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Brewing coffee slowly, with precision, yields an optimal cup. Many coffee pros prefer hand-poured brewing because it brings out subtle, nuanced coffee flavors.
The Kalita Wave is one of our favorite hand-pour brewers. Its flat-bottom design and patented wave filter deliver superior control over the extraction process.
Hailing from Japan, this dripper comes in three materials (ceramic, glass and steel) and two sizes. The 155 Kalita Wave is perfect for brewing up to 12 ounces for one or two people. The 185 yields about 18 to 20 ounces, serving up to four.
Follow our tutorial and video, and you’ll be a Kalita master in no time!
Assemble Your Kalita Wave and other Materials
Here’s what you need to start your pour-over journey with the Kalita Wave brewer.
- Kalita Wave Dripper
- Kalita Wave Filter
- Burr Coffee Grinder
- Digital coffee or kitchen scale
- A Goose-neck kettle with a thin spout. The spout provides the control you need to perfect this brewing method.
- 25 grams of whole-bean coffee. Try bright coffees that have fruity and floral notes. Hand-pouring with the Kalita highlights their natural sweetness and subtle flavors.
- 500 grams of filtered water
- Coffee cup
7 Steps to the Perfect Hand Pour Using the Kalita Wave Brewer
After you’ve assembled your materials, follow these steps and the video below to master the art of hand pour. Use the final three steps to assess the quality of your brew and refine as needed.
1. Rinse Filter.
Place and rinse the patented Kalita Wave filter in the dripper. This removes the paper taste and warms everything up. Pour water heavily in the center and fill three-quarters of the way, avoiding the sides. Pour out the filter water.
2. Measure and Grind.
Grind 25 grams of coffee using a fine to medium grind that’s slightly coarser than for the Hario v60. Add the coffee to your brewer. Level the coffee in your brewer and zero out the scale.
3. Bloom the Coffee.
Start the timer when you add hot, 205-degree filtered water. Add just enough water to fully saturate the grounds – about 50 to 60 grams. Let the coffee bloom for 30 seconds. Watch for the bloom to deflate.
4. Pour in Pulses.
Pour 50 to 60 grams of water at a time, starting at the center and moving outward in even spirals. Circle in and out, making sure to stir all the grounds evenly. Avoid pouring against the paper filter. Stop pouring when you reach 400 grams of water. Total brew time should be 3 to 3.5 minutes.
5. Evaluate Extraction.
If your cup doesn’t taste right, over- or under-extraction could be to blame. Here’s how to assess:
- Under extracted – sour, sweet-less, salty, quick finish, vegetal
- Perfect – sweet, ripe, transparent, complex acidity, smooth finish
- Over extracted – bitter, dry, astringent, hollow, empty
6. Check the Grind.
The grind affects the time for extraction.
- Fine – slower flow, more extraction, less time
- Coarse – faster flow, less extraction, more time
7. Consider Strength.
Coffee taste too weak or too strong? Check the amount of coffee and water.
Change one variable at a time to troubleshoot. If your coffee is too weak, it may be because you had too little coffee or too much water. Coffee that’s too strong could result from too much grounds or too little water.
It takes a bit of practice to master the hand-pour. Keep brewing and assessing until you’ve perfected the process. Enjoy!
Choosing Coffees for Hand-Pour Brewing
We especially recommend trying pour-over brewing with bright coffees that have fruity and floral notes. This brewing method allows their natural sweetness and subtle flavors to shine through. For a smooth, nuanced cup, consider our craft coffees.
If you’re in the Columbus or Tallmadge area, you’re invited to stop by one of our Crimson Cup Coffee Houses to sample micro-lot coffees at our Brew Bar. Our Cuppers will be happy to discuss the fine points of pour-over while serving one of the best cups of coffee you’ll find anywhere.
Check Out Our Other Home Brewing Tutorials
Once you get the steps down, pour-over coffee is actually quite easy. It takes a little more time and attention than drip coffee or French press, but you gain control over all aspects of the extraction process.
The process differs slightly depending upon the brewing equipment you choose.
Check out our other home brew tutorials before choosing your brewer:
Looking for everything you need to brew awesome coffee at home? You can stock up on coffee, brewing equipment and beverage ware in the Crimson Cup store.