The Hario V60 is a classic pour-over coffee maker from Japan. If you’ve ever ordered pourover coffee, chances are good it was brewed with one. Over the last year I’ve been brewing with a copper Hario V60 on an almost daily basis. I never thought about reviewing such a simple device until now.
Hario V60 Metal vs. Ceramic Vs. Plastic Pourovers: Which Material is Best?
The most basic Hario V60 is made of plastic. This is what I had been brewing with prior to receiving the copper model as a gift. A quick look online shows that Harios are available in an assortment of materials– plastic, copper, steel metal, glass, and ceramic porcelain. Other than looks, is there a particular advantage to one over the other?
It all comes down to thermal conductivity and heat retention. Copper is the best heat conductor of all the materials listed above (see a comparison). This means that it will more evenly distribute heat during brewing, which should produce better and more even extraction. This produces a better a cup of coffee.
Plastic and glass, on the other hand, are not as efficient at transferring heat. During brewing, the temperature could become too warm in some areas and too cool in others. This compromises the brew process and final product, though most people arguably would not notice a difference.
Since copper and metal heat up so quickly, you don’t need to spend much time pre-heating the vessel with hot water. With that in mind metals lose heat much faster, so a continuous pour is especially important with the copper V60 compared to the porcelain model.
Design and Durability
The physical shape of the Hario V60 copper is exactly the same as the other versions. One can easily identify a Hario by its 60-degree cone shape and spiral ribs.
The plastic and porcelain V60 coffee makers are made of a single continuous part. This model is made of three copper parts riveted together. Some owners have complained about leaks occurring over time as a result of this. I have not experienced this issue.
The copper pourover has a nice feel to it. It’s weightier than the plastic model but not overly heavy. The handle and base have loosened slightly over the time, however, giving this premium coffee maker a slightly flimsy feel. This is unfortunate.
The copper has also discolored slightly over time. This is to be expected and does not bother me. The material is easy to clean and does not hold taste or odor.
Hario also has a matching copper kettle for the aesthetically inclined. Fellow also produces a version of the popular Stagg in copper. It’s simply stunning.
Brewing and Taste
The copper finish of the V60 is simply stunning. This makes brewing especially pleasurable. And since the interior of the dripper is nickel, the coffee will not taste like copper (you’ve probably been wondering all along).
Beyond looks, brewing with this model is just like any other Hario. For best results, heat the water to around 200-degrees Fahrenheit (90-degrees Celsius) and use a gooseneck kettle to slowly and evenly immerse the grounds.
The copper pourover heats up very quickly compared to the ceramic version and there is no need for a lengthly warm-up. This shaves 10 seconds or so off my brew time in the morning.
And naturally, copper does not absorb flavor like plastic. Even after using the dripper hundreds of times there is no build-up of odor.
Is the Copper Hario Worth It?
At a retail price of $50.00 USD, the copper version of the Hario costs three times the entry-level plastic model. This is a significant investment, and I would say it’s only worth it if you’ve already perfected other aspects of your coffee setup (grind, temperature, pour) or if you really like the look of copper.
If you’re interested in the copper V60 because you don’t like the look of plastic, consider the ceramic model. It’s a great upgrade and not significantly more expensive.
The copper looks amazing in my kitchen and guests often comment on how beautiful it is. I have also noticed slightly more consistently in my brew compared to the plastic Hario– a result of the metal’s heat transfer.
For someone looking to step up their coffee game, however, I would invest in a quality burr grinder and good kettle before buying this. The better heat equilibrium of the copper pales in comparison to the benefits of a consistent grind and good technique.
This is a coffee maker for the pros looking to make the most of every small detail. There’s no point in upgrading to the copper V60 if you still have room to improve elsewhere. That is unless you really love the look of copper, of course.