U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 48 mins

This $4 Gadget Is the Only Thing You Need to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Chris Malloy

And it brews cups in less than 3 minutes.

Coffee is something so simple yet so complicated. The joy and warmth of a morning cup feel natural and straightforward. And yet our highly evolved modern coffee culture of countries of origin, roasting styles, ground fineness, brewing methods, and brewing equipment makes for a very complex coffee culture. It can all feel intimidating unless you’ve sunk some serious time into learning about the coffee world. Luckily, you can make perfectly good coffee without much of a time or money investment.

The pour over coffee method is one way to minimize costs and maximize the goodness of your morning cup. A pour over is just that: hot water poured over coffee grounds, producing coffee. You don’t have to clean a French press after. You don’t need a flame, siphon, or maze of glass tubes.

In fact, you can knock out a good pour over just a filter and this $4 cone from Melitta. Here’s how it works.

The Melitta cone is a plastic holder for a coffee filter. It has a flat base that you balance on top of a coffee cup. Into the filter, you scoop enough coffee grounds for the single cup under the red plastic cone. And then, slowly but surely, you pour hot water over the grounds. The water mixes with the grounds, starts the brewing process, and coffee exits the cone through a tiny spigot at the bottom, entering your cup.

RELATED: Save Big Bucks—and Skip the Line at the Coffee Shop—With These Tips for Brewing Espresso at Home

How is the final coffee? Delicious. But to fully answer, we’ll have to get deeper into how the $4 Melitta cone works.

This particular Melitta cone yields just one cup of coffee. That makes it practical for when you’re craving a quick, full-bodied, high-quality cup—not cups for you and your family, or coffee for a large crowd (though those are also available). Pour-over coffee is all about precision, after all, which takes attention and technique. So take note: in order to achieve the proper extraction, make sure your water is between 195 and 205 degrees as you pour it over. And don't be afraid to use a lot of grounds, as the proper ratio is two tablespoons of coffee per 6-ounces of water.

Melitta Coffee Pour-Over Brewer

To buy: from $4; amazon.com.

When testing mine, I used a darker roast finely ground. My coffee beans were probably roasted a little too heavily. The Melitta pour over seemed to take some of the acridity out of the beans, and, rather, lengthened their better qualities. The final brews were bold, well-rounded, and smooth. These were nice cups of coffee, cups that shone a favorable light on the beans and sent you into your morning or afternoon in a good way.

The bottom line? The Melitta is just $4, and that it can make a super solid cup of pour-over coffee.

RELATED: Exactly How Much Coffee You Should Be Drinking Each Day, According to a Recent Study