How to Brew: Kalita wave pour over

Tue 28 August, 2018

There's a lot to be said for this basket-shaped brew method - it gives us brilliant clarity of flavour, and easy enough to do while you're still sleepy.

We've seen brewing trends come and go over the years, but when we made the switch to Kalita Wave drippers in 2015 we knew we'd found something that had the ideal effort-to-reward-to-consistency ratio.

On a quiet afternoon in Alexandria we asked Olivia to lay down the law on how Mecca like to brew on this rewarding and loveable piece of kit.

Note: we use the 185 size dripper. The smaller size (155) only gets you one cup, which we can all agree is too small.

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How we brew it

  • Start boiling 500g nice filtered water, preferably in a pouring kettle.
  • Place a crisp + dry Kalita paper into your dripper and place on top of an appropriately-sized vessel.
  • Weigh out 30g of your favourite Single lot coffee.
  • Grind on a 'Medium' grind setting. (Sorry for being so vague, but grinders all have different measurement metrics). On the EK43 this would be about 8pm on the dial.

Coffee goes in

  • Ensure grounds are evenly settled in the dripper by gently shaking from side to side.
  • Start the brew! Start the timer! Pour 90g water onto the ground coffee bed. Without crumpling or tearing the paper, use a few firm strokes of a stirrer or teaspoon to ensure all grounds are saturated.

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  • After pausing for 30 seconds, gently pour another 150g of water onto the centre of the coffee bed. Top up each minute with remaining water (260g). If the water rushes through too quickly / clogs up, that's a sure-fire sign your grind size is either too coarse / too fine, respectively.
  • The process should have taken 4:30 total including bloom time.

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  • Discard used paper and grounds, wash and dry brewing gear immediately.
  • Enjoy!

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FAQ

Don't I need to rinse the paper first?

Despite popular lore, we have not found unrinsed Kalita papers to impart any negative flavours on the final brew. We conducted various blind taste-tests to reach this conclusion.

Pre-wetting the paper does give you a bonus though - it will pre-warm the vessel. Cold equipment tends to suck quite a lot of heat out of the coffee.

What's it like compared to a Hario v60?

Very similar in the cup. But compared to its popular cousin, the dripper doesn't require quite as much precision in the pouring stage to evenly extract. You can pour your water directly on the centre of the coffee bed and the shape of the paper and dripper will do the rest. You will need to grind a couple of notches finer, as the flat base encourages water to flow through a little quicker than a cone shape.

Aren't pour-overs too fancy for me to bother with?

No! They're simple. They tend to cost more at cafes due to the labour required, but you can use any type of coffee in them. It won't make any coffee inherently fancier or less accessible.

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