The Handmade Clay Pot Brewer You Should Use For Pour Over Coffee

The simple act of brewing a cup of coffee can get pretty darn complicated, partly because coffee enthusiasts are frequently looking for something new: from a more convenient way to generate that first cup to high-tech machines that do it all, grinding beans for each fresh batch of coffee, and offering options to set timers and customize for water temperature. While some coffee drinkers may opt for the ease of single-cup brewers like the Keurig, coffee purists will often argue for their preference for a hands-on brewing method like the Aeropress or V60 pour-over.

There's a unique addition to the pour-over game, though — one created to fuse the art of fine coffee-making with Costa Rican culture and art. This brewer is unique, a handmade innovation that refines an old and traditional style of brewing and introduces new features that both improve flavor and efficiency. Perfect Daily Grind explains that it takes an entire month to make a single Vandola brewer, but the wait is absolutely worth it.

What's special about the Vandola brewer?

Minor Alfaro, coffee shop owner and creator of the Vandola brewer, told The Tico Times that his brewer is similar to the Chemex in terms of the process, but there are several distinguishing features. First, the brewer is made of clay, which, unlike glass, actually interacts with coffee, enhancing its taste, aroma, and texture. Japanese Coffee Company agrees that the clay composition of the Vandola, created in 2015, makes coffee taste brighter, while having a softer body.

In addition, Alfaro designed the brewer with a small valve, which Black by Choice Coffee explains oxygenates the coffee while it's brewing, lending greater definition and sweetness to the resulting cup. Unlike the Chemex, the Vandola also has a sturdy handle and a pouring spout, making it easier to use in a busy cafe, according to Perfect Daily Grind.

Artisan potters make each Vandola brewer in two parts, the cone where the coffee and filter will rest, and the body of the jug. These two parts are joined, then air dried before multiple kiln firings and glazes. Each brewer is a unique work of art. Vandola brewers can be purchased from businesses like Black by Choice Coffee, Menherz Coffee and Cortez Coffee, where they range in price from $75-$150.