Simple, cheap, and effective, that's the Melitta Ready Set Joe. Across our rating metrics, this dripper scored admirably and, considering you can nab one of your own for under $5, we gave it our esteemed Best Buy award.
Coffee slowly dripping through the small hole on the Melitta Ready Set Joe.
This is a pour-over style cone, which uses a #2 basket-shaped filter. Its biggest asset is the way the dripper hole is elevated above the base so you can see the level of coffee in the mug while brewing and eliminate surprise overflows. For group situations, if you're careful, you can use #4 filters and load this up even more.
A unique and useful feature of the Melitta Ready Set Joe is the hole allowing the user to see the dripping, and how full the cup is without lifting it up.
The Ready Set Joe makes a good cup of coffee. Not great, but decent. Our Top Pick for Gourmet Taste, the Aerobie AeroPress and the V60 were noticeably better, but the flavor from this dripper is still pleasing to coffee diehards.
The Melitta Ready Set Joe and the Hario V60 ready for action in our taste test.
Ease of Use
This cone-style coffee maker is extremely simple and easy to clean. There are no small parts to keep track of, just the cone, a filter, and some coffee grounds. The hole in the side makes brewing even easier since you can monitor the level of coffee in your mug.
Trish McGuire using the MSR Reactor and the Melitta Ready Set Joe to brew coffee while camping at Charlotte Dome.
The Ready Set Joe is best suited for one to two people but, as mentioned above, if you're careful, you can use a larger filter, load it up, and brew more at a time.
The Ready Set Joe is relatively bulky and does not fit in a backpack as well as the collapsible Java Drip or the mesh Primula Brew Buddy. However, the handle on the side can clip to the outside of a pack, making it easy to bring wherever you decide to wander.
Packing in all the necessities, including a way to make coffee in the morning clipped to the outside of our bag. Weighing only 2.01 ounces, the Melitta cone style coffee dripper is not too heavy to add to the list, though it doesn't pack as well as the GSI Collapsible Java Drip.
This is one of the lightest cone style makers in this review, weighing just 2.01 ounces — great for camping and backpacking trips. Instant coffee packets are lighter, but they make a much less appealing cup. Though we did find an instant option, First Ascent, that really impressed us. We also love the filterless Primula, our Top Pick for Backpacking, for lightweight backcountry excursions. However, if you want to stick with the convenience of filters, the Ready Set Joe is your best bet.
The Melitta Ready Set Joe with its basket-style filter.
The Melitta Ready Set Joe works great for any camping or backpacking situations, and it's also a highly economical option — hence the Best Buy award. For right around $4, you get a multi-use, high-quality coffee maker that's great for the house or the campsite. If you don't like the idea of pouring hot water through plastic, the Cafellissimo Paperless Pour Over is a fantastic alternative, but it will cost you substantially more.