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Hario V60 vs Kalita Wave: Which One Should You Get?

Wave or V60? This is probably the biggest question among burgeoning home baristas. Here’s the definitive answer.

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Asser Christensen

Licensed Q Arabica Grader, M.A. Journalism

In real life you can either be a dog or a cat person. It’s little bit the same in the world of coffee, where you’re either a fan of cone shaped or flat-bottom drippers.

Today, we’re going to do a review and comparison between two of the most beloved and well-known drippers; we are of course talking about no other than the iconic Hario V60 and the sleek Kalita Wave.

I’ll share my thoughts about their pros and cons, and by the end of this post, surely, you’ll get a better appreciation of which one you should consider buying. 

TL;DR: I recommend the Hario V60 for beginners. If you’re more advanced and have a good grinder and good beans, it’s worth also getting a Kalita Wave.

Oh, by the way, I also have a video to help you decide 👇

Hario V60 vs Kalita Wave: The backstory

Hario V60 was first introduced in its native Japan, but it didn’t get popular in the West until around 2010.

Around that time specialty coffee started to take off, and the V60 quickly became almost synonymous with this type of coffee.

Whenever a product becomes popular, there will always be a competitor. These rivals often do the same but with improved and innovative features. So, that’s how Kalita Wave came into the picture. It came out shortly after Hario V60 got a lot of attention, especially amongst coffee geeks. 

For some reason, Hario got a reputation for being a little bit fussy and unpredictable, and you couldn’t be sure that you get the same coffee every time. Whereas Kalita Wave was seen as a steadier and more consistent way of brewing coffee.

Hario V60 'Craft Coffee Maker'...

Key differences

There are a couple of crucial differences between the Hario V60 and the Kalita Wave:

  1. Drain Hole

Hario V60 has one big hole where all the water has to go through, whilst the Kalita Wave has three smaller holes that restrict the flow rate.

  1. Shape: Cone vs Flat-bottom

Hario V60 has a 60-degree angle, and it’s cone-shaped. You could get the impression that the coffee at the bottom of the dripper would get over-extracted, but the coffee on top of the dripper would get under-extracted because of the shape.

Kalita Wave has a flat bottom. Some coffee people think that the flat bottom makes the brew more consistent compared to cone-shaped brewers because no parts of the coffee is in contact with water for extended periods.

Personally, I think the debacle around cone-shaped drippers is somewhat of a non-issue. if you look how water extracts coffee, I think there’s a good argument to be made that water is a more efficient solvent when it hits the brew bed at first and it doesn’t have coffee particles already and then it extracts less efficiently as it makes its way down and becomes more saturated with coffee particles and loses some thermal energy. So, in that sense, a cone-shape would be rather helpful.

  1. Filters

I love Hario V60’s cone-shaped filters. Nowadays, many more brands produce the cone-shaped filter, but I find that some don’t have the best quality. Unfortunately, Hario doesn’t even create good filters anymore. They used to make some excellent filters, but then they changed factory, and the quality hasn’t been the same ever since. 

I personally prefer the brand called ‘CAFEC’ which makes a series of different cone-shaped filters. The one using a material called ‘abaca’ guarantees a predictable flow rate and a delicious cup and.

Kalita Wave has wave-shaped filters. That’s actually how it got its name because the filters are shaped like a wave. The wave shape will help push the brew bed and the water away from the sides of the dripper and will actually help with the thermal retention of the brew bed. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s a bit harder to find Kalita filters; not many brands produce this type. 

Is Kalita Wave more consistent?

As I have mentioned before on the blog, the flow rate is pretty different across the various Kalita Wave models. For instance, the glass and the ceramic version are a lot faster than the steel version. And the stainless-steel version is probably the most well-known Kalita Wave, so that’s something to keep in mind. 

Another common criticism with the Kalita Wave is that the filters tend to clog the drain holes. The rips in the bottom of the stainless-steel version don’t do an excellent job of pushing the filter away from the holes.

Kalita Wave series 185 Lotto...

The ceramic version of the Kalita Wave has a lot of more protruding rips, and the same goes for the glass version, it has a bit of a different design, but it does a better job of keeping the filter away from the bottom. With the stainless-steel version, it’s very easy for the filter to get dragged down, and once it blocks one of the drain holes, it completely changes the game.

Hario V60 'Craft Coffee Maker'...

A nice little trick that I’ve been using is adding a dispersion screen from the Flair Pro espresso maker to the bottom of the brewer, which helps make it more consistent. It will lift the filter and avoid the clogging issue. It’s relatively cheap and works like a charm

The question here is, which of the two is more consistent – is it the Kalita Wave or the Hario V60

If we’re talking about the glass or the ceramic version of the Kalita Wave, I think it might be. But if we’re talking about the stainless-steel version, not a chance.

Both of these brewers can make a perfect coffee, but they do have a bit different flavor profile. 

And as mentioned, though the stainless-steel version is the most popular Kalita Wave.

At least with the Hario V60 – you know what to expect, and you’re going to get it. 

If you choose either the ceramic, plastic, or one of the metal versions, the difference will not be enormous with Hario V60. 

Conclusion: Which one should you get?

I think beginners should go for the V60.

With the V60, you get more aftertaste, a bit more of sharp acidity, and some interesting texture. It somehow elevates slightly inferior beans and make them more interesting.

Even if you don’t have the best grinder, or your technique is not the best, you can get some very tasty and interesting results.  

With the Kalita Wave, however, you tend to get more uniform cups with more clarity, transparency, and elegance.

However, you need to be knowledgeable about what you’re doing, and yo

Once you’re a bit experienced, know more about coffee, different beans, and brewing styles, you can upgrade to the Wave. And when you get to that point, don’t forget to check out my foolproof Kalita Wave pour over method!

What material?

  • I personally like to brew with the plastic V60 simply because it’s robust, even if it’s dropped on the floor, it will survive. But if you prefer the other versions, there’s no reason you shouldn’t go for it. Just remember that they do need a little bit more preheating compared to the plastic ones. 
  • It’s a little bit more challenging with the Kalita Wave. I like to brew on the glass version, but it’s exceptionally fragile, so I suggest getting the ceramic version. It will need a bit more preheating, but you can get delicious coffee with it.