I've owned a Clever Coffee Dripper for over a year now, but truthfully I've never had great results with it until recently. In hindsight, I think I can safely attribute most of my disappointment with the Melita #4 filters I used to use. No matter how much I rinsed or what my grind settings were, coffees just seemed a bit papery and lackluster. That's why our good friend Maxwell Mooney's advice to try a different filter (discussed in IBMOC Episode 46) made a lot of sense. Since I've switched to using Chemex filters in the brewer, my results have been much more enjoyable.

The Clever Coffee Dripper might just be one of the simplest and most approachable brew methods around.

One of the biggest reasons to use a Clever is its low barrier to entry. You don't need a gooseneck kettle or any special pouring techniques to make a great cup. Plus, you're not as heavily reliant on the quality of your grinder to produce an even extraction (though a great quality burr grinder is still recommended). Here's a quick recipe to help get you started with this simple and approachable brew method.


  • 22g Medium-Fine Ground Coffee
  • 352ml of Water (purified) at ~208˚F
  • Clever Coffee Dripper
  • Bleached Chemex Filter (rinsed thoroughly)
  • Scale + Timer
  • Stirring Device
  • Carafe (at least 320ml and sturdy)
  • Kettle (gooseneck or regular spout)

Step 1: Set Up the Brewer

Place a bleached Chemex filter in the Clever and rinse thoroughly with hot water. Place the dripper on a carafe or push the bottom valve over the sink to drain. Once drained, place the Clever on a scale, add 22g of medium-fine ground coffee and zeroize the scale.

Step 2: Bloom and Stir

Start the timer and add about 65g of water to "bloom." Give the slurry a good 3-5 stirs, making sure to get all the way to the bottom of the brew bed and thoroughly saturate all of the grounds.

Step 3: Add Remaining Water

Once the timer reads 0:25, add the remaining water to the dripper and stop at a total weight of 352g. Place the plastic lid on top of the device (yes, the paper filter will protrude from the lid) and wait until 4:00.

Step 4: Drain and Serve

At 4:00, place the Clever onto a carafe or cup to activate the bottom valve. Remove the lid. (Some recipes recommend a final stir to encourage a consistent drawdown time, but I've not found this necessary.) The water should clear the brew bed at about 5:00. Give the coffee a good stir and enjoy!


If the coffee tastes weak, watery, or the coffee drains too quickly through the filter, try grinding finer on the next brew. If the coffee tastes too strong, astringent, or doesn't drain quickly enough through the filter, try grinding coarser on the next brew.

As always, this recipe is provided as a starting place. Please feel free to experiment with it, and let me know how your results turned out!