Kalita Wave Brewing Guide

The Kalita Wave brewer is famous among coffee connoisseurs for its smooth and rich taste. This dripper takes the classical pour-over method and enhances it with a flat base to control water flow. If brewed correctly, it provides an even extraction and a consistent brew.

This brewing guide will walk you through a precise method for brewing coffee using this dripper and get you excited to brew coffee.

So, put on your brewing hat and we’ll walk you through how to get a perfect Kalita Wave brewed coffee.

pouring hot water over kalita wave maker single cup

What is the Kalita Wave?

The Kalita Wave is an appealing pour-over and a great tool for pour-over coffee enthusiasts. Made in Japan, this is one of the most famous pour our brewers available.

This dripper comes with three holes (unlike Chemex or V60 that comes with a single hole) at the bottom to support an even coffee extraction process. The coffee maker is conical, and the base is circular and flat.

This design prevents channeling of water in the coffee bed and thus results is a crisp cup of coffee. The Kalita brewer is in minimal contact with the filter, which supports even dispersion of water and consistency in temperature.

The most appealing feature of this tool is the horizontal ridges that are similar to waves. Kalita wave gets the name due to this unique feature.

The Kalita wave is available in two sizes, 155 and 185. As 185 allows more versatility, I will be considering this version for the brewing guide. Moreover, it is available in three materials, stainless steel, ceramic, and glass.

For more information about this dripper, check out our Kalita Wave Review guide!

Lastly, you will need Kalita Wave filters of the appropriate size.

What You Need

  • Kalita Wave filter
  • Kalita Wave dripper
  • 24-32 grams of coffee
  • Kettle, preferably gooseneck
  • 300-400 mL of water
  • Timer
  • Scale
  • Brewing vessel
  • Grinder, preferable burr grinder

Total brew time: 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

A Quick Glance to the Brewing Guide

  • Boil the water and allow it to cool
  • Place dripper on top of the carafe
  • Weigh and grind coffee
  • Add ground coffee to filter (the coffee bed should be leveled)
  • Allow blooming
  • Add water through the pulsing method
  • Enjoy the coffee

Step 1: Prepare

Set up the brewer

To begin, set up a vessel to brew in and place the Kalita wave on the top. Then, place the filter inside the Kalita. As these Kalita filters are thin, there is no need to rinse them. If you do wish to rinse your filter, do so by pouring water in the middle and not along its ridges as this may deform the filter’s shape.

Boil the water

Next, heat the water. I prefer boiling a kettle and allowing it to set off the heat. But if you would like to measure the temperature, aim to boil water between 202-205°F. For pour-over methods, you don’t have to worry about boiling the coffee, just be cautious of water dropping below 202 degrees.

Why is this important? Well, coffee brewed at the boiling point can get scorched. If prepared at a lower temperature, the oils won’t get integrated.

Step 2: Measure

The next step is pouring the coffee into the filter. While doing so, shake the brewer back and forth to evenly adjust the coffee.

Factors to Consider

Quantity

Measure between 24-32 grams of coffee.

Grind Size

Grind size is another important aspect to get that perfect cup of coffee. For the Kalita wave, it’s recommended to grind medium. Later you can manipulate the grind size for the desired effect. However, this is limited by the design of the brewer.

A medium-coarse grind is approximately 7.5 on a scale of 10 (One being espresso fine and 10 being French Press coarse). It’s better to get a burr grinder as the blade grinder may not be able to provide consistent size.

Here are some tips to experiment with the grind size:

  • Finer grind provides a larger surface area for coffee extraction by water.
  • Start with a medium grind and later experiment with the size for various flavors and strengths.
  • Finer grind increases the flavor intensity.
  • As grind size affects various taste factors, refrain from changing anything else while fiddling with the grind size.

Water:Coffee Ratio

Next comes water to coffee ratio. For the Wave, you can use a 15:1 or 16:1 ratio. Brewing on a scale makes it simpler. For 32 grams of coffee, you’ll need about 480-500 grams of water.

