The world of coffee is amazing and huge. There are just so many types of coffee, innumerable processing methods giving several types of coffees and hundreds of variations. The little nuances keep the coffee connoisseurs engaged and happy. Even if you love even just one type of coffee, there are just so many things and experiments to do that you will be busy tinkering with them for a long time. This is exactly what keeps coffee lovers keep coming back for more.
Introduction to Drip Coffee
Today we will discuss the pour-over coffee. The name itself is descriptive of the process involved and seems like an easy process. Anyone with no idea about coffee will say, just pour some hot water over coffee, and there, the coffee is ready. If you are also one of them and think similarly, you are going to get a big surprise today.
People forget that coffee is all about the taste, and slight changes here and there (e.g. temperature of the water) can change the taste, consistency, flavor, and smell of the coffee by a degree that is easily discernible by coffee lovers.
Even though there are lesser factors at play in Pour over coffee, it’s still a delicate process. Agreed, the uniquely simple design and look of the brewers will give a lot of control to the coffee maker to tinker with the process.
However, each step of the process will need your close attention, unlike the automated machines where you will get coffee at the push of a button and tasting exactly the same every time.
Put Time and Effort Into Coffee Making
These coffees are for those who appreciate and love the time and effort put into making them. They love the slow and steady pace and have enough patience to wait for every last drop to drip down before they can taste it. They love getting their hands and fingers in the coffee, giving attention to the details involved, climbing the slow learning curve one coffee at a time, and those who live by their drip coffees.
Not something which is looking for a quick fix for a cup of coffee, this one requires tons of patience as even when you try it several times, you would understand that the nuances and the right mix of contents to make the coffee you love.
Drip coffee comes with quite a complex flavor profile, and yet they are small, simple, and easy to carry, such as a pour-over coffee maker with you on a business trip, picnic, fishing trip, or wherever you want to take it. It will be lighter than other variations of coffee you would have tasted but enjoyed the same levels of caffeine.
The Product – Kalita Wave
A unique name, Kalita is the name of the manufacturer, and Wave is the product name coming from the fact that there are several horizontal ridges on the conical surface of this dripper.
We have to agree that the ridges make it look attractive, stylish and give the product its unique personality. You can easily recognize this product from a mile away, from just the design. The conical surface with the ridges extends down into a flat bottom plate, having 3 small holes for the drip.
The bottom plate extends beyond the base and acts as an extended base to sit over any vessel like a cup, mug, etc. When we talk about making a coffee, it is common to see that there is always a channeling involved which channels away from the water quickly and does not give enough time for the coffee to develop.
This is evident in espresso coffee machines where sometimes the channeling happens in the portafilter giving an underdeveloped and mild coffee. The same happens in drip coffee too, and that is the reason why instead of a single large hole at the bottom, they have split the opening into 3 smaller holes resulting in a crisp cup of coffee.
Design: Size and Material
The Kalita Wave model comes in a series of different materials. You can buy the Stainless steel one, the glass or the ceramic one. You can also select from two different sizes of the Kalita Wave Model as per its volume, the single-cup Kalita 155 series and the 2-3 cups model, the Kalita 185 series. So overall, you have 6 different options to choose from.
Key Point of Kalita Wave: Improved Flow Control
While other manufacturers fuss over other design aspects, the Kalita Wave has directly focused on improved flow control, which is key to every dripper and the drip coffee process. This shape allows for an even and stable coffee extraction. When it comes to drip coffee, drip is everything and the one thing you need to regulate. The Kalita Wave does just that job perfectly well.
Kalita Wave Dripper Ease of Usage – Extremely Easy
Let’s understand the working of this simple model and understand why it works so well where others compete so much.
Cupcake-Designed Paper Filters
With a drip coffee mechanism, apart from gravity doing its job, the most crucial aspect is to get an even extraction. The Kalita Wave uses cupcake-designed paper cups that fit inside the dripper. These vertical wavy ridges give extra control over the drip mechanism and offer the advantage of even extraction.
These oversized, cupcake-looking paper filters make it all easy by holding the coffee grounds away from the dripper’s conical walls. The horizontal waves on the dripper and the vertical ones on the paper filter give enough space for the coffee extract to get filtered and pushed outside the paper filter.
The vertical ridges also let the coffee inside the filter come into contact with a lot more surface area of the filter than regular flat paper filters used in other drippers.
