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V60 Brew Method Review

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Learning how to brew on a new manual coffee device like the Hario V60 can be intimidating. It doesn't help the fact that there are so many different brewing methods out there. As we seek to develop resources for helping inform home-brewers and baristas alike get the most out of their coffee gear, it is important for us to learn and glean from others in the coffee community. A helpful resource for brewing on manual coffee methods, which also features our Siphon Brewing Guide, is the website brewmethods.com. In an effort to narrow down the choices in brewing methods for aspiring coffee geeks, as well as to contribute a new and helpful reference to the coffee community, we decided to evaluate and review eight different V60 brewing methods off of brewmethods.com.

Brewing on the V60

The format below includes the specified paramaters of each particular brewing method, the Method itself, my Tasting Notes, my Brew Methods notes, and a Score from a scale of 1-10 based off of the taste of the cup in relation to the other methods and coffee description. I used the exact same coffee everyday, a Burundi Kiryama from Counter Culture Coffee. The Grind setting specified below is from the Baratza Maestro, you can find the newest model, the Baratza Encore, here.

We hope that the notes and scores for the different methods below will help you gain a better grasp of brewing on the V60. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below. Happy brewing.

Doubleshot

  • Dosage: 17 Grams for 250 mL (68g/L)
  • Grind: 16-18/40
  • Temp: 197.6°F (92°C)
  • Pre-Infusion: 35 mL for 30 seconds
  • Total Time: No longer than 3 minutes

Method

  1. Rinse Filter.
  2. Grind and pour coffee into V60 making a small crater in the middle of the grounds.
  3. Pour 35 mL of water over coffee and let it pre-infuse for 30 seconds. Pour to the top in concentric circles using 120 mL of water and let it draw down.
  4. Pour to the top again (or until you hit 250 mL).
  5. Should finish before 3 minutes.

Tasting Notes

  • Lots of punch, heavy body (rough tanden-like texture).
  • Orange peel
  • Flavorful with medium acidity at the front end which fades into a smooth, calm finish.

Brew Method Notes

Great cup. I tasted what might have been a tad of over extraction, but an overall great brew.

Score: 8/10

Barefoot Coffee

  • Dosage: 24 Grams for 330 mL (72g/L)
  • Grind: Table salt fineness (14-17/40)
  • Temp: 204°F (95.6°C)
  • Pre-Infusion: 30 mL with a spin for 30-50 seconds
  • Total Time: No longer than 3 minutes

Method

  1. Rinse Filter
  2. Grind and pour coffee into V60 rotating the V60 to even out the grounds.
  3. Pre-infuse with 30mL of water. Allow it to sit 30-50 seconds or until the bloom deflates.
  4. Add 300 mL of water aggressively at first to break the crust.
  5. Pour in a circular motion maintaining cone volume at 50%.
  6. Total time should be between 2:15-2:35

Tasting Notes

  • Somewhat bland with thick tanden-like texture that blended with a medium acidity that carried throughout the sip.

Brew Method Notes

A bit overextracted; at a ratio of 72g/1000 mL the 204 degree temperature seems to be too much for the table-salt grind shown in the picture. Although I was using a dense bean (a washed burindi grown at an elevation of 1760 meters [5,774 feet]), I think the ratio and temperature was too much. This method would especially be too much for a naturally processed bean or bean grown at a lower elevation.

Score: 6/10

Making Coffee Easy

  • Dosage: 29 Grams for 440 mL (66g/L)
  • Grind: Medium (or finer) (15-20/40)
  • Temp: Off the boil (I brewed at 203°-205°)
  • Pre-Infusion: Pre-wet and let sit for 45 seconds
  • Total Time: N/A

Method

  1. Rinse Filter
  2. Grind and pour coffee into V60 shaking to settle grounds.
  3. Pre-infuse with water allowing it to sit 45 seconds
  4. Begin pouring from the center out clockwise in a circular motion until volume is reached.

Tasting Notes

  • Light acidity for the duration of the sip
  • Light orange peel sweetness
  • Finishes clean with ripe berry (very similar to a naturally processed coffee)

Brew Method Notes

After Barefoot’s brew method I was wary of using a high temperature (over 200°F) with a ratio over 60g/L. That being said I think this method worked surprisingly well for two reasons: first, it was a pretty general method which left it up to me to fill in some parameters per the coffee I'm using; second, while the dosage was higher than 60g/L and the brew temperature high (I let the water sit for a bit after boiling so temperature was probably at 203°-205°) the grind was coarser which guarded against over extraction.

