The Hario v60 – Getting Started with Pour Over Coffee

I love drinking really high quality coffee.  Seriously.  This morning I brewed up some Burundi Ngozi (a single origin – my favorite), a dark roast, and very freshly roasted, I might add.  After a few renditions (tasting better and better each and every time) I have to say, this may become one of my absolute favorite single origin coffees that I’ve tried.   Guess what I used to brew it in?  My Hario v60 dripper – an extremely rudimentary device for brewing coffee, and yet one of the best and my personal favorite.  I’ve been using it for about six months now, and I’m getting better at producing well extracted coffee all the time.  Based on my personal experience this is everything you need to know to make phenomenal coffee with a pour over apparatus.

  • When you set the filter inside the v60 cone you want to get it wet.  From my experience there is no such thing as ‘too wet’, take it to the sink and run water over the filter and then dump the water out.  This way the filter sticks nicely to the sides of the cone, which will make brewing coffee much easier.
  • 24 grams of coffee (whole bean) makes one epic cup of coffee.  You can switch this around based on your own pallate, but I like 24 grams and bare in mind that no matter how strong you brew coffee using a pour over apparatus it won’t turn out bitter, so you can afford to brew a very ‘hearty’ cup of coffee with a lot of flavor and without any negative repercussions.
  • Heat the water but don’t let it boil.  200 degrees Fahrenheit is the sweet spot, which I have learned is basically the temperature the water is at when steam is coming out of the neck but it hasn’t started screaming yet.  I don’t like having to use a thermometer every time I brew coffee, which is why I paid close attention to the behavior of my tea pot so I could learn how to heat water effectively without checking the temperature every time.  Just let steam start flowing out, make your coffee and it should taste amazing.
  • Before you fully pour the water, just drip a few ounces of water over the coffee.  If you do it right it will ‘bloom’, meaning that the coffee grounds will rise up in the cone.  This helps to heat all of the coffee grounds, which will allow for a better, more thorough extraction.
  • Once the bloom is pretty much over, pour the rest of the coffee in a circular manner, aiming to get all of the grounds equally saturated.  As you can imagine, this takes a little practice but you’ll get better at it with time.  Honestly, even the first few times I used my Hario I thought the coffee tasted excellent so you will most likely be amazed at how tasty it is.

The method is simple, inexpensive, and as you can probably tell by my instructions – it’s pretty hard to screw up!  Try it out some time.

My name is Peter.  I blog at www.vvlgar.com about my experiences, methods, and the tools that I use to make really good coffee at home without spending a lot of money or needing a Ph.D.