Brewing with a V60
The best V60 coffee is achieved through a ground coffee to hot water ratio of 1:14. The temperature of the water should be between 195.8 and 204.8 degrees Fahrenheit, while coarse to fine ground coffee offers the best extraction results. If you are going for a faster hot water pouring rate, a fine grind is better.
This is because the fine grind has a larger surface area, allowing for faster and more thorough extraction. On the other hand, a coarse grind is better for slower water pouring rate. Similarly, light or medium-roasted coffee offers the best potential to unlock beautiful flavors when brewed using the V60 dripper.
Note: Dark roasts are not the best coffee type for V60 brewing. Dark roasts work perfectly well for espresso due to the quick 30-second extraction rate of an espresso machine. However, the longer extraction rate on a V60 brewer creates a bitter-tasting cup of coffee.
Here’s a recipe to follow for your first true cup of V60 when you purchase your own brewer;
- Brew scorching hot water using the V60 kettle.
- Meanwhile, fold the paper filter into quarters, leaving the zippered part exposed.
- Place the folded filter wide into the dripper to act as a filtering funnel.
- Transfer the dripper onto the server to prepare a collection area.
- Once boiled, pour over a small amount of hot water onto the dripper on top of the paper filter. The purpose of this first water pour is to clean out any odor from the equipment. So, if water drips into the server, simply discard it.
- Add the desired ground coffee into the dripper (freshly ground is best) and gently shake the dripper to settle the coffee down through the funnel.
- Return the dripper to the server. The next step is the actual brewing process as water is added to the coffee. Now, the precision of this step is highly crucial in achieving the best results. As mentioned above, the coffee to hot water ratio should be 1:14. But, don't pour the water all at once as this will affect proper extraction. Instead, you want to divide the pouring into 3 parts (the amount of water you pour should equate to four times the amount of coffee in the dripper). Further, no matter the amount of coffee you brew, the brew time should remain at 3 minutes.
- After returning the dripper to the server, pour twice as much hot water into the coffee gradually until it is fully soaked. Let it sit for 30 seconds.
- Pour four times as much water as coffee onto the drip and let it sit for another 30 seconds.
- Repeat steps 8 and 9.
- Let the coffee continue to extract and brew for 3 minutes. By then, the coffee would've dripped into the server and should be ready for drinking.
Importance of The Pour-Over Technique
The V60 brewing method enjoys the benefits of the pour-over brewing technique. In fact, as a pour-over method, V60 works incredibly well with single-origin coffee. This is because the intricate extraction process extracts the authentic and original flavors and aromas of the coffee.
So, if you want to truly experience the flavors of a particular coffee destination, the pour-over technique is best. But, what makes V60 stand out among other pour-over techniques is its special V-shape design that lets you curate the flavors you want.
As pointed out earlier, V60 affords you the versatility to control the water pouring rate and even experiment with fine to medium coffee grounds for optimal flavor tailoring. A fast water pour with fine ground coffee gives you the smoothest flavors while a slower rate with medium or coarse grinds gives you smoother flavors.
Techniques For Achieving Consistency and Experimentation
The number one tip for achieving consistency when experimenting with the V60 brewer is sticking to the original equipment. Items, such as the brewer and paper filter may seem insignificant. But, adopting Hario tools that pay attention to details, like the pouring spout and the paper filter texture go a long way to ensuring quality and consistency.
Further, like any other coffee brewing method, you also want to pay attention to other key factors. For instance, ignoring the brew time, sample size, roast level, and even proper grinding can very easily lead to over or under-extraction. This, in turn, leads to unbalanced coffee flavors, with increased bitterness or weak brew. So, while you pay attention to the actual brewing steps, failure to stick to quality control will not yield you the coffee you have in mind.
How to Adapt The Brewing Variables to Explore Different Flavor Profiles
The key to achieving the flavors you want from the V60 brewer is learning how to navigate its design and equipment. You want to take advantage of the dripper shape and its working mechanisms. The most common brewing variables to adapt for flavor exploring include the type of coffee, grind level, and hot water pouring speed.
The type of coffee you choose is a no-brainer – this variable lets you experience the authentic and full flavors of the coffee you want. On the other hand, the ground level and water pouring speed affect the textures, body, acidity, and to a certain level, the flavors and aromas.
Exploring V60 Filters
As insignificant as a coffee brewer filter may be, it plays a huge role in the overall brewing process. Without the V60 filter, you really don’t have any form of extraction. A filter doesn’t just ensure clean and residue-free coffee. It also facilitates the extraction process.
The ultra tiny permeable membranes of the V60 filter allow for full coffee flavor extraction while leaving out unwanted oils and solids. Coffee filters work effectively enough to pick up the best parts of the coffee, i.e. flavors and aroma without including components that would make the coffee unsavory.