Score: 9/10

Tonx at Intellivenice

  • Dosage: ~27 Grams for 414 mL (65g/L)
  • Grind: N/A (I used 16/40)
  • Temp: Just off boil (I brewed at 203°-205°)
  • Pre-Infusion: Pre-wet and let sit for 30 - 45 seconds
  • Total Time: No longer than 3 minutes

Method

  1. Rinse Filter
  2. Grind and pour coffee into V60 shaking to settle grounds.
  3. Pre-infuse with water allowing it to bloom for 30-45 seconds
  4. Begin pouring from the center out in small circular motions.
  5. “Ride the Bloom” - Pouring in circular motions in the center while pushing the grounds outward.
  6. Pour this way slowly until the V60 is full and keep full until total volume is reached; then let it drain out.
  7. Uniform, heavy layer of grounds should coat the filter all the way up.

Taste Notes

  • Super juicy and super sweet
  • Delicate sweet tang finish (on the back sides of the tongue)
  • Definitely get more of a ripe pomegranate than orange in this cup

Brew Method Notes

The riper fruit taste rather than the more acidic orange peel taste should be accounted for by the hotter water temp (45 seconds to a minute off boil, so probably brewed at 203°-205° range). Their ratio is 65g/1000 mL and pouring the entire water volume after the 30-45 second pre-infusion (which brought the water level near the top of the 02 V60 allows a quicker brew time and less of a chance for the hotter water temperature to over-extract.

Score: 10/10

Artazza

  • Dosage: 21 g for 9 oz (266 mL) of brewed coffee (79g/L)
  • Grind: N/A (I used 16/40)
  • Temp: 195° - 205° (I used 200°)
  • Pre-Infusion: Pre-wet and let sit for 30 seconds
  • Total Time: 2 Minutes 30 Seconds

Method

  1. Rinse Filter
  2. Grind and pour coffee into V60 shaking to settle grounds; make a divot in the middle with your finger.
  3. Pour water into middle divot making sure to pour no water along the sides. Allow it to Pre-infuse for 30 seconds.
  4. Begin pouring from the center out in small circular motions.
  5. Never pour along the edges and continue to pour at a slow pace.
  6. The coffee should never be allowed to be completely dry but you can pause to let the water wash through the coffee.
  7. You should be done pouring when entering the final 30 seconds.

Taste Notes

  • Mild flavor with subdued berry taste
  • Hardly any acidity (some on the finish)
  • Nice creamy body

Brew Method Notes

Tasted a bit of bitters probably due to over extraction. A 79g/L ratio is a super high ratio. I’ve never much understood the rationale behind allowing a “draw-down” but other than the slight bitters and less potent acidic fruity notes, this cup produced a nice calm mellow berry taste.

Score: 8/10

Terrior Coffee

  • Dosage: 24 g for 390 mL of water (yield 12 oz) (61g/L)
  • Grind: 28/40
  • Temp: 201° - 205° (I used 203°)
  • Pre-Infusion: Pre-wet with enough to wet the grounds (~50mL); let sit 20-30 seconds.
  • Total Time: Between 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 Minutes

Method

  1. Rinse Filter
  2. Grind and place V60 on scale. Tare to 0 and pour 24g of coffee into V60; make a small indentation in the grounds.
  3. Now place the V60 on your cup or server and place on the scale, taring the weight down to zero.
  4. Slowly pour enough water (~50 mL) into middle indentation and then outward to evenly wet the grounds. Allow it to Pre-infuse for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Begin pouring from the center out in concentric circles.
  6. Try to not pour water at the very edges at any time and make sure not to fill higher than the level of the grounds themselves.
  7. Continue pouring until the total weight of water is about 390 grams or 13.7 ounces weight.
  8. This brewing process, after pre‐wetting, should take between 2 to 3 minute.

Taste Notes

  • Light, and crisp compared to other brews.
  • Feeling the tanden-like body texture again that blends into the orange-peel like taste
  • Nice little acidic pucker finish
  • As the coffee cools there are darker and juicier fruit flavors that come out.
  • The acidity still lingers throughout the finish but not as prominent.

Brew Method Notes

The coffee seemed a tad bit under-extracted probably due to the coarse grind used (28/40 on the Maestro). Overall, a great method that would work better with a finer grind.

Score: 8/10

Pouredover

  • Dosage: 25 g for 417 mL of brewed coffee (60g/L)
  • Grind: A Finer Grind (adjust to reach 3 minute brew) (I used 16/40)
  • Temp: N/A (I used 200°)
  • Pre-Infusion: Use 1 mL of water per gram of coffee / let sit for 30 seconds (or until bloom reduces)
  • Total Time: 3 Minutes

Method

  1. Begin by folding the seam on the filter. This helps prevent water from draining out of it.
  2. Rinse filter thoroughly.
  3. Grind and pour coffee into V60 shaking to settle grounds; make a divot in the middle with your finger.
  4. Pour water into middle divot in spiraling outward motion. Use 1 mL of water per gram of coffee and let sit for 30 seconds (or until bloom reduces).
  5. Fill it up carefully, slowly, and under control.
  6. Slow pour down the center and keep it full. This keeps all the grounds submerged the entire time and keeps more heat in the brewing chamber.
  7. When the desired volume is reached, remove the brewer, serve, and enjoy.

