Kalita Wave Review

Looking for a coffee maker that can accommodate your cramped kitchen? Or need a new coffee maker that doesn’t break the bank? The Kalita Wave may get you off the hook.

It’s a pour over that’ll help you make a smooth and great tasting coffee at home. With a ridged body and flat-bottomed design, it takes no space of your counter. Moreover, it’s easy on your pocket, durable, and handy.

Check out the features, customer reviews, and much more below. 

Kalita Wave At A Glance

PROS:

  • Easy to master its use
  • Takes little space
  • Brews a stronger coffee
  • Attractive design
  • Pocket friendly

CONS:

  • Limited flexibility
  • Delicate filters

The Kalita Wave is an alluring pour over that would catch any coffee connoisseur’s attention. It is made in Japan and is one of the most popular pour overs available. 

It features 3 small holes (opposed to a single hole in many coffee makers) in a triangular fashion at the bottom. This design supports a more even coffee extraction process. While the coffee maker is conical, the base is circular and flat.

The Wave is available in two sizes, 155 and 185, and three materials, stainless steel, ceramic, and glass. So, you can select the model that suits your needs the best.

The Kalita Wave 155 is for 1-2 cups, while 185 is for 3-4 cups. The stainless-steel version is more common and will be the focus of this review.

You can buy Kalita wave at amazon or at its official website.

Pour Over Coffee

As Kalita Wave is a pour-over coffee dripper, it’s a good idea to know a tad bit about pour-over coffee and its features. Pour-over coffee lovers and experts can skip this section.

The pour-over technique was used in Europe since 1900 but got popular only in recent years.

The pour-over method, as the name suggests, involves pouring hot water through the grind in a coffee filter. The water then runs through the coffee in the filter into a mug or carafe. This type of coffee is also called as drip coffee and filter coffee.

The hand-pouring of the water feature sets this coffee apart from other coffee types. For this reason, they are also referred to as manual brewing or hand brewing.

Why Pour Over?

You may be wondering what makes this coffee special. Well, the manual brewing accentuates intricate flavors as compared to other methods. It is thus an obvious choice for single origin coffee as it allows the aromas and flavors to shine.

Moreover, the water is poured in a fashion to extract coffee fragrances and oils at its own pressure and consistent brew time. This makes the filter coffee clear, clean, and consistent. The only downside is having to clean a lot of oil in the filter.

And as it is an infusion method, it is comparatively more effective in extracting coffee solubles than French Press, which is an immersion technique. Pour over allows using a consistent supply of water, while the immersion technique results in saturation of water.

The Challenge

As we know, “All good things come at a price” and so does a perfect cup of pour-over coffee.

Pour-over coffee comes with some manageable challenges. As will all manual methods, the pour-over coffee is subject practice and precision. Some things that can come in your way are bad pouring techniques and human errors.

For instance, all infusion methods have the risk of channeling, where the water passes through an easy route near the ground coffee. It usually happens when the grind is distributed unevenly or there are clumps of coffee. This results in imperfectly extracted coffee. So, while making pour-over coffee, you may have to master the technique of pouring water in a way that it is immersed evenly in the grind.

But once you get used to the technique and take quantities of coffee and water in precision, it is not a difficult take. Pour over drippers, especially Kalita Wave, makes this process easier.

Things to consider before buying The Kalita Wave

Pour-over coffee involves a delicate process of extraction. While pour-over brewers may have a simple design, every step needs your attention. 

If you’re looking for a coffee maker that doesn’t take too much space in your kitchen shelf and offers an even extraction for a smooth coffee, Kalita Wave may be an ideal pour over for you. Moreover, it is pocket friendly.

Kalita Wave may not be a great option for you if you prefer getting your pour-over coffee quickly, without having to learn the technique of extraction.

pouring hot water over kalita wave maker single cup

For a quick cup of pour-over coffee, you may consider Melitta or Hario V60. They get quick and good results.

But if you prefer absolute results, Kalita Wave may be ideal for you. However, you would need some practice and patience before getting the best pour-over coffee. A slow spiral pour is a key while using this brewer. So, it can be easier to master the skill of using Kalita Wave by anyone having a tad practice in pour-over coffee than an amateur.

However, once you master the process, amazing coffee will be waiting for you!

