HARIO V60 – Everything You Need to Know

HARIO V60 – How Hario V60 became the icon of specialty pour over coffee

In the world of third-wave coffee culture, coffee is not a mere commodity but an artisanal specialty that is appreciated and celebrated through a global movement of coffee research, connoisseurship, and improvement of coffee culture and industry as a whole, including every little detail of coffee from raw bean cultivation to roasting and brewing process. And Hario V60, the most widely used dripper for manual pour-over, has become one of the most iconic symbols that represent the third-wave coffee movement.

HARIO V60 – How Hario V60 became the icon of specialty pour over coffee

Today, Hario V60 is not just a coffee-making tool but the actualization of one's dedication, passion, and respect for coffee – whether it be a café or a coffee-loving person at home, owning and using the Hario V60 dripper is a statement that says “I care about coffee.” That being said, with so many other pour-over drippers out there, the rise of Hario V60 to the high status it has today did not happen overnight or through publicity. To understand why Hario V60 is what it is today, we have to dig deeper into the maker behind this phenomenal product and that is exactly what we are going to do in the next section.

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Hario: The Japanese Glassware Company that brought the V60 to the world

In the past, the Japanese word used for glass was “Hari” and the Japanese word “Ou” means King. Hence the name Hario means “King of Glass”. As you can guess from the name, Hario was originally a glassware maker. Not just any type of glassware, but high-quality professional-grade, laboratory glassware; to this date, Hario remains the only Japanese glassware company that has its own glass-manufacturing factory.

Hario was established in 1921 (this year the company is going to celebrate its 100th anniversary!), as “Hiromu Shibata Works" in Tokyo. At this point, their main operation was the manufacturing and sales of laboratory glassware. Over the years, the company continued to research and develop the quality of glass, focusing on creating high-grade "heat-proof" or "heat-resistant" glass. Their first breakthrough happened in 1949 when they succeeded in making their trademark "HARIO Glass" after many years of research. It is to be noted that the 1950s were also the time during which the world saw a steep rise in demand for home coffee brewing equipment. Hario started developing a prototype for V60 around this time but it was not yet commercially distributed. Around 1957, Hario started branching out their product lines to kitchenware and home equipment, and their coffee siphon equipment was released into the market which quickly became very popular.

 

By the 1990s, Hario started to expand its operations overseas, becoming a truly global company. Hario is not only dedicated to making high-quality products but also doing it in an eco-friendly way. It used 100% natural minerals in its glass refinement process and since 1972, its manufacturing factory has been a factory without chimneys, preventing the release of dust and smoke into the atmosphere.

Since its establishment, Hario has remained true to its business philosophy of真善美楽 (Shinzenbiraku), which is made of four characters that mean "Truth", "Goodness/Virtue", "Beauty", and "Comfort/Ease". It continues to evolve, improve, and develop its products according to the needs of the society and users that change with time, but at the same never compromising the consistently high quality of its products.

 

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The V60 journey - Birth and Evolution of Hario V60 over the years

Now that we know the story of Hario – the long-established Japanese company behind the Hario V60 line of products, let’s look at the story of Hario V60 itself from its inception to how it became the iconic symbol of specialty coffee brewing that it is today.

The 1920s

In 1921, the company now known as Hario Co. Ltd. was established as “Hiromu Shibata Works” in Kanda-Sudacho, Tokyo. During this time, it was mainly focused on making laboratory glassware such as beakers, Petri dishes, coolers, etc., and researching on melting and creating "heatproof glassware".

1949

In 1946, Hario began to develop a prototype of the all-glass vintage Cory vacuum coffee pot – a ten serving siphon which came to be the most popular coffee pot in the US at this time. As Syphon coffee brewers were one of the most popular coffee brewing techniques in the US, Hario endeavored to create their own Syphon coffee brewer using their high-quality heatproof glass.

