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The Best Grind Size For V60 Revealed! 

Image: V60 and filter paper on top of a ceramic mug, filled with coffee beans.
Image: V60 and filter paper on top of a ceramic mug, filled with coffee beans.

The V60 is a simple but incredibly effective way to brew great tasting coffee. The grind size you use will play a big part on how the end product tastes, especially when dialling in new coffee beans.  

Achieving the perfect grind size for V60 coffee brewing takes practice and sometimes patience, but it is well worth paying attention to. Getting the right grind size can be a tricky task, especially for new V60 users. Grind size plays a major role in how your V60 coffee will taste, as well as its strength, the level of extraction and how quickly it brews. 

So, let’s dive into the best grind size for V60 so you get the best results every single time. 

 

The Best Grind Size for V60

The best grind size for a V60 is a medium grind. This isn’t a particularly helpful description, as it’s hard to pin down exactly what “medium” means. This is because a relatively fi is needed to extract coffee oils and flavour compounds evenly when hot water is poured onto the coffee. 

This should be finer than the grind used for French press coffee, but not as fine as an Moka Pot or Aeropress grind. 

I would recommend using a medium grind size that resembles fine table salt for your V60. If you’re using lighter roasted beans this should be slightly finer, whereas with darker roasted beans this can be slightly more coarse. 

I would also recommend opting for whole beans that can be freshly ground to a medium consistency for V60 brewing. This will make a huge difference to the freshness and aroma you’ll be able to maintain in your V60 coffee brewing, as opposed to using pre-ground coffee. 

Hario themselves mention that 15g of coffee should be used for pour over, and this should be a medium to fine grind. 

Using the wrong grind size for your V60 can actually impact the taste and strength of your coffee quite a bit. Without getting too bogged down in the science, let’s take a brief look at what happens if you grind your coffee too coarsely or too finely for your V60. 

 

Too Coarse Leads to Under Extraction

As far as the V60 is concerned, aiming for a medium grind is the best way to go for people new to this brewing method. 

It is definitely better to opt for a grind you think may be too coarse when starting out, than one that’s too fine. 

This will give you weaker coffee, but more consistent results. From there it is easy to dial the grind size down to find your desired strength.

However, if you grind your coffee too coarsely, (like you would for French press) you’ll end up with under extracted coffee. This means that the hot water has not come into contact with enough of the coffee’s surface area, and not enough of the flavour compounds and oils have been extracted from the coffee. 

This results in watery, weak and sometimes sour coffee that is quite unpleasant to drink. 

 

Too Fine Leads to Over Extraction

On the other end of the spectrum, using a fine grind more suited to espresso in your V60 will lead to over extraction. 

Over extraction is actually more common than you might think across many different coffee brewing methods, and causes the coffee oils to be extracted too quickly. 

This leads to bitter, burnt tasting coffee that can have a silty aftertaste and is also pretty nasty to drink. You’ll also most likely experience astringency, which is an unpleasant dry aftertaste at the back of your throat. 

Therefore, I would say it is definitely better to start off slightly too coarse and dial it down finer with each brew than the other way round. After all, you’d rather have coffee that’s slightly weaker than you might like, rather than a bitter and astringent brew!  

 

What is a V60? 

The V60 is a manual pour-over coffee brewer designed by Hario, a renowned Japanese glassware company. Its name, “V60,” originates from its characteristic V-shaped cone and the 60-degree angle of its walls. 

This cone-shaped dripper can be crafted from various materials, including glass, ceramic, plastic, and metal, each offering distinct aesthetic appeal and heat-retention properties.

The most popular V60 is the simple plastic coffee brewer, which is the easiest to clean and maintain. The classic plastic V60 is also the most cost effective and portable in the range, making it incredibly versatile. 

 

How Does a V60 Work? 

The V60 coffee brewer is a simple device to look at, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to use. This is because grind size, pouring technique and water temperature all need to be controlled to maximise coffee extraction. 

The reason this is more difficult with the V60 compared to other methods of brewing coffee, is that there is a lot of human intervention involved. You have to add the ground coffee to the V60, pour the hot water over yourself and agitate the slurry in the right way, all of which brings human error into the equation! 

To make things easier, here’s a step-by-step guide to harnessing the full potential of your V60.

  1. Grind your coffee to a medium grind size
  2. Place your paper filter in your V60 and wet it with warm or hot water
  3. Add your coffee and make a small divot in the middle
  4. Pour over a small amount of water, allowing the coffee to bloom
  5. Give it a stir and a swirl to evenly distribute the coffee and water
  6. Pour over the remainder of your water over the coffee grounds
  7. Give your V60 a swirl, let all the water drain and enjoy your freshly brewed cup of coffee! 

