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So, you’ve discovered the advantages of a pour over coffee maker and you’ve decided on the v60 dripper (wise choice). But with so many v60 coffee maker materials, sizes, and color options available, which Hario v60 is best for you? How do size and type of material affect the finished product?
In this blog post, we look at the Hario v60 ceramic, metal, plastic, and glass drippers, as well as the different sizes; 01, 02, and 03, to help you decide on which type of v60 is right for your pour over coffee. We’ll answer the following questions:
Continue reading to see how we reached this conclusion…
What is the best hario v60 material?
Available in a variety of materials including ceramic, metal, plastic and glass, there are some key distinctions between these materials that can affect your craft coffee that we will look at in further detail here.
The classic white ceramic Hario v60 coffee dripper has the beautiful, exclusive design that’s synonymous with their name. It’s crafted in Arita, Japan, and being ceramic, it’s obviously heftier than its plastic and metal counterparts, which has both its pros and cons.
It’s a completely heat resistant material, which some users find comforting because it can’t outgas potentially toxic chemical components when brought up to brewing temperature (even though the plastic ones don’t – we’ll get to that).
The downside, however, is the increased risk for breakage and lack of portability, which might dissuade you from going with the ceramic model.
Aside from that, the ceramic Hario V60 is the most popular and widely available of the three. It is a great option for those who are looking for a reliable and more eco-friendly option. And the ceramic will never rust—good for the taste of your pour over coffee.
The ceramic model has a higher heat retention, keeping the heat more effectively, giving you intense and maximum flavor profiles, but because it absorbs so much of the initial heat (having a high thermal mass), it will require more pre-heating for the best results.
The ceramic version performs better than the metal version in terms of thermal heat mass, but not as well as the plastic. This is because the metal absorbs the heat at an even faster rate than the ceramic, particularly in the beginning of your pour.
So, if you were looking to try your hand at iced drip coffee, the metal Hario v60 would actually work in your favor.
As you might expect, the ceramic v60 is more expensive than the plastic v60s, but worth the investment in our opinion. Oh, and it’s only available in the 01 and 02 sizes.
The metal V60 coffee dripper has a couple of benefits over the others that make it appealing. If you’ve set out for the steampunk, industrial feel reminiscent of some of your local coffee shops, then the metal V60 is your guy.
They’re offered in stainless steel and copper which tend to be a bit pricey, but are much more durable than their plastic and ceramic cousins.
Out of the three different materials offered with the v60 coffee dripper, the stainless steel and copper have the worst performance regarding thermal heat mass; that is, it absorbs more of the heat from the slurry a lot faster. This means that you need pre-heat extensively before brewing, or it may have a negative impact on your extraction. This will end up adding a little time to your brewing as well.
Because of their low thermal mass (they don’t absorb as much heat), the plastic Hario v60s outperform all the materials, keeping the brewing temperature higher throughout the entire brew process with no extensive preheating; making it a better option for proper extraction as compared to the ceramic, metal (stainless steel or copper), and glass v60s.
The opaque plastic v60 comes in either Red or White and are made from PP (polypropylene) plastic. This thermoplastic’s ability to handle extreme temperatures up to 160°C (320°F) means that you can enjoy your pour without worrying about it melting, getting too hot, or leaching any nasty toxins. As well, the red and white are only available in sizes 01 and 02.
The transparent Hario V60 is made from SAN (styrene-acrylonitrile resin) plastic, and while it can still handle high temperatures, this lightweight and durable plastic has a lower melting point of 115°C (239°F). With that said, it’s still dishwasher safe and BPA free, doesn’t affect usability, and won’t affect your pour over coffee taste. The clear v60 is available in sizes 01, 02, and 03.
Since the plastic v60 brewers cost much less than the ceramic, glass, copper, and stainless steel drippers, they’re more accessible for consumers; good news for those who want to try out the various sizes. Also making it less painful to buy a replacement when it succumbs to gravity in your kitchen.
Another advantage is it’s the lightest of all the brewers. This may suit your pour over setup better if your coffee scale isn’t capable of much weight, and thus, avoiding the need to upgrade your scale.
