Beginner’s Guide to V60 Pour Over
In need of a one-stop V60 Brew Guide? Here it is! All your V60 brewing questions answered, sharpish.
The Hario V60 dripper doesn’t look like a coffee maker. We’d forgive you for thinking it’s a tea cup or the next generation fidget spinner. And that ‘V60’ name – what’s that all about? Sounds technical.
But looks deceive… because the Hario V60 makes rather awesome coffee! And with such EASE. Seriously, it’s unreal.
Just starting out with V60 pour over? Need to know the best V60 brew time and what kind of coffee to use? No problem!
Let us show you the ropes in this… your ultimate V60 Brew Guide!
What is Pour Over Coffee?
The Hario V60 is a pour over device. And what is pour over? It’s a manual way of making filter coffee where you pour hot water over your ground coffee. Gravity is your friend here, as the water trickles through the grounds and into your mug or container below. The coffee sits in a filter, separating the brewed coffee from the grounds.
And that takes us nicely onto your V60 device!
What is a V60?
The V60 coffee dripper is a user-friendly coffee device from Hario. It’s masterfully designed to achieve optimum extraction and easy use (it looks pretty cool, too).
You simply pop it on a container, place your filter and ground coffee in the cone, and pour away. Brew well, and your V60 will treat you to clean-tasting, perfectly light coffee brimming with gorgeous flavour. Scrummy!
Now, that name… where does it come from? Here’s your answer:
- The ‘V’ letter comes from the cone’s V-shaped design
- The ‘60’ comes from the 60° angle of the cone
This device is chock-full with smart features. Take those wave-like ridges: they aid the flow of water and air to keep the extraction steady.
Ultimate V60 Brew Guide: a simple step-by-step
- A V60
- A kettle (a swan neck kettle works best, but a regular kettle will be just fine)
- V60 filters
- A mug
- 20g of freshly ground coffee
- 320ml of water
– V60 Brew Recipe –
If you’re grinding at home, turn your machine to a medium setting and grind to the consistency of granulated sugar.
Boil kettle and leave to cool for 30 seconds. Pour the water into the swan neck kettle, if using.
Place the filter in the V-shaped dripper and pop it on your cup.
Pour in a little hot water to flush away any papery taste and discard the water that comes through. This step also helps to heat up the coffee dripper.
Add 3 heaped tablespoons (20g) of coffee for one-to-two servings.
Pour some of the hot water (around 50ml will be great) over the grounds and allow them to ‘bloom’. If you see your grounds swell and bubble, that’s good – blooming good!
The bloom is created when the hot water comes into contact with the grounds. This releases the excess carbon dioxide in the coffee. This will take about 30 seconds.
Pour over the rest of the water, using a circular motion. This step takes between 2 and 2.5 minutes. Watch your coffee drip drip drip through. It’ll all come through by the time you hit around 3.5 minutes.
Mugs at the ready… it’s time to pour and enjoy!
What Does V60 Coffee Taste Like?
Well, you know, it’s alright…
Jokes! It’s awesome!
If you brew well (use this V60 brew guide, and you will – don’t worry!), your V60 coffee will taste balanced, clean and light. The light mouthfeel comes from the filter papers, which absorb much of the coffee oil and sediment. It also makes filter coffee the healthiest method!
The V60 method foregrounds all the beautiful nuances in a quality coffee. Is there a hint of citrus? Background notes of toffee nut? You’ll taste them all with your V60. It’s just one of the reasons why speciality coffee shops love their pour overs!
The V60 is a modern device, but the idea of pour over coffee has probably been around for centuries.
However, if we’re going to put a date to pour over, it would be 1908. This was the year that Winston Churchill got married, and Henry Ford put his Model T into production. It was also the year that one very clever Melitta Bentz introduced the coffee dripper! Whoop whoop!
As well as inventing a whole new method, Melitta’s new paper coffee filters brought a barely-seen-before coffee clarity. This deliciousness was miles away from the bitter, sediment-y coffee people were drinking at the time.
Multiple companies adapted Melitta’s dandy dripper design, Hario being one of them. This Japanese brand first started producing glassware in the 1920s. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and we find them making household items, too.
