The newest Hario dripper brewing a storm in the world of specialty coffee
When it comes to manual pour-over coffee, Hario V60 is the iconic brand that many coffee specialists and baristas swear their life upon without second thoughts. Since its introduction in the 1950s, the Hario V60 coffee dripper has become a global phenomenon and today, when you think of a conical manual dripper, the name that automatically pops up in mind is “Hario V60”. Over the years, Hario has released many different versions and models within the V60 series that vary in terms of materials, shape, size, design, etc. The newest addition to this series is “Hario Mugen” (Mugen in Japan means Infinite), released in March 2021. Although it has only been months since its release, Hario Mugen has been widely talked about in the specialty coffee world and is being highly recommended by many pour-over experts. In this article today, we will take a close look at Hario Mugen, to help you catch up with everything you need to know about this exciting new dripper, and who knows this might become your favorite coffee dripper!
A Quick Overview of Hario Mugen V60 dripper
Before we go deep into the nitty-gritty details of this fascinating dripper, let’s take a quick look at the Hario Mugen dripper just to have an overall idea of it as a product.
Model code: VDMU-02
Product description: A coffee dripper that allows you to extract coffee using a single pour instead of multiple pours.
Release: March 2021
Size (in mm): W142 × D116 × H94
Capacity: 1-2 cups
Weight: approx.300g. Being lightweight makes it an easily portable dripper that you can carry with you on a trip or while traveling.
Material: Ceramic for white and plastic for clear black
Color: It comes in two different colors, a classic white (made with ceramic), and a sleek stylish clear black (made with high-quality durable plastic)
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Holder: The dripper comes with a stylish holder that can be easily detached which allows the dripper to be fit onto a stand or sit on a server without the holder. The holder is made from Polypropylene (heat resistant up to 120°C)
Design: The internal surface of the dripper does not have the ridges or ribbing that is characteristic of V60 drippers. Instead, it has star-shaped grooves, which allow the coffee to be extracted slowly, ensuring a great cup of coffee even with a single pour.
Compatible filter: Size 02 paper filters
Comparing Hario Mugen Dripper to other common drippers
When it comes to pour-over drippers, there are many different models made by many different brands. Within the Hario brand alone, multiple models of drippers have been released over the years. Some of the most important factors that are helpful for choosing the right type of dripper for your pour-over coffee are:
- Flow rate (greatly affected by the design features of the dripper such as ribs or ridges)
- Surface area (affected by the diameter of the dripper cone)
- Size of the hole at the bottom of the dripper through which the coffee drips into the server
We will try to take a comparative look at some of the drippers similar to Hario Mugen and try to understand the best features of those drippers that have been incorporated into Hario Mugen. Also, keep in mind the above factors that we mentioned regarding drippers to have a better insight through the comparison.
- Kono dripper has the top part of its internal surfaces without ridges and the bottom half covered in ridges to allow a moderately slow extraction.
- Slower extraction means a smoother moth feel and maximum amount of taste, flavor, and aroma of the beans reaching the final cup of coffee.
- Hario Mugen has maximized this feature of slow extraction by keeping its internal surfaces completely free of ridges, but at the same time putting a star-shaped ridge to allow the filter paper to stick to the walls.
- Hario V60 is known to be at the faster end of the spectrum when it comes to extraction rate.
- The inner walls of Hario V60 drippers are characterized by spiral-shaped ridges which allow a smooth and fast flow of water, making it some of the fastest coffee drippers.
- Hario Mugen has broken this tradition by getting rid of the ridges entirely, making it a unique Hario V60 dripper.
- If you love Hario but have been looking for a slow extraction dripper, then Hario Mugen would be your dream come true.
- The main similarity between Melitta and Hario Mugen is that they both allow you to make a complete brew with a single pour instead of multiple pours.
- As with Melitta, you can pour the amount of water needed to make 2 cups of coffee in a single pour and leave the rest to the dripper, and it will make sure that the final cup is not under or over-extracted.
Let’s look at a summarized version of the comparison in the table below:
No spiral ebbing
Only star-shaped ribs
A combination of smooth walls and ridged walls
Full-height straight ridges
One large hole at the bottom
One large hole at the bottom
One large hole at the bottom
One small hole at the bottom on a straight base
Depends on the model
Single Pour Vs. Multiple Pours – Essential to understanding the advantage of Hario Mugen
The manual pour-over method is one of the most artistic coffee brewing methods that cannot be defined by simple clear-cut rules. Like any other artisanal practice, it keeps on evolving as it is constantly being practiced, studied, tweaked, and improved in many different ways. Every barista has a unique method that he/she believes with pride to be the best one. The opinion of experts on the best way to perform this varies widely in terms of the procedural steps, coffee grind size, coffee-to-water ratio, extraction time, number of pours, water temperature, equipment to use, and as you can guess, the list goes on and on.
