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Is Pour-Over Coffee A Ripoff?

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 27, 2012 9:40PM

Image Credit: Renee Rendler-Kaplan

The Awl has an interesting post by Chris Chafin about the recent trend of pour-over coffee and if it truly is a better way to get your caffeine fix.

Pour-overs are everywhere, from intelligentsia's enlightened cafés to your local mom-and-pop shop. (Time Out Chicago's David Tamarkin called the pour-over at Bridgeport Coffee House "a revelation — bright and clean and smooth" in a look at the 15 best coffeehouses in town last year. And Bridgeport Coffee does make a mean pour-over.

But is the pour-over a better preparation than a simple drip pot? Or a French Press? Or an espresso machine? Apostles of the pour-over cite those clean flavors and intense heat of the brew as reasons they'll never plug in their Mr. Coffee makers again. We have a French press, espresso machine and pour-over capability at home. If we were forced to choose, we'd opt for the French press. There's something richer about the plunger method we find appealing to the mouthfeel of our coffee. As far as flavor is concerned, the difference to our palate is negligible, and our palate has served us well over the years.

Chafin references a New York Times story from last February that shows some of the most sought-after equipment for replicating the pour-over at home is made in Japan. All this makes us wonder if people are turning to pour-overs because the flavor of their coffee is improved by the process, or are they trying to keep up with the Joneses?

What's your favorite way to make coffee?