In this post I am stepping out of my comfort zone and getting bold. I am going to give you 5 reasons why you should buy the Kalita Wave instead of the V60.
The biggest rivalry to the popular Hario V60 dripper is no doubt the Kalita Wave. It is the closest ‘big’ rivarly we have in the coffee world similar to Argentina vs Brazil, Federer vs Nadal, India vs Pakistan, Red Sox vs Yankees. On coffee forums people have strong opinions on either brewer and you don’t really get a clear picture if one is better then the other.
Let’s be honest, there is not point in wasting time in such debates but instead to say that the Kalita Wave should be preferred over the V60. The Kalita Wave has some qualities that for me make it easy to recommend it over the V60. So let me get into it and provide those reasons.
1. Bad brews on the V60 – Switch to the Kalita
Let’s start with the most obvious reason (or not) which is if you are not getting the right results with the V60 then you should consider a switch to the Kalita Wave. I think lot people like the V60 but I also read a lot of comments about how people don’t get great resulting coffee from it. It is down to skill and experience but even if you use it for a while you do get varied results when trying different coffees. Also, if you don’t have the right pouring technique or struggle with getting the right grind size then those results are not going to be good.
This is why switching to the Kalita can be good because you are using a different brewer that is know for it’s ease of use and simplicity. The stainless steel version is great for heat retention and helps with even extraction. Just through that you are getting a helping hand in brewing your coffee. There are more reason that I am going to point out how the Kalita helps your brews but the biggest reason to switch is to save on wasting coffee and getting better tasting coffee sooner. You won’t have to make constant changes unlike the V60 because the Kalita is without a doubt a forgiving brewer and masks those mistakes a bit better.
2. Consistent results
The Kalita Wave will do one thing better then the V60 and that is to give you consistent results. This is the most common opinion you are going to see when comparing both brewers. As I mentioned, grind size and pouring techniques can affect your end results with the V60 but with the Kalita there is a less of an impact. Another reason is that the Kalita actually steeps the water with the coffee for a bit longer then the V60. So because of that, the flow rate over the coffee is a lot more consistent and it is very difficult to get coffee under or over extracted.
Your pouring technique won’t be questioned as much as the Kalita will compensate for that. Some might argue that is a bad thing that you don’t have the control. But you still need to find the right way to pour on the Kalita too. I have generally found splitting your pours on the Kalita in phases helps you get sweeter cups so there is room to experiment with your technique.
3. Great for beginners
It is fair to say when people get into pourover coffee then the first brewer they might buy is the Hario V60. The V60 is the most well-known and with the vast amount of information available online it is easy to see why people go for it first. I also bought a V60 when I wanted to get into pour-over coffee. But I would advise any newbie to purchase the Kalita Wave over the V60.
A lot of people do not want to experiment and simply want to enjoy the coffee they brew. They might not be interested in pouring techniques or dialling in a particular coffee. Again, the Kalita Wave will give you the consistency to enjoy a good coffee regularly and the forgiven nature means those little mistakes will be covered.
Now if someone is looking to get into experimenting with coffee then likelyhood is they are not going to settle with just one brewer. So to work your way up, I would say the Kalita fits the bill and is perfect for the first time user especially if they have not tried speciality coffee all that much. Consistent brews will get you to build a good palette and understanding of flavours with the Kalita. I have read different opinions on which brewer is better for a beginner but for me it’s a no-brainer and it is the Kalita Wave.
4. Still expect quality results
Regardless if you are a beginner or have being using other pour-over brewer for some time then having a Kalita Wave will still give you quality results. I do agree that the Kalita can be less versatile then the V60 but that does not mean the you get less tasty coffee. In fact, one of the best bag of coffee beans I have ever bought, produced the best cup on the Kalita Wave. So I will always try a coffee on the Kalita because I know it can produce amazing tasting coffee.
Another observation I have made is that coffee shops have switched their filter brewer from V60 to the Kalita Wave. Yes, consistent brews is a big part of the reason but the coffee tasted really great with different origins. I spoke with a barista at my favourite coffee shop and he said the using the same method with the Kalita produced the best results using different origins of coffee.
5. No Filter Paper Issues
Kalita Wave Flat-Bed Filter Paper > Hario V60 Conical Filter Paper.
The one thing I got really frustrated with the V60 were the paper filters. There are so many types of the conical filters that result in different brew times. Also, the best filter paper they did which was the original is really hard to find as a different company produces their paper now. The new papers are not that good either. I wasted money trying the other papers but never enjoyed using them as I ended up with clogging issues and longer brew times.
With the Kalita Wave there is one type that is always available (i.e. easy to find on Amazon) as long as you get the right size (155 or 185). You don’t have to worry about different brew times or varied flow rates. The wavy filter design also helps with heat retention and that again helps with the consistent extraction. It is ready to use too and unlike the V60 you have to fold the sides. Okay that one is a little bit of a nitpick but the papers are definitely visually more appealing and looks great when brewing. For me that is quite important because I enjoy the therauputic process of a pour-over.
Okay time to back track a little because it may seem like I hate the V60 which is untrue. In fact, I have actually enjoyed using the V60 more since I got the Kalita because I am able to compare the brews and then decide which brewer performs better (Check out my article on What you need to know before buying the V60 for more information). I enjoy using all the brewers I have and I want more brewers so I can alternate and find the one that brews the best. But if I had to help a beginner out or even a more experienced home coffee brewer looking to expand their brewer collection, then I would definitely recommend the Kalita Wave first before the V60.
I have learnt a lot from the V60 but I also feel like I went through lot of frustrations with it. I don’t think I would have gone through the same frustrations if I got the Kalita Wave first. So if you are interested in buying a Kalita Wave then checkout the current pricing on Amazon by licking here. Just note they come in two sizes, the smaller 155 and then the larger 185.