Step 3: Brew

Initial Step (Blooming)

The next step is brewing. For this add water and coffee in the ratio 1:1. Allow it to sit for almost 30 seconds.

As all coffee connoisseurs would know, brewing includes adding enough water to wet the coffee base. The dry coffee absorbs water and releases carbon dioxide, raising the bed. The expelling of the gas affects the extraction process. Better the bloom, better are the flavors.

I usually watch the coffee bed rise and not the time. While blooming, you can see the coffee swell and bubbles rising and bursting. Once all the carbon dioxide is expelled, the coffee bed relaxes. This is the point to continue brewing.

Brewing

Now, pour the remaining water. For 32 grams of coffee, you can add water up to 1 cm from the top, allow it to drip, until the water drops an inch.

Begin pouring water again and pause. Once the water drops by half an inch, pour approximately 40 grams of water. Do this quickly within five seconds to raise the water level. This is the pulsing method.

You can continue with the pulsing method for 3 – 4 times until you have added all the water.

Coming to the important step. The key ingredient to mastering the dripper is the slow spiral pour. Swirl the filter with hot water in a circular motion. This is really important with Kalita Wave due to its ridged design. Swirl motion helps to sweep the grind with water waves.

Step 4: Enjoy

The approximate time for this brewing process is three and a half minutes.

After adding all the water, you just have to wait until the dripping from the wave stops.

Give the coffee a quick stir and allow it cool before enjoying it.

Remove the filter from the brewer and throw away the grounds.

Quick Tips

  • Preheat your equipment. Coffee tends to stay warm for longer if the carafe or mug is warm.
  • Always use filtered water.
  • The Kalita dripper is stove-friendly. So, don’t be scared of getting it hot.
  • You can thus use hot water so that the water used stays relatively warm.
  • Stale coffee grounds and oils can ruin your brewer and make the next brew taste rancid. You can clean the brewer with little water and a microfiber cloth.
  • While heating the kettle, fill it with water till the brim. This provides enough margin for all the steps. Nothing spoils a mood than running out of the water while brewing coffee.
  • Start with whole coffee beans for better results
  • Grind with help of a burr grinder just before brewing. (If you grind it beforehand, it may lose many compounds responsible for delightful flavors and aromas)
  • Using a scale and defined ratio makes brewing easy. (Basically, no guesswork)
  • If your coffee gets bitter than desired, grind your coffee coarser next time.
  • If you find the taste a bit sour, you can grind the coffee finer to extract higher bitterness and sweetness.
  • Never allow your coffee to get dry while brewing. So, always pour more water before the older one runs out completely.
  • Avoid pouring on sides throughout the brewing process.
  • Don’t heat the brewed coffee.

A quick tip on the kettle

While you also brew with a tea kettle, the shorter wide mouth would make the swirling motion difficult. A gooseneck kettle is preferable due to ease of pouring. It supports slow, circular motions to add richness and clarity to the Kalita Wave brewed coffee.

Tips for coffee beans

  • Avoid pre-ground old grocery store coffee. It’s better to use quality, whole coffee beans. If you can get fresh coffee beans delivered at your place, it would be awesome!)
  • You can also get coffee from craft roasters who provide roast-to-order coffee.
  • The smell of freshly roasted and quality beans can make a greater difference than what you may be expecting.
  • Coffee is at its peak flavor within 15 days of the roast date.
  • Heat and moisture are the biggest destroyers. So, it’s a great idea to store your beans in a clean and air-tight container at room temperature.
  • Alternatively, you can also store your coffee beans in the fridge or freezer. 

Summary

If you are a coffee enthusiast like me, you will know the pleasure of brewing a favorite cup of coffee.

Brewing pour-over coffee just got simpler with Kalita Wave dripper. Observe the bloom, try pulsing method while adding water, notice how can the spiral pour enhances the taste of your favorite coffee. This simple brewing guide will help you get tuned with your coffee.