Coffee shops are everywhere in Japan, which is awesome. I love that Family Mart and Lawson now offer fresh coffee to go for a reasonable price. But making my own perfect cup every day, I thought, would be too hard to try for myself. Until I was introduced to Hario.
My friends introduced me to Hario, a Japanese glass company which is known worldwide for their coffee equipment. The Koinonia Cafe in Ginowan, Okinawa has a great stock of Hario equipment so I was able to try all the different techniques with my coffee. I love a hot cup of coffee with steamed milk and my favorite caramel sauce in it. I know for many coffee drinkers the right beans are the most important thing about good coffee. But when you have your favorite beans and grinds, it goes on to the equipment which actually makes a big difference when it comes to creating the perfect cup.
What is Hario?
Hario was founded in1921 in Japan as a glass manufacturer, known for its heatproof glass. Hario started designing products for science and medical use . After World War II the making of Hario coffee syphons began. Since then the company is dedicated to creating coffee equipment of all sorts, equipment for tea, microwave -safe cooking tools, kitchenware, even aroma therapy, pet products and industrial glass for car headlights.
The Hario Family
Here are some products that are worth getting if you would like to try Hario equipment. You can start off with a simple single Pour Over set. The Drippers come in two different sizes, in either glass or plastic. V60 refers to the 60° angle of the Funnel. The smaller one is perfect for an individual cup, the bigger ones make up to 4 cups. You can also purchase an armstand, a metal Dripper and a glass server if you usually make coffee for more people, like your family in the morning.
The V60 kettles are essential for pouring the water. They can be put on an open flame if you have a gas stove which is very convenient. The Buono 1.2 Liter or 1 Liter ones are the most common to use. But here is one of my favorite kettles. The Buono 700ml copper kettle. It can retain the heat better due to it's thermal conductivity.
The Perfect Technique
Even if you have the best equipment, the technique is also important. Here is how to make a smooth and strong cup of Java, just how you like it! The secret to good coffee is simple: Wet the coffee filter with hot water before using it. It washes away the paper filter taste so it doesn't drip into your coffee.
Then grind your beans (Drip grind is my favorite but Fine is often my friend's preference). A spoon full of the V60 Measuring cup series usually suffices. Heat up your water to about 80°C, don't bring the water to a complete boil. Put the coffee into the Dripper and start wetting the grind. Stop and let it bubble a bit to release the bitter fumes of the coffee. Slowly start pouring in the middle and see a little coffee dome forming. Be careful not to not pour the water on the outer corners but stay in the center. When the dome has formed, stop pouring for a few seconds and then continue. As you continue like this until your cup is full, you will notice that your coffee is strong and smooth.
Making a perfect cup of coffee with Hario is an adventure and you can try different ways of pouring. I read once that one of the things we must master in life is to make the perfect cup of coffee, even if we do not drink coffee ourselves. How can you serve others better than with a wonderful cup of black gold that has the richest and smoothest taste they have ever tried? And how to better treat yourself than by making the perfect cup just how you like it every single time?