Factors to Consider

Time

Let’s face the fact, in today’s fast-moving world, we are prisoners of time. While choosing a brewer, it is thus important to know how much time you’ll need to invest to make your coffee. Almost all pour our coffee makers take about 3-5 minutes for grinding, measuring, and boiling water. This is followed by another 3-5 minutes for brewing the coffee. All in all, it will take almost 10 minutes

Portability

If portability is important, you will need something that doesn’t need special tools, easily fits in your bag, and can be used anywhere. It is also a good idea to go for stainless steel or plastic. Glass or ceramic pour-over are at risk of breaking while you travel

Technique

As it is a manual technique, it involves loads of variables to be considered, such as weight of ground coffee, time to brew, water temperature, and aggressiveness of the pour. You will have to take care of all these things to get the same great tasting cup of coffee every time.

Accessories

Lastly, to master the manual brew, you may need some extras. Some of which include:

  • Suitable filters
  • A gooseneck kettle
  • A serving vessel
  • A good burr grinder

So, before you decide, you should consider some questions:

  • Are you ready to practice a skill of brewing?
  • How much time you can spare while preparing a cup of your favorite coffee?
  • What is more important for you, just a pour-over coffee or a perfectly brewed coffee?
  • How much attention you are ready to give?
  • Do you want to expand your current brewing skills?

Presenting the product

The wave series from Kalita is one of the leading coffee drippers available on the market. It’s touted to provide an even extraction that allows you to have that perfect cup of pour-over coffee at your home.

But you should be prepared to practice the skill before putting your mitts on this product. Moreover, filters and the design of this brewer work in sync for the best cup of coffee. So, you will need proprietary Kalita filters and not any filters from the grocery stores.

If this sounds like a task, you can opt for something simpler like the Clever Dripper.

Features & Benefits

Price: 5/5

It is cheaper or close to the same price as the competing brewers. With its features, ease of use, and appearance, it is totally worth the price.

Taste: 4.4/5

A medium-coarse grind is an ideal option for the Kalita Wave. So, you may find sweetness and acidity in your coffee compared to French Pressed coffee.

kalita wave stainless steel over cup

A medium-coarse grind is an ideal option for the Kalita Wave. So, you may find sweetness and acidity in your coffee as compared to the French Pressed coffee.

However, owing to the flat bottom, this coffee maker needs lesser water for extraction than other drippers. So, in the same coffee-to-water ratio, Kalita wave produces stronger coffee.

Furthermore, you can experiment with the grind size and flavor elements to get the perfect taste.

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Getting an even coffee extraction is key for a delicious pour-over coffee. Kalita Wave makes this process really easy to use. Although you may need some patience to master the skill, it is easier to catch on. Although brewing coffee has a learning curve, features of Kalita waves make it easier to use.

The waves on the filters enhance airflow and maintain a constant flow rate, for even extraction. This air also acts as an insulator, preventing slipping of the essential heat.

Furthermore, unlike other pour-over brewers, Kalita wave doesn’t require rinsing of filters prior to brewing. The waves are thin and thus won’t impart the papery flavor.

Appearance: 4.7/5

If you are like me, you would be thinking that Kalita Wave looks like any other filter. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

kalita wave with brewing coffee over a glass

Although the shape is similar to other pour-over brewers, it has horizontal ridges that make it look more classical. Rather it gets the name due to its resemblance to waves. Furthermore, the cone is stout and wide.

The flat and circular baseplate allows the brewer to rest on your jug or cup. There is an angular handle that may look innocuous, but it is so convenient to use.

You can also match Kalita Wave with Kalita kettle, which also has a wavy design.

Overall, it has an attractive design and you may end up getting multiple compliments.

Portability: 4.9/5

The stainless-steel version of this coffee brewer is less fragile and lighter than the glass and ceramic versions. So, you can take this coffee dripper anywhere you go, such as traveling or camping.

As it is petite and sleek, it doesn’t even take much space. Of note, the wavy filters are vulnerable to get flat. So, it’s a good idea to pack them in something solid or that preserves it’s shape.

Durability: 4.6/5

The stainless steel version is highly durable. The only think of this brewer that is likely to break is the handle. It is attached solidly, so chances of even that happening are pretty rare. However, even if that happens, the coffee maker can still be used without difficulty.

