Making pour-over coffee is one thing. Mastering the art of the pour is another. Pour-over coffee makers require not only the right temperature water and grind, but a steady and consistent pour technique. Pour too fast, and the coffee will taste under-extracted. Poor too slow, and the water will not be the right temperature. Poor unevenly, and some grounds will be over-extracted. Others will be under-extracted.
The Hario V60 Buono is a water kettle designed with pour-over coffee (specifically the Hario V60) in mind. I’ve used this kettle with both my plastic and copper Hario V60s for quite some time. Here’s my review of the Buono after more than three years of use.
Why are drip kettles so important?
You can make pour-over coffee with any kettle. Chances are good this is how you made your first pour-over. The problem is, traditional kettles are hard to control. They either splatter or deliver water far too quickly, leaving you with something that looks like a donut hole in the coffee grounds.
Drip kettles incorporate a long bending neck to solve this problem. They’re interchangeably called “gooseneck kettles’ because of this feature. A good drip kettle lets out a slow stream of water that you can easily control– resulting in more precision during the pour. This results in an extraordinarily better cup of coffee.
Hario Buono V60: The Basics
If the Buono kettle looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it before. It’s the most popular gooseneck kettle in cafes. I would almost say it’s iconic. Its shiny ribbed sides, small profile, and slender neck make it a beautiful piece of industrial design in additional to a highly functional coffee accessory.
The Hario Buono originally retailed for close to $80.00 when I bought it. Now it’s available for under $40.
- Capacity: 1.0: (a larger 1.2L model is also available
- Material: Stainless steel (copper is also available)
Unlike some kettles I have used, the plastic handle is far enough away from the kettle base that I don’t worry about accidentally burning myself when pouring water. The handle has a nice ergonomic feel that makes it a pleasure to use. The lid stays on firmly during use, but comes off easily when it needs to.
The different Hario Buono kettle models: A comparison
When I bought my Buono, only the 1.0L model was available. Now Hario makes several different Buono kettles:
- Hario Buono Kettle 1.0L: This is the classic pourover kettle we’re looking at today.
- Hario Buono 1.2L: The same kettle with a slightly greater capacity.
- Hario Buono 1.0L Copper This copper version of the Buono V60 is absolutely gorgeous. There is no benefit to the copper beyond aesthetics, but this is still something I would love to have in my kitchen.
- Hario Buono Electric:An electric version of the pourover kettle, including an auto shut-off feature. Had this been available when I purchased my unit, I might have opted for this.
Hario also has a new white pourover kettle also made from metal. I have yet to see one of these in the wild.
My impressions of the Buono kettle
Pouring with the Buono has become such a normal part of my daily routine that I almost take it for granted. The kettle is so well-designed and discreet that it just falls into my place in my house. It looks good and does it job without standing out too much. This is what great design looks like.
I enjoy every moment with my Buono. Pouring with the gooseneck is very satisfying, and as I mentioned earlier, I love the way it feels in my hand.
I have not encountered any issues during my three years of ownership. The metal has developed spots of discoloration in a few places. This is normal wear and should be expected.
Although Hario rates the Buono V60 as suitable for stovetop use, it really isn’t suitable for the stove. The thin metal of the kettle does not disperse heat well. I know one owner who was puzzled why his kettle had developed scorch marks on the bottom and sides– the answer is heating from the stove. I like to place my drip kettle on the stovetop, but I never use it there. Instead I heat water in a separate kettle and pour it into the Hario.
This workflow is less than ideal because boiled water will lose temperature when poured into a cold empty kettle. With this limitation in mind, I now recommend people buy the plug-in electric version to avoid this hassle.
The stovetop kettle is still a fine choice, however, especially if you already have an electric kettle. Neither model gives you control over the temperature.
Other pourover kettles to consider
One alternative to consider is the Bonavita 1.0L Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle. This is electric kettle has the same style gooseneck as the Hario but allows for precision temperature control. Since a French press requires a different temperature than a pourover and dark roasts need slightly cooler water, for example, the Bonavita kettle is perfect for serious coffee drinkers.
The Fellow Stagg pourover kettle is also a gorgeous option. This stovetop kettle has a retro-inspired thermometer on the top, which I think is pretty cool. It also has a weighted handle for a better center of gravity when pouring. This is also another option I would have considered has it been available when I got my Buono.
Does the Hario Buono rust?
The kettle has discolored slightly in places, but the stainless steel has not rusted. I decalcify the Buono every month as I live in an area with hard water.
A drip kettle with gooseneck is a must-have if you’re serious about pour-over coffee. The Buono is a classic companion to the Hario V60, and it’s a purchase you really can’t go wrong with. I highly recommend it with the caveat that you cannot use it on the stove.
I’m also looking forward to trying one of the Stagg or Bonavita kettles soon. These are strong alternatives also worth considering.
The Buono is a beautifully designed kettle that will dramatically improve your pour-over coffee experience. Just don’t put it on the stove.