People are making coffee at home now more than ever, and there are so many brewing options to choose from. From espresso to pour over to drip, there are even more brewing tools available for each brewing method. Some of these tools tools include the AeroPress and Hario V60.
The AeroPress and the Hario V60 are some of the most popular choices amongst coffee makers at home and baristas.The AeroPress is a manual coffeemaker with a cylindrical chamber and a plunger with an airtight silicone seal, that works just like a syringe. The Hario V60 is a cult favorite conical coffee dripper that comes in different materials and sizes and features a ribbed spiral pattern inside.
So, how do you choose between the two? We've reviewed them based on price, quality, and ease of use, so you can determine which dripper you should get to make cafe-quality coffee right in the comfort of your home.
History/Background on the AeroPress and the Hario V60
The AeroPress was born in 2004 by Adan Adler, a renowned inventor and retired Stanford University engineering instructor. He started his company, Aerobie, to manufacture and sell his sporting goods inventions, like the Aerobie Pro flying ring, which set a Guinness World Record for the longest throw. Adler wanted to create a device that would brew a superior cup of coffee and began studying the coffee brewing process and analyzing coffee maker designs. In November, 2005, Aerobie debuted its breakthrough AeroPress coffee maker at a coffee industry trade show. (Source)
Hario is a glass-manufacturing company starting in 1921 and branched out into making their beloved Hario V60 dripper in 2004. Back then, immersion brewing and instant coffee were all the rage, but designers of Hario wondered if passing water through coffee would lead to a cleaner cup of coffee. Their design is inspired by a parabola shape, what they called a “shape of nature,” and allows air to escape while brewing. (Source)
AeroPress Brewing Guide
The AeroPress works using a plunger system. All you need is a fine drip coffee grind, the AeroPress brewer, and hot water. The beauty of the AeroPress is you can be as novice or experienced in coffee and still brew a great cup of coffee. You add your coffee grounds according to the number of cups you're making (the cylinder portion of the AeroPress has marked numbers to help you). Then, add your water (the company recommends 175°F (80°C) for hot brewing), stir the grounds and water for 10 seconds, and then plunge the coffee into your cup of choice.
If you're feeling adventurous, check out this inverted AeroPress technique:
- Very easy and quick to use
- Only comes in one size (two people brewing max)
- Physically challenging to use
- Under extraction is a common issue
The AeroPress is championed for being easy to use, portable, durable, and most importantly, makes great tasting coffee. It’s one of the most portable coffee brewing systems in the market and widely popular with camping and outdoor enthusiasts. The AeroPress is very forgiving to technique and doesn't require any fancy weighing or pouring. It's one of the perfect brewing methods for coffee beginners and connoisseurs alike.
The AeroPress is virtually indestructible, since it’s made with durable BPA-free plastic. The AeroPress is also versatile in its brew—you can brew immersion-style, espresso style, even cold brew! However, it doesn't offer the same brewing control that the Hario V60 does. In terms of flavor, the AeroPress has a clean and acidic taste with clearly defined flavor notes thanks to the paper filter that prevents oil and sediment from dripping into the cup. As a result, it's best used with washed coffees that are a light to medium roast.
A potential downside to the AeroPress is its size: it brews 6-8 ounces, which, depending on how you brew it, can be at most for 2 people to enjoy. It’s also quite challenging to plunge down as it creates a vacuum that creates a lot of resistance when pushing down (be careful not to break any cups)! Between the coffee and the cup, the filter doesn't do a great job of retaining water in the chamber.
Hario V60 Brewing Guide
Brewing with a Hario V60 takes a little more practice and skill compared to the AeroPress. The bare minimum you need for the dripper is medium-coarse coffee grounds, hot water, and coffee filters. To start, you add the filter to the brewer and rinse it with hot water. Then, add your coffee grounds and let them bloom. Now, this is where technique blossoms. Different people have different techniques of passing the water through the coffee. There is the Rao spin—grab the filter on the sides and give the slurry a spin—, James Hoffman’s ultimate V60 technique, etc. Each technique varies slightly but the goal is to pass water through the coffee bed, saturating the coffee as most as you can to extract as much flavor as possible.
Hario V60 Review
- Beautiful appearance
- Brewing versatility
- Comes in many different materials
- Steeper learning curve
- Can be fragile depending on which version you get
The best thing about the Hario V60, other than its aesthetically pleasing appearance, is its versatility in brewing. The Hario V60 dripper comes in a variety of materials including, but not limited to: metal, plastic, glass, and ceramic. It is also made in multiple sizes, ranging from one cup to three cups. The versatility in brewing means that there is no one way to enjoy a cup of coffee.
That said, because there are so many materials it comes in, every Hario V60 iteration brews slightly differently. For example, while the ceramic is gorgeous, it’s harder to preheat and keep at a stable temperature due to its thickness. It’s also fragile and breaks if dropped. Additionally, such versatility in brewing techniques and tools means it may be more confusing to learn if you’re new to coffee brewing. There is a steeper learning curve for the V60 than the Aeropress and more tools you need to invest in. On the flip side, more versatility in technique can lead to a more personal cup—you can control different factors like temperature, water pass rate, and saturation which ultimately affect the flavor extraction.
Flavor-wise, pour overs highlight coffee origin flavors and complex flavors best, making them the brew method of choice for baristas or people who enjoy light roast coffee because it retains more original flavors. It makes a very bright and clean cup of coffee. (Source)
AeroPress vs. Hario V60 Pricing
In terms of price, the AeroPress is a little more expensive than average compared to other drippers out there, retailing for $30.
On the other hand, the Hario V60 is inexpensive to average in price, running $8-30 depending on material and size, with the plastic Size 01 Hario V60 retailing for only $8. The Hario can be more pricey for limited editions, like the olive wood that retails around $45. The glass version, which is our personal favorite, retails for $28.
While the AeroPress is more expensive than the Hario V60, there are very few barriers to entry and virtually anyone can use it. Its de-emphasis on technique and preciseness makes it a versatile coffee brewer that produces a full-bodied and consistent cup of coffee.
The AeroPress also comes with filters, equipments stands, a plastic scoop and stirrer, whereas the Hario V60 dripper and filters are separate. The Hario V60 is cheaper, but making a good cup of coffee takes time and practice. Even then, there are many tweaks you can make to your pouring technique that might be frustrating. Despite that, the Hario can provide a more complex tasting cup as it can bring out more nuanced flavors that immersion brewing doesn’t.
Between the AeroPress and Hario V60, there is no clear, better product. Each brewing tool offers different brew methods, brew flavor, and functionalities. If you are looking for a good introduction into pour over brewing, the Hario V60 is the coffee dripper for you. If you’re looking for an easy brewer that is portable and forgiving on brewing mistakes, then the AeroPress is for you. You can shop both in our brew gear section: AeroPress & Hario V60.
- Tags: Home Brewing