Types of V60 Filters
Using a V60 brew, however, you can choose a metal or paper filter.
Paper filters tend to be disposable with thinner membranes that separate grounds and oils. As a result, you get incredibly flavored, clean, and full-bodied coffee. Due to their disposable nature, the downside to paper filters is their higher cost over time – since you have to buy them over and over again. But, their effective filtration gives you cleaner, lighter, sweeter, and fruitier coffee.
Unlike paper filters, metal filters are reusable but require thorough cleaning after each application to maintain hygiene and functionality. While metal filters also keep grounds out of your coffee, they yield a slightly different coffee profile. Using a metal filter yields coffee with a much richer flavor with more palate textures.
Further, metal filters aren't as fine as paper filters. This means that they will let some of the oils and micro-fines through, explaining the richer flavors and texture. The richer flavor and texture are inviting for many coffee drinkers.
But, since coffee extracted through mesh filters contains a good amount of oils, it is normally at risk of oxidation. This means that the flavors change over time as the coffee oxidizes. You will also notice dark sediments at the bottom of your cup created by the micro fines. This may not necessarily be a sight to behold for many drinkers.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Filters
After deciding which filter type to get, there is a way to ensure you find the best. Before you pay for just about any filter, examine the features to choose the perfect one.
Paper Filter Characteristics
- Bleached vs. unbleached: Bleached paper filters are whitened while unbleached aren’t. Unbleached paper filters retain their natural brown shade. In addition to the cleaner appearance, bleached paper filters let you enjoy the coffee without the slightest papery taste. On the other hand, unbleached paper filters offer a more eco-conscious solution since they don’t have any chemical additions.
- Oxygen-bleached options: while they tend to be more costly, oxygen-bleached filters offer the whitest of shades. While the white shade doesn’t offer any more advantage over other bleached options, some coffee drinkers simply prefer a white shade as it alludes to cleanliness and better hygiene. It is also a better option than regular bleaching, such as chlorine bleaching as it is more environmentally friendly.
- Environmental considerations: compared to metal filters, paper filters don’t score any points when it comes to environmental considerations. But, if you prefer paper filters due to their coffee flavor and appearance influence, you can go for better options. You can find a variety of paper filter brands with a more eco-friendly approach.
Metal Filter Considerations
- Filter size: Metal filters come in different mesh sizes based on the flavors, textures, and potential sediment in the cup. Finer mesh filters offer better residue and oil entrapment, reducing sediment at the bottom of your cup.
- Material: Stainless steel metal filters offer incredible quality. In addition to their longevity, they offer a rust and corrosion-free build so you never worry about the leaching of your coffee. Titanium is another excellent material, thanks to its corrosion-free and biocompatible characteristics. But, you should expect to pay more for titanium due to its higher quality and lighter weight.
Best Practices for V60 Brewing and Filter Usage
Like any other brewing method, proper preparations go a long way to ensuring the best brewing results. With the V60, prep, and cleaning are essential parts of the brewing process.
Preparing the V60 filter
As part of the brewing process, you have to rinse the filter, dripper, and server using hot water. This helps to remove any residual odor or particles before the actual brewing process. In turn, you are guaranteed 100% authentic coffee flavors, without any unpleasant undertones.
Rinsing with hot water offers better efficiency in cleaning while the warmth left behind prepares the equipment for the impending brewing. The apparatus is already warm, already kick-starting the right coffee extraction environment.
Brewing Techniques For Optimal Results
The grind size and pouring techniques for V60 aren’t just randomly chosen for recommendation. Each choice is carefully picked for the results it offers. In this case, you get the best extraction results from the grind size and pouring technique.
Light to medium roasted and fine to medium coarse ground coffee is the best for V60 brewing. This is because coffee in this state is best suited for the slow extraction process. Similarly, fine-tune the ground level from fine to medium coarse based on the hot water pouring technique, ranging from fast to slow, respectively.
Cleaning and maintenance of V60 filters
The rinsing step during V60 brewing doesn't negate the actual cleaning of the appliance once done. To prolong longevity and ensure the best and clean flavors, you have to thoroughly wash your equipment, including the dripper and server.
If you use a metal filter, you want to wash it as well. Use a soft-bristled brush and mild detergent to effectively remove residues and oil from the filter and equipment without scratching or damaging them.
Ultimately, V60 coffee brewing is the best method for coffee drinkers wanting to experiment with flavors and aroma, no matter your preferences. Further, while it works with any coffee type, V60 coffee brewing is best enjoyed with single-origin coffee.
This is because it truly allows you to discover the flavors and characteristics of these origin coffees. Nevertheless, before you dust out your new V60 and whip up a brew, remember that this method works best with;