The best pour over coffee maker for beginners is either the Hario V60 or the Kalita Wave. Both make fantastic coffee, but the Kalita Wave is easier while the Hario V60 is faster.
Your main consideration should be whether you want to invest in a scale and a gooseneck kettle. If not, the Kalita Wave will still produce consistently great coffee, but the Hario V60 probably won’t.
However, if you’re willing to invest in a scale and gooseneck kettle, start with the Hario V60. They have a great starter kit that includes the brewer, filters and a carafe. There will be a little bit of a learning curve, but it will be worth the effort.
(If these brewers are too small, I’ve written a detailed guide about brewing larger batches of pour over coffee).
The best pour over coffee maker for beginners is the V60 or the Wave
The Hario V60 is harder to use, especially if you don’t plan to get a pour over kettle, but great once you get the hang of it.
The Kalita Wave is easier to use, but it requires special filters that can be hard to find.
(Disclaimer: I DID NOT receive any of the recommended equipment for free. I have bought and personally used almost everything mentioned and anything I have not personally used is based on research. However, the links in this post are affiliate links so if you buy through the links I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Pour over coffee gear: What’s essential?
Since you’re just starting out, I don’t want to over-complicate this by telling you to go out and buy lots of new equipment and then figure out how to use it. So, if you want the bare minimum, I recommend getting the Kalita Wave and filters.
Do you really need a gooseneck kettle?
I know this sounds weird in the beginning, but a gooseneck kettle can have a big impact on how your coffee tastes. The pointed spout gives you more control over the stream of water that you’re pouring, which makes it easier to evenly saturate the coffee grounds. You can also adjust how fast you pour and how much water flows out at one time.
So, while I wouldn’t say you need a gooseneck kettle, most people will get much better results if they use one.
Consider a manual coffee grinder
Evenly ground coffee is even more important than a kettle, but when you’re just starting out you don’t need to grind it yourself. In fact, if you’re not ready to invest in a good grinder I’d recommend you get fresh coffee beans at your favorite local coffee shop and ask them to grind it for you. While grinding coffee just before you brew it is ideal, evenly ground coffee that’s a week old will taste better than fresh, but unevenly ground coffee.
Another option—the option that I use—is a manual coffee grinder. It takes more effort than an electric grinder, but you can get a much better grind for a lower price. Plus, manual coffee grinders are quieter and easier to travel with.
What’s a coffee scale?
The same is true with the brewing process. Rather than just guessing how much water you’re pouring you’ll know the exact amount. I mention the scale last because I think it’s better to prioritize a gooseneck kettle and quality grinder, but ideally you’ll want all three.
At the end of the day, all of these tools mean a more accurate brewing process and an accurate brewing process can be repeated. You can determine exactly how you like your coffee and then make it the same way each time.
Wave or V60: Which is the perfect pour over coffee maker for you?
Both the Hario V60 and Kalita Wave are fantastic pour over coffee makers. Either one is a great place to start experimenting, but the V60 has a steeper learning curve, and it’s more important to have the right grind and a gooseneck kettle. With the Wave, you can get by with less equipment, and if you make a mistake your coffee will probably still turn out pretty good.
So, if you’re ready to jump right in with a little equipment and you’re willing to learn through trial and error, start with the Hario V60 kit and a gooseneck kettle. If you want to want an easy start with minimal equipment go for the Kalita Wave and filters.