If you enjoy the classic coffee brewed by a drip coffee machine, it’s only natural to consider trying a pour-over dripper for a change, such as the Hario V60.
Their brewing methods are definitely similar, but how close is the end result, and which is better?
In this article, I will delve deeper into these techniques to give you an honest comparison of the two coffee makers. So sit back, grab your favorite mug, and let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Comparing Drip Coffee & Hario V60
Drip coffee is an easy and straightforward brewing method. All you need to do is load up your automatic drip machine with ground coffee beans, add some water, and let the machine do its job. The machine will heat up the water until it reaches boiling point before pouring it over the ground coffee in filter paper.
On the other hand, the Hario V60 is a cone-shaped dripper that you place over a mug or decanter and put a filter paper with ground coffee on top. You gradually add hot water in circular motions while maintaining a steady stream onto the bed of grounds without flooding them, and the final drink drips from below.
Here are the factors to consider when picking between the two brewing methods, followed by a detailed comparison of each feature:
|Features||Drip Coffee||Hario V60|
|Taste & Flavor||Strong and bold flavor||Clean and bright brew with emphasis on flavor|
|Strength||Adjustable strength||Variable strength based on coffee beans|
|Ease of Use||Easy to use with automatic machine||Requires learning curve, but easy once mastered|
|Brewing Speed||5-10 minutes||5-7 minutes|
|Versatility||Limited control over brew; Wide range of size options||Complete control over the brewing process; Limited size options|
|Durability & Portability||Varies based on build quality; Not designed for portability||Varies based on material (glass, ceramic, etc.); Portable options available|
|Sustainability||Consumes electricity and can contribute to waste||Varies based on the material (glass, ceramic, etc.); Portable options available|
|Cost||Generally more expensive||More affordable, but accessories add to 1 time costs|
Taste, Flavor, & Strength
Let’s begin with the test of taste and strength. Drip Coffee is known for its simple yet smooth body that’s strong and bold in flavor, making it a perfect drink choice for coffee lovers who prefer their caffeine fix with a bit of kick. You can also adjust the strength of the coffee by modifying the coffee-to-water ratio and beans’ roast level.
Then there’s the Hario V60 which produces a clean and bright brew that emphasizes the unique flavor notes of each coffee bean. Thanks to its signature cone shape you can expect a cup with even extraction. Plus, with the right kind of coffee beans, you can make anything from a light and delicate cup to a richer and bolder one.
Comparing the two side-by-side, the winning brew actually depends on your specific taste. Personally, I like the V60 coffee better because it has a richer and more pronounced flavor that I think makes it the superior drink.
Ease of Use
When brewing coffee, the ease of use is a factor we can’t ignore. A drip coffee maker is an automatic brewing device that’s convenient and easy to use. Just be sure to get the right medium-coarse grind size and choose between paper, metal, or cloth filters while the machine keeps the water temperature between 195°F and 205°F.
Meanwhile, V60 brewing has a small learning curve as timing and pouring techniques need to be perfected. But once you get the hang of it, it’s a pretty easy method. For optimal results, a scale and a gooseneck kettle must be used, along with medium-fine ground coffee, water with a temperature ranging from 195°F to 205°F, and a filter suitable for the V60.
While both methods have a pretty similar way of making coffee, a drip coffee machine is easier to use than the V60 because most of the work is done by the machine.
Now let’s take a look at the speed of these brewers. The total time for making drip coffee is quite lengthy, around 5 to 10 minutes, which includes grinding, brewing, and cleaning up. Cleaning the drip coffee machine takes some extra time as there are removable parts that need individual rinsing.
While it requires more of your attention, brewing with Hario V60 is generally faster taking 5 to 7 minutes for the whole process to finish. Cleaning your V60 dripper is also a breeze, you just have to give it a quick rinse.
To summarize, a V60 allows you to enjoy coffee a bit faster than a drip machine, but it is more “hands-on”, so if you have other things to do while trying to get your caffeine fix, then drip coffee might be the more convenient pick.
Having control over your brew is important to make sure that you can tailor it to your personal taste and preference.
