Making coffee with the Kalita Wave

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April 21, 2023
Making coffee with the Kalita Wave

Kalita Wave

The Kalita Wave is a pour-over coffee filter from Japan with a flat-bottom design. The flat bottom ensures a more even extraction. Unlike the Bonavita and the Clever coffee filters, the Kalita Wave is not a pour-and-wait device but a strenuous preparation method that requires an actual flow of hot water over the coffee. It resembles a Hario V60 but with a flat bottom filter.

The Kalita Wave comes in two sizes: #155 and #185. The #155 is smaller and ideal for serving one or two people. The #185 is slightly larger. The Kalita Wave is available in glass or stainless steel. The #185 is also available in ceramic. 

The Kalita Wave does not use a standard-size filter. Depending on your model, you must purchase custom Kalita Wave filters for the #155 or #185.

Other recommended equipment:

  • Glass jug: You put the filter on something to collect the coffee. Kalita makes a 300ml jug for #155 and a 500ml jug for #185. If you don't use theirs, you will no doubt be able to find something else suitable in your kitchen.
  • Kitchen scale: We will weigh both the coffee and the water. Preparing on a kitchen scale makes this process easier and more accurate.
  • Kettle/kettle: Preferably with a narrow gooseneck for more control over the flow.
  • Kitchen timer or stopwatch


How to make coffee

Okay, enough about the background. Let's make some coffee. We explain in 5 steps how to make coffee with the Kalita Wave. 

1. Insert the filter

As indicated above, the Kalita Wave uses its brand filter. Place the #155 or #185 filter in the filter shape, depending on your model. Place the filter mold on the jug into which the coffee flows.


2. Rinse the filter with hot water (optional)

We recommend rinsing the paper filter as with most paper filter preparation methods. So this reduces the amount of paper residue in the coffee. It also helps the filter cling to the filter shape. With the Kalita Wave, you pour the water directly into the center and fill it quickly. It would be best not to pour down the sides, as you risk bending the filter and losing its shape.

The additional advantage of using hot water is preheating the filter shape. Discard the water when you've done this.

However, it is not necessary to rinse the filter, and several sources also advise against it. The paper filters for the Kalita Wave are skinny, so there is very little chance you will get paper residue in your coffee that affects the taste. On the other hand, it is a good idea to pour hot water into the filter mold before inserting it so it is preheated.


3. Put ground coffee in the filter.

For most preparation methods, we like to start with a preparation ratio of 17 to 1. So this means 17 parts water per 1 part coffee. Kalita sells two jugs, so we provide the proportions for both below.

  • Model #155: 300 grams of water and 17-18 grams of coffee
  • Model #185: 500 grams of water and 29-30 grams of coffee

The grind of the coffee should be medium coarse. The alarm clock/stopwatch will be used to confirm that you have an ideal grind. The preparation time you should aim for is between 3 and 3.5 minutes. If you're ready faster, make the grind a little finer. If it's too slow, make the grind a bit coarser.


4. Pour hot water over the coffee (pulsating or constant)

The next step is the brewing process, which requires the most attention. If you use a scale, place the Kalita Wave with the filter and coffee on your chosen jug and make sure the scale is at zero.

When it comes to adding water, there are two methods you can use. One is to pour a slow stream of water over the coffee constantly. The other is a pulse method. With this one, you pour the water into the filter, let the coffee flow into the jug, and pour the water back into the filter. Both methods are fine. We prefer the later as it is simpler.

With the pulse method, you first pour a small amount of water over the coffee so that it can 'bloom'. Then wait for the water to flow into the pitcher and pour again, sometimes in a circular pattern.

The most popular method is to pour until all the coffee is saturated with water and then use a circular motion for even extraction. However, we also drank Kalita Wave coffee without a circular pouring method, and the taste was almost the same. Choosing your choice is optional, but don't stir the coffee.


5. Serve your Kalita Wave coffee.

Remove the Kalita Wave from the jug, pour the coffee into a cup, and enjoy. 


If you don't have a kitchen scale or luxury kettle/kettle, you can still prepare coffee with the Kalita Wave. However, it will take a little more practice.

You must know how many grams go into your coffee spoon to determine the correct proportions.


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