When it comes to brewing coffee, there are so many pour-over devices you can use. The leading options in the market being Hario V60 and Kalita Wave. Now, the big question remains, which should you get?
The decision to go for either Hario V60 or Kalita Wave depends on how you prefer your coffee. In this article, I will help you understand the pros and cons of each. By the end of it, you shall be able to choose the one that brews the kind of coffee you love.
Stay with me as we dive deeper into this discussion.
Table of Contents
Hario V60 Versus Kalita Wave: Background
Kalita Wave brewer is a pour-over with its roots in Japan. It is from a family-owned company that specializes in coffee equipment. The brewer is similar to V60 and Chemex, but its extraction method is different.
Unlike other pour-overs that enable water to drip through a single hole, Kalita wave features three small openings on the flat bottom. Your brew passes through the holes to the coffee bed.
Another fascinating thing is that there is little contact between the dripper and the filter. It leads to consistent water dispersion and temperature.
Hario V60 brewer is a brand from the Hario glass manufacturing company that started in 1921. The dripper came into existence in 2004. But it was until around 2010 that’s when it gained popularity in the west.
Back in the day, instant coffee and immersion brewing were the rages. However, Hario V60 designers thought of how they would create a cleaner coffee cup through pour-over. And that’s what inspired them to create a cone-shaped brewer.
Differences Between the Hario V60 and Kalita Wave
Shapes and Sizes
The Hario V60 is cone-shaped with a 60-degree angle. The shape makes the ground coffee and the water concentrate in one area. You may have an impression that the coffee at the top of the brewer would be under-extracted, while the one at the bottom over-extracted due to the shape.
For an ideal extraction basing on the shape, you have to be even and timely when pouring water from the kettle. That way, you will avoid the possibility of bottom grounds over-extracting and producing bitter coffee.
On the other hand, the Kalita Wave boasts a flat bottom with three holes. The holes enable slow water flow because water from your kettle evenly gathers at the brewer’s bottom. That guarantees consistency when brewing.
The Hario V60 has three sizes: two, four, and six cups, while the Kalita Wave presents itself only in two sizes; the small size suitable for a single-serve and the large size that can brew for two.
The pour-over brewers come in various materials with different strengths and weaknesses. Both Hario V60 and Kalita Wave have the following materials:
- Stainless steel
Plastic is less expensive than all others though the quality is lower and may alter the coffee flavors. The most fragile is glass, but it is super elegant. Ceramic and metal are in the middle range when it comes to price and quality. The most known Kalita Wave model is stainless steel.
For excellent results, remember to warm your glass and ceramic brewers with hot water before use. That way, the coffee basket, and coffee grounds will interact well. Pouring your coffee grounds in a cold brewer leads to poor extraction of the coffee oils.
Brewing Consistency For Hario V60 Or Kalita Wave
With this, I would say the flow rates through the various Kalita Wave brewers differ. For example, the ceramic and glass models are faster than the stainless-steel models. However, with the stainless-steel models, the filters easily clog the drain holes.
Kalita Wave’s glass and ceramic models have more protruding rips in their design. However, they do their best to prevent the filters from getting to the bottom.
On the other hand, the Hario V60 shape encourages a pour-over brewing that needs more practice to perfect. You wouldn’t want to underwater your grounds, but again you don’t want to drown them. However, when you master the technique, the coffee product you produce with the brewer is unmatchable.
So now, which one is more consistent between the two? Kalita Wave’s glass and ceramic models take the lead on consistency, but not their stainless-steel versions.
With the Hario V60, you have to be keener with the entire brewing procedure. You will always enjoy a consistent cup of coffee if you do things right.
The filters for the Kalita Wave brewer are wave-shaped, thus the name Kalita Wave. The wave shape filters come in handy in pushing the water and coffee bed far from the dripper’s sides. Besides, they aid the coffee bed’s thermal retention.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to find the Kalita Wave filters. That’s because there are very few companies and brands that produce these filter types.
