The Kalita Wave, a renowned name among coffee aficionados, embodies the essence of a perfect pour-over brewer. It is available in two sizes: the 155 and the 185. This distinction in size reflects not only the capacity of coffee they can produce but also influences the quality and character of the final brew. Coffee enthusiasts often debate which model better suits their brewing needs—whether the precision of the smaller 155 or the flexibility of the larger 185 aligns with their coffee preferences.

When choosing between the Kalita Wave 155 and the 185, it’s essential to consider the number of servings required. The Kalita Wave 155 is tailored for single cups, suitable for those who desire a fresh cup of coffee with a precise flavor profile. On the other hand, the Kalita Wave 185 caters to brewing larger quantities, capable of producing two to four cups of coffee in one go, making it ideal for small groups or for those who prefer multiple servings.

Both models utilize a flat-bottom design with three holes at the base, working in conjunction with specially designed wave filters to enhance the extraction process. This unique design is instrumental in creating a uniform bed of coffee grounds, leading to a consistent and even extraction across the entire brew. Coffee made using a Kalita Wave delivers a clean, nuanced cup that highlights the coffee’s inherent characteristics, which is why the choice of a 155 or 185 model can be as much about personal brewing habits as it is about the technical aspects of the pour-over process.

Design and Build Quality

When exploring the Kalita Wave series, distinct differences in design and build quality stand out, particularly between the Kalita Wave 155 and Kalita Wave 185 models. Both have been crafted with precision to enhance the coffee brewing experience, but they cater to different user needs based on size and material quality.

Materials and Durability

The Kalita Wave coffee drippers are lauded for their high-quality materials, which contribute to their durability. Options include stainless steel, glass, ceramic, and copper, each offering a unique aesthetic and heat retention properties. Tsubame, a special edition line, boasts exceptionally crafted stainless steel models. Stainless steel versions are particularly admired for their robustness and longevity, whereas glass and ceramic can provide a different tactile quality but may be more prone to breakage if not handled carefully.

  • Stainless Steel: Durable, less prone to breakage, ideal for travel
  • Glass: Aesthetic appeal, careful handling required
  • Ceramic: Retains heat, fragile nature
  • Copper: Superior heat conductivity, tarnishes over time

Available Sizes

The two primary sizes in the Kalita Wave series are the 155 and 185, designed to accommodate different brewing capacities. The Kalita Wave 155 is perfect for single-cup brewing, ideal for those who wish to enjoy a meticulously crafted cup of coffee in the comfort of their kitchen or even on the go due to its compact size. On the other hand, the Kalita Wave 185 is designed for brewing larger quantities, suitable for serving 2-4 cups.

  • Kalita Wave 155: 1 cup capacity
  • Kalita Wave 185: 2-4 cups capacity

Comparison of Filter Types

A distinctive feature of the Kalita Wave is its wave filter. These specially designed paper filters maintain a consistent brewing temperature and even extraction by keeping the coffee grounds separated from the walls of the dripper. The wave filters complement both models, but they differ slightly in size to fit the respective drippers. A flat-bottom design with three small holes at the base ensures a controlled brew time and thus a cleaner cup of coffee, contributing to a more nuanced flavor profile that aficionados appreciate.

The choice between the Kalita Wave 155 and 185 should be informed by the user’s preferred brewing capacity and aesthetics, as well as the practical considerations of durability and travel-friendliness. Each material offers a unique quality to the brewing process, and the wave filter plays an integral role in achieving a superior cup of coffee.

Brewing Technique

The Kalita Wave’s unique flat-bottom design with three holes ensures even extraction, a vital component of the brewing technique. Mastery over the preparation and execution stages governs the quality of the pour-over coffee produced, whether using the 155 model for single cups or the 185 for larger batches.

Preparing the Coffee Bed

To begin, use a burr grinder to achieve a consistent coarse sea salt-like grind. It is crucial to distribute the ground coffee evenly in the coffee dripper to form a flat coffee bed, which aids in uniform extraction. Using a scale, one can measure the ideal coffee-to-water ratio, usually starting with about 16-17 grams of coffee for the 155 and 28-30 grams for the 185.

Extraction Process

Start the extraction with the bloom, pouring just enough water from a gooseneck kettle to saturate the grounds (twice the weight of the coffee is a good rule of thumb). This allows gases to escape and ensures the forthcoming pours will extract flavors efficiently. After 30 to 45 seconds, continue pouring in a slow and steady spiral. The goal is to maintain the water’s even dispersal achieved by the flat bottom and three holes of the Kalita Wave, avoiding over-extraction. The entire process should take about 3 to 4 minutes, resulting in a balanced and flavorful pour-over coffee.

Taste and Flavor Profile

When comparing the Kalita Wave 155 to the 185, coffee enthusiasts will find that the primary difference in taste and flavor profile is influenced by the quantities they brew. The Kalita Wave 155 is designed for brewing single cups of coffee, which allows for a more focused extraction and typically results in a fuller flavor in each cup.

On the other hand, the Kalita Wave 185 can brew larger quantities, between two to four cups. This makes it a preferred option for those who enjoy sharing their coffee or appreciate a consistent flavor profile across multiple cups. Despite the increase in brew capacity, the Kalita Wave 185 maintains the integrity of the specialty coffee’s flavors.

Feature Kalita Wave 155 Kalita Wave 185
Brew Size Single cup 2-4 cups
Flavor Concentration More concentrated Consistent across multiple cups
Ideal for Individual use Sharing or larger servings

Both devices use a flat-bottomed design with three holes at the bottom, which contributes to an even extraction. This tends to highlight the coffee’s complex flavors and aromatics without compromising the body or sweetness. For aficionados of specialty coffee, either model will accentuate nuanced notes, maintaining the integrity of the cup of coffee’s intrinsic taste.

In summary, one’s choice between the two may hinge on the desired quantity, without sacrificing the quality of the brew. Those seeking a personal, robust cup may gravitate towards the 155 model, while the 185 model is crafted for a consistent flavor in larger batches.