Clever Coffee Dripper – A Full-Immersion Brewing Method

The Clever Coffee Dripper combines the best features of French press and filter drip brewing, eliminating the drawbacks of each.

With French press brewing, you can control steeping or infusion time, but heat loss and sediment in the cup can be a problem. Brewing with a paper filter is easy and convenient; the problem is lack of control over steeping time (i.e. the coffee begins to drain immediately). By adding a stopper to a filtercone, the Clever Coffee Dripper combines control over steeping time with a sediment-free cup.

Start with a fine filter drip grind and add water just off the boil. Cover and with a small plate or saucer, whatever is handy – future models will come with a lid. After 1:30, lift the cover, stir and recover. Let steep for 4 minutes, lift the cover and stir and then place the filter on your cup or carafe; the stopper automatically opens and allows the filtered coffee to flow out. You can balance grind, dose and extraction time to find the right combination that works for you. A finer grind will need less extraction time, a coarser grind, more. The temperature of the water should remain between 195 degrees F – 205 degrees F throughout the brewing process. We recommend covering the brew as it steeps in the filter for this reason.

The dripper will fit on cups and thermoses with tops between 1.5″ and 3.75″ in diameter. Of course, if you put the dripper on a very narrow thermos, you should make sure the dripper is stable. If you want to place something on top as a lid (which we highly recommend!), it needs to be at least 5.5″ in diameter. Clever is Not dishwasher or microwave safe. Wash by hand. The filter takes either a #4 filter, and is recommended since #6 extends above the lip.

Want to download or print out Clever Coffee dripping tip sheet? Here it is:

Looking to buy a Clever?

Clever Coffee Dripper Large (1.2 lb ship wt.) Go to Shopping Cart
BPA-free plastic

Wholesale quantities are available through our wholesale site, Coffee Shrub

Plastic Clever Dripper
The lid does a great job of retaining heat while brewing.

How to Brew Coffee with the Clever Coffee Dripper:

  • Step 1: Put the paper filter into the dripper and rinse to reduce paper taste and warm the dripper.
  • Step 2: Grind immediately before you brew. You want to use a fine filter drip grind. Our recommendations are based on using a relatively fine drip grind. If you use a coarser grind, you may need to lengthen extraction time. If the water pools and does not drain effectivelty in Step 5, try a coarser grind.
  • Step 3: Add coffee into the filter (See chart below for ratios we found work well.)
  • Step 4: Add the water and cover. Wait1.5 minutes, then lift the cover, stirring to fully mix the grounds and water, and re-cover.
  • Step 5: At 4:00, stir one last time and place dripper on top of a mug or other vessel to start coffee draining. To stop the flow, simply lift the dripper off the mug.
Amount of Ground Coffee22g33g66g*
Water used***12 oz/360 mL18 oz/530 mL36 oz/1 L
Infusion time3 – 4:00 min3 – 4:00 min3 – 4:00 min
Amount of Filtered Coffee Made10 oz/300 mL15 oz/450 mL30 oz/900 mL

*requires refilling the filtercone
** These recommendations are based on using a relatively fine drip grind. If you use a coarser grind, you may need to lengthen extraction time.
*** We have found that for the most accurate brewing, it is best to measure your water by weight. This is easily done by preparing your coffee on a scale. For 22 grams of coffee, you want to use 360 grams of hot water.


  • Adjust the ratio of water and coffee, as well as the grind of the coffee, to suit your own preferences. Too fine a grind will filter too slowly and may be bitter. Too coarse a grind will filter too quickly.
  • Check out the Brewing Fundamentals page for more about brewing in general.


Cleaning the Clever Coffee Dripper is very easy: just dispose of the used grounds and filter and rinse. Do not allow residue to build up in the filter; lightly scrub the cone with very hot water and a sponge or brush, taking care to clean shut-off mechanism lightly from the top. Here’s more about Cleaning the Clever Dripper.

Experiments and More Tips

We have a separate page featuring some tests we have done with the CCD, trying different pour techniques, timing, filters and such. Tom also posted a video on the Sweet Maria’s blog about using the Clever Coffee Dripper and hand-held refractometer to measure the relative strength of the coffee. And, here are two newer videos about the Clever Coffee Dripper showing proper technique: Clever Coffee Dripper Experiments and More Tips

Also see: Tip Sheets PDF files for Brewers and Roasters

4 Responses

    1. We stopped carrying the small size simply due to lack of demand. Most people were okay with using the larger size and a reduced batch. Sorry about that!

  1. Have used the my trusty plastic Dripper for abt 15 years….has had microcracks in the plastic cone for many years, but only drools a drop or two on to the bottom plate. Does a fantastic job! Wonder how long it can possibly last.
    Am now retired, but have an extra, previously used at office, and a spare, still in box.

    The new “glass” model sounds interesting………

    The variety of coffees available from Sweet Maria’s is a magical mystery tour! Keep it up!!

    1. Thanks george! My Clever is really old too and doesnt look great. But its a point of pride for me to use something as long as possible … dont know where that came from, but more and more, NOT buying something new feels like a virtue.

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