There is a lot of ambiguity surrounding this; you google the question and end up more confused than when you went in! So I’m here to settle the debate.
Automatic pour-over coffee makers are high-end drip machines that are better designed to mimic the way a barista makes pour-over.
Drip machines, especially cheap ones, just gurgle and burp hot, sometimes warm, water over the coffee and just hope for the best.
It’s not a glamorous process, but the result is something resembling a cup of coffee.
Auto pour-overs have lots of fun features. Some have a bloom cycle in them, and others are designed with “showerheads” to better spray water evenly over the grounds. And the best auto pour over machines, like these, are hot enough to get a proper extraction out of the coffee.
Are Automatic Pour Overs as Good as Manual Pour Over Devices
Generally, I’d have to say no, there is yet to be a coffee machine that makes coffee as good as a trained person can manually make coffee. There is too much finesse involved, too many different factors, including room temperature, that have to be taken into account to make a perfect cup of coffee.
But what an automatic machine can do is make you a great cup of coffee, really easily. Especially if you don’t have the skill to make it yourself or maybe even the inclination. You can much more easily make large batches of coffee inside a machine.
So while the coffee has the potential to be better when made manually, I still think coffee machines are great. They certainly have their place in my house and they always will.
When Are Drip Machines Better?
And I even like a low-end coffee maker, cheap, cheerful, and not a half-bad cup of coffee.
An ideal choice if you’re on a budget and just want to have coffee in the morning, you can save great coffees for the baristas to make for you on the way into work, when you’re up in the morning, it’s dark outside, you’re tired. All you want is a cup of coffee to wake you up, warm you up, and get you started.
That’s exactly what a drip machine can do for you.
But unfortunately, that’s about all a drip machine can do for you; they don’t have much else going for them. And while being cheap is a huge plus in terms of coffee made, it’s not great…
The coffee is weaker, the coffee doesn’t have the same taste, and it’s quite likely that it’s colder because coffee needs to be made at 195-205F typically and a lot of drip makers only operate at 180F.
But all in, I still think they have a place; they keep you off of instant coffee, they’re far less wasteful than K-Cups and other coffee pods. And they let you buy slightly higher quality coffee so that you can be sure the farmer is getting a fair price.