Pour over coffee pot recommendations

Please help!

I’d like to buy my wife a nice pour over set for Christmas. I’m aware of Hario and Kalita but I’m overwhelmed by the choices.

Could somebody recommend a solid, stainless steel pour over kettle under 2000nt that they themselves are happy with and perhaps an accompanying funnel thing.

It doesn’t need to be Japanese, it can be a Taiwanese brand, so long as it comes highly recommended.

Thanks in advance

I’ve got the Kalita 700ml stainless steel pour over kettle. Personally I think it makes the water taste a little metallic, I’ve tasted the water after it has cooled in the kettle and it has a slight metallic taste to it. It’s not enough to notice, and I use it every day, but if I had it again I would buy something else.

With the ‘funnel thing’ I presume you are talking about the dripper cone, personally I would just stick with the Hario V60. The V60 keeps the water flowing, so you end up with a very clean cup. I’ve got a Kalita 101 lying around that I hardly even use anymore. The Kalita or other Melitta style shape brewers, or even those combination immersion brewers, are for people who like a muddier, bolder cup. The V60 brews too fast for these people. Also if you do go down the path of buying a V60, suggest you don’t buy the Taiwanese Tiamo “V60 like” clone. Reason: the measuring spoon that comes with the Hario kit has notches indicating different approximate weights. The Tiamo does not. Small thing, but it really helps sometimes when trying to dial in a ratio for beans you like. There are some other little details that are botched, and the Tiamo is barely much less in cost anyway. In fact it’s a bit of a joke that Tiamo just cloned the Hario design without any of the IP expense, and sell it for more or less the same price.

There are a lot of Amazon sellers from Japan, even if listed on the US Amazon site, it will come from Japan. Suggest buying online to save a lot off inflated local coffee gear prices.

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Lots of great tips!

I wonder if @SlowRain might have additional ideas?

Guy

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Coffee snob here. I think the best option is the Hario V60 02, not only for great coffee if you want to deep-dive into specialty coffee, but it’s also accessible for those starting off in terms of ease of use and price. @bdog already hit most of the main reasons the V60 is a good choice for most consumers. I have bought my share of specialty coffee toys/brewers, and I still brew V60’s every morning for my ritual coffee.

If you’re in Taiwan, you can also search in Shopee.tw for fancier V60 brewing contraptions to make the gift a bit more special. I use the plastic V60 everyday, so the fancy stuff isn’t necessary, just nice to look at.

Just a head’s up: your coffee brewer is only as good as your kettle, and the most important thing is to have a gooseneck kettle for controlled pours. If you guys don’t have one yet, you can get a cheap one on Shopee (and places like Carrefour sell them too).

One more thing to consider: the aero press. It’s a contraption that doesn’t require a kettle, doesn’t take much space, and can brew great coffee as well. It can be as easy as you need it to be (“I just want to scoop pre-ground coffee and brew”), or it can also be as advanced as you want it to be (there are global aero press competitions, believe it or not). Check that out too.

I had the choice of a Takahiro and the Kalita kettles at the time. I bought the Kalita because I thought the lid seemed fastened on better, and I was concerned the lid would come off during the pour. Totally overthought it, wish I had have bought the Takahiro. I would steer clear of most of the tinny Kalita and Hario stuff, in regard of kettles I mean, but I can’t give you the rock solid recommendation you require on the Takahiro. If your SO is a coffee nerd, the Takahiro will get some respect, put it that way.

Agreed, the Kalita and Hario kettles (or locally made knock offs) don’t hold temperature well, so if your wife eventually wants to upgrade, there are plenty more choices out there (and another rabbit hole to wander down).

Thanks very much folks. Excellent advice. I might start off with a Hario V60 set. Costco even sells the kettle and ceramic V60 and vessel online as a package. I tried the kettle along side a Bonavita self heating kettle at a cafe the other day and both seemed pretty comfortable.

I use the Kalita Wave kettle. I think it holds 900ml. I chose that one because I wanted a large capacity, light weight, and good flow control from the spout. I’m happy with it.

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Reviving this thread to say I took the plunge and picked up some pour over equipment today. After reading about the Hario vs Kalita differences (the former producing a cleaner, lighter brew; the latter a more forceful brew), I elected to go with the Kalita 102 dripper cone, ceramic version, made in Japan.

In Taipei City, OKLao on Heping East Road (just east of Dunhua) has a nice selection of Hario and Kalita products at what look to me to be reasonably prices. The Kalita 102—remember this is imported from Japan—cost me a whopping NT$295. I’ll give it a try tomorrow morning. I’m excited, I had to stop myself from brewing a pot tonight!

Guy

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Why not live a little? Sleep is overrated.

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Ha! I’m already wired from a long work week.

Best to look forward to the fun tomorrow!

Guy

OK, I’ve given my Kalita 102 dripper cone a couple of tries today. The taste of the brew is coming out thin. I’m still working on figuring out the best grind and pouring speed.

With my beloved french press (which I’ve been using now for about twenty years), I’ve figured out the specifics. With this pour over business, I’m not (yet!) getting results I want. The brew is not wretched or anything like that, it just has no wow yet.

Guy

The problem with pourover is dose and grind both affect the drawdown, and hence extraction rate. So it can be hard to dial in when you get started. If too thin maybe try a slower pour? My favourite style is really high ratio, like 1:10 beans to water, grams in. I’m talking like the strength and body of a lungo pulled from a machine! There are thousands of Japanese youtube videos showing how to pour, maybe search your dripper model on there? Some of the Japanese brewers use obscene ratios, even worse than me.

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Yes I have some learning to do. After years of perfecting my french press technique (lol), it’s just as well I expand my skill set a bit.

I’ll try a slower pour tomorrow and see if that helps.

Guy

I wonder how noticeable the differences are, or if assertions that one is significantly better than the other are just snobbishness. It seems like the manufacturer/design of the cone should be way down on the list of variables that make a difference to the end result (cf. choice of coffee beans, particle size and distribution, coffee amount, water amount, water temperature, pouring rate, filter type, extraction time…).

I like Oklao (it’s pretty much the only place I buy coffee), but some of their prices for equipment aren’t really competitive. I’m thinking about moka pots specifically, which IIRC were bordering on obscene - at least 2-3 times the price of buying on Shopee.

I did recall seeing a moka pot on display near the door of the Heping Shop—but I didn’t check the price as I was looking at pour over equipment. I can say however that the prices of the equipment imported from Japan looked reasonable to me.

After settling on Kalita, I found out that this branch didn’t have the filters for sale. I then swung by Zhenfei on Roosevelt Road—hat tip to @tempogain for alerting me to this place—and they had plenty in stock.

Guy

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It’s the opening at the bottom of the dripper cone that apparently makes a difference. The more restricted the opening, the denser the brew if you keep all the other variables you mentioned consistent.

Guy