V for V60
You know of it, but do you really know why it’s called a V60? And where is it from?
When we talk about brewing coffee, we have come to understand that not all brewing methods are the same as mentioned in our previous blog. However, when it comes to the Percolate brew method, there is no other than the single most well known brew tool out there and that is none other than the V60 brew method and tool made popular by the brand from Japan, Hario.
But what is it that makes this brew tool such a popular item for most if not all homebrewers out there, let’s talk about it shall we!
What is a V60?
What is a V60? Why is it called a V60? The answer to that is surprisingly simple, V is pretty much the shape of the brewer that is made and 60 is pretty much the angle the coffee drips through the apparatus. Here are some of the main components of the brewer you will definitely notice upon handling it;
The cone shape (60º angle): this allows the water to flow to the center, prolonging the contact time.
A large single hole: this enables the brewer to control the flavours of a coffee by manipulating the speed of the flow rate of the water poured.
Spiral ribs: these can be seen rises all the way to the top and allow the air or carbon dioxide within the coffee to escape, hence maximising the expansion of the coffee grounds during the blooming stage.
From these three simple main concepts of a V60 brewer. Why is it still a very elusive brew tool to many? This is because the apparatus in itself has an array of factors to take note of when one brews with it! Such factors include, the shape, material used to make the brew apparatus, filter papers, water temperature and pouring techniques to name a few.
In most cafes which offer manual drip coffee, or hand brewed coffee to some; you will see that the plastic version can be found all around. This is no surprise as it is one of the cheapest iterations in the industry. But besides the cost effectiveness of the brew apparatus. What other benefits are there to it? For one, it will not post a risk in it burning your fingers when hot water is poured in to brew, as well is there minimal to no risk of cutting your hands due to its relatively high shatter rate.
Besides the use of a plastic version of this brew tool, there are also the other formats such as the metal, glass and ceramic V60’s with each having various differences among the list mentioned above.
Choosing which one is very subjective as all of these V60’s are made the same except the fact that the price point will vary slightly or significantly depending on which one you prefer. From a cost friendly to a more pricey scale, you can find the plastic being the cheapest version, followed by the glass, ceramic and then metal iteration.
Brewing !When brewing a cup of coffee with a V60, there would be a few items one would need, these few items would be
- V60 (of choice)
- Server / Mug
- Filter paper
Like many other manual brew tools, you can see that there is a common list of things which are needed for all, but that is onto another article. One factor to which you may be able to control and manipulate is the brew temperature, a general rule of thumb would be that the lower the temperature, the more delicate flavours will be extracted from your cup of coffee, however the higher the temperature the coffee will then go through a higher rate of agitation as the hot water will force a bigger reaction within the grounded coffee to release more carbon dioxide gases. What do we mean by a lower temperature though? That would be around the 85-90 degree mark, in regards to a higher temperature mark that would be around 95 - 100 degrees, or at boiling temperature. However we do not encourage anyone to use such high temperatures due to the fact that it may just scald the coffee and as a result create a bitter brew. An ideal temperature would be at between 90-95 degrees as it would be in between sweet spots to brew your cup !
Now, what would be the best recipe and technique to brew your coffee. This has always been a debate amongst many individuals within the coffee industry, some would argue that the best recipe would be a ratio of 1:16 whereas some would argue and say that no, a 1:15 is much better. In fact, it is very subjective to the age of your coffee as well as the temperature of one's water as well. Some would also swear to whatever coffee god, James Hoffmann would say that one should brew their coffees at a recipe of 60g’s of coffee to every 1000g of water, to which you may just break it down to a smaller recipe of 15g of coffee to 250g of water. But who are we to say as everyone will have a different Technique which may or may not compliment this recipe. So what we can recommend for you would be a ratio of our own for you to try as a guide so that you may have a range of details you may or may not change over the course of your brewing journey.
Method: Filter V60 Handbrew method
Grind Size: Medium Grind (subject to your own grinder)
Yield: 30g for 30 seconds, total yield 280g
Brew Time: 2 minutes
Water Temperature: 93 degrees
ConclusionNo matter what type of V60 brewer you prefer or decide to get whether or it may be a plastic brew, or a glass, metal or ceramic one, it will always bring out a great cup, and based on your recipe, it will have a wide potential of flavours. Enjoy the process and always remember to play with your coffee and trust your palette!