Manual Drip Cone Coffee

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2012 • all rights reserved

While a manual drip cone takes more attention than an automatic one (such as a Mr. Coffee), it doesn't require electricity or a glass pot. And the coffee is great!

A drip cone, Thermos and tea kettle was how I made coffee on Que Tal and now on Barefoot Gal.  You might be familiar with a Melitta cone from your college days — it’s the same thing except that newer designs make it less likely to spill the grounds.

A drip cone is simple – put a filter in the cone and ground coffee in the filter, then place the cone over a mug or carafe and pour boiling water through.

While it really doesn’t take longer than other methods, it seems like it does because you have to monitor the flow and keep pouring more water through (and changing the grounds if you have a crowd).  But it doesn’t take electricity and can be set up without glass.

While I used an old Melitta cone, I greatly prefer the newer cones that have a funnel that sticks down into the Thermos as you’re making coffee – they’re far less likely to slide off and make a mess, although I’d still wedge it into the sink when making the coffee.  This can be dangerous in rough weather, due to the chance of spilling boiling water on yourself but again if you wedge it into a sink and use a tea kettle instead of a saucepan, any spilled water isn’t likely to spatter on you.

The details on this type of system:

Pros:  Can make as much at one time as your container will hold, makes good coffee, moderate space required, no electricity, easy to buy components without glass

Cons:  Have to keep pouring water in, Thermos or pot with the cone on top can be tippy and cause a big mess (wedge it in the sink for best results), can spill boiling water on yourself

Keeping it hot:  Can let coffee drip right into a Thermos.

Cost:  $15 to $30 or more, depending on whether you drip coffee just into a mug, a glass pot or Thermos (and then it depends on the size of the Thermos)

My choices for a drip cone system from Amazon.com (note that this carafe and drip cone fit each other):

Now, enjoy the morning view from the cockpit with steaming mug of great coffee in hand!

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Comments

  1. Paul Wyand says:

    I use a cone filter like this even on dirt. I like that you can control the temperature of the water and the speed of the flow. I also like the involvement in the process, but I must admit that sometimes it would be nice to hit a button, go back to sleep for awhile and then wake up to coffee.

  2. Our favorite is from GSI. Designed for camping, works great on a boat:

    GSI Outdoors Java Drip Coffeemaker

    The silicone cone folds inside the pot for storage. A neoprene sleeve keeps the coffee warm. It’s tall so we set it in the sink when pouring water in to avoid tipping.

  3. Just don’t knock it over – you’ll have a huge mess to clean up and picking up coffee granules is not easy

  4. I switched away from that system to a stainless steel french press. Am happier with the French press. Makes better coffee, needs no filters, is more stable (not top heavy) & doesn’t need to be refilled with water. Stows well.

  5. I think the coffee sold in “tea bags ” makes a better tasting coffee than instant. I have a cup of that while waiting for the pot or cone -type. I was able to trim the plastic of my old cone so it would nestle down into the top of my carafe-thermos because it otherwise wouldn’t sit flat ontop.

  6. Joy Canova says:

    Carolyn,
    I am now ready to consider a pour-over coffee system; I currently use Starbucks Via but need some more economical options. Here is what my friend just bought “Melitta Coffee Maker, 10 Cup Pour- Over Brewer with Stainless Thermal Carafe.” What I like is the big base of the thermal pot. However, I wonder if I would be better served with a #6 sized filter basket (this uses #4) and my Nissan Stainless Steel Thermos Bottle w/ Folding Handle 61oz (strangely discontinued by the manufacturer – check your link on TBG). Have you any opinion the choice? What did you decide for Barefoot Gal? Would love an update! Thanks, Joy

  7. I started using this cruising and gave away the coffee maker at home. Single cup perfection.

  8. We use a Melita pour over filter. Add our Hario manual grinder… coffee heaven, every morning , no matter what.

  9. Believe it or not, I use my mom’s old pyrex percolator…don’t judge, lol.

  10. This is what we do too! And OMG the smell while pouring over! Mmmmmm!

  11. That’s how we roll on RESTLESS the #6 paper filters are hard to find, we ordered a case from Amazon!

  12. We like the Clever Dripper on Sea Change, it has a valve that dispenses when you want it. Also perfect for rehydration of dried mushrooms, for perfect risotto!

  13. We use the AeroPress, small, unbreakable and makes terrific coffee. Part of their system involves cooling the boiling water to 180 before pouring over grounds. We just pour it into another cup first. Measure temp with an infrared pyrometer, handy on the boat for engine monitoring.

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