I Tried the Coffee Maker You’ve Been Seeing All Over Instagram — Here’s My Honest Review

published Aug 10, 2021
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Credit: Rochelle Bilow

I’m not a purist when it comes to brewing coffee. I won’t dramatically knock the mug out of your hand if you serve me coffee made in a decades-old drip machine, but I do prefer manual methods — like pour-over and French press. For the past few years, I’ve made my morning cup with a Chemex or single-cup dripper

As great as these methods are, they do produce a bit of waste from the paper filter. I try my best to be eco-friendly in the kitchen (I compost! I support local farms!). So, every now and then, I feel a tinge of guilt for the amount of paper filters I plow through because, well, I drink a lot of coffee. I’ve tried mesh reusable filters, and my take on them is a solid “meh.” They always seem to impart a weird metallic flavor to my coffee.

So after seeing a few online ads for Pure Over, an all-glass pour-over set, I decided to give it a try. See, Pure Over is an Oregon-based company that makes a totally waste-free, all-glass pour-over set. You don’t need to use a filter! Which means I was very intrigued.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

How Does the Pure Over Kit Work?

Now, the Pure Over set definitely wins beauty points; it was designed by a Portland artist named Etai Rahmil. It’s sleek and gorgeous; it almost looked too good for my 1980s-era kitchen. But no matter what Instagram tells you, looks aren’t the most important thing when it comes to coffee. How does the Pure Over perform?

The Kit comes with a diffuser lid (which you pour water through), a stir stick, a dripper, a mug that the dripper fits perfectly over, a coaster for the mug, and a ceramic base for the dripper.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

To use the Pure Over Kit, you add ground coffee to the glass dripper (again, no filter needed!), put the diffuser lid on, pour hot water through the diffuser lid until it’s reached the top of the handle. Then, you just wait until the coffee is finished dripping through the dripper and into the mug set beneath it.

Luckily, the set also comes with an instruction card, which I read before also checking out the short instructional GIFs online. My first confusion came with the directive to add “20 grams” of grounds, which had me scrambling for Google — I usually measure coffee in tablespoons. (If you own a kitchen scale, use it for this!) A little further down on the card, Pure Over does indicate a way to measure grounds by using the diffuser lid, which I’ve been doing. (FYI: 20 grams is equal to 1.333 tablespoons.)  

I was worried that, without a paper filter, the grounds would float down into my mug, so I ground them to a coarse-ish medium. On my first attempt, I realized I’d overshot the mark. The grind was too large. The hot water poured through too quickly to brew coffee; I was left with a cup of hot beige water. On the second attempt, I ground the beans to a true medium. That was the sweet spot! The grounds were just the right size for brewing, and too large to sneak past the filter holes at the bottom of the dripper. The drip was a little slow at times, but after gently agitating it with the glass stir stick, things were flowing smoothly again.

The TL;DR version: I am into this coffee brewer! It works well, reduces my waste, makes a delicious cup of coffee, and after a small learning curve, is relatively easy to use.

The resulting brew tastes great, without any of the sludge or coffee “confetti” that comes with other methods. Cleaning the dripper requires more delicacy than other manual brewers — you can’t bang this one against the compost bucket — but the stir stick comes in handy again here. I use it to “scoop” the grounds out from the bottom. I’ll also admit that the day before I received my Pure Over set, I accidentally shattered my Chemex to smithereens in the sink (yikes), so I’m feeling overly cautious right now.

Should You Get a Pure Over Coffee Kit?

The full kit costs $75, but if you already have a favorite mug (or don’t care about a cohesive design experience), you can purchase the dripper set for $59. It comes with the dripper, diffuser, and stir stick.

Is the Pure Over worth it? Definitely. I will be using this every day, instead of buying a replacement Chemex. And even if I hadn’t broken my Chemex, I think I’d still be switching to this guy. Now, to find a good arts-and-crafts project for all those leftover paper filters

Have you tried the Pure Over? Let us know in the comments!