The Hario V60 vs Kalita Wave Coffee Dripper smackdown!
Hario V60 pour-over coffee dripper has been the Champion of pour-over coffee brewing among aficionados for decades. But now there is challenger in the ring going after the belt. We pit the Hario V60 vs Kalita Wave coffee dripper to find out which is better.
The Kalita Wave dripper, made in Japan, offers a different process of drip coffee brewing. Most noticable is the flat bottom basket, rather than cone-shaped like the Hario V60. The brewing process is a little more like a Vietnamese coffee in that the coffee steeps a little longer. The result is a longer extraction time than what you typically get with a Hario V60 coffee dripper, which has a large single hole, and lots of bam bam!
Coffee passes through the grounds faster in the Hario V60. The flat bottom and three tiny holes cause the water to pass through the Kalita Wave coffee dripper slower. Since the extraction is longer, more flavors and oils come out of the grounds.
Speed had Kalita Wave on the ropes at first, we were able to drink our cup sooner from the Hario V60. But Kalita came on strong in the later rounds and the fuller flavor won out.
Kalita Wave was a tough challenger against Hario V60, a solid defender, and after going head to head for over a year now, we give the edge to Kalita Wave for a richer, fuller flavor pour-over coffee. This is not to suggest that using the Hario V60 is bad, Hario threw it down and is still a great pour-over coffee dripper who is not ready to hang up the pour-over coffee gloves. We use the V60 frequently. In the final round the differences were subtle. And one brewer probably suits certain types of beans and roasts over the other. Keeping that in mind you’ll have be the judge.
The Kalita Wave comes in stainless steel, glass and ceramic. Since we’re prone to breaking drippers, we recommend the stainless. There a two sizes are available, #155 and the #185, the #155 is fairly small and can’t hold much more that 10-15 grams of coffee grounds. The #185 is similar to the Hario V60 in capacity and will perfect for normal everyday brewing.
To purchase the Kalita Wave #185 coffee dripper shop here
Check out our quick look at the Kalita Wave 185 Pour-over Coffee Dripper:
Use a 16:1 Water to Coffee
Always start with good fresh-roasted coffee and filtered water; successful pour-over coffee brewing comes down to ratios. For pour-over coffee brewing water to coffee ratio a general rule of thumb is 16 parts (grams) water to 1 part (grams) coffee. To measure and brew properly you need a good scale. While most digital kitchen scales will do the trick, it’s worth considering an investment in a Hario Drip Scale/Timer, it’s designed especially for pour-over and is very easy to use. More information on the Hario Drip scale here.
Some of the water will be absorbed in the grounds and will not end up in your cup, the ratio compensates for that, ergo, 300 grams of water will not equal 300 grams in your cup. It’s hard to calculate the actual yield, which depends on the amount of coffee grounds used.
Once you have the scale you can accurately measure and brew your pour-over coffee. Feel free to experiment on the ratios to adjust for your taste. Enjoy!
Why should you bother with brewing pour-over coffee? Because it’s the best way to get the most of the good parts of the coffee. If you’ve never used the pour-over method, it may seem a little intimidating. But here you are with a 12oz bag of Hakimson Estate Kenya Peaberry Limited Release that set you back $19. Certainly you’re not going to toss that into a plastic coffee brewing machine. Pour-over coffee brewing is the method of choice for such a fine thing.
Maybe you’ve watched a YouTube video on the subject where a barista was demonstrating his complicated pour-over coffee technique. Or maybe the idea of spending $30 on a Hario v60 cone dripper, another $45 on a gooseneck kettle, up to $130 on a burr coffee grinder, a $40 scale, yikes. It’s all a little much.
Pour-over coffee brewing is about simplicity
Brewing pour-over coffee may be trendy right now, but pour-over coffee brewing is really about simplicity, more than anything else. Just coffee and water to bring out the best in a well-sourced and craft-roasted bean.
I’ve been brewing pour-over coffee since the 80’s. I was not trying to being stuck-up about it; it was a necessity more than anything else. All I needed then was an affordable Melitta plastic drip brewer from the grocery store, paper filters, an inexpensive blade grinder and some good coffee beans and voila, cup of coffee! Back then Mr. Coffee, Brun or Krups were the main makers of coffee brewing machines: Mr. Coffee was considered a joke and Braun or Krups brewers were not cheap for the college student and later under-paid professional.
I had my share of machine brewers and French Presses*, but at some point they get stinky or the beaker would break, and i’d pull good ‘ol cone dripper out of the cupboard. Besides that, I liked brewing pour-over coffee. It was easy and convenient for a single cup. And I was never brewing for the crowd, so manually brewing pour-over coffee was not a hassle.
Pour-over coffee brewing became trendy
Fast forward to the mid 2000’s and suddenly Pour-over is the rage and touted as the method best to extract flavor from a well-sourced and craft-roasted bean. I’m not arguing with that at all, it happens to be my practice now. Being all artisan and precious about it is not the be-all end-all for brewing pour-over coffee.
Pour-over coffee brewing is simple because all you need is coffee, hot water, a paper filter in a cone dripper. That’s it. If you strive for better, splurge on some nice tools and refine your technique. You can brew great coffee with a $10 plastic Melitta cone coffee dripper you purchased from the local grocery store, DON’T LET ANY AFFICIONADO TELL YOU DIFFERENT (99% of whom will drink gas station swill in a fit of road trip desperation). So while the Melitta may not be the ultimate system, it is 90% of what you’ll get with a Hario v60, gooseneck kettle, water perfectly heated and a slow-poured over evenly sized coffee grounds, and light years better than a pot of coffee brewed in a Mr. Coffee machine.
Don’t worry about the hipster pour-over barista with the man-bun at your local to-cool-for-you cafe. Pour-over coffee brewing is the best way to get an amazing cup of joe. So go out and get a Melitta cone dripper, some filters, good beans, rush home and make a cup. It’s a great start, worry about the refinements later.
*I’ve tried to love French Press as my chosen method but I never could get past the residue at the bottom of the cup, too much like bong water for me, blech.
You know the situation; it’s a workday and you woke up late and now there’s not enough time to do a traditional pour over coffee, forget picking something up on the way to work, the lines are always too long! Wouldn’t it be nice to have an coffee brewer that made pour over coffee, and even better, automatically? Lo and behold! There are a few pour over coffee brewers available. They range in price from $180 to $570, and these brewers meet the SCAA Certified Home Brewer standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). So you know you’re not wasting your money.
Why bother with a brewer that specializes in the pour over coffee method? Besides being the best way to brew coffee, pour over coffee brewers offer a simple hassle-free way to brew pour over coffee. Since they are automatic, you just set it at night and wake up to a fresh cup of pour over coffee. What could beat that? Other than a personal valet who makes pour over coffee for you, nothing obviously.
So check out our Pour Over Coffee Brewers buying guide.
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