If you’ve read even just a few of our posts, you’ve probably caught on to our coffee obsession (see: our Intentional Guide to the Aeropress). Brewing coffee in the morning is a ritual of sorts for both of us. Each brewing method has a purpose. I view the Aeropress as the everyday treat – the perfect way to start a weekday morning as well as the practical, workhorse tool with which to travel in order to ensure that we’re enjoying a quality cup away from home. The V60 pour over, on the other hand, is ideal for a slow-paced weekend morning. Its artful design and ability to produce an incredibly smooth cup of coffee is unparalleled.
The V60 is named as such due to the 60 degree angle of its cone shape. It was designed by Hario, a Japanese glass company founded in the 1920s. Originally, the company produced chemical glassware using 100% natural minerals. Hario perfected their products to become heatproof and environmentally friendly, and in the 1950s they launched their first coffee product – the syphon. The V60 didn’t come until much later, but is now their most popular item, and for good reason.
I find that using the V60 is meditative. The process requires concentration (not one of my strong suits) [MC: Confirmed] and finesse, if you really want to get into the pouring. Using the V60 provides a connection between you and the coffee, so you can appreciate just how much work goes into making one cup of coffee.
Think about the coffee chain with me for a brief moment (the supply chain, not the store chain). When you stroll into your average coffee shop or even the artisan cafe down the street, you order your coffee off of a large, sometimes overwhelming menu board from your (hopefully) friendly till attendant / barista. Approximately 60 seconds later, you’re handed a piping hot latte, and you go about your merry day. For that cup of coffee to have made it to your hands, many steps had to take place.
A seed was planted in the ground at the right altitude and in the right conditions to grow a coffee plant. Some three or four years later, the plant has grown large enough to bear fruit – coffee cherries. A farmer deliberates over the right time to pick the cherries off of that coffee plant, and then the fruit is harvested (by hand or by machine). The fruit is then processed (wet process or the dry process, effectively to remove the fruit and skin from the bean), which can take up to four weeks. The processed fruit is milled, cleaned, and sorted, in many cases by hand, before it is evaluated by a coffee grader. Sometimes the head roaster or coffee taster of a small company will visit each farm they are individually buying their green beans from, but in most cases, a coffee exporter will visit a cooperative of farms and select large batches of beans which are then sold on to smaller roasters. The selected green beans are transported to a roaster, where a whole new science is applied to the beans to achieve the perfect quality and taste of roasted coffee. FINALLY, the roasted coffee is sold to the coffee chain or local cafe where you’ve just purchased your coffee, where a barista has developed his or her own perfect ratio of ground coffee to water (or, at some chains, simply pushed a button) to produce that perfect latte for you. And you drank it in about two minutes, and maybe even threw some of it out because it got too cold. Phew. Sorry. I know I promised it would be a brief explanation, but the coffee chain is long, laborious, expensive, and deserving of more appreciation than it gets.
I took you through this detour to eventually get to my point – that I never thought about this until I worked in a cafe. I used to be that person that left my takeaway coffee mugs half full and thought of my coffee as just another source of morning fuel. But really, so many people and so much resource and so much effort are required to make that cup of coffee for you. So using the V60 at home allows you to think about those beans and where they came from while you slowly pour your hot water over the coffee grounds. And you’re making yourself a small but key part of the overall process when you make your own cup of coffee at home vs. buying it in a rush over a counter.
(And while I did suggest earlier that the Aeropress is more suited for traveling, I’ll note that we’re going to take a plastic V60 with us on our upcoming trip to the Isle of Skye to see how we like our wild coffee, pour-over style (and with fewer pieces required). We’ll keep you posted on our thoughts!)
- 20g fresh coffee (buy a scale, already!)
- 300g or ml filtered water
The V60 is versatile and perfect for experimentation. Be sure to ask your barista if they have beans roasted ideally for pour-over brewing (which will be different vs. Aeropress, filter, or espresso). I use this specific ratio for the Ethiopian beans that we buy most frequently from Monmouth Coffee. I chatted with one of their baristas and asked her what ratio she used at home – this was her suggested recipe and I’ve stuck with it since!
- Glass range server (optional – you can just place the V60 directly on top of your coffee cup)
- Pouring kettle (optional, but highly recommended because it helps to pour the circular motion that is recommended for the v60, and also because it looks super cool)
- V60 paper filter
- Scale (invest in one! but if you haven’t yet, 20g of coffee is just under two scoops)
- Measuring cup for the water if you don’t have a scale (but you do because you’re intentional about your coffee)
- Coffee grinder (because I KNOW you’re not buying ground coffee…right?!?)
- Timer (not necessary but recommended)
- Coffee cup
- Weigh out 20 grams of beans and grind fresh. Seriously, it makes a world of a difference to grind the coffee beans immediately before brewing.
- Heat filtered water to approximately 90-95C (just under boiling). We bring the water to a boil in our kettle or on the stove top and then let the water cool for about a minute while we grind the coffee.
- Place the V60 on top of your glass server or coffee mug. Fold the edge of your filter paper.
- Place the filter paper in the V60. Rinse the filter paper with hot water by pouring around all the way around – this step not only ensures that you’re rinsing the paper of any flavors, but you’re also warming up the V60 by running the hot water through it, which assists in a smooth brewing process.
- Dump out the rinse water from the server or mug.
- Place the V60 back on top of your glass server or coffee mug. Add your freshly ground coffee to the center of the rinsed filter paper.
- At this point, I place the V60 and coffee mug on top of my scale and zero the scale out. I prefer to pour the water using my kettle with a spout, and measure the water in weight vs. pouring from a measuring cup.
- Start your timer, and slowly begin your first pour. Pour the water in a circular motion, starting from the outer rim and moving steadily inwards, attempting to wet all the grounds. Perform this initial pour, of the first 50g water, over 30 seconds. This is when the “bloom” happens – if your coffee is fresh, it will bubble up and release CO2 as the hot water hits the coffee grounds.
- Allow the first 50g water to filter through for up to a minute, and then begin your steady second pour. Pour the remaining 250g water steadily over 2.5 to 3 minutes.
- Remove your V60 from the server or mug, compost the coffee grounds, and enjoy your fresh cup of pour-over coffee!