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    Tested by Kurasu: Hario's 3 New Products

    We tried out Hario’s 3 New Products!

    Hi there, I’m Hitomi from Kurasu. 

    Can’t believe it’s April already! 

    Some of you in Japan have started your new chapter of your life- in Japan, school terms and business year start in April, and it’s a month that’s associated with something new. 

    New life, new work, new school….new products!

    So this time, we are going to share our thoughts with you about Hario’s 3 exciting new products: “MUGEN”, “V60 Drip Assist”, and “W60”. 


    MUGEN

    Let’s start with the “MUGEN” dripper. 

    Looking down, the dripper looks like this- it reminds me of Ninja’s Shuriken (throwing stars), and the package design seems to be having some Japanese theme going on. 

    It does not have any ribs like V60, and I assume therefore it drips slower, but we’ll see.

    Let’s MUGEN!

    The biggest difference this new dripper has to the classic V60 is that you only have to pour once- simply fill up the dripper, and let the star do your job. The meticulously calculated rib pattern will guide the water flow to drip through the coffee, and voila, a delicious coffee, into the server it goes.  The holder is detachable, and you can use the dripper on its own, placing it directly on top of a mug or a server. 

    So it seems that this only needs one pour, just like the Hario Switch we introduced in the previous article, but the difference is that this is not an immersion dripper. 


    We tested this dripper with Hario’s official recipe: 

    ・Coffee 20g (Medium grind)

    ・Hot water 240ml (91c)

    ・No blooming

    For the coffee I used Rwanda Ruli (light roast) and House Blend Dark (dark roast).

    1st round: poured with regular speed (approx. in 30 seconds)

    ・A clear cup with fruity acidity. 

    2nd round: poured a little slower than the 1st time (approx. in 45 seconds)

    ・A richer, sweeter cup with more body. The texture feels a little thicker. 

    I tried these methods above both with light roast and dark roast, but they had the same tendency.  

    Well, I liked it quite a lot! Among the “single pour” type drippers, I like this one for the delicate flavor with clean and defined acidity it can make. 

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    【Conclusion】

    The best thing about this dripper is  it’s so easy to use!

    All you have to do is pour just once and leave it to make a great cup.

    It’s just perfect for busy people and someone who’s new to manual brewing. 

    Only thing you’d want to make sure of is to get the grind level and the amount of coffee right- if the coffee is ground too coarse or if there is too little coffee, you will end up with a very weak cup, and you can’t adjust that with pouring. 

    Try it out with different lengths of time to find your favorite flavor profile- have fun!

    【Perfect pick if you are:】

    ・New to manual brewing

    ・Love to skip the fuss but want a delicious cup of coffee

    ・Busy in the morning and need your coffee very quick and easy

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    W60

    The next item we tried out is a collaboration project from Hario and 2013 WBC champion Mr. Pete Licata, a "W"60 dripper- the next generation of V60.

    This is a relatively big dripper that can hold 02 size paper filter comfortably, and comes with a flat bed resin mesh filter. 

    The inner ribs seem to be taller compared to V60. 

    It allows 3 different brewing setups: 

    1) brew without the attachment, with cone-shaped paper filter, 

    2) brew with the attachment, without the paper filter set in the dripper, and 

    3) use both the attachment and a paper filter.

    It sounds like a great deal that we can enjoy 3 different types of brewing setup just with this 1 dripper. 

    Let’s try them out with Hario’s official recipe again: 


    There is quite a lot of detailed info here, let’s see...

    I tried my best to recreate the official recipe as faithfully as possible.

    First, I tried:

    Brewing without the attachment, with cone-shaped paper filter

    The cup was hitting the right spot in terms of strength, clean deliciousness- it’s good. It tasted similar to V60 brew.

     

    ② Brewing with the attachment, without the paper filter set in the dripper

    I tried this also with coarse grind, but it took more than 5 minutes to finish brewing.

    This was surprising as I was expecting it to drip faster than a paper filter. 

    I tried several other variations and picked 2 different grind levels to compare. 

    For grinding, I used an EK grinder which is the most popular industrial grinder among cafes. 

    For both patterns I adjusted the pouring speed to finish at around 1’10, following Hario's official recipe. 

    I found this recipe a little weak for medium dark roast, so you may want to grind darker roast a little finer than you usually would.

    The perk of mesh filters is the coffee oil- I really enjoyed it, but as expected there were micro grinds that made their way through, and it added a little sandyness to the mouthfeel compared to the previous paper filter brew. 

    Then I brewed with a little finer grind, and that improved the smoothness.

    This method gave me all of the goodness in the coffee, and the drinking experience is similar to coffee cupping sessions.

    The most notable thing about this method is the boosted sweetness, but it also tastes like it’s a little over extracted. 