In 1949, after many years of persistent research on creating the perfect quality of glass, Hario succeeded in making their original “Hario Glass”, a heatproof glass of 1st-grade hardness. Their heatproof glass is made of silica sand, borax, boric acid, alumina; all refined natural minerals.

The 1950s and 1960s

In1957, Hario released its first Syphon coffee brewer ‘Syphon S7’ to the market.

During the 1950s, Hario started to expand its line of products to kitchenware and tableware. This was also a time during which home coffee brewing equipment saw a rise in demand. The most commonly used manual coffee brewing method during this period was the Nel coffee dripper which involves pour-over extraction through a flannel cloth filter. Although this was the most pervasive method in the world of specialty coffee, it required a high level of expertise and knowledge to perform correctly.  Hence Nel drip was more an expert’s choice of brewing rather than something easily accessible to the general coffee enthusiasts who wanted to have café-style coffee at home.

During this time, Hario wondered if they could create fuss-free coffee brewing equipment that would be easier to use and be more accessible to coffee lovers in general, but at the same time be able to create the taste and flavor quality achieved by Nel drip. They underwent many trial and error processes, experimenting and researching using various glass equipment they had at that time, for example, the conical glass funnel used commonly in laboratories.

The 1980s

During the 1980s, Hario released a piece of equipment for manual pour-over brew based on a conical shape similar to Hario V60. It can be said that it was developed upon the prototype of V60, with a funnel and a filter paper held by steel wires. The brewing equipment released commercially by Hario in 1980 was called the “Mini Coffee Dripper”. During this time, instant coffee and mechanical coffee brewers were the new, popular trends on the market and the equipment got overshadowed by those trends. Unlike Hario V60, it was not commercially successful so it was discontinued and the idea of Hario V60 remained on the shelf for a while.

There is great news about the Hario “Mini Coffee Dripper”. It is making a comeback this year for a limited period as one of four Hario retro products that are being released as a part of their 100th-anniversary celebration in the “Hario Revival Series”. If you are interested in knowing more about this, you can do so here: https://global.hario.com/seihin/productdetail.php?product=CKJF-01B

2004

Although the development of Hario V60 was paused for a while, the basic concept of creating a manual pour-over device that allows users to bring out the best quality from individual coffee was not forgotten. Also, the turn of the century was in favor of specialty coffee and manual pour-overs with the rise of the third wave coffee movement. 24 years after the first predecessor of V60 was released, Hario kick-started the development process again. Until this time, the pour-over drippers that were out in the market had straight diagonal ribs on the inner walls with a small opening at the bottom, usually accompanied by a trapezoid dripper shape. All of these meant that the filter paper stuck to the walls tightly, restricting the degassing process during the initial bloom. This decreased the efficiency of extraction. Hario went against the grain by coming up with a revolutionary dripper wall design engineered with ridges that spiraled downward into a large drainage hole. These meticulously designed ribs on the walls and the conical shape of the V60 allowed water to flow smoothly, air to escape during the degassing process, and to make the extraction process faster but more efficient. This also meant that the person doing the pour-over had more control over the process, and could choose to do a fast pour or a slow pour depending on the preference. The name V60 comes from the “V” shape or conical shape and the 60 degrees angle at which the edges are slanted. Hario V60 dripper was first released commercially in 2005.

2005 onwards to the future

After its release in 2005, there was no turning back for Hario V60. It was made with the vision of “the dripper that can create variations of flavor for those who brew coffee” and it has been widely accepted by specialty coffee lovers all over the world. Currently, it is used in more than 75 different countries and regions across the globe. In 2007, Hario received Japan’s Good Design Award for the plastic and ceramic versions that were released by that time. Since then Hario’s V60 has been released in different materials such as glass, plastic, ceramic, metal, etc., and in different sizes and colors as well. In 2010, World Barista Champion Michael Phillips used Hario V60 to achieve the championship title; since then the popularity of Hario V60 has spread by word of mouth. Not only that, the champions of the World Brewers Cup, an annual international specialty coffee brewing competition, for the years 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 have all used Hario V60 as their brewing equipment to win the title.

