold brew. As the ice melts it will bring the coffee back to a more regular strength.

You can make iced filter with any filter brewing device. It’s quite common to make it with a manual pourover such as the Hario V60 or the Kalita Wave. I find it’s easier to use an immersion brewing device, like the CCD, a plunger or the Moccamaster.

The method is the same as above to that above, except for the following:

  • Don’t preheat the catching vessel – this is where you put the ice.
  • Use half the water in the recipe as ice. i.e., for the recipe above, you would need to use 500g of ice
  • Use only half the brewing water for your ratio. i.e. if you were using the above recipe, you would use 500g of water.
  • Give the slurry an extra stir at two minutes

This is delicious stuff. Try mixing with a bit of sparkling water and lemon, particularly with zingy East African coffees.