Hobbies can get really expensive, really quickly and the trick is knowing when to stop after you start going down a rabbit hole. When it comes to coffee equipment, I think I’ve reached that stage where I’ve bought all the gear that I need to enjoy my daily morning V60 pour over and occassional afternoon flat white.
In the beginning of this year, my V60 setup was pretty basic. The standard Hario 02 dripper and server, a Kone re-usable metal filter, my long-serving DeLonghi KG89 electric burr grinder, our even longer-serving electric kettle and a small gooseneck jug.
But since February this year, after I joined a Facebook group dedicated to pour over coffee, I started reading about how other people were making their brews and the equipment they used. It made a lot of sense, and I started wondering if I could improve my daily cup by adding some equipment, changing others and being more methodical in my process.
And so I began my journey down the rabbit hole, starting with the purchase of a no-brand timer scale so that I could start measuring my coffee dosage, coffee-to-water ratio and systematically track (and repeat) my pour technique.
It soon became clear that I needed to upgrade my trusty grinder, and so I did. One thing led to another, and I added a temperature-controlled gooseneck kettle to the family. There was so much more stuff to buy, including a whole circus of different drippers (April, Bolio, Chemex and the rest of the alphabet), a Kruve “brewler” to measure coffee grind size in micrometres and accompanying sifter for more consistency, an Ikawa home roaster and many more.
But then I remembered the Pareto principle, the law of diminishing returns and principal components analysis, and decided to draw a line in the sand. I wasn’t chasing for the perfect cup of coffee, I only wanted a really good tasting one that I could drink every morning to feed my caffeine addiction.
I haven’t quite found that cup yet and I’m still tweaking my brewing variables to get there, but it’s getting close. And I feel that I now have all the equipment I need to find that cup, specifically:
- Hario V60 plastic dripper
- Hario V60 server
- Hario paper filter (white, tabbed, made in Japan)
- 1Zpresso JX-Pro hand grinder
- Timemore Fish Smart gooseneck temperature-controlled electric kettle
- No brand timer scale
All that’s left is to keep trying different combinations of brewing variables and exploring beans of different origins from different local roasters until I find it. And once I do, I should be able to consistently reproduce it given the pour over equipment I have.
On the espresso front, I recently traded in my old Nespresso machine for a new Creatista Plus so that I can make flat whites with creamy microfoam using minimal effort. I’ve always liked the pretty free pour latte art that professional baristas make, and this machine would allow me to do so, after what I assume will be a ridiculously large number of attempts.
The good news is that I don’t need any additional espresso-related equipment, since the coffee taste is secondary and Nespresso-compatible pods from Nespresso, Starbucks or other decent roasters are good enough for me. The milk covers most of the taste anyway, and my main objectives are to enjoy the creamy textured microfoam and to pour latte art.
So, after adding in my emergency stash of Japanese instant coffee and once-in-a-blue-moon Dalgona coffee, I have all my essential needs covered for the most important meal of the day.