Welcome to the wonderful world of pour overs!
In this article, we’ll take a look at 2 pour over coffee makers: the Hario V60 VS Kalita Wave.
Remember that you are reading in relation to your preferred cup of coffee, so there aren’t any “best” picks laid out. Take note of the pros and cons to decide for yourself which you’d prefer.
Let’s get right to it!
The V60 is one of the most iconic drippers in coffee.
Hiromu Shibata Works, now more well-known as Hario, was a heat-proof glass manufacturer. No one would’ve predicted that they’d be renowned for a porcelain creation: the Hario V60.
It was first sold in the 1980’s as an innovation to compete with immersion brewers. At the time, the competition was between the Hario V60 VS drip or immersion brewers. Although, the market was only really ready for it a few decades later!
V60 stands for the “V” shape that the brewer comes in. The “60” stands for the 60-degree angle that it slants at. This design combo was developed to let water continuously flow through the coffee, with just enough resistance to “slow it down” as it extracts the flavors we love.
Made by Kalita Co. Ltd., the Kalita Wave is a relatively new release in the market. At first glance, it seems to be a modern version of the V60 with slightly different functions in comparison to its competitor.
What makes it stand out is its use of a Wave filter, which is meant to lessen contact with the brewer’s sides, therefore decreasing the total heat exposure during immersion.
As for the dripper itself, it’s a flat bottom style drip with three holes. This supposedly introduces a bit of immersion, which is balanced out by the wave filter by reducing contact with the dripper.
The three holes at the bottom allow the water to pass through the grounds, resulting in a bright cup of coffee by the time it hits the server.
The Hario V60 VS Kalita Wave
Now that we have an idea of how both are designed, let’s take a closer look at some specifics about each brew method. We’ll go through each one after the other, for each brew equipment.
Hario V60: You pour hot water at an angle to create and maintain a “bloom”. It would serve your cup of coffee well to create and maintain this bloom, for the best results. As you can imagine, it takes skill to extract well via V60.
Kalita Wave: The bottom of the dripper is flat, while the filter lessens contact with the brewer’s heat-conducting stainless steel material. Creating a bloom is still ideal, but it took steps from the design phase to aid with consistency.
WINNER: Kalita Wave. While I personally enjoy making coffee using the V60, for most people who want to be as close as possible to autopilot while still getting a tasty cup will love the Kalita Wave.
Hario V60: You can take anywhere from 2-4 minutes, depending on the roast level of the beans, the grind size, your preference with mouthfeel, cup size, etc.
Kalita Wave: Since there’s an element of “a bit of immersion” because of the dripper design, your coffee via this method can take anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
WINNER: Hario V60. If you know what you’re doing, waiting even just an extra minute longer to sip could be torture once you start smelling your amazing coffee brewing.
Ease of Brewing
Hario V60: As mentioned above, this brew method requires more skill and calculation because you want to brew with the grind size and technique to fall within the ideal parameters. This is no problem for baristas, but it can be challenging for new home brewers.
Kalita Wave: While there is focus on good pouring techniques to ensure the right amount of agitation, coffee drippers like the Wave do a lot of the brew work for you. Except pour it in your cup.
WINNER: Kalita Wave. One sure thing about this head-to-head comparison is that it’s easier to be consistent with the Wave than the V60.
Both the V60 and wave come in ceramic, stainless steel, and plastic variants. This makes both designs easy to bring along on your travels.
However, in terms of shape and ease of storage, the flat bottom wins over “V” shape.
WINNER: Kalita Wave.
Ease of Cleaning
Again, these two coffee heavyweights are so well matched that they’re also about even in this area.
However, after you brew your coffee, the V60’s design has fewer crevices for stubborn grounds to hide in compared to the Wave.
WINNER: Hario V60.
Coffee Grind Required
Hario V60: With the V60, you want to go medium-to-medium-fine because you want to slow the flow down to improve extraction when you brew. This usually results in a light and flavorful cup of coffee!
Kalita Wave: This dripper, on the other hand, produces a full-bodied coffee in your cup. The semi-immersion design feature makes it a bit of a hybrid pour over coffee maker.
Read more on the grind via our post discussing coffee grind sizes.
Isn’t this the point of discussion for all coffee makers? Pour over is no different.
Hario V60: The Hario V60 works well with light to medium roasts. You taste bright flavors clearly, but you can also bring out nutty and chocolatey notes depending on parameters. It’s usually light-bodied and juicy, like a flavorful tea.
Kalita Wave: This is a fuller cup in terms of body. Expect your coffee to be thicker and more balanced, with a lingering finish. You can use medium-light up to medium-dark roasts for this dripper.
The Final Verdict
For my personal preferences, I choose the V60. However, when it comes to having the best interests of homebrewers in mind, the Kalita Wave wins 5-2.
It helps with consistency, is sturdy, portable, and makes good coffee. All you need is good beans, a good grinder, and you’re all set to brew.
At the end of the day choose the better one for your needs within the points of consideration outlined above and start brewing! As always, have fun!