Coffee Gator hand drip pour over coffee review

My wife likes pour-over coffee.  We started with classic drip coffee, eventually moved to a French Press years ago, by Bodum (rather thin carafe, but aren’t they all?), and eventually moved to pour-over for her and espresso for me.  Our first pour over came out of desperation and was a drip coffee machine filter stuck in a funnel, loaded with coffee and hot water, dripped into a measuring cup.  Meh, what a kludge!  Today’s review is about her Coffee Gator pour over pot with permanent re-usable filter which replaced the kludge.  And do we use it often?  Yes.  Typically three to four times per day, depending on her “pick me up” desires – you never know with a mom of five kids…  Anyway, there are things about this product that I like and don’t like, so here are the bullet points:

Stuff I like:

  • It’s a permanent filter which is re-usable and has a fixed cost.  Less waste resources and I don’t run out of filters.  Ever.
  • It’s simple to use once you figure out dosage of bean and water.
  • It’s not too big, and for a single person is nice.
  • It’s light.
  • Easy to see how much coffee you’ve got in the pot and when it is basically finished dripping.
  • The silicone around the carafe does a great job of protecting your fingers.
  • Cost was relatively low.

Stuff I don’t like:

  • It’s a hassle to clean the old grounds out of it.  Do you bang it in the trash, or scoop the grounds out, then wash the grounds down the garbage disposal?  I usually just tap it out into the trash and then rinse out in the sink.  The grounds certainly don’t help with keeping the disposal clog-free.
  • The carafeis super thin glass, typical coffee-pot carafe thickness.  I’m careful to be gentle with it.
  • The silicone piece on the filter, where you grip the filter to move it from the carafe when pouring the coffee, slips off very easily.  This is more of an issue when cleaning the filter than when using it for coffee, but it’s a point.  Something permanently attached would be more expensive, perhaps less sanitary, but would still do the protection job and I wouldn’t worry about losing the filter into the trash…
  • Oh, and where do you put the filter once the majority of the coffee has dripped through?  It’s a mess waiting to happen, and I’d pay a couple of bucks for somewhere to put it.
  • After a few months of near constant use, the filter is beginning to separate from the filter-rim.  It looks like the components – rim and multiple layers of mesh – are dimple-pressed (not a technical term) together.  Well, either my banging the filter into the trash can to dump out the grounds, or doing a gravity-tap of the filter to speed up the drip-rate, has pulled some of those dimples apart.  Not sure how much longer it will last.

In daily use the stuff I don’t like is what starts rubbing at me.  Especially the mess.  Maybe I just need a better process, or maybe I should simply start using something with paper filters, which Candace really likes the best I think.  This product is good because I don’t like buying filters and it simply does the job of filtering a single serving of coffee.  But… the mess.  It takes time to clean this sucker out, whereas the paper filter would be SO much faster, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the flavor was a bit clearer too.  But is that enough to dissuade me from recommending it?  No.  It makes a good cup of joe, every time.  In fact, the type of coffee and the grinder is much more important than this pour over set when it comes to actual flavor.  I’d love to see a slightly heavier carafe, and/or one that had a rubberized bottom to protect it.  And I’d love for there to be a quick way of cleaning out that filter that will keep the filter going for years without damage.  But I don’t think that physics or cost are on my side there.  When the filter does wear out, due to different tapping on it, I’ll probably replace it with a paper filter holder, but until then I’ll keep using this simple, effective pour over set from Coffee Gator.

*Update: 11/13/17

Filter failure, and we’ve only had this pour over set since August!  At least now you can see how the filter is designed.  It’s simple, just three pieces: the rim, the fine mesh, and the course mesh/support cone.  As mentioned above, the act of tapping the used coffee grounds into a trash can has wiggled the pieces apart, and now we’ve thrown it away.  Replacement filters are, at this time, around $13.00 USD.  We’re going to try a less messy approach with a pour over drip coffee that uses paper filters.  And for grins, here is the kludge that works in a pinch!

The pour over kludge! A coffee machine filter, funnel, and the Coffee Gator carafe.
Here is the pour over kludge assembled beside our hand grinder, a Hario with ceramic burr we’ve been using daily since April 2014.