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Hands-on Gear Review
Cafellissimo Paperless Pour Over Review
Cons: Takes some time, water and space to clean after each use.
Bottom line: The best model that does not require filters and one of the few that does not involve hot water on plastic.
Brew Type: Pour Over
Materials: Stainless steel
The Cafellissimo is our favorite filterless coffee option. It shares the Editor's Choice Award with the Hario V60 which is the best camping coffee maker if you're using filters. Both scored at the top for taste, ease of use, and group cooking. The Cafellissimo is also one of the few options that doesn't involve pouring hot water over plastic to make coffee. The V60 scored slightly higher for ease of use because you don't have to clean it out after each use. But if you don't want to remember filters, the Cafellissimo may actually be easier to use. The V60 also scored higher for group cooking because it's a little easier to load up to the brim with coffee and water if you are making many cups at a time. But it's a minor distinction. Both are our favorite camping coffee options. It all comes down to if you want a filter or a filterless option. While it didn't factor into scoring, the Cafellissimo is also the best looking option we tested.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Camping Coffee Makers of 2018
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The metal perforated cone requires no filters. You expect coffee to pour out the sides, but it doesn't. It pours at roughly the same speed of the V60 which means they have roughly equal extraction time.
In side-by-side tests, we had a hard time telling the difference between this and the V60. Both at the top for taste scores. The AeroPress did a little better, but it's a close call. And both the V60 and the Cafellissimo scored much better than other cone pour-over filters.
Hot water and plastic
More studies link hot water and plastic to health issues. The Cafellissimo is one of the few options in our tests that does not involve pouring hot water through plastic.
Ease of Use
The ease of use scores here are flexible depending on your preferences. There is no need to remember coffee filters and pack them. That's a plus. But, you need to use water, time and space to clean out the cone after each use which is not that convenient. By comparison, with the V60, you just throw out the filter.
That said, if you don't care about completely cleaning out the filter after each use, it would be even faster than using a filter: just bang the cone at the edge of a trash can. But completely cleaning out the filter, takes a fair bit of time.
You can use this cone with a filter, but it makes the coffee drain slower and gives a slightly more acidic taste. If you're like most campers who are just excited to get a hot cup in the morning, chances are you will not notice. But in side by side tests with filter and without, we preferred without.
If you're brew process involves pouring water over the filter before adding coffee, the Cafellissimo gets another nudge over the V60 as you skip the step of wetting the filter.
At 3.3 ounces, this is a touch heavier than the V60. However, if you add in the weight of the filters you need to carry, they are about the same. Our 10 filters weighed 0.4 ounces. Add that to the weight of the V60 and the Cafellissimo is exactly the same weight.
Overall, for camping, 3.3 ounces is very light. For backpacking, it's light, but not ultralight like the Primula or GSI Ultralight Java Drip.
The non-collapsible cone is bulky compared to other options if stuffing in a backpack. That said, with a little ingenuity, you can clip it outside a pack.
This is a good group cooking option. Load it to the brim with grounds, and you can make coffee for 4 people. That said, the V60 scored a little higher because it's even easier to load up. Most other camping coffee options do not perform as well for making coffee for more the 2 people.
— Chris McNamara
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