First impressions: Solid. Weighs 9.25 ounces. Extremely clean - lines are well finished. No rough edges. Great feel to it. Looks sharp sitting on the shelf. Interior of dripper has raised, curved ridges (fluting). My other ceramic pourover drippers are fluted, but with straight lines. Cone shaped, with a rather large, single hole in the base (3/4" hole with 12 points to it). Viewed from the side, has this appearance:
while my other pourover drippers look like this:
\_/ (the Bee House and a generic unit)
Has a lip on the underside of the base so the dripper doesn't slide off the top of your coffee cup. Slick.
Filters: Hario filters are expensive and difficult to source. Great swapout is a #2 Melitta white cone filter, available in many grocery stores (note: oxygen whitened, not chlorine). You will need to put a fold into the Melitta. Set the filter on the counter and fold it at a right angle, using one tip of the cone base as the corner for forming the 90 degree angle. Put the filter into the dripper and open it. Don't feel compelled to flatten it out against the dripper. The raised ridges (fluting) of the Hario ensures that the filter doesn't hug the dripper wall, facilitating better flow.
Dosing: I drink my pourovers a bit on the strong side. Coffee is a midrange, drip grind in my Macap 4. Coffee to water ratio: 21 grams to 12 ounces.
Process: Bring the water to boil. Before adding coffee, pour 4 ounces of the water through paper filter, into the cup. Serves to rinse the filter as well as pre-heat the cup and dripper so don't serve as heat sinks. (Remember to empty that cup when you add your coffee to the dripper). 45 seconds off-boil, water is at 195F, the temp I prefer for pourovers and vacpots. Buy a decent thermometer and learn your temps by time. Invaluable addition for ensuring fullest range of flavors, while adding to the coffee-toychest of Geekdom.
Pour: I use 1/3 of the water to bloom the coffee. Go slow and easy. This is not the Indy 500. Pour in a tight circle (2/3rds of the surface), not "flooding" the coffee. This pre-infusion will wet the entire surface of coffee and "open up" the coffee for better extraction. After 30-45 seconds, recommence pouring. Keep the pour "tight." Total time from initial pour to end of second pour runs me about 3 minutes. Don't flood the grounds. Steady, constant tight, circular pour, allowing the coffee to drain commensurate with your pour.
Clean-up: Piece of cake. You can dump filter and grounds into the trash. I put the grounds into the garden. A quick dunk in the suds with several hot rinses and the Hario V60 once again is ready to add some "pop" to the shelf. It doesn't get any easier. (Dishwasher safe).
Hindrances to great cups, but you know these:
° Inaccuracies in temperature. Buy that thermometer -- Update brand from Sweetmarias.com is an excellent choice.
° Not preheating the cup/dripper.
° "Drowning" the grounds. Steady, slow pour is best preceding by a blooming period.
° Under/over-dosing the water. Use a Pyrex measuring cup and work out your favorite ratio. Then, stick with the same drinking cup so you know water levels without measuring each time you make your cup.
Comparison to other ceramic drippers (Bee House and generic Chinese unit): Santa just parked his sled on the roof with these newer units. I have two friends who have great palates on whom I have called to help me compare the recent additions. I will update this post with tasting comparisons and our critiques once I have had some experience with Santa's contributions to my toy collection.