Hario V60 continues to be used all over the world at home and in cafes, and there is Hario’s official “Hario V60 Coffee Map” web page that you can use to find a café near you that serves Hario V60 coffee.

https://global.hario.com/map/V60_coffee.html

The story of Hario V60 is not complete yet. Hario V60 continues to keep on evolving and their newest addition to the series “Hario Mugen”, released in March 2021, makes it evident that Hario will continue to improve on and creating new products in the Hario V60 series.

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Hario Ceramic V60, Arita Yaki, and the profound concept of Japanese “Monozukuri”

Although Hario started its journey as a glassware company, Hario V60 has been made in many different versions in terms of raw materials. Among these variations, the most classical and the most popular one is the ceramic version of Hario V60. It has a unique story of passion and craftsmanship behind it that demands exploration understand why the ceramic Hario V60 has remained the one most preferred by Hario V60 users.

Arita-Yaki or Arita ware is the traditional Japanese porcelain ware made in the town of Arita in the Southwestern region of Japan. This tradition of passionate craftsmanship has a history of more than 400 years, with artisanal techniques, equipment, skills, and dedication that have been passed down across generations. The ceramic used to make Hario V60 ceramic dripper is not just any ceramic but this Arita Yaki ceramic. To make this durable and tough yet stunningly smooth ceramic, porcelain stone is crushed down to very fine grains which are heated to extremely high temperatures within the range of 1250 °C – 3000°C. This ensures that the resulting ceramic dripper is as strong and hard as the original mineral.

The tradition of Arita Yaki and Hario also share another thing in common – “Monozukuri” (making of things or craftsmanship), a very important Japanese concept, which is reflected in every piece of Hario V60 dripper that is made by them. Monozukuri is a very comprehensive term including concepts like functional beauty, innovative design, viewing the product from the users’ perspective, attention to detail, quality assurance, the pursuit of perfection, and many others. The spirit of “Monozukuri” is captured in the Hario V60 and that is why it is not just a piece of mass-produced industrial equipment, but a soulful artisanal tool that the users can have a deep connection to when they are using it.

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Hario V60’s characteristic Features

  1. Cone Shape (Creating an angle of 60 degrees at the bottom)

The easily recognizable feature of the Hario V60 is its conical shape. Compared to other shapes such as trapezoid (e.g. Melitta, Clever, etc.) or basket shapes (e.g. Bluebottle, Kalita wave, etc.), the conical shape of Hario V60 creates a thicker filtration layer of coffee promoting uniform and efficient extraction. It allows the water to flow towards the center, allowing it to stay in contact with the coffee grounds for exactly the right amount of time, ensuring that the aromatic and taste constituents of the coffee are extracted into the final cup.

  1. Spiral Ribs

Before Hario V60, most coffee drippers had diagonal straight ribs on the inner walls. The problem with that kind of ribs is that the filter paper sticks to the walls tightly, preventing the gas released during the ‘blooming’ stage from escaping and also hindering the smooth flow of water. Instead of straight lines, Hario V60 has spiral-shaped ridges. These spiral ribs start at the bottom drainage hole and expand outwards and reach up to the top of the dripper. When the coffee grind is saturated with water, the higher ribs do not hinder their expansion, allowing the coffee to 'bloom' or expand freely and a layer of air is created between the filter paper and the dripper. The twisted design of the ribs also prevents the filter paper from sticking to the dripper. This allows efficient and uniform extraction, as well as allowing faster water flow.

  1. A single Large hole at the bottom

The large hole at the bottom of the dripper through which the tip of the filter paper protrudes allows the paper filter to perform an extraction that is as close as possible to a cloth filter as it is not restricted by the dripper. This means that the person doing the pour-over has maximum control over how he/she wants to brew the coffee, as the flow rate or extraction rate can be made to be slow or fast by varying the other factors such as coffee grind size and pouring speed. 

