Guest Post: “Hario V60 – The History and Brewing Guide”

In an earlier post, I gave a brief overview of the Hario V60, and my impressions of it. I was fully aware of the amount of guides out there by people much more knowledgable than myself, and chose not to make a how-to. A post made today by The Perfect Daily Grind, a successful blog on everything specialty coffee, is a great source for those looking into the V60 brew method. Enjoy!

They say the soul of the perfect cup of coffee is in the brew. So when it comes to drippers, what makes the Hario V60 stand out from the rest?

The story of Hario, the designer of the V60 dripper makes it seem like chemistry, glass products and coffee have a lot in common. If you read Chemex – The History & Brewing Guide you might recall it was designed by a chemist.

Hario was founded in Tokyo in 1921 and started producing and selling physical and chemical use glass products. After almost 30 years of research, they succeeded in melting “Hario Glass”. It uses 100% natural minerals to refine heatproof glass making it environmentally friendly.

Hario has received hundreds of design awards, yet it’s the V60 that has become its most famous invention. In 1949, Hario launched its first home product, a glass filter coffee syphon which then became a cloth filter coffee syphon by 1957.

Ten years ago, the V60 was born and it has become a popular dripper since then. The name comes from Vector 60, the 60º angle of its cone. It was first introduced in ceramic and glass, then came the plastic version but nowadays we also have a metal editions.

The ultimate edition of the Hario V60 is the Copper Coffee Dripper, which has being designed for high thermal conductivity, which means better heat retention that extracts better your coffee.

 

Hario V60 – The classy copper edition Hario V60 and matching Hario kettle. Photo credit: @joshua.vasko via @thedailypressclt

 

What to expect from a V60
The V60 is responsive to numerous more variables than many other drippers on the market. This is because of three design factors:

  1. Cone shape (60º angle): this shape allows the water flow to the center extending the contact time
  2. Large single hole: enables flavor changes by the speed of the water flow
  3. Spiral ribs: these rise all the way to the top and allow the air to escape to maximise expansion of the coffee grounds.

The two most important variables which you can play with are grind size and water flow. The V60’s large single hole, plus the speed of the water flow, can change the coffee’s taste. This means that if you add water slowly, the result will be a full bodied coffee, but if you add the water quickly, it will not be able to extract the proper flavors and you will end up having a lighter-bodied coffee.

Let’s add the grind size variable. If you have a small grind size (table salt like), water will not pass through as easily and may lead to choking. In this case, you need to grind coarser.

Constant water flow + small grind size = medium bodied coffee

Slow water flow + small grind size = full bodied coffee

Constant water flow + medium grind size = light bodied coffee

Slow water flow + medium grind size = light bodied coffee

Plastic V60 – Travel light and without worries with the elegant plastic V60.

How to brew like a pro
For this particular method, feel free to play! It can be based on how you like your coffee but the guide mentions you can choose whichever combination you want. You just want to make sure you follow the basic steps given on past brewing guides.

  1. Boil high-quality water and wait 30-45 seconds until it’s between 90º to 96ºC if you don’t have a thermometer
  2. Fold the filter along the seams (bleached or natural).
  3. Rinse the filter thoroughly, especially the natural one. Rinsing helps not only to remove the papery taste but also heat the V60 and the server. Otherwise, the water’s temperature will dramatically decrease and will not properly extract the coffee.
  4. Grind fresh coffee beans!

Because of the V60s cone shape, you do need a gooseneck kettle, otherwise it’s difficult to pour in circles. You need to be able to control the water flow or might not get the desired result.

Start by pouring double the amount of water as there is coffee in your V60 and let it bloom! This is always my favorite part because you can see how fresh your grounds are. Wait 30-45 seconds and then start pouring in circles, some people like to avoid the walls.

According to the chosen grind size and the water flow, you will see how quick the coffee will pour. Ideally it will take between 2 to 4 minutes.

V60 brewing guide – Pour-over stands and V60s were made for each other. Credit: @wellscoffees

V60 brewing tips

  • The V60 will not get clogged unless you use a very fine grind size. Water flows quickly, so take into consideration that you can go finer than you would with other drippers.
  • Since the V60 comes in 4 different materials, take into account the material you will be preheating. It takes longer to heat the ceramic model than the stainless steel, glass, plastic or copper editions.
  • Pour counterclockwise. This will create more turbulence in the coffee bed to extract it better.

Written by F.Solano and edited by T.Newton
Feature Photo Credit: Matthew Mon
Perfect Daily Grind Specialty Coffee Blog

Originally written by The Perfect Daily Grind.

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