 

V60 Top Tips

Here are a few top tips to help you get the most out of your V60 coffee brewing experience. 

  • Use freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans for optimal flavour.
  • Experiment with grind size, water temperature, and pour technique to refine your brewing process.
  • Maintain a consistent pour rate to ensure uniform extraction and balanced flavour.
  • Keep your brewing equipment clean and free from residues to preserve the purity of your coffee.
  • Don’t skip the blooming phase. Pouring all of your hot water onto your ground coffee at once will ensure you get an uneven coffee extraction, and a bitter or sour tasting brew. 

 

Why Grind Size Matters

Grind size plays a more important role than you might think in how your coffee tastes. Every coffee brewing method requires a different grind size and in truth, there is no one size fits for each of these. 

The perfect grind size for a particular coffee brewing method may differ from one person to another, depending on how they like their coffee, the equipment they have available and their level of experience. 

As a very rough rule of thumb, here is a list of coffee brewing methods with their corresponding grind sizes, from most fine to most coarse: 

Very Fine: Turkish Coffee Pot, Espresso

Fine: Espresso, Aeropress

Fine to Medium: V60

Medium: Drip Machine

Medium to Coarse: Chemex

Coarse: French Press, Percolator

Very Coarse: Cold Brew. 

 

Other Variables to Consider When Using a V60

Grind size is a very important factor when brewing coffee in a V60, but here are a few other things to consider. 

Type of Coffee Used

V60s brewed coffee has a delicate, clean and pure flavour profile to it. The filter papers used in the V60 help maintain the distinctive tasting notes that freshly roasted and ground coffee have to offer.  

Therefore, a medium roasted coffee with nutty, chocolate or caramel flavours, or a lighter roast with citrus, floral or fruity notes, would be my recommendation for use in a V60.

Using a very dark roast with smoky or earthy flavours wouldn’t necessarily be the best idea here, as these beans would be better suited to the intensity of espresso, Moka pot or French press. 

The V60 does a great job of emphasising the delicacy and subtle flavours that medium to light roasted coffee has to offer. Whilst you could definitely use a darker roasted specialty coffee and get great results, I would try to avoid overly bitter, harsh, and extremely darkly roasted coffee. 

Brew Time

Brew time also plays an important role in determining how consistently your coffee is extracted for a particular brewing method. 

The time required to brew coffee in a V60 will be anywhere between 2 and 4 minutes depending on the dose you use, along with the grind size and how much coffee you want to brew. 

If we take a typical one cup V60, using 15g of coffee and approximately 250g of water, you can expect a brew time of around 2-3 minutes. If it is taking significantly longer than this, then you’re likely using a grind size that’s too fine, or if it is much quicker, your grind size is likely too coarse. 

V60 Preparation 

How you prepare your V60 plays a major role in how your coffee will end up tasting. The distribution of coffee grounds in the filter paper, how you pour the hot water over and even the way you stir the coffee slurry can all influence the end result. 

I would recommend making a small divot in your coffee grounds, so the water and coffee can be distributed as evenly as possible. Then, pour over a small amount of hot water (approximately twice the weight of your ground coffee dose). Give the V60 a gentle swirl and a stir to ensure all the grounds get an even coating of water and you have a consistent extraction. 

Finally, pour over the rest of your desired water weight in an even and consistent way, so you don’t oversaturate the coffee grounds. 

 

Summary

Overall, the best grind size for a V60 is a medium grind, due to the consistent flow needed to extract the coffee oils perfectly. Too fine a grind will leave you with bitter and astringent coffee, whereas going too coarse will result in weak, under extracted coffee. 

I hope this article has proven useful and you enjoy improving your V60 coffee brewing as a result! 

 

V60 Frequenetly Asked Questions 

Is Espresso Grind Too Fine for a V60?

Yes, using the finely ground coffee for espresso in a V60 is not a good idea. Not only will you end up with bitter, over extracted and sediment filled coffee, but you can also clog up your V60’s filter basket and cause a coffee explosion! 

 

What is the Perfect Ratio for V60?

Many authorities in the coffee space will argue that a 1:16 ratio of coffee to water is perfect for V60 coffee brewing. I would argue that this is a great place to start if you are new to the V60, as this is a well balanced and forgiving brew recipe. 

 

How to Make V60 Coffee Stronger?

You can make your V60 coffee stronger by reducing the coffee to water ratio (e.g. from 1:16 to 1:10 for example), using a higher dose of coffee, or grinding your coffee finer. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Answer 1

Answer 2

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