Brewer's Binary

A simple switch for better coffee

It's understandable (albeit unfortunate) that the Clever Coffee Dripper has flown under the radar until now.

This understated contraption could hardly expect to turn heads when pitted against the other stylish, whiz-bang coffeemakers on the market.

But now the single-cup specialist is gaining traction with serious baristas for the very reason it once was passed over: simplicity.

Although it looks a lot like the ubiquitous pour-over filter cones, the Clever Coffee Dripper boasts one opportune addition in the form of an almost-too-obvious patented stopper valve. This small switch allows you to control steeping time and the proportion of coffee to water like a French press, but without the mess of coffee grounds at the bottom of your mug.

The gadget's dual nature is precisely the reason that Jeremy Tooker, founder of San Francisco-based cult coffee purveyor Four Barrel Coffee, uses it in his café.

And he's not alone; the device is getting kudos from serious baristas at coffee bars like New York's Gimme Coffee! and D.C.'s Chinatown Coffee.

In the shadows, no longer.