This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
I am not a morning person. I arise grudgingly, always wishing I had 10 more minutes in bed, no matter when I wake up. So, it’s no surprise that coffee is a part of my morning ritual. I don’t require or drink a lot of coffee. Most days a single cup will do. But I do require that single cup to be an excellent one. This means, not automated drip coffee. Not pod coffee. And no drive-through coffee. I make a single mug of pour-over coffee. And the one pour-over device that I use the most, out of the numerous pour-over devices I own, is my Hario v60.
Hario V60 Glass Coffee Dripper
Produces a nuanced, complex coffee
Very stylish design
Can brew directly into your mug
Pour-over coffee requires patience
The Hario v60 is a simple cone shape device that belies the complex coffee that it produces. The 60-degree angle of the cone—which is where the v60 name comes from—has ridges on the inside. The conical coffee filter placed in the v60 sits and breathes slightly, due to these ridges, allowing the brewed coffee to drip cleanly down in one single stream into the mug or carafe below. Since you manually have to pour the water into the ground coffee, you have complete control over where the water flows, making sure all the grounds get covered, extracting every drop of flavor that you can from the beans. The 60-degree cone shape makes the water and coffee drain through a single hole at the bottom, a bottleneck for the liquid, funneling the fluid into a single stream that has more contact time with the beans, for a more nuanced and complex coffee brew.
Beyond the beautiful coffee that it produces, the design of the Hario v60, especially the glass and wood version, looks and feels beautiful in your hand and on your kitchen counter. It’s the pour-over device that is frequently found in independent coffee shops across the country, and the one that is consistently used by coffee nerds and hipsters all over the world. It does come in a number of variations, from ceramic to copper metal to plastic. But the glass and wood one is my favorite, with its sleek thick glass cone and heatproof silicone base that fits snuggly into the smooth polished wood. I love reaching for it each morning.
Beyond the beautiful coffee that it produces, the design of the Hario v60, especially the glass and wood version, looks and feels beautiful in your hand and on your kitchen counter.
Though pour-over coffee has a reputation for being difficult to make at home, as long as you are willing to spend about 10 minutes in the morning, the resulting coffee is better than anything an automated coffee machine will give you. My morning ritual starts heating up water to 200 degrees in my gooseneck kettle, then grinding my beans in my Baratza Encore coffee grinder. Once the water is heated, I place the filter in the v60 and pour some hot water over the paper filter, rinsing it to remove any paper or cardboard flavors. I dump the hot water, then place the coffee grinds in the wet filter. I pour enough water on the grounds, spiraling from the center to the outside edge, to wet the coffee and let it bloom, releasing any trapped carbon dioxide gas from the beans. I let the coffee filter down in the carafe then repeat the process, pouring in a spiral from center to edge, draining and pouring more water, until I’ve used the appropriate amount for the grounds.
Once the coffee is brewed, I heat up my mug with leftover hot water, empty it out, and pour the coffee into the warm mug. I sit on my couch, catching up on email and news, while I enjoy my pour over. The day has started and though I probably would be happier still in bed, my coffee making ritual, with my v60, has kick started the day and I’m ready to tackle whatever lies ahead.
Dimensions: 4.95 x 4.9 x 4.2 inches | Filters: No | Dishwasher-Safe: No
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Irvin Lin is a writer, recipe developer and photographer based in San Francisco. He’s a former designer and art director that appreciate not only the form but function of a well-designed piece of equipment. His cookbook “Marbled, Swirled and Layered” was picked as one of the best baking cookbooks of 2016 by the New York Times. He writes the nationally recognized blog Eat the Love and his work has been featured in the Washington Post; O, The Oprah Magazine; Serious Eats; Simply Recipes; and more.