Just five fleeting years after its launch in 2005, the Hario V60 coffee dripper appeared at the World Brewers Cup in London. Named for the 60-degree angle created by the shape of its cone, it’s now synonymous with the highest standards of craft in coffee making equipment. It’s just as likely to be spotted in pioneering artisan cafes as your friend’s kitchen. So how did the Hario V60 take over the world?
Now a globally recognised coffee brand, Hario started life as a heat-proof glass manufacturer in Japan in 1921. With an approach focussing on in-house development and design, Hario began producing coffee equipment back in 1940s, bringing several innovations to the market; the Coffee Syphon and the Slow Drip Brewer? Also Hario.
Creating an icon like the V60 doesn’t happen overnight. Back in 1970s, trapezoid-shaped drippers dominated the coffee market. Doomed by flat-bottom drippers that tend to produce bitterness, Hario employees were on a mission to innovate and find a better filtering method. They realised a parabolic shape would allow water to pass through the grounds without steeping for too long. The result? An ultra-clean cup of coffee.
This initial idea led to the launch of the first Hario cone-shaped dripper, named Era of Coffee Geek, and created from stainless wire rods and cone-shaped paper filters. It stalled in the face of the popularity of instant coffee and mechanical coffee makers, but Hario never forgot the success of the simple, but brilliant, structural revolution.
In 2004, as instant coffee started to lose its momentum the time was right. Hario’s designers revisited the conical method to invent the V60. Working closely with resin makers and potters in Arita, under serious time pressures, they sought to replicate the pure taste of cloth-filtered coffee with a conical paper filter. The key was to let water flow naturally through the cone, which they achieved by adding high and long spiral ribs that would guide the coffee to drop through. The large whole in the bottom of the dripper would allow the tip of the paper to protrude. Trial and error experimentation delivered the current design of the V60 some 25 years after the first conical dripper had been created.
The Hario V60 is availible from Hario.co.uk.
See the V60 in action at Coffee Masters at The London Coffee Festival 12-15 April 2018.