The sixth episode! This week I’ll write a little bit about the Hario V60, an evolved pour over style coffee.
Pouring over history
The Hario V60 funnel is one of many Pour Over brewing methods. Pour over is a rather old method, too. In 1908, Melitta Bentz found that percolators were inefficient brewing devices, often either over or under extracting grounds. She was looking for a different, more efficient way too brew. Espressomachines still deposited grounds into every cup of espresso and linen bags (another Pour Over method) were cumbersome to clean. She tried a variety of other media but eventually used blotting paper. The paper was then positioned in a brass pot that she perforated with a nail. The idea was patented in 1908 and became a big success, selling 1200 filters at the Leipzig Fair (Germany) in 1909. The company that we know as Melitta today, had quite a few setbacks during the wars in Europe. The first World War just limited their access to materials like metals and paper. The second World War however even forced them to stop production altogether, after being ordered to produce goods to help fight the war.
The Hario V60, a dripper evolved
The Hario V60 has a lot in common with the Melitta style drippers. For instance, it looks very similar and it still uses a paper filter. That’s also where all similarities end. The V in V60 refers to the shape of the dripper, 60 refers to the angle of the fins inside it. So what are those fins for? The fins are meant to keep the filter from touching the wall of the dripper. Not only do the fins prevent the extract from cooling down too rapidly, it also allows for a more even extraction throughout all of the the grounds. Drippers that don’t have a way to separate the paper from the side wall generally over-extract the grounds in the bottom and center and under-extract the sides.
Making a shoppinglist
This method, like a few other Brewing Methods I’ve covered before, doesn’t require a whole lot of tools. In fact, I only needed to get the actual V60 Dripper to complete the shoppinglist. Note that the gooseneck on the kettle is not an absolute necessity, but it does give you a lot more control while pouring in terms of velocity and precision.
- Hario V60 Dripper and filters or Hario V60 Starter Kit
- Freshly roasted coffee beans
- Kettle, preferably with gooseneck spout
- Serving vessel or decanter
Step by Step
- Fill the kettle, put the thermometer sensor in the kettle and heat the water to around 95C / 203F
- Take a fresh filter and fold over the joint
- Grind the coffee on a medium fine setting
- Let the water cool down to about ~92C / ~197F
- Place the filter in the dripper and the dripper on the cup
- With the hot water, rinse the paper filter thoroughly
- Use a little bit of water to pre-heat every additional cup
- Add the ground coffee into the filter
- Even out the grounds
- Put the decanter on the scale and set the dripper on top of it, then zero the scale
- Slowly start pouring hot water into the grounds and spiral counter clockwise outwards, until the scale reads 35 grams
- Zero the scale and let the grounds bloom for about 30 seconds
- Slowly add the rest of the water, start in the center, then spiral outwards counter clockwise
- When you’ve added all the necessary water, let the coffee drain from the dripper
- Empty the cup(s), remove the dripper from the decanter and serve the coffee
With every new coffee I start with a ratio of 240ml of water (blooming water excluded) to 16 grams of coffee. I then adjust up if the coffee is too weak, or down if it is too strong. Adjust the grind finer when the coffee is under-extracting, passing through the grounds too fast and producing very watery coffee. On the other hand, when the grind is too fine already, it will take a much longer time for the water to pass through and the extensive contact with the grounds will cause a very bitter coffee. If the coffee smells or tastes burnt, you can also let the water cool down a little bit more before brewing.
Another variable to play with is the amount of blooming water. Keep slowly adding water, circling outwards doing so, until there’s only a small rim of seemingly untouched coffee left against the side of the filter. Keep adding water until you see the first drop of coffee landing in the decanter and stop immediately.
The coffee you get from a Hario V60 is infinitely richer than from regular drippers. I narrowed down the grind, amount of beans and water temperature within a few tries and got a wonderful cup of coffee that I found overall smoother and less acidic than most other methods. The V60, like the AeroPress, uses paper filters that tend to trap a lot of coffee oils. The paper filters that are specifically made for the V60 are some of the thinnest filters on the market, trapping a whole lot less oils.
For now I’ll finish this cup of coffee and then try a different blend of coffee in my Hario V60. Afterwards I’ll be doing research on the next chapter in this series. If you want to suggest a specific Brewing Method, have questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below. As always, I very much appreciate it when you link to or share this post with friends and / or family.