Maybe it’s the exacting nature that brewing coffee requires, but for whatever reason the coffee industry seems to attract sciencey-types. There is a fair chance that your favourite barista is really just a coffee-science-geek wrapped up in a flannel shirt and a sleeve tattoo instead of a lab coat. What does this have to do with the Hario V60 I hear you ask? Good question – clearly you drink good coffee and are a smart person.
The Japanese company, Hario, is another coffee company with its roots in science. Back in the early 1900’s they started out manufacturing glass products for use in the science industry, and by the middle of the century they had branched out into making glass coffee brewing equipment. Although one of the most popular brewing methods today, the Hario V60 was a relative late bloomer for Hario [coffee pun], first released in 2005. It’s now available in a number of different materials, including glass, plastic, ceramic, and even copper. Hario claim that the V60’s success at making delicious coffee is due to its shape, particularly the ribbed design. It gets its name from the 60 degree angle of the cone. Anyway, enough history lesson! How do you use the thing?! Another good question…
Bring your kettle to the boil, you are aiming for somewhere around 90 -97C. If you aren’t able to measure temperature, let the kettle sit for 30-40 seconds after boiling.
While the water is boiling, grind your coffee to a medium-fine grind [see A Note About Grind for additional information on grind]. Aim for a ratio of coffee to water of somewhere around 1:15-17g. In other words, about 15-17g of coffee per 250ml cup of water.
Fold a filter paper along the seam, and place it in the V60 cone. Rinse the cone and filter thoroughly with your hot water. This will prevent the coffee from taking on a paper taste during brewing.
Also heat your vessel (whatever you are going to drip your coffee in to) with hot water. Throw this water out before you start the brew process.
Place your V60 cone with an inserted filter on top of your vessel.
Pour the ground coffee into the filter.
Start the pour. Initially pour just enough water to thoroughly saturate the ground coffee (about 30-40g of water). You should see the coffee bloom.
After a 30 second wait, resume the pour. Pour slowly and steadily, and in a circular motion.
Pour the water in stages, keeping the water level just above the coffee grounds. Focus the pour on the centre of the V60, but work out towards the edges, moving inward and outward as your continue the circular motion.
Stop pouring once you reach your desired brew weight.
How long the pour takes will vary depending on the grind and how quickly you poured the water, but the total time should not exceed three minutes.
Dispose of the coffee grounds and filter into your bin or compost, and give the V60 a rinse with fresh water.
Enjoy your expertly created coffee!
As with any coffee brewing method, generally speaking the longer the water is in contact with the coffee, the more full-bodied your coffee will be. Don’t forget to be a nerd: experiment with water temperature, grind, brew time, coffee weight and ratio to water to discover the taste differences and what you like.
Check out the below video from the team at Proud Mary of Melbourne for a good example....