"Pouring" or "pour" is the main steps of the pour-over method where hot water is manually poured with great care and control from a special pouring kettle onto the ground coffee and as water comes into contact with the coffee grind, coffee is extracted into the server or cup underneath the dripper. The pour number and the interval between the pours are some of the most studied aspects of the pour-over process. Traditionally, to do multiple pours is a widely accepted practice, two to three pours being the most common. However, a greater number of pours means the quality of the brew is more dependent on the expertise of the person doing the pour-over as every pour is a chance to mess up the overall brewing process. On top of that, multiple pours take a longer time to make one cup of coffee, which might not be the most practical choice for a person who does not have enough time or for a busy café service. This is where the single pour-over method comes in. This is the manual pour-over method that requires only one pour from beginning to end, to extract one or two cups of coffee. It requires less time, less effort, and a lower level of expertise to perform correctly. However, the equipment for doing this should be extremely well adjusted to the method and built upon the meticulously calculated design to allow this method to brew a cup of coffee that is at par with coffee that is brewed using the multiple pour method.
As you might have already guessed, the new Hario Mugen has been created to do exactly that: to allow you to brew a cup of outstanding quality and taste using just one pour instead of two or three! That means less hassle, less time, and even someone at a beginner level can make great pour-over coffee using Hario Mugen.
Why choose Hario Mugen? - Advantages of Hario Mugen
With so many other manual coffee drippers on the market, why should you choose Hario Mugen? Below are some excellent reasons why Hario Mugen could be the best dripper for making hand-brewed coffee.
- Takes less time
One of the first questions that have to be asked before performing a manual pour-over is "Do I have enough time?" To perform a manual pour-over, the total coffee extraction alone can take at least three to four minutes, and on top of that, additional time for blooming, for arranging the set-up, and coffee grinding. This is not reasonable for a busy café or a person who does not always have the time to dedicate to a complete multiple-pour hand brewing. A hand pours overdone in a haste, without mental calm and ample time at hand is usually under or over-extracted, muddled, and unpleasant cup of coffee.
In situations like this, Hario Mugen can be a coffee lover's life-saver as it can greatly cut down the extraction time without compromising the quality or the richness of the coffee. The advised time for extraction using Hario Mugen is approx. 40 seconds, which is about 1/5th of the time it would usually take using the multiple-pour method. Quoting the words of Scott Rao, the world-famous coffee expert who has also popularized the term "Rao Spin" for pour-over coffee: "I find the one-pour method ideal for cafe service because it's fast and allows the barista to spend much less time paying attention to the coffee."
- Higher repeatability and consistency
Every time you pour, there is a chance for a variable factor to sneak in and affect the resulting cup of coffee. This means, for a multiple pour method, the chances are higher for something to go wrong. However, with Hario Mugen, there is only pour from beginning to the end, so as long as you keep the other factors such as grind size, coffee to water ratio, and the speed of pouring consistent, you will be rewarded with a great cup of coffee every time.
- The dripper is meticulously engineered
One of the main characteristics of Hario V60 drippers is the internal ribbing or the swirling ridges on the inner surface of the dripper which prevents the filter paper from sticking to the dripper. However, Hario Mugen has let go of this ribbing and replaced it with innovative star-shaped ridges on its surfaces which allows the paper filter to stick onto the dripper. As Hario Mugen is designed to create the best results using a single pour-over, the star-shaped ridges make sure that the water flows smoothly but slowly, and evenly, allowing enough time and surface area for the coffee to come into contact with the water to allow optimum extraction. The effect of this meticulously designed construction is that the coffee is brewed within less time and the least amount of effort while maintaining the quality of pour-over coffee.
When it comes to V-60 drippers, there is a preconceived notion of the dripper being more suitable for intermediate to advanced pour-over enthusiasts. The reason behind it is that the design and method associated with the V60 dripper allow maximum variability, which is a plus for someone skilled enough to make tweaks and adjustments to brewing the highest quality of coffee, but for a beginner, it is not only intimidating, but one small mistake can ruin the brew completely. However, with Hario Mugen V60, the pour has to be done correctly only one time as it is a single pour method and it is a lot easier to master and to perform correctly compared to pour-overs with other V60 drippers. This makes Hario Mugen the perfect coffee dripper for first-time pour-over enthusiasts and beginners to start making delicious pour-over coffee with confidence.
- Detachable holder allows flexibility
The flat and slim holder of the Hario Mugen dripper not only adds to the overall stylish and futuristic look of the dripper but also is easily detachable. The holder can be easily removed by pushing on the edge of the hole at the backside of the dripper. When it is detached, the dripper can be set on a dripping stand or a server on its own.