Taste Notes

  • Mild acidity
  • The tang in the cup resembled an unripe or green grape.
  • Medium body with rougher, tanden-like texture
  • A darker fruit sweetness gives way to a green grape/raspberry tang finish.
  • A tad bit of bitterness still came through on this cup.

Brew Method Notes

Overall, I think it is a great method one shortcoming. Pre-infusing and maintaining a constant water volume is key, but relegating the pour to the center for the majority of the pour relegates the flow turbulence to the grounds at the bottom center of the V60. A slower, controlled pour in concentric circles in and out spreads out the water turbulence, better ensuring that the grounds at the bottom will not be over-extracted due to constant stress from the water.

Score: 9/10

Day 8 -Barismo

  • Dosage: 27 g for 360 mL of brewed coffee (changes per coffee) (75g/L)
  • Grind: N/A (I used 12/40)
  • Temp: Between 88°(190F) and 92° C (I used 92° C or 198° F)
  • Pre-Infusion: Make sure the surface is wet (~60mL) and let sit for 35 seconds
  • Total Time: 3 Minutes

Method

  1. Pre-heat the filter and brewer thoroughly with hot water
  2. Load freshly ground coffee into the filter. Make a hole about 3cm diameter and 2cm deep in the center of the grounds.
  3. Pre-Infuse the grounds by pouring into the center and circling outward. Make sure the whole surface is wet, about 60mL.
  4. Start a 3-minute timer, and wait 35 seconds for the pre-infusion.
  5. Over 45 seconds, pour 180 mL in concentric circles, making sure not to breach the outer edge of the grounds.
  6. Stop pouring for 20 seconds, then repeat the pour in step 5 (45 seconds, 180 mL).
  7. Let the mixture drain for the final 35 seconds on the timer, then remove the filter.
  8. If the grind is correct, the brew will finish just as the timer expires. Grind finer if the coffee drains too quickly, coarser if it drains too slowly.

Taste Notes

  • - No acidity or tang from the beginning on this cup
  • - I get the light, bright notes, but not in a tangy way; in more of a clear crisp sweet lemonade sort of way.
  • - Heavy, juicy body
  • - As it cools, some it gives way to the sweetest cup I’ve produced with this coffee yet. Ripe, rich sweet red fruit (can’t place which fruit, possibly pomegrante).
  • - A tad bit of bitterness still came through on this cup.

Brew Method Notes

This was tied for the best cup of this coffee I tasted. Despite the fact that I’ve never be a fan of pausing to let the coffee draw down, this cup was fantastic. Other than the 20 second pause in the middle of the brew, this method shares a similar format and as the others. Why the difference in taste? I believe this has to do with the combination of a slower, meticulous pour, lower temperature and finer grind. Despite the fact that there is a high coffee/water ratio used for this brew I did not get any of the bitterness as I did in other methods. The lower water temperature used (198) and the slower pour rate contribute to put less stress on the coffee while the finer grind helps provide a more structured wall of coffee along the sides of the v60.

Score: 10/10

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Thanks for taking the time to do this. It's much appreciated. Looking forward to trying some of these methods when I get my V60 tomorrow.

We're glad you find it useful! We'd love to hear what you think about our conclusions, and what methods you found worked best.

I'm new to home brewing coffee that is not out of a standard drip brewer. After discovering an awesome local roaster I bought a V60 to try to get a better cup at home. Not happy with my results so far. 16g coffee/260g water/200F/3 and a half minutes/32g preinfusion/rwanda nyakizu/8 declicks on hario mini mill. Slow pours, trying not keep the water level with the bloomed grinds. My cups so far have been bitter and have actually upset my normally iron lined stomach. I'm going to try some of these and see if it helps.

The V60 can take a few brews to get used to. I think that 3 and a half minutes is too long of a brew time for that amount of yield. I'd recommend either:

1. Keep the grind the same and, starting with a more agressive pour after the bloom, raise the water level higher up in the V60 (3/4 of the way up the wall) and then use a pour rate that keeps the volume consistent until you've reached your desired volume. This should cut down on your brew time, thereby cutting down on the contact time with the grounds so as to not over extract them and cause the bitterness.

or

2. Keep everything the same and coarsen up your grind until your total brew time is ~2:30 including the pre-infusion time.

Hope that helps!

 Thanks. Though not perfect, my cup was much improved when pouring more aggressively. Previously I was very concerned with keeping the water level just up to the top of the bloomed grinds, as I have read numerous places to keep that in mind "grinds should be level when pouring is complete". But now pouring until my v60-2 is halfway full or so I'm doing much better and improving.

For the Tonx method, does the 414ml volume include the water you use for the pre-infusion? I just tried that method with 414ml after the pre-infusion but found it to make a considerably bigger cup of coffee (not that that's a bad thing) that tasted a little diluted.

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