Kalita Wave: Why I Like This Pour Over Method the Best

Wednesday January 8, 2018

Throughout the years I have experimented with many different pour over methods like a Chemex, V60, French Press, Malita, Timolino, Able KONE, Aeropress, and so forth.  Only a few years ago after going to Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in San Francisco and talking with José Ortez I decided to invest in a Kalita Wave set-up, because he had made me a few different pour overs over a few visits and they were delicious.  José is the Lebron James of the coffee scene in SF and I value his opinion very much so that was all I needed.  I bought the Kalita Wave 185, some cupcake filters and let it rip a few times.  I wasn't too crazy about how it turned out so I decided to do some research.   After researching a few different brew recipes I stumbled upon Bird Rock Coffee Roasters youtube video of their barista Jeff doing a 25g to 325g brew recipe (a 1:13 ratio) and using that model I have tightened that recipe to create my own which has been working great ever since.  The majority of my recipe is mainly Bird Rock's so I won't take the credit at all, and if you want to watch the video where I got this recipe from I'll attach it at the bottom of the blog.

Being a fan of a chemex and using a 6-cup with paper filters I found that the Kalita offers a really sweet and balanced cup of coffee.  I loved how the chemex cleaned up the coffee and offered a ton of sweetness with a fairly delicate body and tea like quality. As time has gone on I have really grown to like a much more dense cup of coffee with all the sweetness and complexity that other pour over methods like the a Chemex offer.  The Kalita Wave offers that heavy richness that I have grown to love, along with an overall sweetness throughout the cup (especially as it cools down).  The Kalita is also very easy to clean and if you have the stainless steel model like I do, you don't have to worry about shattering it into a million pieces.  

The recipe that I have been going off of recently has gone something like this:

25g of dry coffee, medium-coarse grind setting (drip), 325g brewed total, brew time 3:00

Pre-wet your filter with just hot water from the kettle, this will wash away the paper taste/particles and pre-heat the vessel/brewer.  You don't want the vessel to steal any heat, so pre-wetting/preheating is crucial. I usually start with a 50g bloom for at least 40 seconds with the water just off of boil.  If the water is too cool in temperature (below 205) you're going to get a slightly flat cup of coffee with very little character because the water needs to agitate the coffee enough to release all that acidity and activate all the other compounds. From there I add in an additional 125g of water in slow concentric circles covering all dark areas to take the total up to 175g at about 1:05.  Avoid hitting the filter directly with water. After that I do additional 50g pulses starting from the center and then going out covering all the dark areas.  I will continue these 50g pulses every 10-15 seconds or so until my final pour around 2:15 finishes at the grand total of 325g.  The whole process should finish between 2:45 and 3:10.  If the bed is flat and not very porous, and titled you should be right in the ballpark. That is pretty much it! Pretty simple!  

If you are a beginner in making coffee at home and you want to explore using a Kalita Wave I would definitely recommend this pour over method to start out, because this is the least technical method in my opinion.  You will need filtered water, a digital scale, a timer (don't buy one, just use your phone), a grinder or pre-ground coffee from your favorite shop, a goose neck kettle, Kalita Wave, filters, and a good mug.  Below I will list the cheapest way to go about getting a set-up. Unless you get some used gear be prepared to spend about $180.00 for everything. 

Kalita Wave Stainless Steel Dripper $40.00, Kalita Wave Filters $13.00, Hario V-60 Electric Kettle $72.00, Escali Primo Digital Scale $30.00


Additionally if you want to grind your coffee at home and not sit on ground coffee for too long the best grinder for home use a Baratza Encore Grinder is the ticket, they are a very cool company, super helpful, and their grinders are AMAZING! $130.00 and they will run for years!



Thank you for reading, please be sure to check out the......

Bird Rock Coffee Kalita Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr__Va0WpkU&t=20s

Gofundme: https://www.gofundme.com/calavera-coffee

Merchandise: https://www.calaveraspecialtycoffee.com/merchandise/