Recent years have seen the Hario V60 coffee maker explode in popularity worldwide. Which isn’t particularly difficult to understand, given how V60 coffee is renowned for its smoothness, clarity of flavor and fantastic aroma.
Plus, the fact that the V60 enables you to produce an exceptionally tasty cup of coffee in less than 3 minutes is an added bonus.
If this is the first time you’ve come across to the V60, you’ll probably be wondering how it got its name. There’s no complex science behind the V60’s moniker - it’s simply named after its V-shaped design with sides at an angle of 60 degrees. What makes the V60 different from most conventional pour-over devices is its use of interior ridges, which ensure good air flow when the coffee is brewing.
The V60 works like any other pour-over brewing device - a filter paper is placed in the V-shaped top, coffee grounds are added to the filter paper and hot water is gently poured over. The V60 is available in various different sizes, though in all instances works in exactly the same way.
Over the years, the V60 has been manufactured and sold in a wide variety of different types of materials. Examples of which include glass, plastic, ceramic and so on. Some will tell you that the material of the device has a significant impact on the quality and flavor of the final product, but this isn’t actually the case at all.
As it is only the filter paper itself that comes into contact with the coffee, the material of the V60 has no impact on flavor of fragrance. Some favor certain materials over others for reasons such as portability, durability, heat retention and so on. For the most part, it’s more about price - some V60 coffee makers are significantly more expensive than others, due to the materials they are made of.
V60 coffee is just about as simple as it gets, involving little more than a classic coffee filter and the required quantities of water and coffee. Experimentation holds the key to finding the ideal water to coffee ratio for you, but a good starting point is approximately 6-8g coffee per 100g water (1ml water = approx. 1g water).
Hot water should always be poured through the filter paper before you start brewing, in order to remove residue from the surface and avoid a ‘papery’ taste. The water should be poured slowly, evenly and carefully over the grounds, equating to a total brew time of 2 to 3 minutes. Coffee grounds should be medium-fine for the best possible results, though again there’s a fair amount of scope for experimentation.
As with all pour-over brewing methods, boiling water should never be used straight from the kettle. The ideal water temperature when brewing V60 coffee is around 92° C (i.e. 198° F) to 96° C (i.e. 205° F), which can be achieved by leaving boiled water to sit for a minute before pouring.
And of course, the importance of choosing the highest quality coffee beans you can find and grinding them just before you use them goes without saying!
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