Coffee Experiment: Hario V60 vs. AeroPress

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Awhile back I did a personal review on the AeroPress. From my very first brew I was impressed with the coffee. Sure, it could have been the placebo effect at work (I had very high expectations based on Amazon reviews and elite coffee shop sitings), but I didn’t care, because the coffee continued to taste great to me.Hario V60 Glass Black

But then I splurged again, this time with another very popular manual brewing device that I’m sure you’ve seen before: the Hario V60.

It’s glass, with a nice little black handle and bottom (plastic). Definitely prettier than my big old plastic one. A satisfying upgrade aesthetically.

But how does it stack up against the other brewing methods in terms of taste? Well, I decided to sit out of this one due to my biases, and I brewed two cups of coffee for a couple of my loved ones (girlfriend and sister) to blindly taste. One cup was brewed with the Aeropress, the other with the Hario V60.

The Variables

Hario V60 vs. AeroPress

I started with two mugs that were exactly the same just so nobody would accidentally see me brewing with one method on a completely unique mug. Obviously this doesn’t affect taste, so here are the variables that most definitely did:

  1. Water temperature: 204˚F on my Bonavita Variable Temp Kettle
  2. Grind: finest setting on my Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder
  3. Dose: 20 grams using my EatSmart Kitchen Gram Scale
  4. Coffee Beans: Ethiopian Fancy from Peet’s (medium roast)
  5. Water used: Eek! I didn’t measure this, and definitely should have. However, both mugs were basically filled with the same amount of liquid coffee in the end.

The Results

I was expecting both of my participants to like the Aeropress better, but as it turned out, they liked the Hario cup of Joe much better. My girlfriend actually said the AeroPress cup tasted like gasoline. Ouch.

So does this mean the Hario is better? No way, man! This was a pretty unscientific experiment to put it mildly. Here’s how I think I could make it better.

Future Experiments

The Aeropress was clearly a disaster. Maybe I ground the beans too finely? Or maybe the water temperature was too high? I think the former, which is why next time I’m going to try a coarser grind to see if the Aeropress can come close to competing with the Hario (same variables above).

Or maybe the two brewing methods are so different, they don’t even belong in a test together to begin with? I’m still not 100% convinced.  Which is why I think it might be a good idea to first find the Aeropress‘ sweet spot, then the Hario’s, and blind taste test once again with a bigger sample size. 2 People is so statistically insignificant, it’s not even funny.

Conclusion

Even though the experiment was poorly controlled, I agreed with both of my participants: the Hario cup was better. Less bitterness, fruitier, and of course, gasoline free. Like I said earlier though, I’m not convinced that this is the better manual brewing method just yet. More experiments to follow. Who knows, this may be the beginning of series of posts to document my testing between these two excellent coffee makers.

If you are considering either of these two coffee makers, check out the links below! I will get a small commission for any purchases you make via Amazon, so if you found any of these reviews helpful I’d really appreciate the credit. If not, I really appreciate you taking the time to read!

To read my review of the AeroPress, click here.

To buy the Hario V60 on Amazon, click here.

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  • 104 farenheiht? I’ve not ever once heard anyone brewing aero press that low. It should have been at least 70 to 85 degrees hotter! No wonder it tasted like gasoline. Try 220g 190f water inverted method 18g coffee steep 1 minute stir twice, 45second plunge. It should be comparable to Hario and maybe better:)

    • Eek! 104 was a total typo, I meant 204. Corrected!

      As far as the inverted method goes, I think that it’s an urban legend that it tastes better this way. In fact, nobody who uses the inverted method has ever won the World Aeropress Championship.

      Al Adler’s theory is that the shorter contact time between water and coffee, the better, as you don’t want to over-extract the coffee.

      Can’t say I agree with him in regards to the 175˚F is the right temperature theory. He said he did a blind taste test on 20 people comparing 175 to 185…and 19 of 20 people preferred 175. The problem with this is that he didn’t compare this temperature to any temperature in the SCAA standard ranges of 195-205, PLUS, I presume everyone in this informal blind taste test was really showing preference to a suitable drinking temperature (175), not a suitable brewing temperature (195-205).

      I did a taste test comparing inverted and standard…you should check it out: https://thecoffeeconcierge.net/coffee-experiment-whats-the-best-way-to-brew-with-the-aeropress-coffee-maker/

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Have been using and enjoying a hario for quite some time. Picked up an aeropress, and this morning was my first cup. My reaction…liked the hario much better. This led to a Google search and your article. I know there are many recipe variations for the aeropress, which can be a good or bad thing. Don’t know what the hario has which makes it better (to me). Also preferred the hario to the Kalita wave in a similar test.

    • Hi Ken,

      Thanks for your feedback. I wouldn’t give up on the AeroPress just yet. There are a lot of variables at play, and I’d focus on adjusting your grind and brew times until you get closer to something you enjoy.

      Still, some coffee just seems to do better with certain brew methods, which is why it’s fun to play with different coffee makers.

  • I just got my aeropress for 3days.. Well i cant say which one is better though..
    I use v60 to taste the characteristics of the coffee (light to medium roast) and aeropress to make coffee with a bit more body in it(medium to dark roast) so i can add sugar or make a latte..thats why u need to steep with aeropress and use coarser grind than espresso…
    I use 20 gr and250 mg water .. 80c for aeropress and 85-90c for v60
    Hope this helps 🙂

  • When making the Aeropress did you push hard at the end and squeeze all the liquid out of it? This can greatly increase bitterness.

    • Hey Nick,

      To me, this is a myth. The last bit of coffee that comes out of the final press is so little that even if it were extremely bitter, it couldn’t throw off the balance of the entire cup of coffee.

      I’ll put an experiment together at some point in the future to test this.

  • I never tried either methodes, but I know well using plastic parts with hot water extend the extraction for the plastic too. Not only coffee extracted but some solvents/hydrocarbons/additives as well from the plastic parts.

  • I find courser grinds for the AeroPress produces a smoother, slightly sweeter and more enjoyable experience than finer grinds do with the AeroPress.

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