Brian Beyke

Pop-Up Drippers: A Head-to-Head Analysis

Brian Beyke

One thing I’ve learned through my adventures in the coffee realm is this: sometimes manual coffee brewing is inconvenient.  There have been times I’ve been sent out of town for work without a beloved third wave shop within biking distance.  Other times I’m at home or the office and I just don’t feel like grinding or prepping filters.  Here enters the pop-up dripper.  image

A pop-up dripper is essentially what it sounds like: a disposable dripper that pops up and is ready for brew.

My first encounter with pop-up drippers was the Kalita Kantan.  These little puppies come packed in packs of 30 and can be found for about $10.  They come flat, you bend a few edges and viola, a pouch is available to have ground coffee added to it.  The Kantan comes with little grooves and the dripper sits on the edge of nearly any mug and float above it.  It only holds so much coffee, so you fill it, determine your ratio of preference, and add the water.  It creates a neat method of brew, as you can only add as much water as the pop-up can hold.  As the water drains, you fill it up.  Once you reach the desired amount you simply toss the filter and grounds and enjoy the cup.

The benefit of the Kantan is that you can add whatever coffee you want to it.  It essentially brews like any other pour over device, it just allows you to dispose of it afterwards so you don’t have to carry your V60 or Bonmac with you.  The downside is you will still need coffee, grinder, scale (if you are one of the technical kinds), and a source for hot water.

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Flash forward to when I discovered Bjork Coffee.  Bjork is a company from Norway, so I was interested to see exactly what they had to offer, and was excited to try some coffees roasted from outside of the US.  I found them on Instagram was impressed with their style of drippers: essentially they offer a pre-packaged pouch which includes a dripper already packed with coffee pre-ground.

I ordered a sample of the three coffees they were currently offering.  Upon opening the pouch there was one dripper that had arms that could be pulled out and rested on the edge of a mug or carafe.  You rip off the seal to the dripper and you see approximately 12g of ground coffee.  As with the Kantan, figure out your preferred amount of water for the ratio you want and pour.  

The benefit you get from the Bjork is that you have no need for a bag of coffee or a grinder.  You fill the water in a similar fashion as you would in the Kantan: filling up as you have space.  The selections of coffee were also very nice, and the coffee tasted great. 

Living here in the US, expediency of receiving the drippers could be a bit of an issue if you are used to incredibly fresh roasted coffee.  I also noticed that a deep mug or carafe was necessary as the dripper itself rests down in the mug as opposed to the Kantan that hovers above.  

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Once more on instagram I came across The Humble Cup.  The Humble Cup seemed to be from here in the US, and what’s more they roast the coffee themselves.  Very similar to Bjork’s drippers, these are pre-packaged drippers with what seemed like 16g of pre-ground coffee.  They also have several more choices to chose from, with a little more affordable pricing (most likely due to being in the US).  As pictured, you can see how the dripper sits in the mug.  

So what’s for you?  Well, I can’t answer that for you.  What I do know is that the offerings from both Bjork and The Humble Cup were top notch.  It was great when I was in a hurry at work to rip open a pouch, take off the seal of the dripper, and pour - as long as I had a large enough carafe that the pouch would work with.  You also have some choices so you aren’t drinking the same coffee all the time.  Also, no need to bring a ceramic dripper, grinder, or bag of coffee.

The Kantan gives me the probably the best pricing for the amount of coffee to be used (12oz bag of coffee ~ 340g providing 28-21 servings of 12g-16g of coffee) but requires you to have pre-ground the coffee yourself, or to have a hand grinder and bag(s) of coffee with you.  

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.