Whizz on to 2005, and guess what you’ll find? The release of the V60 coffee dripper! Angular drippers had been popular in Japan since the 1980s, yet in the 00s designers started experimenting with rounded shapes to achieve a cleaner, more tea-like taste.
Hario cracked it in October 2005: the cone-shaped, spiral ribbed V60 that made one awesome cup of coffee!
What is the Best Grind for V60 Pour Over?
Coffee grind size describes how coarsely or finely we grind the whole coffee beans.
Getting the grind size right is super important – it can be the difference between an over-extracted or sour-tasting under-extracted cup. Grind too coarsely, and the water will trickle straight through the gaps and barely extract any coffee flavour. Grind too finely, and the opposite will happen: the water will sit in a puddle over the grounds and take yonks to trickle through (cue over-extraction).
What’s the best grind for a V60? Aim for coffee grinds that feel fairly coarse. If they resemble granulated sugar, you’re on the right track!
Just a Question of Time: V60 Brew Time
The V60 brew time is around 4 minutes. Or 240 seconds. Or 240,000 milliseconds, if that’s how you roll.
We can split the V60 brew time into two main parts:
- The first is the ‘bloom’. This is when you pour over that first 50ml of water to soak the grounds. The bloom takes around 30 seconds.
- After this, you pour over the remaining water (in a circular motion, remember!) over 2/2.5 minutes.
When the timer reaches 3.5/4 minutes, all of your water should have dripped through. And there you have it, your total V60 brew time!
V60 Brew Ratio (how much coffee do I use??)
A brew ratio sounds mathsy, but it just describes the amount of water and the amount of coffee you need in your V60 recipe.
And your V60 brew ratio is… 1:16!
Great. What does this mean?
A brew ratio (or golden ratio) of 1:16 tells us that we need 16 grams of water for every gram of coffee. We use 320 millilitres of water for one-to-two cups of V60 coffee. So, because 320 divided by 16 is 20, we’ll need 20g of coffee. This is about 3 heaped tablespoons.
Treating friends? Aren’t you nice! 45g of coffee and 750 millilitres of water will make three-to-four cups of lovely V60 coffee. This still uses that 1:16 ratio, just in larger quantities.
But brew ratios aren’t set in stone. Others might use V60 brew ratios of 1:15 or 1:18, for instance. Why? Because they like the way their coffee tastes with that much coffee! 1:16 is a starting ratio – adapt to make your tastebuds merry!
V60 Brewing Tips
Here’s the goodie bag at the end (the best bit of any party, obs). Some bonus brew tips to help you get a perfect V60!
Find your flavour
Remember those V60 brew ratios we mentioned? Experiment with a few different coffee amounts to see which takes your fancy.
Try out a few grind sizes, too, if you grind at home. Slightly finer grinds will encourage a bit more extraction and stronger-tasting coffee, while coarser grinds will let the water run through a little faster. The coffee will extract a bit less and taste less bitter. Just don’t go too coarse – you’ll end up with something mouth-puckeringly sour.
Use a light roast coffee
Coffees erring towards the light side of the roasting spectrum are ace in a V60. Lighter roasts are bright and fruity, with dazzling acidity. Pour over brewers are the best at bringing out flavour nuances, making nicely nuance-packed light roasts the best coffee to brew!
Weigh out your coffee
Yes, we did put 3 heaped tablespoons above, but we always recommend weighing the grounds for perfect V60 coffee. This makes sure your coffee is really, really precise and helps you to try different brew ratios. Because you can go from 20g to 22g nice and accurately. 3 heaped tbsp to 3-and-a-tiny bit? Not so accurate.
How to clean a V60
Plastic V60s are easy to clean. Give it a gentle rub-a-dub-dub in hot soapy water, using neutral washing up liquid.
Don’t fancy donning the marigolds? Just put your plastic or ceramic V60 in the dishwasher to give it a good deep clean.
Beginner’s Guide to V60 Pour Over, done. Well, not that you’re a beginner now… you’re a PRO!
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