The glass Hario v60 is very elegant and comes in four different styles. Depending on your tastes, it might be the most visually appealing of all the brewers, making it a viable option for those concerned with the aesthetics of their coffee bar.
The glass option shares roughly the same thermal mass as its ceramic counterpart, so you’ll definitely want to preheat before pouring.
Now the downside; the glass is delicate, so you’ll need to exercise precaution when using it and cleaning it. Similar to a French press or standard coffee carafe, one slip could mean reinvesting in a replacement—not making for a fun day.
And while the glass V60 isn’t the most expensive, it is a little more than the plastic brewers.
There’s a glass version of the Hario v60 that comes with a stylish olive wood collar. The stunning olive wood base on these drippers is entirely natural and requires only minimal maintenance to keep clean.
It can be removed so you can more easily clean the silicone ring and glass v60 (throw them in the dishwasher if you’d like).
To keep the olive wood clean, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth and allow it to air dry after cleaning.
This version of the Hario v60 not only makes a great pour-over but also looks sharp and will stand out beautifully on your coffee bar.
Hario v60 01 vs 02 vs 03 - How the size of your drip coffee maker can affect taste and flavor
Choosing the best size for your coffee dripper comes down to your experience level and how much coffee you desire to prepare at a time.
Size 01 (smallest):
Found in many coffee shops, the v60 01 version is the smallest dripper of the three and will serve you well if space is limited. It excels at brews up to 300mL (or 10 ounces) of water.
And that’s the only downside to the 01; it only makes enough for about 1 to 2 cups of coffee, which might be fine if you’re one person…who only likes only one cup of coffee…
“One cup of coffee?”
Size 02 (medium):
The 02 is a slightly larger cone that will accommodate 2 to 4 cup brews of around 300-500mL (or 10-17 ounces); handy if you’re the sharing type.
Be careful with smaller batches on the 02 though, as you will get more agitation due to the distance from your spout to the top of the grounds (they’ll be hiding further down at the bottom).
You should shoot for water volumes of no less than 300mL with the 02.
Size 03 (biggest):
Even larger than the 02, the 03 allows you to brew 4 to 6 cups of coffee (up to 1200mL or 40.5 ounces); perfect for small binges. However, unless you’re preparing these quantities 80% of the time though, you’ll probably want to stick with the 01 or 02 brewers.
Does size affect taste & brewing method?
Although the various Hario V60 dripper sizes all have the same 60° conical structure and signature spiralled grooves, there are some key distinctions worth noting when brewing different capacities.
For example, consider how making a smaller batch (200mL) in the size 02 might fair.
First, because the grounds would be further down in your brewer, you may not get as close as you’d like with the spout of your kettle, so you may end up with a fair bit of agitation as a result.
Second, the larger surface area on the 02 would absorb a larger amount of the heat energy from your water, adversely affecting your extraction.
Third, the slightly larger hole on the 02 would cause less restriction of the water flow; speeding it up as a result.
So, yes, the size of your V60 pour over drippers can definitely affect the taste.
Choosing the best Hario v60 coffee filters
The Hario “v60” gets its name from its unique design—the shape of a “V” comprised of 60 degree angles. But because all three sizes (01, 02, & 03) share the same 60 degree funnel shape, all the filters are interchangeable to an extent.
Some individuals just buy the 02 size filters* and use them for both the 01 an 02 coffee drippers.
This of course depends on what filter you’re trying to make work with what size brewer. The result will be that some filters will be taller or shorter than desired and need to be trimmed or otherwise dealt with.
Hint: Regarding taste, we've discovered that the bleached filters taste and perform better than the natural filters.
So which Hario v60 dripper is the best one to buy?
The Ceramic 02 is a great place to start.
Completely heat resistant
Will never rust
The best Hario v60 dripper to buy depends on experience level, preferred batch size, and how well you take care of your things.
If you’re careful with your stuff and enjoy around two cups of coffee at a time, the Ceramic 02 Hario v60 is a great fit.
We hope we've been some help in choosing the right Hario v60 pour over coffee maker for you.
To your coffee journey!
Clint Doerfler is the founder of Coffee Gear Gurus® and has been obsessed with everything coffee since a very young “growth-stunting” age. He is passionate about helping fellow coffee lovers make amazing coffee at home, no matter what their level of experience.