Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker: Expert Reviews of this Budget Friendly Device
Buying a coffee maker for the home and learning how to make pour over coffee is a must. For that reason, you should seriously consider buying a Bodum pour over coffee maker.
With such a low price point, it is an affordable alternative to bigger names such as Hario and Chemex. So, if you are looking for a cheaper, budget friendly option, be sure to check out our complete Bodum coffee maker review!CHECK PRICE →
Bodum Pour Over
Coffee aficionados will likely recognize the Bodum brand. Their French press coffee maker is incredibly popular and widely considered an industry standard. However, they're less well-known for their pour over coffee maker.
For those of you new to home brewing, pour over coffee is simple to make make and arguably the best brewing method. A steady stream of hot water pours over the coffee grounds, unleashing the full and subtle flavor of the beans.
Overall, we found Bodum's pour over maker an affordable and well-made choice, especially if you want to make up to eight cups of coffee, daily. However, the body of the brew can become muted by the filter, which is an issue if you enjoy especially sophisticated grinds.
Bodum coffee makers have a simple design with no electronics or complex parts. The Bodum pour over coffee maker consists of only three main components:
- The carafe
- The insulation band
- The metal filter
Because the design is so simple, the specifics of each element have outsized importance.
The carafe holds the coffee. It's made from borosilicate glass, a type of glass known for its durability and low heat transfer. Additionally, it doesn't affect the taste of the coffee.
It has a round shape with a flat base. The neck flairs open at the top, which has a pour spout. It's a curved spout, instead of the pronounced type more commonly found on other pour over makers.
An insulation band (also called a cuff) wraps around the carafe's lower neck. It helps keep the coffee warm and also lets you handle the carafe safely. Bodum offers two types of insulation bands:
Both provide a solid grip and effective insulation, so the main difference is aesthetics. The cork band offers a handsome, traditional look complete with a hand-tied leather strap, while the silicone band offers a sleeker look with multiple color options.
Instead of paper filters, the Bodum uses a stainless-steel mesh filter kept in place by supports made from heavy-duty plastic. The filter is reusable, durable, and dishwasher-safe.
If you're familiar with earlier Bodum products, you likely remember the gold mesh filters they formerly used. They created a signature look that stood out from the competition. Unfortunately for fans of the gold mesh filters, they've been recently discontinued in favor of stainless steel ones.
Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker Review
Here's a rundown of all of the main characteristics you want to consider in a pour over maker, and how Bodum's model measures up.
Quality - 5/5 ⭐
The overall quality and performance are superb, rivaling any other top-of-the-line pour over. It has a simple, elegant design that allows you to make delicious coffee without worry about precise measurements.
All components are well-made, durable, and long-lasting. The borosilicate glass used to make the carafe resists impact damage. For example, if you were to knock it over on the table accidentally, it's unlikely to break.
Also, the filer has no complicated moving parts. As long as you keep it clean, preventing any build-up, it'll work without a problem for many years and even much longer.
Finally, the insulation cuff is also quite durable. Even if you handle it every day, it's unlikely to tear or stain. Maybe after a few years of consistent use, it might look a bit worn, but replacement bands are typically easy to find and affordable.
Price - 4/5 ⭐
The price of the Bodum pour over coffee maker is a major selling point. Although the quality is similar to coffee makers from Chemex, Melitta, and Kalita Wave, it's priced far lower than all of those high-end brands.
Even though the price is low, you can still try before you buy. They offer a 14-day window where you can return the coffee maker if you don't like it. You can see how it brews your favorite grind.
Capacity - 4/5 ⭐
Although you can brew a single cup of coffee, this coffee maker is mainly designed for brewing a pot of coffee. Three sizes are available:
- 17 ounces (four cups)
- 34 ounces (eight cups)
- 51 ounces (12 cups)
Note that Bodum is a European company, so they use European cup measurements, where one cup equals four ounces.
The eight-cup model is typically the best size for homes. A four-cup coffee maker isn't enough for two adults to drink more than two cups of coffee, while a 12-cup maker takes up a fair amount of physical space and is generally ideal only for an office or other larger group.
Style - 4/5 ⭐
The coffee maker has a curved glass and shiny steel exterior that results in a minimalist but elegant style. It blends well with just about any type of existing décor.
As mentioned above, you can also customize the insulation bands. The silicone type is available in black, sand, white, red, and blue.
You can also choose either cork or double-walled cork. With a quaint, handmade look, the cork band is one of their most popular sellers.
Plus, while size specifics vary, it's generally unobtrusive, sitting at about eight inches tall and six inches wide. Remember, you don't plug it in, so you'll likely have lots of placement options in your kitchen.
Operation - 4/5 ⭐
The pour over method is one of the simplest ways to make coffee, so even if you're new to it, you'll likely have no problems.
The mesh filter is forgiving. You can make flavorful coffee without worrying too much about grind-to-water ratio and precise measurements.
(However, bloom time is a bit different here than with other models, an issue explained below.)
Cleaning - 5/5 ⭐
Another highlight with the Bodum is how easy it is to keep clean. Simply slide off the cuff and place both the carafe and filter in the dishwasher.
For the freshest taste, you'll want to wash it after every use. However, truthfully, you can probably brew two or three pots before you any residue buildup would appear.
Every month or so, you'll want to give it a deep clean. Fill a glass bowl with a 2:1 mixture of vinegar and warm water. Place the filter in the bowl, so it's completely covered. Let it soak for 30 to 45 minutes. Finally, rinse it thoroughly and then let it air dry.
Versatility - 3/5 ⭐
The Bodum is ideal for medium to medium-fine grind. It doesn't handle fine or coarse grinds as well. If you brew anything beyond a medium grind, you can still brew good-tasting coffee, but you'll likely wind up with some sediment in your cup of coffee.