Expected Flavor and Taste profile by using Hario Mugen dripper
The first factor that dictates the taste and flavor of coffee is the coffee itself used for the brew, and hence it is difficult to pinpoint the taste and flavor depending on just the dripper. However, this can be said that conically shaped drippers like Hario Mugen are known to bring out the best of single-origin light roasted coffee as they preserve the floral, fruity, and acidic notes of the coffee. In addition to that, the coffee made using Hario Mugen will be rich but at the same time clean without any muddles.
Basic Method for brewing the perfect cup of coffee using Hario Mugen
Filter size: 02 Filter paper is recommended to be used with Hario Mugen.
Recommended coffee to water ratio: 20g of coffee to 240ml of water (1:12). Although this is the recommended ratio, this can be adjusted depending on the type of coffee used, grind size, time for extraction, and personal preference. As you become more familiar with the process, feel free to play with the ration and find the perfect balance suited to your taste!
Recommended coffee grind size: Medium Fine. This is also something that you can change and experiment with, to find the grind size that works best for you.
Fig: The basic steps for single-pour extraction using Hario Mugen. (A) shows how to detach the holder.
- Fold the paper filter following the seams and place it stably in the dripper.
- Place the Hario Mugen dripper on a server or a cup. At this point, the dripper only has the filter paper in it, without any coffee grind. Pour hot water onto the filter slowly without leaving any dry spots. The hot water drains into the server. This step has two important purposes:
- To wet the paper filter to allow uniform and optimum extraction
- To warm the server
Throw out the hot water that has fallen into the server.
- Put 20g of medium-fine coffee grind into the filter. Jostle the dripper lightly to settle the grind inside the filter and so that it has an even surface on top.
- Start pouring the hot water from the kettle slowly, starting from the center and moving in an outward spiral. This pour should be done as a single pour, without any interruption or intervals, and the amount of water to be poured is 240ml.
- Once all the water has dripped into the server as coffee, the pour-over is complete and ready to be enjoyed! The extraction into the server would take around 40 seconds.
This is a video that shows the basic process
- For making your pour-over more accurate, you can use a digital pour-over scale with a built-in timer that you can place beneath your server to measure the time and amount of water and coffee with higher precision.
- Although this dripper has been designed specifically for a perfect single-pour brew, it can be used to perform multiple brews as well; especially an initial pour for blooming, and then one final pour. The best thing about manual pour-over is the fact that you can personalize it by changing different factors of the brew so do not miss out on the chance to experiment with this dripper as well!
- There is no specific restriction to the type of beans you can use to make coffee using the Hario Mugen dripper. However, since the dripper is made to extract the coffee slowly, it might be interesting to use light roasted single-origin coffee to see how much of the original flavor, aroma, and taste can be found in the final cup of coffee.
Cleaning the Hario V60 dripper after use: Cleaning the Hario V60 dripper is easy and simple, thanks to the fact that it is dishwasher safe. If you are hand washing it, make sure to use a soft sponge and a neutral detergent to wash it. Although it is not highly recommended if you absolutely have to deep-clean it from time to time, wash it using diluted household bleach and make sure to wash the bleach away thoroughly with water so that the smell of bleach does not contaminate the coffee next time you are using the dripper to brew.
Final Verdict – Should you buy a Hario Mugen?
Yes if you are looking for a dripper:
- That allows single pour instead of multiple pours
- Even a beginner can use it confidently
- That can create consistently standard pours and allows high repeatability
- That can minimize the time spent on each manual pour-over (especially at a busy café)
- That can be used to create great pour-over without a high level of expertise
- That is designed to brew an outstanding cup of coffee using the slowest extraction rates
(Or if you are a huge coffee enthusiast and want to add it to your coffee maker collection and are too tempted to give up on the chance to try using it at least once!)
But the answer will be No if…
- You are completely against the one-pour method and believe the only way to make great pour-over coffee is through the multiple pour method
- You are not looking for a conically shaped dripper and prefer other shapes for your pour-overs
- You do not like using paper filters for your brews
More Videos about HARIO Mugen
I thought it might be helpful to see more videos about Hario Mugen, so I picked my personal favorite from YouTube here!
Most of the Hario Mugen videos are in foreign languages without captions, but these are not, so I hope it is helpful for you.
TALES - Hario Mugen Pour Over Dripper Review
This video includes:
- A detailed review of the product
- Stated the Pros and Cons
- Shared and demo a detailed recipe and method for brewing a coffee that can be perfect even for a beginner.
HARIO - Tetsu Kasuya x Mugen Iced Coffee
This video includes:
- Recipe for iced coffee
- A simple recipe for beginners, but the cons is there's no English translation. (Still understandable)
Buy Hario Mugen
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*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
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