The filters for Hario V60 are cone-shaped. Currently, there are a lot of brands that manufacture these cone-shaped filters. Though, some of them are of poor quality. In fact, Hario itself produces low-quality filters nowadays.
Sometime back, their filters were excellent and unmatchable, but when they changed their factory, the quality also changed.
Drain Hole For Hario V60 Or Kalita Wave
Hario V60 is cone-shaped with one big drain hole at the bottom. Your entire brew passes through that hole. On the contrary, the Kalita Wave has a flat lower part with three small holes that control the flow rate of your coffee.
I can say, Kalita Wave is above average when it comes to price, which depends on the size and material of the brewer. The dripper’s most popular model is stainless steel. It is the most expensive of all Kalita Wave versions.
The Hario V60 is less expensive to the average in cost. Just like the Kalita Wave, it all depends on the size and material. The cheapest models are plastics, while other versions like glass and olive wood are a bit expensive.
Hario V60 drippers have an aesthetical appearance and are highly versatile. The brewers come in a wide range of materials and sizes, which gives you a varied brewing experience.
With their versatility in brewing, you can customize the kind of coffee you want. That’s through controlling the water flow rate, temperature, and saturation to avoid flavor extraction alteration.
Although, if you are still new to coffee brewing, you may find it challenging to use the Hario V60 due to the versatility in brewing techniques. More practice is needed for you to brew good coffee.
On the other hand, the Kalita Wave brewer is not as versatile as the Hario V60 dripper. However, it is easy to use and requires less learning to master the techniques. If you are a beginner, you can brew using a Kalita wave dripper without experiencing many problems.
With the Hario V60, you pour your hot water at a particular angle that creates and maintains a bloom. That’s why you need to learn and master the skill for you to extract your drink well.
When it comes to the Kalita Wave, you can create a bloom with ease. That’s because of its flat bottom and the lesser contact between the filter and the dripper’s surface.
When using the Hario V60, it takes around 2- 4 minutes. Though it depends on the coffee beans’ roast level, grind size, and cup size.
With the Kalita Wave, it can take you 3-5 minutes to brew your coffee. That’s because of its design involving a bit of immersion.
Hario V60 brewer works with light to medium coffee beans roasts. With that, the brew’s taste is light-bodied, smooth, and juicy.
The coffee beans roast for the Kalita Wave is medium-light to medium-dark. The brew from this dripper is strong-bodied, thicker, and has a balanced flavor.
Hario V60 Versus Kalita Wave: Which Should You Get?
As a brewing enthusiast, you may prefer a pour-over device that gives you the exact taste and experience you need in a coffee. Choosing between Hario V60 and Kalita Wave can be a daunting task. But looking at their pros and cons, you will be able to know which one to get.
If you need to make the most out of your coffee, I recommend you use Hario V60. However, put more attention to temperature, time, and pouring style to yield remarkable flavors. The Kalita Wave is easy to use and manage, but you might not get some of the flavors you need.
Allow me to simplify things for you by saying this:
Buy the Hario V60 brewer if:
- You can learn, practice, and master the pour-over process.
- Your focus is on the coffee flavors after brewing and nothing else.
- You love and enjoy the pour-over process, and you don’t mind making it a daily routine.
- You want a brewer that is highly versatile and aesthetic in appearance.
- You are in love with Hario’s cone shape.
Get the Kalita Wave dripper if:
- You want consistency with every brew you make.
- You want a dripper that is easy to master and use.
- You can easily access the Kalita Wave filters from where you are.
With all said, I believe you are now ready to decide whether to get the Hario V60 or the Kalita Wave. All I can tell you is both brewers are unique and come in various materials and sizes.
Therefore, if you keenly follow the details above, I am pretty sure you will get a dripper that will make your pour-over brewing process more fun and enjoyable. I can already see a top-notch barista in you.