The V60 coffee brewing method is one of the most popular hand brewing methods today, and can be easily done at home with just a few pieces of equipment.
These pieces of equipment are readily available over-the-counter at most specialty coffee shops, and you can even get them online and delivered to your home for greater convenience.
When we watch videos of professional baristas prepare a V60 coffee, we often see a wide range of specialty equipment being used. However, not all the pieces of equipment are critical to the brewing process.
Some of the equipment are useful to have as they serve a specific purpose as part of the coffee brewing method, but can easily be swapped out for other receptacles you may have lying around in the kitchen. There are however, also 4 critical pieces of equipment that you will need, which will affect the taste and quality of the cup of coffee produced.
V60 Dripper & Filter Paper
Aside from the Hario V60 coffee brewing apparatus, there are many different manufacturers of the V60, which gets its name from the V-shaped cone built at a 60 degree angle.
This is considered to be the optimum shape and angle for this type of pour over coffee brewing methods. You can buy the V60 apparatus from any manufacturer, not just Hario.
For example, this glass dripper from Cafede Kona is also considered a V60, but features straight grooves down the side rather than curved grooves. This type of V60 is suitable for a slow, straight pour method with or without a pre-infusion period.
For the filter paper, you can use any brand of filter paper from a reputable coffee equipment manufacturer, so long as it is made correctly to fit within the 60 degree cone of the V60. The filter paper is usually brown, though it is also common to find them in white. Their uses and applications are the same and there is little to no difference to the eventual cup of coffee produced.
Some would argue that the hand grinder is not a critical piece of equipment to have to achieve the V60 coffee brewing process. That is true to some extent as you can always ask your roaster to grind the coffee beans for you before delivery.
However, it is important to note that pre-ground coffee beans deteriorate faster over time than whole coffee beans, and will dramatically change the way the coffee tastes.
As such, we have included the hand grinder as one of the essential pieces of equipment for the V60 coffee brewing method. With a hand grinder available at home, you can essentially grind the coffee on demand, and use the freshest and most aromatic grounds as possible to brew your cup of coffee. In that regard, the hand grinder does contribute to and affect the taste of your coffee greatly.
Hand grinders come in a variety sizes, and at a variety of different price points, with some going for as much as $1,000. While those coffee hand grinders are indeed very high quality products and work very well, there is a certain marginal utility after you cross a certain price point.
For us, we have found that especially for the V60 coffee brewing method, any coffee hand grinder which features steel burrs would provide adequate coffee grinding longevity and quality.
As the coffee hand grinders increase in price, there is however also increase in the ergonomics and ease of grinding, so you can consider a more expensive grinder if you have some spare cash.
Once again, the gooseneck kettle is something that can actually be substituted with any hot water kettle. However, the gooseneck kettle is built for optimum control, which is something that you will need to brew the best possible V60 cup of coffee.
The ideal brewing conditions for a V60 coffee involve the barista or the maker, to pour in concentric circles over the bed of coffee grounds, which need to be evenly saturated with water to facilitate even extraction of the coffee grounds.
Gooseneck kettles help with just that, and allow for a light and steady stream of water to exit its specially designed spout. With a large and cumbersome water kettle, it is difficult to achieve this and you may end up over-pouring in an uneven fashion.
If you wish for even greater control, we recommend using a smaller sized gooseneck kettle like this one, which will provide even greater pouring control during the coffee brewing process. The other thing with regular kettles is that the spouts are not designed for a smooth pour, which means that the water stream has the tendency to be dispersed and splattered in nature.
This is not ideal for even extraction of the coffee grounds. The last thing to note is that gooseneck kettles are built with a curved spout, which allows you to pour with your kettle from a lower height, allowing the water stream to gently wash over the coffee grounds.
With a regular kettle, you will likely have to pour the water from an elevated height, which means that the water stream is likely to fall quite harshly over the coffee grounds, possibly creating an undesirable crater in your bed of coffee grounds.
This will definitely affect the taste and quality of the final product. Therefore, we have listed the gooseneck kettle as an essential coffee brewing tool for V60 coffee.
Timed Weighing Scale
A weighing scale is critical to the V60 coffee brewing method because the brewing process relies on a predefined brewing ratio of coffee grounds to water.
To check out the brewing ratios needed for the V60 brewing method, check out this step by step guide on how to brew a V60 coffee.
With the ratio in mind, you will definitely need a weighing scale to know exactly how much coffee grounds you have added to your V60 dripper, and therefore what the total brew volume should be.
The V60 coffee brewing process is not straight pour to the finish, and usually features a 30 second pre-infusion timing that happens concurrently with the blooming stage of the coffee.
If you do not time this pre-infusion, there is every chance that your coffee will come out either under extracted or over extracted, depending on whether your pre-infusion is too long or short. Most specialised coffee weighing scales like this one come with a built in timer.
However, you can also use any kitchen scale paired with an external timer. The difference is that having the timer and the weight figures shown on the same panel makes it much more easy to handle, and lowers the chance of you exceeding either the brew timing or brew volume.
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