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The Honest Coffeeman: Hario V60 or Kalita Wave?

So you are facing one of the most difficult choices: Hario V60, or Kalita Wave? 

Yes, you can get both if you want, like the honest woodman was rewarded with a gold axe and a silver axe. But let's suppose Hermes only allowed you to keep one of his two axes...

Well this is the choice between a gold axe and a gold axe- and you definitely want one of them, not your old one, so you need to consider carefully.

But how do you make a choice? Let's compare them.   


Hario V60

Knowledge, technique and experience go directly to the cup. Once you get it right, it will be heavenly.

The Hario V60 has a very recognisable cone shape with one large hole at the bottom.

This shape helps the hot water to run towards the center when poured, and it allows hot water to go through the coffee much more thoroughly than usual, to enhance the dripping.

The hole lets the tip of the filter stick out of the dripper, which allows for the dripping process to be closer to that of nel-drip, less controlled and restricted by the wall of the dripper.  

Unlike the flat bed dripper, it won’t allow hot water to stay for too long at the bottom, and make it easy for you to control the brew (pour quickly and enjoy the clear taste, or pour slowly for the deep aroma). 

A few things that you need to keep in mind:

- The pouring needs to be slow, balanced and continuous over the specified time.

- If the coffee is too fine, it will be trapped at the bottom, and it will cause the over extraction.

- You need to make sure that you check the condition of the coffee (e.g. powder control) beforehand as it affects the brew a lot with this dripper.

The Hario V60 is ideal for the more adventurous, passionate and experimental person as it allows you to change the brew as much as you want. The result can be exceptional- it is a great partner for exploring the endless coffee wonderland. 


Kalita Wave

Extremely easy to repeat, less control. Very stable, but there is something more than that.

The Kalita Wave has a flat bed with three little holes at the bottom; this shape allows for an even and stable extraction.  

If you accidentally pour too much or too fast, don't worry - Kalita Wave will help you make it up. This is a great choice for a beginner, or perfect for a busy morning when you need a good coffee without worrying too much to kick start your day.

Kalita Wave is highly evaluated for its stability, and recommended highly for industrial use, or for a person who makes multiple cups at once to serve everyone. 

However, Kalita Wave is not just a typical, standard dripper. It is carefully designed so that the coffee dwells longer in the water, and that reveals the full-bodied, deep complexity of the coffee. 

Also if you will use the stainless steel model, it keeps the heat better than the glass made one, so if you prefer your coffee hotter, it definitely wins some points. An interesting observation is that it’s said that coffee brewed with Kalita will show more complexity as it begins to cool down.

You can also adjust the brew by changing your pouring method. Pouring continuously is the simple way to produce a stable consistency every time, however if you pour little by little in a controlled manner it results in a heavier brew.

You would love this if you are a cautious, but very patient person keen to find out more about this reliable, yet mysterious dripper. 

Kalita Wave has clearly been establishing its reputation:

-Erin McCarthy, the winner of the 2013 US Brewers Cup used Kalita Wave. 

- Legendary Danish roasters, The Coffee Collective recently switched to Kalita Waves in their three Copenhagen cafes. 

-This dripper even made itself an article in the New York Times magazine.      

           (Source: The Coffee Compass)

Time to ask the magic mirror?

Both are affordable and their aesthetics are great. Hario V60 has been a representative of the third wave of coffee movement, but you should not overlook Kalita Wave - it seems that the choice comes down to your personality and the way you want to develop your journey. What's your choice?