Kalita Wave Pourover

May 26, 2011

There are certain benefits to saying and sometimes believing that there is nothing new under the sun. For one thing, it better equips one to humbly and often wisely excuse oneself from seriously considering the ever-changing latest. And in coffee, it feels like yesterday's latest isn't today's.

The latest in progressive American coffee is pourover, which isn't to say that it's new. It isn't. It's been around. What's truly new is the combination of made-to-order pourover with well-sourced and artfully roasted beans. The most popular device nowadays is the Hario v60 (carried by ROASTe), a cone with fins and a large drainage hole that allows water to pass through the coffee quickly. In many ways it's a sport's car. It's extremely responsive to what you do, which has obvious benefits...and flaws. An errant pour detracts signifificantly from the end result. Personally, I haven't found it to be difficult but maybe I'm just awesome (unlikely). Many do find it to be a tricky manual device and prefer the comforts of an automatic.

Another manual device that I've been enjoying is the Kalita Wave, which to my knowledge is carried only by a couple of US vendors. The main difference between it and the v60 is that it has a flat bottom, similar to what you find in many automatic drip machines, particularly professional ones. For whatever reason, that shape is easier to work with. It's hard to mess up a brew with this thing. 

 The downside would be the price.  The Kalita's almost double that of the Hario. Is the Kalita worth it? I certainly like mine but I'm not interested in proselytizing about any brew device. My taste isn't yours, etc. If you're in the Bay Area or Atlanta, there are coffee places that brew with the Wave--it may be worth seeking out.


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