A morning Hario V60 coffee has become my morning ritual just after getting out of my bed. At the very beginning, I chose any hand brew method for convenience as invest in a one group machine was, and is still, out of my budget even if I’m always tempted to buy a GS3 from la Marzocco or a Sage Oracle by Helston Blumenthal. I started with Kalita wave and then end up with Hario V60 which does everything I need.
But which one is better? V60 or Kalita? Let’s dive into these two Japanese drippers.
Hario V60 vs Kalita
When making a choice, there’s not always a winner. It’s like when they ask you “which processing method do you prefer, the washed one or the natural one?”. There’s no always an answer, especially when too many variables need to be considered.
So, today, I’m going to let you know about the differences between these two drippers as you might want to have a clearer idea of how they perform before making the right choice.
When comparing, crucial is to try to use the same variables such as coffee, pouring technique, paper filter, dripper, water and ratio. Everything has to be the same to collect the most accurate data. Also, it has to be clear about what we are looking for/ in which context/business is going to be as different brewing method might suit better in a certain environment rather than others (brewing at home doesn’t necessarily need the same stuff rather than a coffee shop).
First of all, while investing in a good kettle with a long gooseneck and with a small spout is very helpful, excellent pouring technique is major. No matter the brewer, a bad technique will always make you unhappy.
Main Differences between Hario V60 vs Kalita
- The shape: the Hario V60 has a cone shape with one large hole at the bottom. V60 stands for V-shaped cone that has its sides angled at 60 degrees. This helps ensure a constant flow along with its ridges, and also a good room for the coffee to expand. Instead of having a large, single hole, the Kalita has three tiny holes with a flatbed that helps distribute evenly the water through all the coffee bed. This ensures a more even extraction even if you pour like a bandit as the water finds difficult to escape so channelling is quite unknown with this dripper;
- contact time: the total time of extraction is a consequence of their shape. It takes on average 20-30 longer to brew with the Kalita dripper as its flat bottom lets the water pass more slowly into the server below. It usually takes me around 3-3.30 minutes to brew with the Kalita dripper (using 18grams dose) and around 2.20-2.50 minutes with the V60 one;
- consistency: the Hario V60 requires more skilled baristas as the risk of channelling is high. The Kalita is an easy one as it’s easy to replicate the same cup profile every single time. By minimizes the channelling phenomenon, the Kalita Wave makes it easier to brew a good cup of coffee.
Kalita wave vs V60 taste
If you have just started to brew with these two drippers you may have noticed just a slight difference between the cups. But as time goes by, your palate improves and you will notice something more that you are going to enjoy one more than the other.
As in the Kalita, the water steeps a bit longer throughout the coffee bed, the results will be heavier in body alongside a crispy cup and smooth mouthfeel. On the other hand, A V60 delivers a brighter acidity, more juiciness and a cleaner cup.
Anyway, what we like the most is not what let make us decide which one to choose.
As I mentioned before, we have to think about what is best for the business.
If you own your coffee shop and you do not have a big turnover of baristas, you may have to go for the V60; if you work in a busy coffee shop the Kalita is the perfect tool that will ensure that any baristas will get roughly the same cup.
Now, beyond that, if you work in a fast-paced environment it’s hardly recommended to put the hand brew coffee as a regular option for the customer. In this case, a batch brew is a better option as it just needs to be changed every 45-60 minutes and it delivers the same batch of coffee every single time as you just need to push the button and see it percolate. On the other hand, when you work in a coffee shop that it’s not busy enough and doesn’t need to have a batch brew on the blackboard, a Kalita/V60 could be the perfect option to offer at your customers.
Not to be forgotten that we need a good grinder as well; a tasty coffee is the result of a fresh and uniform coffee grounds. When we say “uniform coffee”, what we mean is that we have roughly the same particle size with a limited amount of fines as otherwise too many fines would lead to an over-extraction for those small coffee particles (which results in astringency and bitterness) and would also lead to the so-called “fines migration” phenomenon. The fines migration happens when those small particles move down to the bottom of the coffee bed obstructing the flow rate. So, a good grinder would limit the number of fines.
The Kalita Wave Dripper comes in two sizes: the #155 and for a smaller, single cup and the #185 which is ideal for 2-3 cups. The Kalita Wave Dripper comes in glass or stainless steel for the smaller size and also in ceramic for the bigger one. Different materials are available also for the V60 which comes in plastic, glass, metal and ceramic.
Even though the Kalita wave dripper ensures repeatability, I would pick the V60 as I prefer much more clarity in my cup of coffee, especially if brewed it at home.
I am an Italian coffee lover that pushed for the love of this “amazing drug” decided to come to London to study about coffee and its different extraction procedures and tastes.