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What makes Hario V60 stand out from the rest?

  • Maximum Brew Control Ability

Hario V60's design allows the user to have maximum control over the pour-over. This is why it is the most popular brewing method for serious coffee lovers and experts. You can tweak, adjust, and experiment as much as you want using Hario V60 drippers. Although this means that it has a long learning curve and that it requires lots of practice and dedication to master, once you have mastered the skills and knowledge, the result will be extremely rewarding. The following are some of the factors that you can vary and play with while using Hario V60 to produce your desired cup of coffee:

  1. Coffee type: Not only can you try using different coffee varieties: blends, single origins, and roast types, but also you can try brewing the same coffee but at certain “days after roasting”. V60 is so good at capturing the individuality of each coffee batch that even the same coffee can create very different cups depending on how much time has passed since it came out of the roaster.
  2. Water temperature: The higher the temperature of the water, the quicker will be the extraction.
  3. Coffee grind size: Coarser grind size means the coffee bed inside the filter is less dense and hence the extraction will be faster. Finer grind size creates a more tightly packed, denser coffee bed through which water takes longer to pass through.
  4. Coffee to Water Ratio: This is how much coffee you are putting inside the filter for a brew and how much water you are using to extract the coffee. The most common ratio used for pour-over is 1:17. However, you can vary this however you want and find out a ratio that creates the best results.
  5. Pouring Technique: Last but certainly not least, this is one of the most important factors that can be experimented with using Hario V60. There are many different aspects to this such as how many pours you include in your overall pouring method, whether you create any turbulence during the pour, whether or not to stir the coffee bed during the process, how fast you pour the water, and the list goes on and on. There are several well-established recipes created by pour-over experts but once you have your Hario V60, it is a playground of endless possibilities where you can create your own style of pour-over method.
  • Best brewing method for specialty coffee

One of the main aspects of third-wave coffee culture is the appreciation of the individuality of coffee. In the past, there was a generalized idea of what 'good' coffee should be, and everyone tried to make their coffee reach that standard. However, nowadays, non-coffee-like flavors such as tartness, fruitiness, floral notes, and interesting taste and flavor profiles are very welcome in coffee. Hario V60 is particularly suited to this modern way of appreciating the uniqueness of each type of coffee because, through Hario V60, even the subtlest characteristics of a coffee can really shine through and be captured in the final cup of coffee.

Hario V60

This is very important especially for specialty coffee roasters because they might want to taste the subtle differences in each batch of coffee, sometimes at daily intervals after roasting a batch of coffee. Because Hario V60 allows efficient degassing, a coffee that has been roasted very recently can be brewed into a great cup of coffee using V60, which would not be possible by other drippers.

Apart from drawing out the greatest level of flavor, aroma, and taste, Hario V60 brews incredibly clean coffee in terms of coffee sediments. When you do a pour-over using Hario V60, the brew will be a clean cup, smooth and light in your mouth, free from unwanted muddles, cloudiness, or sediments.

  • Aesthetic Appeal

Hario V60’s simple, classic, and elegant design is a great example of a timeless design. Whether it be at a café or home, the V60 dripper sitting on the server with the coffee blooming inside and the aromatic vapor spreading out from it is a breathtaking sight no matter how many times you have seen it.

  • Easy to use and to maintain

Although, indeed, mastering brewing coffee using Hario V60 is not easy, getting started with your Hario V60 is very easy. As long as you have the determination to learn it properly, the other aspects such as cost, maintenance, and accessibility are in your favor. Hario V60 comes at an affordable price, is easy to clean and store, and the steps of using it are quite straightforward.

  • Wide Range of Options

Hario V60 is available in different materials, sizes, and colors so there is something for everyone. Besides that, other equipment that is compatible with Hario V60, tutorials, guides, and replacement parts are easily available in many regions of the world because of its worldwide popularity.

