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What is it?
We’ve recently been playing around with different pour-over drippers in an attempt to find one our wholesale partners can use. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea of a pour-over, you pour hot water (usually out of an electric or stovetop kettle) over the bed of coffee sitting in a funnel. Pourovers are great for brewing one or two cups of coffee. They offer more control and creativity than typical batch coffee. They’re also great for home coffee exploration and are used by cafes to feature high-end roasts. There are three categories of pour-over drippers: flat bottom, cone, and open bottom (Chemex.) Each has strengths and weaknesses. In short, the larger the opening at the bottom of the dripper the less the flow of water is restricted. Less flow restriction creates more fluctuation of extraction from cup to cup. This is great if you’re willing to take the time to dial in an ideal recipe for each coffee, applying TLC every time you brew. It’s not great if you want consistency without feeling like a chemist. Kalita specializes in flat-bottom drippers, which are excellent for flow restriction and cup-to-cup consistency. In our search for a great cafe option, we ended up falling in love with the Kalita 155 as a home brewer. The 155 is a one-cup pour-over dripper made of stainless steel, with a flat bottom and three small holes on the bottom. It’s smaller than the popular Kalita Wave and is best compared to the Fellow Stagg dripper. It brews great balanced coffees, is easy to dial in, and looks beautiful on the countertop.Why use it?
One Cup: The 155 is the smallest dripper Kalita offers. It is best used brewing 200-300 gram cups of coffee, and should not be used for anything larger than 10 ounces. This is a turn-off for a lot of people, but for those of us who enjoy one small coffee at a time, it’s perfect. Drinking smaller cups means I can have more fresh coffee throughout the day, and it keeps me from overconsuming. The 155 works especially well for coffees in this size range because you can keep the dripper full for nearly the entire brew. Keeping the dripper full of hot water keeps the temperature stable, which is critical for a balanced extraction. It’s a practical option for one person making one cup at a time.
Three-Hole Flat Bottom: Before playing around with the 155, it had been years since my last flat bottom pour-over. I typically use a cone-shaped dripper at home and in cafes and forgot just how easy it is to get a flat bed of coffee with a Kalita. With a V60 or others, getting this requires careful pouring and agitation. It’s the expected result with this dripper. This goes a long way to balancing out the cup, eliminating any sharp or bitter notes uncharacteristic of a cup of craft coffee.
Aesthetics: The 155 is slick. I’m not one to throw this word around, but this tiny dripper looks great on a glass carafe or a mug. Its little frame looks great on a glass carafe or a mug. The stainless steel construction is durable and pops on the counter. I love it. Kalita should always be in the conversation when ranking the best-looking options for pour-over.
How to Brew:
Dose In: 17 Grams
Dose Out: 250 Grams
Grind: Medium (Coarser than a cone-shaped dripper, finer than typical batch brew. Between 2 and 3 on the Fellow Ode.)
Pre-Infusion: 40 grams
Pouring: Pour slowly in small circles. Pour 25 grams at a time, and wait 10 seconds in between to allow the dripper to begin to drain.
Brew Time: 2:45-3:30