Graph of Google searches for "pour over coffee" over past 10 years


Five years ago most pour over coffee gear was brought into the US from Japan in suitcases.


It wasn’t contraband, just obscure and only a few specialty coffee shops like Blue Bottle carried long neck kettles. For a majority of the world, the concept of pour over coffee was so unknown that it didn’t even register on google trends.

In 2010 Williams Sonoma played a role in sparking the pour over revolution by being the first major retailer to carry pour over brewing equipment. The collection included a kettle, grinder and dripper cone from Hario that was rolled out in 250 stores across the U.S.

The question of “Why is pour over coffee appealing?” still stands. The brewing method requires a special type of kettle, a dripper cone, filters, high quality beans and the patience to carefully drip water in a slow spiral over the grounds.

One opinion is offered by Oliver Strand in his NYT article:

“The narrow spout produces a thin, precise stream, and the handle brings your hand into a naturally balanced position — instead of flooding the filter and letting it drip, you deliver a measured amount of water over a period of several minutes. It might sound precious or tedious, but the control is enthralling. It’s like picking up a drafting pen after only writing with Magic Markers. More important, the coffee tastes different. The flavors can be distinctive and bright, even sweet.”


It is clear that there is something unique about the pour over brew method but we needed more data to understand the full picture. In the beginning of December 2015 we sent a survey to Team Handground to learn about why pour over brewing is appealing and what equipment they are using.


Heat map of survey takers for pour over dripper survey

We assembled 12 questions and received responses from 300 people across 30 countries. 67% of the responses came from the U.S. and the chart above shows the breakdown of the U.S. respondents by state. Please keep in mind that these results are from Team Handground members (coffee enthusiasts) and are not representative of the population as a whole.

(Note: some questions were open-ended answers that we manually classified into categories to help understand the data better.)

Chemex for Aesthetics - Hario for Reviews - Melitta for Price

Pie charts of why customers bought certain pour over drippers. Chemex for reviews and aesthetics, Hario v60 for Reviews, and Melitta for price

A picture starts to emerge when we display the image of the product and it’s price alongside the reasons why people purchased these products. Owners of the high priced Chemex with it’s award winning design was the product purchased most often for aesthetic reasons, although reviews did play an even larger factor.

In the mid range we have the Hario V60 and we see a bump in the importance of price and material being mentioned. The V60 is available in glass, metal and ceramic and many people prefered ceramic for its thermal properties.

At the affordable end of the spectrum, the Melitta was most often purchased for its low price. It is interesting to see that the Chemex can command an order of magnitude higher price for essentially the same function.The Melitta was also the most commonly gifted pour over dripper, perhaps due to its low price.

Graph of how often people use pour over coffee brewing method

For some, pour over coffee is a daily ritual and for others it is something to be enjoyed on the weekend when there is more time available to manually make coffee. “Never” responses have been filtered from further questions, if they gave any additional responses at all.

Reasons why people use pour over coffee brewing method: Flavor

This question, and most others below, was presented as an open ended answer. While the responses ranged from one word to paragraphs, we classified each response into one of the six categories above to help understand the data better. An example of the open ended response with the resulting classification can be found below.

Sample open ended responses:

“Makes the most balanced cup (in my opinion). Its also a very zen like ritual now, slowly pouring the water creating my cup by hand. It’s a very meditative habit “ (Classified as Experience)
“More option for variables. Water temp, brew time, drip rate, ratio, level of coarseness, infusion time, and etc. Always able to brew a better cup of coffee with the pour over. Plus, a big plus this, style! ;)” (Classified as Control)

Flavor is clearly a priority but we were surprised to see so many occurrences of “clean cup”. A clean cup is coffee that finishes clear, smooth, and gracefully in the mouth with pure flavor (not dry), and no changes or twists in the mouthfeel or different after-taste.

Graph of most popular materials for pour over dripper: Glass and ceramic

The two most popular pour over makers, the Hario V60 and Chemex, come in clear glass. In the open ended answers glass was cited as being easy to clean and aesthetically pleasing. Ceramic was prefered for it’s thermal properties to keep the water at a higher temperature as it saturates the grounds and plastic was cited as durable.

Both glass and ceramic are fragile and many people have had close calls with dropping their dripper. While plastic is harder to break, it was said that it can produce undesired smells. The “other” category consisted mostly of people who own multiple stands made of different materials, with one pour over dripper being made from the top of a 2L coke bottle!