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Different variations of Hario V60

Let’s take a look at the different variations of Hario V60 manual pour-over drippers. Apart from the ones listed below, there are Hario V60 drippers included in kits or sets, as well as automatic Hario V60 dripper machines. However, in this article, we will only focus on Hario V60 pour-over drippers for manual brewing that are sold as a stand-alone product.

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Plastic V60 Drippers

Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper, Size 02,

Color

Material

Size & Capacity

Transparent/Clear

Acrylonitrile- Styrene Resin (As)

01 ( 1 -2 Cups)

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

03 (1 - 6 Cups)

White

Polypropylene (PP)

01 ( 1 -2 Cups)

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

Red

Polypropylene (PP)

01 ( 1 -2 Cups)

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

 

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Ceramic V60 Drippers

Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, Size 01,

Color

Material

Size & Capacity

White

Arita-Yaki Porcelain

01 ( 1 -2 Cups)

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

Red

Arita-Yaki Porcelain

01 ( 1 -2 Cups)

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

 

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Heatproof Glass V60 Drippers

Hario V60 Glass Coffee Dripper, Size 02

Color

Material

Size & Capacity

Olive Wood

Dripper body: Hario Heatproof Glass

Holder: Olive wood with a silicone rubber grip

01 ( 1 -2 Cups)

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

White

Dripper body: Hario Heatproof Glass

Holder: Polypropylene

01 ( 1 -2 Cups)

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

Red

Dripper body: Hario Heatproof Glass

Holder: Polypropylene

01 ( 1 -2 Cups)

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

Black

Dripper body: Hario Heatproof Glass

Holder: Polypropylene

01 ( 1 -2 Cups)

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

03 (1 - 6 Cups)

 

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Metal V60 Drippers

Hario V60 Metal Coffee Dripper,

Color

Material

Size & Capacity

Silver

Dripper body: Stainless steel, no coating

Holder: Polypropylene

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

Brushed Copper

Dripper body: Stainless steel, brushed

copper coating

Holder: Polypropylene

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

Matte Black

Dripper body: Stainless steel, matte black coating

Holder: Silicone rubber

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

Authentic Copper

Dripper body: Copper (Inside: Nickel Plating)

Surface treatment: Baked coating

Handle: Brass

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

 

Special Versions:

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V60 02 Dripper Kasuya Model

In 2016, Tetsu Kasuya became the first person from Asia to win the World Brewers Cup Championship and the brewer he used to win this title is Hario V60 dripper. In collaboration with Tetsu Kasuya, Hario has created this special V60 dripper.

For more:  https://global.hario.com/pickup_kasuyamodel/KDC.html

Hario KDC-02-B Coffee Dropper, Ceramic, Black, Size 2

 

Model Name

Color

Material

Size & Capacity

Special features

 

V60 02 Dripper Kasuya Model

(KDC-02-B)

 

Black

 

Porcelain

 

02 (1 - 4 Cups)

 

The conventional spiral rib design has been customized to allow a slower water flow, promoting better extraction of coffee. This means a richer, stronger coffee can be made even with the same amount of coarsely ground coffee.

It is designed in a way to especially suit the “4:6 brewing method”, which is a V60 pouring method invented by Tetsu Kasuya.

 

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V60 One Pour Dripper Mugen

We created an entire blog article about Hario Mugen.  Please click here to read more about Hario Mugen

Mugen

Model Name

Color

Material

Size & Capacity

Special features

 

V60 One Pour Dripper Mugen

 

White

 

Dripper body: Ceramic

Holder: Polypropylene

 

01 (1 - 2 Cups)

 

It has been designed to allow a single pour extraction. Instead of multiple pours, you can brew pour-over coffee by pouring all the water at one time.

It does not have spiral ridges on the inner walls and instead has simple star-shaped grooves which slow down the extraction process.