To be fair, this isn't a criticism against Bodum specifically. All pour over coffee makers brew best with a medium grind. Finely ground coffee is typically used for espresso, while coarse grinds are for French Press.
While the Bodum pour over coffee maker has a lot to like, we found a few aspects of it that need improvement.
First, the pouring method is challenging to control at times. The carafe's pour spout is designed in a way that often causes coffee to slosh out the sides. It can then drip down into the cuff, causing a mess.
Next, extraction isn't quite as good here as what's possible from coffee makers that use paper for a filter. A paper filter allows more water to bypass the coffee beans, which results in stronger, more flavorful coffee. However, this is usually only an issue if you're brewing a high-end grind with a sophisticated flavor profile.
Also, mesh filters typically leave behind more sediment than paper filters. Fortunately, we found that avoiding the sediment is easy. Simply leave the last 10% of the brew in the carafe. Any sediment will collect there.
Finally, the last issue we have with the Bodum pour over coffee maker is the lack of a handle on the carafe. Both the wood and silicone cuffs provide a sturdy grip, but a handle could add extra leverage when lifting a full carafe.
Bodum does make some models of pour over makers with a handle, but they cost more than the base option.CHECK PRICE →
Using the Bodum Pour Over
The process of making coffee with the Bodum is easy and quick, even compared to other pour over coffee makers. For review purposes, we used:
- Twenty-eight grams of medium coffee grinds, which is the equivalent of four "Bodum Spoons," a brand-specific measurement. You want to use one Bodum Spoon, which equals seven grams of grind, for every cup of coffee you want to make.
- 500 ml of hot water. The recommended temperature range is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. You don't want it boiling.
Once you have the grind and water ready, you're ready to start. Here are the Bodum pour over instructions you can follow to make coffee:
1. Pour a small amount of water through the bare filter. It helps preheat the filter. Otherwise, the cold filter can draw heat away from the grind.
2. Place the ground beans into the center of the filter. For the freshest tasting coffee, you want beans ground within the past ten days or earlier.
3. Pour water in a slow, circular motion. Only pour enough to cover the grounds. Allow the water to soak.
4. Alternate between pouring the remaining water and letting the beans soak. Continue to pour the water in the same slow, circular manner until most of the coffee is in the carafe. Then, pour the remaining water straight down through the beans.
5. Finally, you'll remove the filter and replace it with the pouring cap. Swirl the coffee once or twice to enhance the aroma. Now, it's ready to serve.
What Makes the Boden Brewing Process Different?
During brewing, you'll notice two unique aspects.
First, the bloom is much more pronounced than what you'll find on many similarly-sized coffee makers. (For those of you new to brewing, the bloom is an off-gassing procedure that occurs when hot water first comes into contact with the coffee grounds.)
It's easy to see the large bloom and assume you're pouring water too quickly. But that's not what's happening. Instead, the bloom's size is created by the filter's shape.
Also, the Bodum fills its carafe quickly. Coffee begins dripping through the filter soon after you begin pouring. It's faster than Chemex and many similar coffee makers, making it perfect for anyone who wants a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
How the Bodum Compares
If you search for a pour over coffee maker to use at home, you'll find no shortage of options. At this point in our coffee maker review, let's look at how the Bodum pour over coffee maker stacks up against other popular manufacturers, including Chemex.
Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker vs Chemex
Does Chemex make a better cup of coffee than Bodum?
Chemex is an industry leader known for a wide range of different coffee makers. At first glance, the Chemex pour over coffee maker looks a lot like Bodum's offering. They both have a rounded carafe made from borosilicate glass with an easy-grip cuff. However, when comparing Chemex vs Bodum, two noteworthy differences become apparent.
The first significant difference is how well they pour. The pouring process on the Chemex carafe is superior to Bodum's, allowing for controlled flow and reduced spillage.
The other major difference is the price. Bodum is the clear winner, offering a product similar in quality for a lower cost. If affordability is an important deciding factor for you, you'll want the Bodum instead of the Chemex.
Melitta vs. Bodum
Melitta is another manufacturer known for its budget-friendly options. Their pour over coffee maker is in the same general range as the Bodum, making it another solid choice if you're looking for the best deal.
The biggest difference between the two brands is that Melittas uses paper filters. They help activate subtle, more sophisticated flavors than a metal coffee filter allows. On the downside, you'll need to buy new paper ones frequently, which increases costs and harms the environment.
Construction quality for the Melitta isn't quite on the same level as the Bodum, with a reduced ability to insulate against heat and a plastic holder for the filters. The Melitta is easier to hold, however, because it has a large handle.
Kalita Wave Pour Over vs Bodum Pour Over
The Kalita Wave is a high-end pour over coffee brewer known for its sophisticated design and style. Originally finding popularity in Japanese cafes, today their coffee maker is considered one of the best pour overs in the world if you want a restaurant-quality cup of coffee at home.
It's also priced quite a bit higher than the Bodum. While the Kalita's Wave unique filter design does help accentuate a grind's full-body flavor, not every coffee drinker will find the difference in taste worth the increased cost.
Additionally, it uses a special type of paper filters that aren't always easy to find. You'll most likely have to order them online, and they're a bit more expensive than regular filters you can find at the grocery store.
Let's sum up our coffee maker review with a question: Should you buy the Bodum Pour Over?
Ultimately, the Bodum Pour Over is a well-made and easy-to-use coffee maker at an unbeatable price. It rivals Chemex in terms of overall quality and brew taste. While it does get a few knocks for its spill-prone pouring spout and lack of a handle, the Bodum pour over is one of the best options for home and office use.CHECK PRICE →