Simple, elegant, and capable of turning out an incredibly fine cup of coffee in just a couple of minutes.
Positive Product Points
The Hario Woodneck couldn't be much simpler. The glass is high quality, the cloth filter stitching is sturdy, and there really aren't any moving parts to break.
Negative Product Points
I think the mouth of the carafe could be a little wider. I'm not sure if the sharply angled shoulders help or hinder the pourover process.
I've been using the Woodneck since the end of May 2011 (around 7 months now). I generally only drink one cup of coffee a day, and using the Woodneck in concert with the Hario Skerton hand-grinder works well for me. What really sold me was the discussion regarding cloth versus paper filters. I really liked the idea of not having to purchase filters and the lack of papery taste sealed the deal for me. I'm pretty new to the whole pourover process, so I'm sure my technique will change as I gain experience, but I've been able to make consistently fine cups of coffee with this setup. On days when I'm drinking more than one cup, I've wished the Woodneck were bigger (think Chemex with a cloth filter), but since I'm not brewing for anyone other than myself, I believe I've found my favorite brewing method and equipment mix. I use Hario's Buono kettle to dispense the water for the pourover and I have to add that the gooseneck spout makes the process much easier given the Woodneck's relatively narrow opening.
I purchased the Woodneck in person from Prima and got a bit of a discount, since they normally ship to buyers via the Internet. Great bunch of folks there and very knowledgeable regarding all of their equipment and coffee making in general.
Three Month Followup
Not much to add. After over 1-1/2 years of use, the Woodneck is still going strong. I purchased leather thong material a few months back, thinking I'd need to replace the original, but that hasn't happened yet. I also bought a 3-pack of replacement filters back in May. They are still in their package since the original filter shows no signs of wearing out. A rinse after use in cold water and back in it's Ziplock bag prison inside the fridge keep it from getting funky during the week. I soak it in about 1-2 cups of warm water and a tablespoon of OxyClean Free (which is scentless) once a week or so. I rinse it well and run boiling water through it 3 times to ensure the Oxy is gone. This method has worked quite well and there have been no issues with off flavors at all. I still work on my pouring technique. I've read articles that discuss the importance of slowing down the flow rate. I'd love to get the gicleur insert for my Buono kettle, but Barismo hasn't had them in stock for months. I'm definitely sold on the Woodneck which remains my primary brewing method.
One Year Followup
I need to revise my earlier comments regarding the cloth filter. While the filter I've been using since May 2011 still shows no signs of wear, my pour times were getting longer and longer. I believe that after a prolonged period such as this, the filter becomes clogged with micro-particles of coffee and the pour rate slows to a rate that's too slow. I used a new filter this morning after breaking it in with several pots of boiling water. My pour time went from 4 minutes 20 seconds to 1 minute 58 seconds. Same coffee, same grind setting on my Hario Skerton. I've dated my plastic bag I store the filter in in the refrigerator and plan to replace it very 4 months or so. I'll be paying more attention to pour times as well as watching to ensure that the grounds create a crater-like appearance in the filter.