A drip coffee maker gives you limited control, such as the water-to-coffee ratio and brewing time. But there are reputable brands such as Breville that make precision brewers which give you more control over your coffee.
In contrast, Hario V60 gives you complete control over every aspect of the brewing process. You can adjust grind size, water temperature, pouring speed and technique, and water-to-coffee ratio precisely as per your liking. This versatility gives way to different recipes such as Matt Winton’s award-winning Five-Pour recipe.
Let’s then discuss flexibility in terms of size and capacity. Drip coffee makers offer a wide range you can choose from:
- 4 cups
- 5 cups
- 8 cups
- 10 cups
- 12 cups
- 14 cups
Meanwhile, the V60 has little room for amount adjustments as it only comes in three sizes:
- 01 (1-2 cups)
- 02 (1-4 cups)
- 03 (1-6 cups)
Overall, the Hario V60 has a huge lead over drip coffee when it comes to versatility. In terms of size flexibility though, drip coffee has a wider range of choices.
Durability and Portability
There are different factors that affect each of these brewers’ durability. A drip coffee machine is made with plastic and steel, while the carafe is typically glass. Because it is an electric appliance, the longevity of each brewer’s lifespan is reflected by its price point. So if you want a sturdy machine that lasts long, prepare to shell out more money upfront.
The Hario V60 can be quite fragile or a very sturdy coffee maker, depending on the material used. This dripper comes in glass, ceramic, plastic, copper, and steel variants. Of course, if you want a dripper that can survive more bumps and drops, choose a steel model.
Portability-wise, the plastic, copper, and steel V60s also ace this category because of their compact sizes and durable bodies.
When I got deep into researching the coffee industry’s negative impact on the planet, that’s when I realized the importance of making my coffee sustainable.
With a drip coffee machine, you’ll be consuming a lot of electricity which isn’t really good for the environment. In addition, low-quality drip coffee makers don’t last long and often just contribute to unnecessary waste at landfills.
The Hario V60 is the more eco-friendly choice because it is a manual brewer and while it has plastic variants, these drippers are very small compared to plastic drip machines. Another thing to note is that like its automatic counterpart, the V60 uses paper filters that produce waste, even though Hario’s own filters are compostable.
So if you’re like me, you want to make the more eco-conscious decision of using the V60 instead of a drip coffee machine.
Now price-wise, the Hario V60 gives you a more affordable way to brew coffee than a drip coffee machine. The V60 dripper can be purchased for $10 to $50, with the added cost of paper filters at $0.08 each in 2023. Of course, you should also get a good manual burr grinder, a coffee scale, and a gooseneck kettle, which will add to your initial costs.
Drip coffee machines are generally more expensive, with prices ranging from $25 to hundreds of dollars depending on the build and brand. You should also factor in the cost of paper filters just like with the V60, unless you will use a reusable filter.
Overall, the obvious cost-efficient choice here is the Hario V60. You may think that the price of entry-level drip coffee machines isn’t too far from the V60, but if you’re really leaning toward the automated device, I recommend that you invest in a more expensive model as its longer lifespan can save you more money in the long run compared to a low-quality model.
Drip Coffee and Hario V60 – Weighing the Pros & Cons
Now that we’ve gotten a closer look at the features of each brewing method, here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of drip coffee and Hario V60 so you can finally decide which one is for you:
|Drip Coffee||– Quick and convenient to use|
– Affordable for an electric brewer
– Does not require your attention when brewing
|– Less control over the brewing process|
– Not portable
– Not eco-friendly manufacturing
|Hario V60||– Various materials and sizes for different needs|
– Produces delicious coffee with low acidity
|– The pouring technique needs practice|
– Extra accessories needed to get started
You may also check out how drip coffee fares compared to other brewing methods such as:
Here are also my comparisons between Hario V60 and other brewers:
To conclude, the Hario V60 has more advantages than drip coffee. While the latter is easier and more effortless to use, the V60 wins in terms of taste, speed, versatility, portability, sustainability, and affordability.
On top of these, I also personally like the V60 better because I find the ritualistic pouring a soothing part of my morning routine. But that’s just me 🙂
I’d like to know which brewer is better for you, so feel free to share it in the comments below.