Our Favorite Pourover Maker Brews Excellent Coffee (and Is Nearly Indestructible)

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coffee being bloomed in a Kalita Wave 185
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

I’ve been using the same pourover brewer for the last 10 years, and I’m pretty sure it’ll last me at least that many more. When I was first introduced to the stainless steel Kalita Wave, I was drawn to its flat-bottom and smaller exit holes, which encourage the water to flow through the coffee more evenly than V-shaped brewers. But about a week later, I reached up to pull it down from a shelf and dropped it onto the concrete floor of the coffee training lab I worked at. Years of working with glass and ceramic brewers prepared me for the worst, but it was only when I bent down to pick it up that I realized there wasn’t a scratch on it. Not only did it brew better coffee, but this thing was indestructible. From then on, I took it with me everywhere I traveled—and years later, when I tested pourover brewers, it still came out on top.  

an overhead look at the Kalita Wave 185 brewer
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Flat-bottom brewers, like the Kalita, work by spreading the coffee grounds into a wide, trapezoidal shape. This ensures water filters evenly, resulting in a balanced brew. It also means you can brew a larger amount of coffee without the filter clogging. I’ve spent many hotel mornings hunched over a hand grinder and Kalita Wave brewing coffee for three other co-workers so they can skip the pod brewers stocked in their rooms, with the result infinitely better.

It might not be the cheapest flat-bottomed brewer available, but seeing how I’ve used mine to brew thousands of cups of coffee already, it’s definitely a sound investment.

Good to Know

FAQs

What is the difference between Kalita 155 and 185?

Kalita Wave brewers come in two sizes: 155 and 185. The 155 brewers are designed for anything between eight to 16 ounces, while the 155 size is considerably bigger and can brew anything from 12 to 30 ounces of coffee. Both brewers have the same base diameter, it’s just that the walls of the 185 are taller and flare out wider to accommodate more coffee while brewing. 

How many cups does Kalita Wave 185 make?

The Kalita Wave 185 can brew anything between 12 ounces to 30 ounces of coffee, or between two and five cups of coffee (which are usually set between five to six ounces). It’s a versatile brewer, but its flat bottom and flared sides make it difficult to achieve a deep enough coffee bed for smaller brews. If you’re looking to brew one cup at a time, the Kalita Wave 155 is better for single-servings.

Do you need to use a paper filter in a flat-bottomed brewer?

Most flat-bottomed coffee brewers require a paper filter. Some brewers are designed to work with universal #2 or #4 flat-bottomed filters that you can find at any store. However, there are some flat-bottomed brewers, like the Kalita Wave, that require a custom filter.


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