When on the lookout for a new pour-over coffee maker to brew my favourite beans with, I am flooded with new shapes, sizes and styles of pour-over coffee makers that could easily take hours to research what makes them different from one another, when sometimes all I want is a good cup of coffee without much fuss.
It would be easy to drop a pretty big chunk of change on a beautifully handcrafted glass or ceramic pour-over coffee maker. However, when investing in a pour-over coffee maker there is a regular additional cost that comes along with it – the paper filters needed are specifically designed for the piece of equipment and can cost up to half as much as the brewing device itself.
With all of the above in mind, I have been keeping my eye out for an all-in-one, carafe style brewer that is simple to use, affordable, and can produce a decent cup of coffee without me having to worry about whether I still have enough filters.
I want to see how Bodum’s borosilicate glass pour-over coffee maker stands up next to some of the more established brewers on the market.
In this product review I will be sharing my experience when using the 17oz capacity, Bodum Pour-over coffee maker for the first time.
Who the Bodum Brewer is For
This coffee maker is looking to offer home coffee lovers their first step into pour-over brewing, at an affordable price point. Importantly, the permanent stainless steel filter that sits nicely on top eliminates the need for a paper filter.
The product is aimed at someone wanting an easy go-to pour-over device. A step above a French press, but not quite as ‘specialist’ as a Hario v60 or Chemex, although this brewer could be easily stored away as a back up for either in the event that someone runs out of paper filters.
In the box, you will find the glass carafe, stainless-steel mesh filter, coffee measuring spoon, and a small stopper that lets you keep the heat in after brewing.
The Bodum pour-over coffee maker is visually appealing and has a quality feel when holding it.
The Bodum brewer is made from Borosilicate glass, which is one of the most heat-resistant glass types in the world, making it the perfect material to use to make a cup of coffee over and over again.
The brewer is hourglass-shaped like a Chemex, with a funnel-like neck that holds the filter in place, and a chamber at the bottom to catch the coffee once it flows through the filter.
There are 3 size options, at 17oz, 34oz or 51oz capacity, and is available with either a silicone or cork neck cover, depending on your stylistic taste.
The Bodum Pour-over coffee maker comes equipped with a stainless steel mesh filter that should last the whole duration you own the coffee maker for, as long as it’s taken care of.
Bodum says their coffee spoon should be equal to 7g of freshly ground coffee, which is their recommended amount of coffee to use per cup, although they don’t say how much water is recommended to match the 7 grams.
If we translate Bodum’s recommended amount of coffee to the SCA coffee to water ratio, it works out at roughly 125ml water per 7 grams of ground coffee when brewing.
I used 14 grams of coffee to 250 milliliters of hot water on a medium/fine grind setting (another recommendation from Bodum).
I added 40 grams of water to start the bloom, then waited for 45 seconds, I then slowly added the rest of the hot water moving in a circular motion, and then waited for all the water to fall through the coffee bed.
At around 3:10 my brewing was complete and ready to start tasting.
Like with a lot of permanent filter brewers, the final cup comes out a little mirky with some obvious oils sitting on top of the freshly brewed coffee beans.
The brewed coffee has an obvious amount of sediment sitting at the bottom of the cup, which reminds me a lot of a French press, but I have to say that the resulting flavour is a lot better than I was expecting.
I found a full-bodied, clean cup and a lot of sweetness in the final flavour. I used single-origin natural Brazilian beans for this and I would say that matched the end result really well.
Any kind of blend or low acidity beans will suit this brew method nicely.
If you want to make more coffee than I did, I recommend changing your grind size to something a little coarser.
When I previously tried making a pour-over with an extra 7 grams of coffee and 125ml of hot water, my brew time went up to 6 minutes.
The brew I made that took 6 minutes to flow through the bed of coffee, whilst theoretically very over extracted, my cup was actually very drinkable and would have stood up well to milk, cream or sugar.
The results compare to a well-rounded French press with a hint of Aeropress.
The silicone neck cover offers perfect heat protection and the pour accuracy of the spout is very good, and I would imagine the cork being even better.
Cleaning the brewer was also incredibly simple.
The borosilicate glass carafe is fully dishwasher safe.
The filter can easily be rinsed in the sink and the used beans come straight out of the stainless steel mesh filter with no fuss at all.
The two drawbacks to this coffee maker both involve the filter that sits on top.
The mesh is held in place by large strips of plastic which could quite easily restrict the flow of water going through the coffee, and when buying a glass brewer plastic is one material that we are often looking to stay away from.
My second worry would be that there doesn’t seem to be an easy option for finding a plastic-free alternative that fits the top.
Mesh filters are known to let through more sediment, oils and caffeine, all of which can result in a cup of coffee lacking in the complexity of flavour.
The Bodum brewer is a great first step into pour-over coffee, and by following simple steps you can achieve really good results.
Here are the main alternatives to this brewer:
Paper Filter Pour Over Coffee Makers
If you’re looking for a more specialist piece of equipment to get more of the delicate flavour from your beans, this may not be for you. I would recommend taking a closer look at the Hario v60 or Chemex, which are both beautifully crafted carafe style pour-over coffee makers.
Metal Filter Pour Over Coffee Makers
If it’s the re-usable metal filter you’re interested in then you have several options available.
I have used the Osaka Stainless Steel Pour Over Coffee Dripper in the past and had good results. It can be placed on other brewers of any capacity or used independently to make great drip coffee.
Is Chemex better than Bodum?
The key difference is that the Chemex uses a paper filter while the Bodum used a reusable metal one. This means you’re more likely to achieve subtle flavours with a Chemex as the paper filter will remove more oils and sediment from the brew.
If you’re after a no-fuss pour-over method, the Bodum is great because of the easy-to-clean reusable filter.
Is Bodum a good brand?
Bodum is a well-established affordable home brand, well known for their extremely popular range of french presses. Their products are affordable yet high quality but may lack some of the finer details often found on high-end pieces of coffee equipment.