Two Similar Coffee Makers
When you look at them, the Kono Coffee Dripper (also called the Meimon) and the Hario V60 appear quite similar. In a broad sense they are. Both coffee makers use the conical form to make great cups of coffee. The Kono has narrow, straight lines in its bottom half that direct water through the ground beans. The Hario’s interior lines curve to move the water slightly clockwise through the grounds.
For most people, these two brewers are so close to each other as to be equal, although there are subtle differences in the flavor profiles created.
Read on to get an understanding of the slight differences in these devices.
In This Guide:
These coffee makers are siblings, perhaps twins at first glance. They do have their differences which, while minor to most people, make a difference to coffee enthusiasts.
This pour over dripper model comes from the Kono Coffee Syphon Company. It is a basic cone with a medium-sized opening at the bottom. Its handle comes to a stylish point. On the inside, it has straight ridges running halfway from top to bottom. It’s made of a special resin, which many people mistake for plastic. They make all of their drippers in Japan.
The Hario V60 is the standard brewer for pour-over coffee. It has a cone shape with an angle of 60 degrees, deemed to create the best flow rate. Curved ridges mark the sides to direct the flow of water. Place it on top of a cup or carafe and directly brew there. They make all their ceramic V60s in Japan, but other models may be made in China.
Comparisons Between the Two Coffee Makers
These makers are both cone shaped and similarly sized. They make 1-2 cups of coffee. They use the same medium-fine grind of beans. Both are easy to clean and care for.
While minor, the differences between the two coffee drippers mean differences in the coffee they create.
These coffee makers create coffee of nearly identical flavors. The V60 has a little more acid while the Kono’s taste is ever-so-slightly more mellow. The seal made by the plain upper half of the Kono means it runs slowly and extracts the full flavor of the coffee you try and gives a little more sweetness. The V60 can also extract full flavors, but you have to learn how to control it with your pour. The Kono tends to produce a slightly fuller body, whereas the V60 has a little more clarity.
Physical and Aesthetic Differences
The major difference between the Kono Dripper and the Hario V60 are the ribs that guide the water through the ground coffee. These cause the water in the Kono to flow straight down. The water in the V60 has a slight circular flow. Because of this, the Kono makes coffee about 20 seconds faster than the V60.
Because the Kono’s ribs start half-way down the dripper, the filter makes a seal on the upper part of the device when wetted correctly. The Hario’s ribs rise to the top of the dripper and keep the filter from sealing to the sides. The lack of seal can lead to a bit of water sneaking through under (instead of through) the grounds. This is called bypass and the more of it you have, the more it will create an inconsistent brewing experience each time.
This seal can mean the Kono brews more slowly. This gives the slightest of advantages to the Kono, especially when brewing larger cups.
Kono makes its dripper of resin, which is like plastic. The resin is available in 10 different colors, some translucent and some opaque. Be careful not to brew too hot with the Kono. It may crack and break at temperatures above 90°C / 194°F.
The Hario comes in a wide ray of different materials. It comes in glass, plastic, ceramic, stainless steel, and copper. Your choice of materials can change your costs, ranging from an inexpensive plastic model to the expensive copper. But overall the V60 is going to be a sturdier brewer that can withstand higher temperatures.
The Hario plastic tends to sell for less than the Kono. However, with any sales or specials going on, the Kono could sell for less. The prices are similar and will not likely be the determining factor. Of course, this depends on what materials you choose.
It is slightly more difficult to fit the filter into the Kono and requires a little more folding. Kono advises using an old Japanese technique for brewing coffee. The method is sometimes called osmotic flow. With this method, you drip (or pour at a deliberately slow pace) water into the center of the coffee grounds and brew at a leisurely pace.
Hario recommends a more standard pour over method of pouring in circles around the grounds. Do note, you can use the old method in a Hario or the new method in the Kono, and both will make great cups of coffee.
Which Coffee Maker Should You Choose?
You Should Choose the Kono Dripper If:
- You prefer a stronger cup of coffee. The seal between the top of the filter and the coffee maker blocks water underflow.
- You want to make 2 cups of coffee or a mugful. The Kono does better for larger brews.
- You are new to pour-over coffee makers and want fewer variables to control
You Should Choose the Hario v60 If:
- You are counting pennies. The Hario costs slightly less, most of the time.
- You get easily irritated. Filters fit more easily in the Hario.
- You don’t want a resin coffee maker. The Hario comes in other materials.
- You like your coffee hot. The Kono can break at higher temperatures.
Brewing recipe for the Kono Dripper: Osmotic Flow
This recipe is for the old-fashioned way of brewing coffee in the Kono, which was developed as a rival to the Nel dripper. This recipe is for the Japanese Nel Dripper method. You can also brew using any recipe for the V60 or similar models.
- 30 g of medium-fine ground coffee
- 500 g of water
Heat water to 192°F in a gooseneck kettle.
Hold the kettle’s spout over the grounds, but as close to them as possible. Angle the kettle so it drips in a constant pattern in the center of the brew bed. At first, you will wet an area the size of a nickel. As you pour more drops, the wet center will expand across the dripper.
This brew takes longer than a standard pour. It can take from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the speed of your drip. Enjoy being in the moment holding onto your Zen and don’t look at the clock. Just enjoy the pour and then the sip.
Brewing recipe for the Hario v60: The Basic
Today there is wide disagreement over how to get the best brew out of a Hario V60. To find the most basic one, I turned to the Hario company. This is their recommended recipe for the V60.
- 12 g medium-fine ground coffee
- 120 g water
- Place filter paper in dripper. Rinse and warm the filter with boiling water.
- Add the coffee, shaking the dripper to level the grounds.
- Pour one-third of the boiling water into the grounds, starting in the middle and slowly spiraling outwards. This allows the coffee to bloom. Let it set for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the rest of the water, moving your pourer again in a spiral motion.
- Once all the water flows through, remove the dripper.
- This process should take 3 minutes.