How to Brew Coffee with a Hario V60

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The V60 is my morning go-to brewing method. I am a fan of not only the flavor and brightness that this brewing method produces, but also the fact that it is relatively easy to clean up.

What You Will Need:

  1. V60 #2
  2. V60 Filter (bleached)
  3. Fresh Coffee (32 grams)
  4. Scale
  5. Coffee Grinder
  6. Water Kettle
  7. Gooseneck Water Kettle (optional)
  8. Timer
  9. Spoon/Wooden Stirrer
  10. V60 Range Server/Carafe

Instructions

Step 1: Begin Heating Water and Set Up the V60.  Because you will need to rinse the paper filter, which also heats up the V60 and range server, bring about 1 liter, or 1000 grams, of water to boil. With that said, the perfect water temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees fahrenheit. Yes, 195-205 is under boiling point, but by the time you transfer the water to a gooseneck kettle, if you have one, and rinse the paper filter, the temperature will go down—hopefully no lower that 195.

Now that the water is heating up, set up the V60. The setup will essentially look like the above picture, minus the coffee. Place the range server/carafe on top of your scale, then place the V60 on top of that. Next, take your filter and fold along the crimped edge, so that when you open it up, the crimped edge lays down, allowing a perfectly shaped funnel. Place this paper filter inside the V60.

Step 2: Weigh and Grind Fresh Coffee Beans. For this method, weigh out 32 grams of coffee. The total amount of water being poured over the grounds is going to be 512ml (1ml=1g). This establishes a water-to-coffee ratio of 16:1. If you do not have a scale, use about 4 tablespoons.

Then, grind the beans. In an earlier post about grinding coffee, I specified that the Hario V60 needs a medium grind. While that is essentially true, the parameters for a medium grind vary from person to person. So you are going to have to play around with this and find what works best for you. I would start with a grind that is similar to that of the AeroPress, slightly finer than an auto-drip brewer. Baratza suggests a grind size of 14; I have found that 14 is pretty spot on.

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Step 3: Prepare the Filter, V60, and Range Server for Brewing. 
Now, if you have a hand grinder, you may want to do this step before Step 1. Otherwise, now that you have boiling water, pour the water into a gooseneck kettle, if you have one (some boil directly in a gooseneck kettle). If you do not have a gooseneck kettle, it is okay; but they significantly help with controlling the water flow.

Now, pour the hot water into your V60 in a clockwise fashion, ensuring that the entire paper filter is saturated. This does multiple things: it removes paper flavoring, and it preheats both the range server and the V60. If you want to be super precise, use 60ml of water—that should do the trick.

One of the downsides of transferring water from an electric wide-mouthed kettle to a gooseneck kettle is that you can easily drop the temperature too much. So if you are using one, be cautious, and quick.

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Step 4: Start the Brewing Process. Pour the fresh ground coffee into the V60. Give it a little shake so that the grounds form a flat bed inside the filter. Then, using a small spoon, create a small crater-like hole about 3/4 of an inch deep in the center of the bed of ground coffee (as the picture on the right shows). This allows for more even extraction.

Before pouring the water into the V60 do these three things: (1) using a thermometer, if you have one, check to make sure that the water is somewhere between 195 and 205 degrees fahrenheit; (2) tare the scale so that it reads 0; and (3) make sure that the timer is ready to start as soon as you begin pouring the water.

Now, with the scale reading zero, start the timer and pour 65ml of water into the V60. Begin pouring, slowly, in the middle of the crater-like hole, in a clockwise fashion, and work your way out until you have poured 65ml, ensuring that all the grounds are saturated. If you do not have a scale, pour just enough for complete saturation. Avoid pouring directly on the filter—the water can bypass the coffee, bringing papery flavors with it.

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After pouring 65ml, let the coffee properly bloom for 40 seconds. Not letting the coffee bloom can lead to an under-extracted and/or sour tasting coffee. The bloom also signifies the freshness of the coffee. If the ground coffee does not bubble up, then the coffee is not fresh, and is either older than 2-3 weeks or was pre-ground some time ago.

Step 5: Add the Remaining Water, Stir, and Wait. Now that the coffee has bloomed, and the timer reads 0:40, begin pouring the remaining 447ml of water into the V60. Begin as you did when blooming the coffee: start in the middle and work your way out, making concentric circles in a clockwise manner. The goal is to finish pouring all of the water into the V60 at the same time that the timer reads 2:00. This will take some practice, but you’ll get it. Again, be careful to avoid pouring directly onto the filter, so that water does not bypass the coffee.

Next, using a spoon, or wooden stirrer, give the mixture inside the V60 a little stir. This helps produce a more even extraction, removing some of the coffee grounds that are stuck to the filter wall.

Then, wait for the coffee to drain from the V60 into the range server. This should take about 30 seconds. If it is significantly shorter, then your grind is too coarse, and you will likely have an under-extracted coffee. But if it is significantly longer, then your grind is too fine, and the coffee will likely taste over-extracted.

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Step 6: Remove V60 From Range Server, Pour, and Enjoy. When the V60 has finished draining, and is only dripping from the filter, remove the V60 from the range server and compost, or discard, the spent grounds.

Give it a swirl for an even mixture. And you are now ready to pour the coffee into your cup(s). Make sure to smell the wonderful aromas coming from your freshly brewed coffee, and enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “How to Brew Coffee with a Hario V60

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