The V60 pour over coffee maker from Hario is an established favourite amongst coffee shops and home users alike. It’s easy and simple and providing that you use it correctly and take care, it makes one hell of a nice cup of coffee. The Cafflano Klassic is a relative newcomer on the scene and is, in short, the ultimate portable coffee maker. It combines a drip kettle, a handmill grinder, a wire mesh drip filter and a 450ml tumbler into a package no larger than a regular large travel mug. Both are pour over drip makers but both go about it in a very different way.
So beginning with what we know best; the V60. Everyone has a preference of style but all of them are essentially the same whether you have a ceramic, glass or plastic dripper that dispenses into your mug or a carafe or whatever. Personally I use a white ceramic/glass carafe set (similar to the photo above) with a Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle.
Using a V60 couldn’t be easier, especially if you have a digital scale to hand. If not then it’s easy to get your coffee-water ratio wrong although a select few can do it without a scale. Using a drip brew method allows you to experiment with different grinds and different ratios of water to coffee. I like to play it safe and go for a good medium grind of a nice Sumatran or New Guinea crop with around a 28g/475g coffee-water mix (60g for a 30s bloom then 415g to saturate). My V60 rests nicely on top of a fitted carafe which it dispenses into, I then transfer it to my mug.
I must admit that I’m not the best at slow brews, I’m too impatient. I’m used to espresso and I want it in an instant. However from time to time I do just get the craving for something a bit different and a bit special, that’s when the V60 comes out. The results I get are usually a bit inconsistent but again that because I’m impatient and I don’t let the beans brew properly. The process itself couldn’t be simpler, so long as you can pour water in a slow circle then you’re sorted.
So…the Cafflano, what’s it all about? The Klassic by Cafflano allows you to make drip coffee wherever you are so long as you have beans and hot water available you’re good to go. To make a coffee you unscrew the first lid to reveal a beautifully made hand burr grinder which you brim with whole beans. You then grind (obviously) and the grounds fall neatly into the next layer which is a filter mesh. The very top lid is then inverted to make a drip kettle which is used to slowly soak the grounds which then drip surprisingly good coffee down into the bottom section of the system that is actually a thermal tumbler.
The thing I love most about the Cafflano is that it’s foolproof. You don’t need a scale or anything at all. You just fill the bean grinder to the top and grind the beans. The little drip kettle holds just the right amount of water so you always get the spot on ratio.
As a comparison, these two gadgets are very different ways of doing the same thing. Both make brilliant coffee but as I’ve said, the Cafflano Klassic does it in such an easier manner. Having said that, it isn’t the prettiest bit of kit. It looks good but my V60 set up is much more aesthetically pleasing and feels sturdier. Cost too is something to consider. At work the Cafflano retails at £65 whereas a V60 complete set and filter papers can cost as little as £30, even if you buy a digital scale that’s still a lot cheaper. It’s horses for courses but on balance I think if I owned both I think I’d find myself reaching for my Cafflano more regularly than my V60 set.