Graph of most popular pour over coffee filters: paper

Paper filters dominate the market but one question that we forgot to ask was, why? Is it the high cost of the metal filters, the easy clean up of throwing the paper filters away, the additional oils that get through metal filters or something else? We will have to wait until a future survey to find out. 

Graph of most popular pour over coffee dripper brands: Hario, Chemex

Founded in Japan in 1921, Hario is the clear market leader in pourover drippers. It wasn’t until 2007 that Hario’s swan neck kettles caught the eye of James Freeman, the founder of Blue Bottle. Two years later Hario equipment could be found on the shelves of specialty coffee shops around the US.

The Chemex was recognized as an icon of American design in the 1950’s and can be found in the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian so it’s no surprise that we see it coming in at number two. From there newer brands like Brewover, Clever and Duo all hold similar portions of the market.

Reasons why people purchase certain pour over drippers: Reviews

The “Other” category includes everything from size and availability, to wanting to make coffee on the beach! People turn to Amazon and barista’s for reviews on which equipment is best, often taking cue from what they see used in their local coffee shop.

Sample open ended responses:

“Favorite local shop primarily used the Kalita Wave, and I liked the look and durability of the all-metal construction, especially after seeing how well it held up in use in the shop compared to Hario V60 drippers and Chemex brewers.” (Classified as Aesthetic)
“Ceramic retains heat a little better and Hario's version seems to drip a little faster so you can use a finer grind.”(Classified as Material)
Graph of what people like most about their pour over coffee drippers: ease of use

There was a lot of overlap between the responses to this question and the question about why the pour over brew method is prefered to other methods. Ease of use pulled ahead of flavor and size was brought up for portability and the ability to make multiple cups of coffee, or just one.


We found that many respondents answered one way for the question about why they purchased and a different way for the question about what they like most, yet the categories remained very similar even though these were open ended questions.

Sample open ended responses:

“Compact form factor, easy to clean, potential brew volume of 1-4 cups, fits a range of mugs, cups, and pitchers” (Classified as Size)
“The single, small hole makes the water to be in contact with the coffee grounds for more time, and it gives me a full bodied cup of coffee.” (Classified as Flavor)
Graph of what people like least about their pour over coffee drippers: no complaints

While 21% of people had no complaints about their pour over dripper, many of the other complaints were in direct contrast to why the pour over brew method is loved. Categories like “poor design” and “material” are linked to the lower cost plastic pour overs while other categories like “configuration” and “takes long time” are at the heart of why many people prefer the pour over brew method.

Sample open ended responses:

“because it's plastic, it does maintain some residual smell I don't love the way the holes at the bottom are designed” (Classified as Material)
“Consistently great, but not greatly consistent. Sometimes difficult to accurately reproduce a brew. “(Classified as Configuration)
“It's hard to clean, you need to be careful because it's made of glass and also the lime scale leaves stains sometimes “ (Classified as Hard to Clean)
Graph of number of people who use a pour over coffee stand: 27%

73% of respondents use a pour over dripper that rests directly on top the coffee cup. In the next question we explore the appeal of using a pour over stand.

Graph of reasons why people use pour over stand: aesthetics

It seems that the biggest driver for using a pour over stand is a preference for aesthetics and secondly the ability to see into the cup while brewing. Being able to see the process happening can help prevent overfilling the cup, especially if you are not using a scale. The ability to switch between multiple cups during a brew is also popular since the stand elevates the pour over dripper above the cup.

Sample open ended responses:

“Looks great, easy to switch out cups if I want more that a small carafe.” (Classified as Aesthetics)
“Easy to see how much coffee in going into mug” (Classified as See in Coffee Mug)
Graph of most popular brands of pour over coffee stand: handmade

We found it surprising that a majority of pour over stands are handmade. Some are made by the owners themselves and others were handmade and purchased on a marketplace like Etsy. This could be a signal that the current stands that are widely available in the marketplace by Hario and others are not filling the aesthetic desires of coffee enthusiasts.

Most important features for pour over coffee stand: aesthetics

The importance of aesthetics, in terms of pour over stands, were reinforced with this final question. Quality of materials, the ability to accommodate different sized mugs and sturdiness were the other major factors.

We have taken these results and begun the product development process to produce a new line of pour over stands that will be 3D printed from a biodegradable plastic called PLA. 3D printing gives us the flexibility to make designs that are not possible with traditional manufacturing techniques and the agility to conceptualize a design and manufacture it in the same day.

This survey contained additional questions about the initial design concepts and we will cover the results from those in another article.

We are interested in doing a deeper analysis of the data and do not have the resources to do so at this time. If you are interested in data science and coffee, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at