Kitchn Love Letters

This Single-Serve Coffee Maker Made Me Ditch My Keurig

published Sep 16, 2022
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Credit: Daniel Kim Photography/Stocksy

Growing up, the Keurig sounds like a coffee-lover’s dream: It’s easy to use, quick, hassle-free, and it does all the heavy lifting for you. (I guess we collectively chose to ignore the fact that the coffee was, erm, decent, and the single-serve pods were getting dumped into landfills by the truckful.) So, when I went off to live on my own, I got a tiny, single-cup Keurig — only to toss it when it started slowing down and sputtering after a few months of use. Instead of bending the knee to the overlords in Seattle, I put down the Starbucks rewards membership application and set out on a hunt to find a space-saving gadget that would suit my morning coffee needs. 

Now, if you’re been paying attention, you know that I’m a diehard fan of a simple drip coffee machine. However, my Mr. Coffee 5-Cup didn’t survive my latest move (RIP, King), so I’ve been forced to return to an old standby: my Hario V60 pour-over. And, I’ve gotta say, I’m thankful I switched back. The added control, tiny footprint, and fun ritual that goes along with a pour-over coffee maker is second to none. And, the java is delicious. 

My first experience with pour-over coffee was when I woke up on a friend’s couch after a night out and they asked me if “a cup of pour over” was okay. I said sure, since I thought they meant drip — you know, how the water “pours over” the beans in a coffee machine, right? Wrong. Once I saw them whip out a gooseneck kettle and scale, I knew things were about to get serious. They weighed out the beans, ground them to the perfect coarseness, and poured hot (but not boiling) water over the grinds in gentle, concentric circles. It was mesmerizing. And, after that first amazing cup, I was convinced that pour-over was the coffee style for me. That’s when I copped my own Hario V60, said to be the best on the market — and folks, I was not disappointed. 

Off the bat, it’s way smaller than my Keurig — in fact, it’s the same size as a large coffee mug — which makes it a great space-saving gadget for small kitchens or coffee stations. It’s also got a good heft to it, and I don’t really worry about it banging into anything in my cabinet when I’m rummaging around. What’s really killer about the V60 is that it allows you to customize the flavor and strength of your brew: Pour the hot water quickly for lighter coffee or slowly for a darker cup. 

Credit: Ian Burke

I’m not the only one who’s a fan of the V60, either. “A great cup of coffee every time,” one reviewer writes. “As simple as coffee making gets, with the concentrated cone shape ideal for optimum flavor without the bitterness and residue from my second favorite way of making coffee, French press. This is a great buy.”

Now, you can MacGyver the drip coffee filters you’ve been using, but you really should pick up a pack of pour-over filters. Thankfully, with this set from Williams Sonoma, 100 Hario V60 coffee filters are included, along with the ceramic dripper itself and an elegant, heat-proof glass pot for larger batches. Now, I don’t have a gooseneck kettle or a fancy coffee scale, but I grind my beans fresh when I can, and I use a simple electric kettle with a spout for a bit more control when I pour. (However, pre-ground coffee will work just fine.) 

No matter how sophisticated your coffee ritual is, the pour over is a simple, egalitarian approach to taking your morning mud to the next level — and the V60 is top dog.