The Kalita. Their drippers burst onto the specialty coffee scene in the US at the start of the summer and I couldn't resist. I purchased a stainless steel 155 from Prima Coffee along with a Kalita Wave Pot kettle. The dripper was expensive at $30 and the filters were $10 for 100. Again, expensive.
This dripper is solid. It is light, but substantial and I personally really like how it looks on top of my mug! It is very small and maxes out at around 24g/400ml. Because of the three hole drainage and the way the filter is suspended within the dripper, by the filter's ridges and three raised ridges on the bottom of the dripper, the water only drains out of the bottom of the filter. As a result, you do not have to pour perfectly in order to get good results. You can use a pulse pour or a continuous pour - both produce fantastic results. My only knocks against this dripper is price. At $30 + $10, you are looking at a $40 investment for a dripper. I also own a Beehouse and would definitely recommend it to someone not willing to spend the $40.
That said, I love my Kalita, expect it to last forever, and love the coffee that I make with it!
- You can wet the filter, but I've tried not wetting it and have not noticed any paper tastes in the cup. 18g of medium drip ground coffee. 1.5 on my LIDO or around 22 on my Virtuoso. That comes out to coarse ground pepper - winging it with that comparison!
- 200-205*F water, bloom the coffee with 2x more water than coffee. So, I use 36ml. Begin your timer and wait 30 seconds.
- When the bloom deflates and your timer hits 30 seconds, begin your pour. You do not need to worry about staying away from the edges. Be sure to wet the entire surface of the slurry evenly going all the way out to the edges of the filter. You can even rinse the grounds off the sides of the filter. The water is still forced back into the filter and through the coffee - this is due to a ridge around the bottom of the dripper that seals off the sides. It's difficult to explain, but it is what makes this dripper so easy to use!
- I aim to finish my pour of 300ml at around 2:45-3min. If my grind and pour went well, the coffee will be done draining at 3:15-3:30.
- Stir the coffee and enjoy!
I especially love how unbelievably sweet the cups I have produced with this dripper and at such low doses. You can try 55-60g/1L - I used to always updose my coffee before trying the Kalita. It's VERY efficient!
If you find it difficult to hit the 3:30 time, try going with a finer grind and a 3min brew time. Pick a brew time that works for you, try to keep the pouring consistent, and adjust the grind to taste. Another trick is to wash the walls of the filter halfway through the brew. This pushes all the fines/grounds clinging to the sides of the filter into the middle, which chokes the flow rate slightly. This allows for a longer draw down time. You can use a similar technique on the Beehouse. The gentleness of your pour (think about it as floating the water on top of the slurry using the water tension to disperse the agitation of the pour), the amount you pour, and your grind will all impact flow rate. Experiment!
Kalita makes a larger 185 dripper that is perfect for making 500ml on up. They also make a Wave Style Set that features a Chemex-like carafe and a 185 dripper that sits inside the top of the carafe. I really love the Kalita lineup and highly recommend you try one out! They are especially forgiving for somebody new to pourover brewing, but it all comes down to user preference. They are expensive and there is already a huge inventory of pourover brewing devices out there. I love this dripper for its ease of use and the resulting coffee. At this point, I have owned the dripper for between 4-5 months and would not trade the time I have spent with this dripper for any other. Wonderful stuff!
I know that this isn't a review for the Wave Pot kettle, but I would like to say that it is the nicest kettle that I have ever used. The control of the flow rate is nearly perfect and the wooden handle and top nub is a really nice touch. Again, it is very expensive, but is a fantastic fixture on the stove. My wife loves it - not a coffee drinker.
*Addition* I have taken my Kalita 155 to use at home (was at work) and took my aeropress to work. In making that switch, I've gotten to use the Kalita in the morning for my daily cup and have been further enamored with its ease of use and efficiency. I used my 18g/300ml ratio, but also tried a 19g/300ml ratio. With the grind on my Virtuoso at 22 (worthless information, I know), I got really sweet, clean, and bright cups. The depth of the sweetness was fantastic and definitely is more pronounced than it is in the Beehouse using the same coffee. With the higher ratio, the grapefruit notes of the Kenyan I am using were simply too pronounced. This is an EFFICIENT brewer. With a V60, I used to use a high ratio to get similar results. The Kalita doesn't need it. I've also had great results lowering brewing temperature to 198*F - it rounds the cup out a bit better and brings out more sweetness. Definitely give lower brew times a try. 195-199*F temps can bring out some great results in the cup. Try it for yourself and see what you think!