Brew Speed: 4/5

Brew speed gets a perfect score. The brewing speed is somewhere between 3-4 minutes. The holes are smaller than other brewer and thus the speed may be a little slow. However, the speed depends on the rate at which you pour, and the grind size used.

The three-holed bottom also reduces the flow of water. But this is important as the taste and quality of the coffee depends on the duration for which the grind is in contact with hot water.

Social Proof

To understand more about this brewer, I looked at customer reviews. Most of the customers were satisfied with the product. They are in awe with the simplicity of the brewer and its appearance. Many users were already using other filters, such as Melitta plastic cone, but prefer Kalita as it is easy to use and made up of stainless steel. Amazon, itself has close to 500 reviews and more than 80 percent are 5-star.

Here are some consumer reviews:

 

Alternatives

Even if you have a one percent doubt if Kalita Wave is the right option for you, it’s better to glance at its alternative. This will help you make an informed decision.

The Hario V60

This brewer is a favorite of many coffee lovers. Hario V60 is an open-source pour-over coffee maker. This brewer involves skill and technique to brew your favorite cup of coffee. Loads of experimentation and practice is also required while using this dripper. Hario V60 also comes in wider options, which require even more attention. So, if you are not ready to invest time and experimentation, this may not be an ideal option for you. 

Here are some basic differences:

  • Needs skills and patience.
  • Difficult to use.
  • Open source dipper.
  • It requires complete attention while preparing coffee.

Discover more about this brewer.

The Chemex

This coffee maker is also highly popular and is another beautiful coffee maker. The Chemex is made up of Borosilicate glass. It brews rich and clean coffee. 

Furthermore, it is available in 3-10 cup glasses. But the proprietary filters may be difficult to find. This brewer, like the Kalita Wave, is easy to use. 

Here are some basic differences:

  • It is fragile.
  • Unable to keep your coffee hot.
  • Available in 3-10 sizes.
  • Proprietary filters can be difficult to find.

Learn more about this dripper.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Where is this Product Made?

Kalita Wave is Made in Japan.

#2. How is this dripper different from Melitta Cone?

Well, it depends on the type of coffee you are planning to use with the dripper. For pre-ground, store-bought coffee, there is not much variation. However, most people use home grind coffee. In such cases, Kalita Wave is better than Melitta Cone in various aspects. For instance, Kalita is made up of metal and not plastic. Moreover, Melitta is cone-shaped which is flat at the bottom. This design allows fines to clog the filter, allowing greater immersion time and thus over-extracted coffee.

#3. Does Kalita wave come with a filter? Or can reusable stainless steel filters be used with this dripper?

No, Kalita is available as stand-alone. Also, due to the unique shape of the brewer, you will need a Kalita filter only. As there is a single manufacturer of the dripper and filter, you can buy filters from the official website or Amazon. There is a convenient option of the 300-piece pack. Depending on your use, this will last for 2-4 months. So, you can stock it up.

Answering your second question, No, reusable stainless steel filters cannot be used. We don’t think such filters are available anywhere.

#4. What are the product features?

Dimensions of this product are 4.8 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches and weight is 0.32 ounces. Kalita is available in two sizes, 155 and 185, and three materials, stainless steel, ceramic, and glass. The Kalita Wave 155 is for 1-2 cups, while 185 is for 3-4 cups.

#5. Which Kalita Wave should I get, 185 or 155?

It depends on how much coffee you would prefer to brew at one. All other features remain same for both, the shape, the ridges, and three holes at the bottom. Furthermore, you get all the three materials, stainless steel, ceramic, and glass, for both sizes.

The Kalita Wave 185 can brew 29-30 g of coffee and need 500 mL of water. Kalita 155, on the other hand, can brew 17-18 g and need 300 mL of water.

Moreover, you need to know that whichever size you choose, you will need the appropriate size for Kalita’s proprietary paper filters.

Conclusion

Kalita Wave is petite, sleek and thus accommodates anywhere. It is pocket friendly and easy to use as a pour-over coffee maker. While it may need some practice, you can easily master its use and prepare a great and smooth cup of coffee.

The design and features support even extraction of coffee and produce a concentrated cup of coffee. Now, you can have your favorite drip coffee without having to put effort.

Click here or here to know more about Kalita Wave or to buy it.

Happy Brewing!