One of the best ways to really get to know a coffee is to manually brew a single cup by itself. Pour overs are a great way to do this. We have always offered manual brew options, with the pour over made in a Hario V60 being the main method. Recently, we switched to serving the Kalita Wave as our primary manual brew option in all three of our shops. While we still like the clarity of a cup of coffee that the V60 brews, we have fallen in love with the thick body the Wave produces.
The Hario V60 gives you a nice clean cup of coffee. When brewed properly, you get the delicate flavor profile that has made the single cup pour over a popular brew method throughout the coffee world. With the cone shaped filter and larger filter hole, this brew method takes a lot of practice and expertise to master. The technique that takes the most skill to perfect is the continuous pour required for a great V60 brew. This requires a balanced slow pour while ensuring the desired amount of water makes it into the cone dripper in the allotted amount of time so that the desired brew ratio is achieved. Fines (the smallest coffee grounds) can become trapped in the tip of the cone shaped filter, causing the drain-down to slow and possibly yielding an over extracted brew. With a high quality grinder to help limit the amount of fines and a steady pouring hand, the V60 brew can result in a beautifully delicate cup.
The Kalita Wave delivers a more full-bodied coffee alongside that delicate flavor profile that we all love so much. Its flat bottom brew bed and multiple brew holes create space for the fines to spread out and help produce a more even extraction. We find greater temperature stability with the Wave due to the decreased contact of the paper filter with the metal dripper. This creates a bit of air insulation helping to stop the brewing device from pulling as much heat from the brew as other methods can.
When brewing with the Wave, you have the option of using the continuous pour method or what is called the pulse brew method. We pulse brew by pouring 20-30 grams at a time in 10 second intervals throughout the brew time. While it takes some getting used to, the pulse brew method gives you more control over what you are doing and allows you to be more delicate while still getting a nice heavy bodied cup. It also creates a greater consistency from cup to cup that is easily duplicated. These factors make it so the Wave gives us a very consistent cup from barista to barista across all of our locations.
We chose to switch to the Kalita Wave to ensure more consistency across all three of our shops giving each cup a well-rounded body alongside the delicate flavors that is inherent in each of our individual coffees.