How To Brew Better Tasting Clever Dripper Coffee

Like many others in the specialty coffee industry, we’ve found the brewing instructions shared by the Clever manufacturer does not always produce favorable tasting results. After experimenting with many different Clever Coffee Dripper brewing techniques, we’ve landed on a favorite. This technique is widely known as the “Jason Dominy Method.” This method has consistently produced delicious results in our lab and in the field. This method features a coarser grind setting, which honestly makes more sense since this method lends to a longer contact time between the water and coffee grounds.

(If you want to learn more about coffee extraction and gain an in-depth understanding of every primary coffee brewing method, check out our Coffee Education Program for a complete list of upcoming coffee classes and barista training courses.)


The Clever Coffee Dripper combines the best features of French press and pour-over drip brewing, eliminating the drawbacks of each. A French press allows for full immersion brewing, meaning the coffee grounds are evenly saturated and extracted through the entire brewing process. The drawbacks are typically heat loss and lots of sediment in the cup. Brewing a personal pour-over with a paper filter is easy and convenient; the problem is lack of control over steeping time (i.e. the coffee begins to drain immediately and the grounds rarely have consistent contact with the water. In addition, inconsistent turbulence from the pouring motion can easily lead to over or under extraction, which can lead to very inconsistent results from cup to cup). By adding a stopper to a filtercone, the Clever Coffee Dripper combines control over steeping time with a sediment-free cup. We’ve found the Clever Dripper to be a brewing method that translates well to a coffee shop environment (even better than a Chemex or V60) because it is not nearly as reliant on a barista’s pouring technique.

clever coffee dripper


  • Hot water (200 to 204°F)
  • A high-quality burr grinder
  • A Clever Coffee Dripper
  • A vessel to brew into (a warm cup works too)
  • A Bonavita Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle for controlled pouring and accurate water temperature.
  • A digital timer
  • #4 Size bleached/white Melitta Coffee Filters OR Kalita Premium ‘Shop Filters’ #103 white. (We feel the Kalita filters produce a better taste due to the thicker paper and slower water flow.)
  • Either a spoon, spatula or whisk for stirring




24 grams coffee to 340 grams of water


Coarse – same setting as a French press or near it. (tip: A proper coarse setting for a Clever Dripper or French press is usually not the coarsest setting on your grinder. It is typically several clicks finer than the furthest coarse setting.)


  • 30 second bloom with 100g water
  • 2:30-2:40 steep time 340g water (340g water in total, this includes the 100g water poured for the bloom)
  • 1:30-1:40 second draw down


If you are using a Bonavita Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle, set your temperature to 204 or 205 degrees. The temperature will drop a little bit when it comes into contact with the coffee. If you are using a hot water tower in a coffee shop and use a traditional (non-heated) kettle, such-as the Hario Buono, set the tower to 208 degrees to compensate for the temperature drop that occurs when the water comes into contact with a room temperature kettle.

Fill kettle 80% full for best temperature stability.


  1. Place your filter inside the Clever Dripper. (Be sure to bend the bonded side and bottom so it sits level in the Clever Dripper.) Using your kettle, fill the Clever Dripper with hot water to saturate the filter and warm the body of the clever dripper. After it sits for about a minute, drain the water by placing the Clever Dripper on your brewing vessel. A pre-heated Clever Dripper will help with temperature stability in the brewing process.
  2. Remove Clever Dripper from vessel and dispose of water used for warming.
  3. Once the Clever Dripper is finished warming, grind your coffee and dump it into the filter inside the Clever Dripper. Gently shake the Clever Dripper to level the bed of coffee.
  4. Place your Clever Dripper on your digital kitchen scale. Press the “tare” button to zero it out. Also, be sure the scale is set to “grams.”
  5. While simultaneously starting your timer (counting up), pour 100g of water over the grounds. The goal is even saturation, so pour in a quick vigorously moving pattern.
  6. Give the coffee grounds a gentle stir and let it bloom for 30 seconds.
  7. After the 30 second bloom, start vigorously adding water (with a goal of even saturation) until the scale reads 340g. Once you have finished the pour, immediately stir the water/coffee at the top of the Clever Dripper so it all sinks to the bottom, in the middle.
  8. After stirring, place the lid on the Clever Dripper for better temperature stability.
  9. When the timer reads 2:30-2:40 (can vary coffee to coffee, try experimenting. Start with 2:30) place the clever on top of the vessel/cup and begin the draw down (draining).
  10. Immediately after starting the draw down, give the water in the Clever Dripper a gentle stir to ensure all the coffee collects at the bottom, and does not stick to the side walls. (This is important!)
  11. You want the Clever Dripper to be drained completely just as the timer reaches the 4 minute mark. If it drains too quickly, you may have too coarse of a grind, or you may need to initiate the draw down closer to the 2:40 mark on your timer. If it drains too slowly, you likely have too fine of a grind, or you need to initiate draw down closer to the 2:30 mark on your timer. This is where experimenting with grind setting and steep time comes in.
  12. Once the draw down is complete, dispose of your spent grounds and filter and enjoy your coffee.


  • Adjust parameters to compensate for individual bean characteristics.
  • If coffee is harsh tasting, coarsen the grind to help ease the extraction. If brew tastes underdeveloped, try making the grind a little finer to increase speed and amount of extraction.




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