Kalita Wave Ceramic Dripper is a beautiful, manual pour-over coffee maker – $30
Using an automatic coffee maker to brew your coffee is quick, easy and the result is always reliable. But how good does the coffee taste and how fun is it? If you have a bit more time on your hands, and if you’re really starting to become interested in the craft of making good coffee, then you could explore using manual pour-over methods.
If you’ve visited any serious and/or hipster coffee shop lately then you have probably already seen these manual coffee drippers in action. Most coffee shops are using the amazing Hario V60 setup, but as always I’m going to introduce a very nice alternative here on Pixels & Objects.
Kalita is a Japanese company that’s been making coffee paper filters, drippers and other related gear since 1958. Their Wave coffee drippers are praised around the world for its great performance and beautiful design. Compared to Hario V60 with its large hole in the bottom, the Wave dripper has a flat bottom with three smaller holes for the coffee to drip through. This design gives you a very even extraction, and in my opinion it is easier and more reliable to get your brew right, compared to a V60.
The Wave Coffee Dripper is available in ceramic, glass or stainless steel, and comes in two different sizes. The bigger 185 size is made in all three materials, while the smaller 155 size is only available in glass and stainless steel. Be sure to pick up some Kalita paper filters in the right size and also check out the Wave Pot and Glass Server to complete your pour-over setup.
Still not convinced? Check out this video by Nicholas Cho. Pure coffee art:
Photo by: Pixels & Objects
Hario Skerton is a beautiful, high-quality ceramic coffee grinder – $34
If you have any ambitions to make coffee that actually tastes good then you need to buy freshly roasted, whole coffee beans and grind them yourself right before you brew your coffee. There are no shortcuts available here so just do it and enjoy a whole new level of coffee experiences. There are many other factors that you can experiment with to make better coffee, but fresh beans and a grinder is the absolute best way to start out. I’ll leave it to you to find good coffee beans that suits your own taste but I will recommend a few good grinders here on Pixels & Objects in the coming months.
When you start looking for the right coffee grinder you have a few options to consider. The first one is whether to get a burr grinder or one that cuts the coffee beans using metallic blades. The answer is always to go for a burr grinder since they produce much more evenly cut coffee particles and this results in far better coffee. The second choice is between an electrical or a manual grinder. Electrical grinders are fast and easy to use but they also take up a lot of space. Manual grinders are often nice design objects that are easy to store and pack when traveling, but they do require you to put in some work every time you use them.
The first grinder featured on this site is Skerton, a manual, ceramic burr grinder from the legendary Japanese glassware manufacturer Hario. Skerton is a beautiful piece of hardware that you probably don’t want to hide in a kitchen drawer. It lets you grind approximately 80-90 grams of coffee at a time which is enough to brew 5+ cups of coffee. You will have to put in a lot of manual work to grind that much coffee beans and my recommendation is to use it to make smaller batches of coffee. It’s perfect for brewing 1-3 cups, either as your main grinder or as a less noisy alternative to your electronic grinder when you don’t want to wake your family up. It can also be very useful while traveling or at a place where you simply need an extra grinder, like at work. The price is also pretty attractive compared to almost any electrical burr grinder available.
Hario Skerton is made out of metal, plastic and glass and all parts can be disassembled very easily if you want to perform some serious cleaning. It comes with a plastic lid that you can use on the glass container if you want to store some grounded coffee, but that’s not something I would recommend. Use a scale to measure exactly the amount of beans you need for your brew and you’ll get better tasting coffee every time.
Photo by: Pixels & Objects