We visited Cafe Virtuoso in San Diego, California, earlier this year for a midafternoon coffee lesson on the art of the Japanese-style iced pour over.
After our class, we went in search of a manual pour over brewing set to practise our technique with at home. The Hazardous Material station is located at Fire Station 45 in West Mission Valley, California. Hazmat is in charge of identifying, containing, and disposing of hazardous materials. Kelly Getzelman/Coffee or Die Magazine contributed to this image.
After some online research, we settled on the low-cost Hario V60 pour over coffee starter set, which includes everything you need to brew hot and cold beverages. The set comes with a V60 plastic coffee dripper, a coffee server, a handy plastic coffee scoop and 40 V60 paper filters.
The V60 dripper has raised grooves that spiral down the inside of the cone. The grooves’ purpose is to keep the ground bed away from the walls, allowing for airflow along the sides. This improves water flow along the edges, resulting in a faster drawdown and more balanced extraction.
We tested the device’s ability to brew both hot and cold coffee drinks. We were initially concerned about the dripper’s ability to regulate heat because it is made of plastic rather than ceramic. However, with a minor adjustment to our water temperature, the plastic dripper consistently produced clear flavours and aromas from each specialty coffee we sampled. Everything you need for a professional pour over cup of coffee at home or at work is included in the Hario V60 coffee starter set. Kelly Getzelman/Coffee or Die Magazine contributed to this image.
For this brew session, we used Black Rifle Coffee Company’s Five Alarm roast. This medium-bodied, full-bodied roast has smoky aromas and flavours of dark chocolate, molasses, and cherry. The newly designed bag also honours wildland firefighters.
Our Hario V60 Pour Over Set Recipe
We began with a coffee-to-water ratio of 1 to 15. We arrived at a ratio of 25 grammes of coffee to 375 grammes of water.
- Bring 500 grammes of water to a low boil (about 209 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Weigh out 25 grammes of freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them on a medium setting in a coffee grinder.
- Place your Hario V60 on top of the vessel and weigh it all.
- Insert a paper filter and rinse it under hot running water. Remove the vessel’s water.
- Fill the V60 cone with 25 grammes of ground coffee. Remove the scale from the equation.
- Begin by pouring 75 grammes of water directly onto the ground coffee and starting the timer.
- Pause for 30 seconds to allow the coffee to bloom.
- Pour the remaining water in circular motions until the total of 375 grammes is reached. The entire brewing process should take approximately two and a half to three minutes.
- Take the V60 dripper out of the coffee server.
- Pour it into your favourite coffee mug and drink it up.
The downtown and surrounding areas of San Diego, California are served by Fire Station 1, also known as “The Big House.”
We like this single-serve V60 brew method because it’s simple to make micro-adjustments to find your ideal grind size for proper extraction. The only difference we made by using the plastic V60 dripper instead of the ceramic was that we increased the temperature of our hot water by a few degrees.
We also ditched the supplied coffee server after one brew cycle and placed the V60 directly onto our favourite coffee mug during the brewing process. The 375 g of water was sufficient for a full cup of coffee. Of course, if we were going to make several cups of coffee at once, the coffee server would be a useful addition.
The Hario V60, as a single-serve option, is quickly becoming one of our favourite specialty coffee brewing methods.