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An Effective Budget Pour Over Coffee Setup
Written by: Garrett Oden
Pour over coffee often seems like an out-of-reach, expensive brewing method. Baristas use a bunch of fancy gear, spend a lot of time on it, and it usually costs $4 or more at a cafe. But, like with most things, you can actually make your own budget pour over coffee setup at home without having to spend a lot of money.
In this mini-guide, we’ll show you how you can make pour over coffee just as delicious as it is in your favorite cafe for less than $70. It’s a bit of startup fee, we’ll admit, but if it reduces the amount of money you spend at cafes, it’ll pay for itself in no time.
While the financial savings are a significant reward, we can’t forget about the mental health benefits of brewing coffee manually. There’s just something about sipping coffee that you carefully brewed by your own hand. Oh, and then there’s the flavor—it’s certainly going to be a step up from the brew from a standard coffee pot.
Let’s see the budget setup.
Is Pour Over Brewing Really Budget-Friendly?
Let’s be honest: pour over brewing isn’t quite as budget-friendly as, say, a french press, but we wouldn’t really say it’s expensive either. Here’s what you need:
- A pour over dripper
- A coffee grinder
- A pour over kettle
Because the brewing process is a little more complex and requires some additional technique, it does help a lot to have a kettle designed specifically for pour over brewing. We’ll talk a little more later on about whether or not you need this, as well as some affordable options.
On the bright side, most pour over cones are a little less expensive than french presses, which helps make up for the cost of a pour over cone.
Other than these key items, you’ll also need a few things that you probably already own:
- A timer
- A measuring spoon
- A liquid measuring cup
Let’s start by digging into your options for budget-friendly drippers.
Finding A Budget-Friendly Pour Over Dripper
There are dozens of pour over drippers out there, and most fall somewhere in the $20-40 range. Obviously, if you’re trying to stick to a budget, you’re going to want to look more closely at those around $20.
Some good options are the Hario V60, Kalita Wave, and our own JavaPresse Dripper. While you can get a cheap $10 plastic cone, it’ll wear out in a matter of months. It’s better to get a brewer for $20 that you will be able to count on for not months, but decades.
You’ll also want to consider filters. Hario V60 filters are usually $12 per 100, but Kalita Wave filters are often $15+ per 100. On the other hand, the JavaPresse dripper is actually a stainless steel brewer and filter.
This accomplishes a few things:
- You don’t have to spend money on filters
- You don’t produce any paper waste
- Your coffee tastes richer and fuller because the natural oils get through
For $20, it’s hard to beat the JavaPresse Dripper.
Choosing The Right Budget-Friendly Coffee Grinder
A good grinder is a non-negotiable if you want delicious, balanced coffee. Buying stale beans from the supermarket or even having a local cafe grind your beans for you is a bad idea. Ground coffee only has 20-30 minutes of peak freshness before the flavors start to decay rapidly.
If you want great coffee, don’t skimp on the grinder.
Thankfully, a strong burr grinder is no longer $60+. You can get an effective manual grinder for just $25 or so.
Though they take a small amount of elbow grease, manual grinders have their benefits as well.
- They aren’t nearly as loud as electric grinders
- The aromas from freshly ground coffee rise directly to your nostrils
- And they’re so affordable
There are cheap electric grinders called ‘blade grinders’, but we strongly suggest you avoid these. They don’t really grind the beans—they just chop them up. The resulting grounds are inconsistent, which means they brew inconsistent, imbalanced coffee yuck.
Don’t spend $20 on a janky blade grinder. Put $25 towards a manual burr grinder you can trust.
Selecting An Inexpensive Pour Over Kettle
Brewing stellar coffee with a pour over cone isn’t difficult, but it’s a little more finicky than french press brewing. There’s more technique involved. You can’t just pour in the water willy-nilly—you have to pour it in slowly in gentle, consistent circles.
Doing this is really difficult with your average water kettle—and the lack of control really does negatively impact your flavor. It’s noticeable, even for newer coffee lovers.
A pour over kettle gives you complete control over the speed and placement of your pour. It allows you to brew stellar coffee just like the baristas at your favorite cafe.
Most of the name brand kettles are $40-60, but we’ve found some good options for under $30:
- Osaka 1L Electric Kettle ($26)
- Zell Stovetop Kettle ($20)
- A Simple Budget Option ($13)
- Alpha And Sigma ($23)
With a gooseneck kettle in your cart, your total’s up to right around $70. Not bad for a major coffee upgrade!
What About A Coffee Scale?
Here’s the thing: kitchen scales make coffee brewing a lot easier and more consistent—especially when it comes to pour over brewing. However, you can still brew amazing pour over coffee without one. It just takes a couple hacks.
Keep in mind that the golden ratios for coffee brewing are 1:15 to 1:18 (1g of coffee for every 15-18 grams of water). Here’s how you use these ratios without a scale.
- 1 Tablespoon of whole beans is roughly 5g of coffee. It’s not exact, but it’s as precise as you can get without a scale. So, for example, if your brewing recipe calls for 25g of coffee, you would use 5 level tablespoons of whole beans.
- 1 Gram of water is exactly 1 milliliter of water. If your brewing recipe calls for 350g of water, just measure out 350ml using a liquid measuring cup, pour it into your kettle, and know that you need to use every last drop in the kettle.
The hard part is measuring your pouring speed. Without a number slowly rising on the screen of a scale, you’ll just have to pour slowly based on the feel of the kettle. It can be done—you’ll just have to pay a little closer attention.
And there you have it: a powerful budget pour over coffee setup for just $70.
With a pour over dripper, a burr grinder, and a pour over kettle by your side, your coffee will taste more delicious than it ever has before. But, don’t forget, your coffee can only be as good as the beans you use.
There’s no substitute for freshly roasted, specialty-grade coffee beans.
Our Coffee Club sends you coffee beans the same day they’ve been roasted—actually, just two hours after being roasted. Now that’s fresh!These specialty-grade beans come from some of the best, most sustainable farms in the world, and we’re so proud to share them with you. Want to experience the rich flavors of fresh coffee yourself? Check out the Club!