    Personally, I liked brewing darker coffee (House Blend Dark)  with this to make the most out of the deeper roast’s sweetness. 

     

    ③ Brewing with both the attachment and a paper filter

    I struggled with this a bit as it didn’t brew as quickly enough as the recipe suggests. 

    On the Hario’s recipe it says the brewing time should be around 4’20-4’45, but it took way longer- 9 to 10 minutes every time no matter what. 

    Pouring process finished around at 2’25 mark, and while the water dripped through the mesh filter smoothly, it then dwelled in the bottom filter and it extended the total brewing time. 

    We will need to look further into this- it will be one whole experiment next time. 

    Tastewise, it made a clear cup thanks to the paper filter, but retained the sweetness captured with the mesh filter. This method gets the good things of both worlds, and this is my favorite. 

    It still needs more tweaking though as it still tasted a little over extracted, especially on the pouring and grind level.

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    【Conclusion】 

    I love that I can try many different methods by getting just one dripper- made me all excited and curious to find my favorite style!

    【Texture and taste comparison】

    ① Paper filter brew

    The cleanest texture with fruity acidity

    ② Mesh filter brew

    Thicker mouthfeel with distinctive sweetness

    ③ Paper filter + mesh filter brew

    Clear and well balanced


    【Perfect pick if you are:】

    ・passionate about trying many different brewing methods

    ・a coffee professional (you’d find this very intriguing and full of possibilities)

    ・looking for a dripper that gives you so much more 

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    V60 Drip-Assist


    V60 Drip-Assist is the another item from Hario’s collaboration with Mr. Pete Licata.

    It may be confusing as it’s difficult to tell how to use it, so let’s check out what Hario says. 

    This disk has 2 layers of ring, each with little holes to distribute the poured water evenly onto the coffee ground. The inner circle has a bigger hole, and the outer circle has smaller holes. If you don't own a gooseneck kettle, this is a very good and affordable investment- this disk will filter the gush of water coming from a regular kitchen kettle to a meticulous, drop-by-drop pouring.  Compatible with 02 size drippers. 

    It looks like a donut, and there is a circle in the middle, and there is a ring around it. For blooming, you need to pour the water into the center circle, and for the rest of the process you will need to pour into the outer ring. 

    At first I was worried about overflowing the outer ring, so I had to be careful, but as long as you pour slowly it will be fine. 

    Mr. Licata is suggesting a recipe of intentionally overflowing the ring to mix up the dripping speed. Interesting! 

    The little holes distribute the water into a consistent shower, adjusting the dripping speed for you. A perfect attachment for someone who’s new to manual brewing. It’s like a manual coffee maker.

    The great thing about this is that it does not require a goose-neck kettle. 

    You can pour directly out of a regular kettle, like this:

    There is an official Hario recipe for this one too, so let’s try with that. 

    ・Coffee 18g (medium grind)

    ・Hot water 300ml (97℃)

    ・For blooming, 50g of hot water (bloom for 30 seconds)

    97℃ sounds pretty hot, and I’m interested to find out how it goes. 

    The grind level is medium just like MUGEN dripper. 

    It makes a lot lighter cup compared to a regular V60 brew. It has a fruity acidity and a defined flavor. A very light bodied cup. 

    The concentration seems to be lower and I assume that helps the flavors to stand out. 

    All the flavors are well extracted, and it would be a great one to brew light roast. 

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    【Conclusion】

    This is a very reliable attachment which is also can be flexible- would be fun to change the grind size, pouring time or where and how to pour. A great “toy” for coffee enthusiasts. 

    Holding the kettle steady for a certain period of time after the blooming process can be difficult until you get used to it, but that would be the only thing.

    【Perfect pick if you are:】

    ・Not yet confident in your brewing technique

    ・Someone who are not very keen on following fine details in the brewing process

    This is also our boss, Yozo’s favorite among these 3 items and he says:

    “It makes a stable drip and results in a very clean cup”

    “Gives me a repeatable and stable results”

    “I don’t need to worry about the pouring speed” 

    (We saw him regularly bringing it back to his home lol)

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    Ah, it’s so exciting to try out new gears, isn’t it? 

    All 3 of the new items were designed around V60, and they produce a similar cup to V60- if you are a V60 lover, do try them out to spice it up!

    Hario’s product design team constantly amazes me every time they announce a new item- the experience of getting a new perspective on coffee brewing is just wonderful. 

    If you have already tried any of these or discovered something about them, please post it on Instagram with #kurasulabo !

    For the next time, I will try out different way of brewing coffee drip bags without using any coffee equipment. I love bringing Kurasu’s drip bags when I visit my friends as a gift, and I have a couple of good tips on how to share a great coffee. Stay tuned!


    NEXT UP: How to brew with Kurasu Coffee Drip Bag

    2021.3.12

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