We created an entire blog article about Hario Mugen.  Please click here to read more about Hario Mugen

 

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Which Hario V60 should you go for? - Factors to Consider when choosing

Size and Capacity

Hario drippers come in Sizes 01, 02, and 03. Size 01 is for 1-2 cups, Size 02 is for 1-4 cups, and Size 03 is for 1-6 cups. When it comes to the size or brewing capacity, the most obvious thing to think about is how many cups of coffee you want to make in each pour-over. However, there is something else to think about if you are truly serious about pour-over coffee. The size of the dripper can affect the taste and quality of the brew. Let us make it clear. As the size of the dripper goes from Size 01 to Size 02, you will be brewing using a dripper that has a taller rim, spiral ribs that spreads further out, a larger drainage hole, and a larger thermal mass. Let's see how these factors might affect the brew:

  • Taller rim: The kettle spout from which the hot water comes out is further away from the coffee ground. This might decrease the accuracy of the pour.
  • The spiral ribs are more outspread: The ridges on the inner walls of the dripper directly affect the water flow and extraction rate which in turn affects the taste and flavor of the final cup.
  • Larger hole at the bottom: A larger hole means less restriction to water flow so the flow of water will be faster.
  • Greater thermal mass: A bigger dripper means it can hold more coffee at a time, but it also means that the overall brewing temperature will become lower, which results in less extraction.

Thermal conductivity

The temperature at which the coffee is brewed is an important factor as it affects how much of the aromatic and flavor components are extracted from the coffee into the final cup. The higher the temperature, the higher is the extraction. However, it is not as simple as "higher temperature = better brew" because a brewing temperature that is too high can add bitter notes to the coffee or cause over-extraction. But as a general rule of thumb, it is best to keep in mind that the order of thermal conductivity of the V60 drippers is as below this if put in the simplest terms:

Copper > other metals (stainless steel) > Porcelain > Glass > Plastic

Higher thermal conductivity means that the heat will be taken away by the dripper from the body of the coffee where extraction is happening. We want to minimize this loss of heat to the dripper from the extraction. That is why it is important to pre-heat the dripper (especially the metallic ones) before doing the pour-over.

Durability and Portability

Needless to say, the metallic ones are the most durable, is fall-proof, and is great for:

  • Outdoor coffee brewing (e.g. camping)
  • In a café setting where things are commonly stacked upon one another and there is a chance for the dripper to fall from the shelf or to be dropped during the rush hours
  • Traveling purposes (it is lightweight and can be packed inside a suitcase without the fear of being shattered or cracking)

Aesthetic Appeal

What one finds beautiful can be subjective but there is a common perception of coffee tasting better in ceramic ware compared to plastic, something that has been hard-wired into our cognitive abilities and will inevitably affect our sense of taste and smell. This is why it is said that humans not only eat with their mouth but with our eyes, which is true for coffee brewing as well. The ceramic ones have a classic timeless beauty whereas the transparent ones such as glass or plastic allow better visibility of the spiral ribs as well as the brewing process.  

Final words - Is Hario V60 here to stay?

As you can see, Hario V60 is not going anywhere anytime soon. Although many different drippers are being made all the time, Hario V60 is still the one that is being used, adored, and studied most extensively by enthusiasts and experts alike. If you have not had a personal encounter with the Hario V60 yet, you might as well give it a try as the deceptively humble-looking conical dripper might be secretly brewing a whole world of exciting coffee experimentation and exploration within it!


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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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Japanese Coffee Blog is a collection of articles related to the Japanese Coffee and Charcoal Roasted Sumiyaki coffee which is unique roasting only found in Japan. Coffee culture in Japan has evolved isolated from around the world and has much uniqueness not found in the rest of the world.

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Author: Kei Nishida

Kei Nishida

Kei Nishida is a writer, a Japanese Green Tea and Coffee enthusiast, and the founder and CEO of Japanese Green Tea Company and Japanese Coffee Company.

His popular Japanese Green Tea and Health Blog has been the go-to place for anything related to Japanese tea.

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