Kalita Wave Recipe: A Brew Guide for Making Great Pour Over Coffee
You enjoy your usual cup of joe but would like to try something different from your old French press? You’ve heard of pour over coffee but are not sure where to start? If this sounds like you, the Kalita Wave might be exactly what you are looking for.
The Wave is the most popular product by Kalita, a family-owned Japanese company that’s been producing coffee-equipment since the 50s. It flaunts a sleek, minimalistic design, but, most importantly: it’s affordable, fast, easy to use, and gives you more control on the brewing process than electric drippers.
Let’s get cracking (or brewing) with this Kalita Wave recipe.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Kalita Wave dripper
- Kettle (ideally, a gooseneck kettle)
- Ground coffee
- Timer (optional but helpful)
AT A GLANCE
A few notes on the above items:
This coffee dripper comes in two sizes: the Kalita Wave 155 is ideal if you only wish to brew one cup of coffee at the time, whereas, if you’d rather be able to make two or three, you should go with the Kalita Wave 185. See our Kalita Wave review if you don’t have one yet.
Universal filters won’t work with this coffee dripper. You’ll need to use the 155 or 185 filter, depending on which model you go for.
These filters are very delicate, so make sure you store them in the Wave cone or upright in your cupboard (don’t squash them!).
As for coffee quantities, we believe the best filter coffee recipe involves a water-coffee ratio of 14-16:1. For example, 400ml of water will require 25-28.5 grams of coffee. Make sure to boil more water though (you’ll see why in step 1).
5-Step Kalita Wave Brew Guide
Now that you have all the ingredients, let’s begin. If you want more guidance, Steven from HomeGrounds will walk you through the steps to a perfect Kalita brew in this video:
1. Boil the water and rinse the filter.
Insert the filter into your Kalita coffee dripper and place it onto a carafe. Boil the kettle and rinse the filter by pouring a small amount of water onto its center (not on the edges, or you might ruin its shape). It’s optional, but we find that it helps avoid any papery taste, as well as warming up the carafe. Once all the water has dripped into it, discard it.
PRO TIP: Pour some water into the mug to keep it warm whilst you prepare your coffee.
2. Weigh the coffee and wait.
Place the carafe on the scales and tare them to 0. Add the coffee into the filter, shake it to level the grounds, and tare the scale again. Do not pour water into the filter just yet.
For the best extraction, we recommend waiting a couple of minutes before pouring freshly-boiled water onto the coffee (or using a thermometer to check the temperature, if you want to be an absolute legend). The ideal temperature is between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C) (1). Please, never ever use boiling water to brew your coffee. (Also, avoid these common mistakes.)
“Boiling water (212 F – 100 C) should never be used, as it will burn the coffee. Water that is less than 195 F (91 C) will not extract properly.”
3. Pour water and let your coffee bloom.
Start the timer and pour 40-60g of water into the filter with gentle circular motions, covering all the grounds evenly.
For pre infusion (especially if you are using freshly ground beans), let the coffee bloom for 30/45 seconds. Don’t worry: this doesn’t mean that you have to magically wait for your coffee to produce flowers. When you grind coffee beans, CO2 sticks around (inside, actually) for two weeks (2).
Blooming (or degassing) is simply the process that occurs when the hot water hits the coffee, releasing and replacing the trapped CO2. This causes the coffee bed to rise and improves the taste of the final product.
4. Stir the coffee with spoon and start pulse pouring.
Once the coffee has bloomed, stir it with a spoon and proceed with a second pour (around half of your total grams of water) in circular motions, maintaining an even level of water above the grounds (3).
Whilst it drips, keep pulse pouring until you reach the correct grams of water (which will be the same as the ml that you calculated at the start). Your total brew time should be around 3:00-3:30 minutes.
“We can choose the size of the pulses. Fewer pulses equals more water in each pulse. More pulses equals less water in each pulse. If we have few pulses, the water hits the bed harder [because there’s more of it] and we have a shorter extraction time, and more pulses gives us a longer extraction time.”
5. Pour into a mug and enjoy.
That’s it. Pour your filter coffee into a mug (make sure you discard the water if you’ve followed the tips mentioned in the first step) and, the best part: enjoy it.
We must warn you, though: if you master the perfect Kalita Wave recipe (which we’re sure you will) you are going to be the designated barista of your group of friends, who will always find an excuse to come over and enjoy your delicious drip coffee. And it will open up your world to manual coffee brewing.
If you happen to enjoy exploring other brewing methods, we have a bunch of coffee making guides you can learn from right here.
The Kalita Wave comes in two sizes. The Kalita 155 can brew one cup of coffee at a time, while the larger one (185) brews 2-3 cups. There are also different filters to match the two sizes.
The best pour over coffee maker is the one that best suits your coffee needs and preferences. To choose the best pour over coffee maker for you, you’ll have to consider brewing time, portability, consistency and accessories required. These are the 9 best options according to customers..
- Scott. (2015, June 03). The Idea Temperature To Drink Coffee Retrieved from https://driftaway.coffee/temperature/
- Martin, T. (2016, October 31). Why you should care when your coffee was roasted. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/home/smart-home/why-you-should-care-when-your-coffee-was-roasted/
- Brew Guide: How Does Pulse Pouring Affect Extraction? (2018, July 20). Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/11/brew-guide-how-does-pulse-pouring-affect-extraction/