What is the LilyDrip?
The LilyDrip is a ceramic add-on for your pour over coffee. It can be used in most cone drippers (v60, Origami dripper, etc.) and comes in four styles (Lily, Diamond, Donut and Starflower).
What are the benefits of using the LilyDrip?
The LilyDrip touts a few benefits when making pour over coffee. The Lilydrip…
- …can help brew coffee more evenly and with better extraction. The Lilydrip helps to even out the depth of your coffee grounds, so the center area is not significantly deeper than the outer ring of grounds. It keeps more of your grounds in the “sweet zone,” which is the depth that leads to the best flavor and extraction. It also can help reduce the change of duplicate extraction and create a more even brew.
- …can lead to shorter brew times and/or more forgiving brews. Because the depth of the grounds is less, the water can flow through the grounds more quickly (potentially leading to a shorter brew time). With the better extraction mentioned above, the brew can be a bit more forgiving with your grind setting.
- …can help maintain brew temperatures better. Having the ceramic piece in the middle of the grounds can help keep a consistent temperature and the beginning and end of your brew.
What are the different styles of the Lilydrip?
The LilyDrip currently comes in four styles. Each of the styles essentially work the same, but effect the flow rate of the coffee. The four styles include:
- Lily: This was the original style and leads to a normal/standard flow rate.
- Diamond: This style is similar to the Lily, but a bit wider and leads to a slower flow rate.
- Donut: This style has the largest bottom exit and therefore the fastest flow rate thanks to its wide shape and has ridges around it to increase the bottom exit space.
- Starflower: This style is fast like the Donut, but has indents instead of outdents. It still has a large bottom exit leading to a fast flow rate.
You can purchase styles individually or the full set of all four styles.
How to brew with the LilyDrip?
The LilyDrip is relatively easy to use once you get the hang of it. Be warned it doesn’t come with any directions and the information you’ll find on their site is not very helpful. It takes a few times to get the hang of, but once you do, it quickly becomes a mindless actively that is integrated into your brew process.
Here are some easy steps to follow to get your brew ready with the LilyDrip:
Gather your materials.
You’ll need your pour over filter (the Hario v60 is used in these photos), the LilyDrip ceramic piece and the “Rapid Filter Shaper”
Shape the filter.
First fold the filter along the crease and then place the filter on top of the “Rapid Filter Shaper.” Use your finger to gentle press the filter into the shaper to form an inverse cone. You can also use the LilyDrip to help shape the filter (but be careful not to rip the paper).
Place the LilyDrip ceramic piece within the brewer.
Gently place the ceramic LilyDrip at the bottom of any cone shaped brewer. The LilyDrip helps the filter maintain the inverse cone shape during brewing.
Place the filter on top of the LilyDrip.
You may also wet the filter at this stage.
Add coffee grounds to the brewer.
On top of the LilyDrip and the filter and your coffee grounds. Pour them easily around the filter and give them a gentle shake to level them out. After the grounds are in place you are ready to brew your pour over coffee as usual.
For more general information on how to brew coffee with the v60, Chemex or other brewers, use our how-to guide.
Does the LilyDrip work?
At the end of the day, what really matters though is if the LilyDrip actually makes a difference with the taste and quality of the final coffee you brew. Now I didn’t use any fancy devices to measure extraction because I’m guessing almost everyone doesn’t use those when making coffee each morning. I did do a variety of side-by-side blind comparisons and it was mixed whether I could tell which one used the LilyDrip or not.
For certain coffees it seemed clear which one had used the LilyDrip and which one had not—they were sweeter and better extracted. For others though, I couldn’t notice a difference.
I’ve been happy enough with the LilyDrip that it has become part of my daily coffee ritual. It has been incredibly fun to experiment with and I’ve been convinced by the theory behind it, as well as my anecdotal experience that I think it is worth continuing to use. If you are an experienced pour over coffee brewer (which you likely are if you found this review), I think LilyDrip (especially the Lily version) is worth the few dollars investment to experiment with and try to squeeze a bit more quality out of your already refined brew process.
Download the free, printable coffee brew guide cheatsheet
- Quick reference for ratios, water temp & brew times
- 8 brew methods including chemex, V60, aeropress & more
- Serving sizes and tips for each brew method