From Japan to France: The Hario v60 vs The French Press

french press v hario v60

As it almost always is when it comes to coffee and its brewing process, choosing the right elements to do so may be what separates an average beverage from that amazing cup of coffee that you need to start your day off with the right foot. However, this may be easier said than done, having so many options available, especially regarding brewing techniques and devices. Well, fear no more. We will take upon us the task to carefully compare gadgets, pots, filters and the lot, in order to help you make an educated choice and what is more important, one that fits to your wants and needs.

In the first article of the series, we will be tackling the classic French press AKA cafetière AKA one of the most well-known coffee-brewing artifacts worldwide. It is one device that is very popular with coffee lovers and connoisseurs all over the globe and we are going to see why.

This lovely device was patented in Italy in the late ‘20s, but originated in France years prior. The press has undergone several modifications during its years on the market, but the original premise remains: a mesh filter attached to a rod intended to be pressed into a pot of boiling (or close to) water.

The process of preparing coffee in the French press needs to be a careful one. The coarsely ground beans are placed in the beaker and water close to the boiling point is added. It is important to add the water in steps, not all at once, and let it “bloom” after at least the first one. Blooming is the name of the process by which the mixture of coffee and water is left alone for a couple of minutes before adding more liquid. After all the water is added, it should be left to finish brewing. The process is said to last more or less four minutes, ideally.

On the other hand, there is the Hario v60. A Japanese company and name brand, Hario was founded in the early ‘20s and it has been producing coffee and tea related utensils since. They specialize in glassware products but have since added metal and plastic devices to their production lines. The v60 is one of their coffee drippers, and it is available in several materials, colors and bundles that can include a glass carafe, a pack of paper filters and a scoop that matches the dripper in color and material and makes it easier to ration your coffee beans and not over or under serve.

The Hario v60 in particular is available on the market in two sizes (01 and 02) and is a versatile and practical device that can brew up to a liter of coffee in its biggest form directly into the mug or container that you are going to be using. The brewing process it’s the classical and simple pour over method: water is poured over finely ground coffee beans that were previously placed in the Hario. A special filter needs to be used, and this device allows for the use of both paper and cloth ones. The main advantage to this method is that the user can control both temperature and timing, making this brewing process a little more versatile than some others.

All in all, it boils down to preference. The French press is a classic, and it’s a classic for a reason. The resulting coffee from this method will be strong, concentrated and with some ground bean residue. The flavor is pretty distinctive and one of the reasons of the press’ popularity. Pour-over methods are more versatile and allow the user to achieve a stronger or lighter beverage, according to their particular preferences. As we always say, when it comes to coffee and its many options, it’s a very good idea to keep an open mind. You might be surprised.