Last week my coffee brewing collection took on another member, in the form of the Hario V60 pour over filter cone. The kind folks at Toby’s Estate in Brisbane supplied the plastic 2 cup version (includes scoop) and a packet of filters (all up $AUD 20.00) to get me up and running with this brewing method.
Why the V60?
Why the V60 over other forms I am still yet to try? Probably because of the many methods I have sampled at various outlets with ‘brew bar’ type offerings, the V60 has always been a favourite of mine. Though the origin or blend you choose to consume will obviously have a major bearing on the outcome, I have always found the resulting cup to be as clean as they come, and the aromas incredible, particularly from some of the Ethiopian and Kenyan blends routinely on offer at Toby’s. In addition, I intend to cover all bases with my brewing arsenal, by eventually purchasing a larger Chemex to use when I am brewing for a larger crowd than myself alone.
I chose the 2 cup version as it provides for some flexibility in exactly how much I brew, noting the box indicates it is suitable for 1–4 cups. For myself I typically make a 10oz cup (266ml), noting the conversions below.
8oz = 236ml
10oz = 266ml
12oz = 355ml
16oz = 473ml
24oz = 710ml
A brewing guide from Terroir Coffee suggests the capacity for the 2 cup cone tops out at around the 24oz mark, however I have not tried this volume myself.
Coffee to water ratio
A quick Internet search will reveal numerous coffee to water ratios for this type of brewing, for example:
- Terroir Coffee – 24g coffee to 390g (13.7oz; 405ml) water for a 12oz cup
- Barismo – 27–32g coffee to 360ml (12oz) water for 12oz cup
- Coffee Geek – 18g coffee to 270ml (9.1oz)water for 8oz cup
- Matt Perger – 12g coffee to 200g water
- Sweet Maria’s – 8g coffee to 5oz (147ml) water ratio
- Ritual Coffee Roasters – 25g coffee to 380g water
Clearly there are numerous ratios and methods, including brewing on a scale and using the water weight method, or measuring by fluid oz or ml. Which to use? It really doesn’t matter, as I believe whatever method is most convenient and relevant to you is the way to go. I started with the video by Matt Perger (link above), as I was also looking at techniques of pouring at the time. Therefore I have been using the 12g coffee to 200g water ratio, brewed on a scale. Interestingly, there are a couple of pouring tips I have come across that are not necessarily the same as the video I originally viewed, and I will certainly be experimenting further.
My advice is to simply pick a ratio somewhere in the above ranges and get started. You can (and should) always modify things to suit your own requirements.
Looking at both the instructions that come with the V60, and reading further on the subject, there are a few common elements required for a successful pour (based on V60 2 cup; 24g coffee : 380g water):
- Water off the boil, fine to medium grind
- Rinse through filter paper before adding coffee (removes any paper taste)
- Add freshly ground coffee to filter and settle
- Make an initial small pour to pre-infuse and allow bloom (if on scale, this is approximately 50g if water)
- Sit for 30–45 seconds
- Add approximately half the remaining water (170g or so)
- Important – When pouring the water, the following technique should be used:
- Begin pour in centre of coffee bed
- Pour in concentric circles, slowly moving outwards
- Do not make contact with the actual filter paper at the edges of the cone
- As the water level drops in the cone, slowly add the remaining water, ensuring the level goes no higher than the original 170g pour level
The reason to avoid the sides of the filter is to ensure no water passes down the side, missing the grounds and therefore any possibility of extracting flavour. The pouring technique is best seen in a video rather than relying on a written description. I found those by Matt Perger and The Roasterie quite helpful for pouring technique.
As you will see in these videos, a small spout is generally better to achieve an accurate pour, something standard electric kettles generally do not have. I have been using a teapot which has been very effective for this. Then again, there is always Fathers Day coming soon!
This has been a great purchase for very minimal outlay. I was a little uncertain as to whether to purchase the ceramic or plastic version of the V60, however a quick chat with the staff at Toby’s Estate convinced me equivalent results could be achieved with either, and although some purists may disagree, I decided not to pay four times the amount for the ceramic version.
The resulting brew? As I mentioned earlier, as clean as you will taste anywhere, with the aroma and subtle flavours of the coffee at the forefront of taste. I am looking forward to honing my pouring technique and experimenting with a variety of origins in the weeks to come.
Definitely a highly recommended form of brewing, which takes a little practice, however honing and developing different techniques is the aim of this journey after all.Follow @petedenison
- Pour Mason Kickstarter Project (dept4.net)
- The Serious Eats Guide to Pourover Coffee (drinks.seriouseats.com)
- How To Make Perfect Coffee (theatlantic.com)