How it Works
The overall combined effect is that the coffee ground will keep releasing the extract while at the same time, it is filtered and pushed outside the filter as well as downwards (from the 3 holes) into the carafe. With other drippers, the extract only flows down and quickly as that is the only place where the extract can flow. Also, the vertical ridges will allow air to pass between them. The improved airflow will lead to an even flow rate and good extraction.
If you understand what we explained until now, you would have realized how simple, beautifully thought through, and brilliant the design is, though it looks exceedingly simple to the naked eye. This dripper will extract more per gram of coffee ground, and this is why we recommend the Kalita Wave. These filters are prone to damage and get deformed easily, so take care and store them properly to retain their shape.
Brew Control Feature – Works Great
The 3 small holes on the bottom plate slow down the flow of coffee into the carafe. Giving more time for the coffee to brew in the dripper container. It would have been better if there was a mechanism to close the bottom holes and open them when desired, like the Clever Dripper, which holds the slurry until you want to release it.
This way, the coffee would have been richer and stronger and gives the user more control over the entire process. Because the amount of time the coffee grounds are in contact with the hot water is what decides the kind of coffee you get in the end.
The Kalita Wave is built for using medium ground coffee for the best results. But you must experiment with different ground levels for your coffee and find that fine balance that works for you.
The flow restriction, the flat bottomed dripper, the filter design all work together to make a coffee that is slightly more fuller-bodies than the rest of the drippers in the market. Overall the process is quite stable. It will not be difficult to recreate at the same time and again, which is what users ideally want.
Portability – Easy
The Kalita Wave is very portable, and the stainless steel on it is even more durable. It is less fragile and can handle travel easily. The cupcake-style paper filters are delicate and prone to get damaged or flattened easily. Do ensure to pack the filters carefully. If you want better heat retention, the glass and ceramic will work better. But they may not be so easily portable.
How to Make Coffee in Kalita Wave?
We have detailed below the process of coffee extraction using the Kalita Wave. Do follow the instructions carefully to get a good coffee in the end.
Instructions for Making Coffee With Kalita Wave
Placing the Filter
- Place the paper filter in the dripper and place the dripper on top of the carafe. Heat the dripper, carafe, and your coffee mug by pouring hot water into them. This is so as to not pour hot water into a cold dripper, carafe, and mug. This will also take away the papery taste of the filter, if any.
- Measure the pre-ground coffee to your requirements and place them at the bottom of the filter. For the Kalita 155, you should ideally have around 18 grams of ground coffee to make around 300 ml of coffee. While the Kalita 185 will need 30 grams of ground coffee to make 500 ml (16.9 ounces) of coffee.
Pouring the Water
- Take your timer and be prepared to set it when you start pouring the water into the dripper. It’s essential to time the entire process because, with coffee, small changes can change the flavor, texture, and richness. So it will be very easy for you to recreate the same magic every time.
- Pour over some water for 10 seconds to completely soak the coffee ground. At this point, the coffee ground will start to rise, steam and some coffee will start to drip as well. This initial hot soak is essential. As it will make the coffee ground hot enough, will saturate the grounds, and ready for the next round. Try to get all the coffee ground soaked in a few seconds. Stir the coffee with a spoon to make sure there are no air pockets left. Wait for about 20-30 seconds.
- In the next round, pour the water gently but in a spiral motion to ensure you get an even extraction. You can pour the hot water till the brim of the filter. Wait for the coffee to drip slowly. Once it goes 1/3rd of the way down in the dripper, pulsate it with more water in a spiral motion again. Then wait for a few seconds and then repeat it. The number of times you can refill the dripper depends on how much coffee ground you have used initially. However, 1 round is enough to get enough extract. Else it may get diluted quite a bit. Sit back and let the dripper do its job.
- The whole process should take anywhere between 2-3 minutes, by the end of which you should get a hot steaming coffee. If the remainder of the coffee is taking a long time, keep the dripper on some other carafe. You do not have to wait for the entire coffee to drip. Pour this into the mug. Let the remainder of the coffee drip while you enjoy yours.
As you can see, there are a few things you need to be careful about to master the overall process.
Kalita Wave Dripper: Overall View
Coffee drip is an interesting process and has an old-school charm about it. Slow, engaging, yet interesting. We think this is a very well-designed product that looks beautiful. Also, Kalita Wave works well to give you that superb taste you were looking for.
Priced almost the same as its competitors, its added functionality and look score higher over the competition and so is our choice for dripper. Since there is no stopper mechanism, the coffee will start dripping from the word go. However, we are still happy with the way it works. I hope you have found this review useful.