I think that most of the readers know about the world famous V60. It’s known for its versatility and is frequently used in competitions.
Readers outside of Japan may not have heard about the KONO MEIMON. This is also a dripper originating in Japan. It is a classic dripper which is also famous in Japan.
Both these drippers are cone shaped and look very similar. I remember having a difficult time deciding which to get as my first dripper. I ended up getting the MEIMON first, but I bought a V60 very soon after.
So today I will see if a 1 year coffee enthusiast can tell the difference between the two, and tell you if you which one you should get, or maybe it will be both.
I will first compare them from a visual perspective.
Looking at them from the sides, they look quite similar. The V60 I have is of size 01 (for 1-2 cups) and the MEIMON MDN-21 is also for 2 cups so their sizes are pretty much identical. The feel of their plastic is also similar.
Price-wise the V60 is about $3 and the MEIMON about $9 on Amazon. The price may differ where you live, but I suspect that the MEIMON will be much more expensive. The V60 is much better known and used.
The main difference to point out would be the ribs. Let’s also look at them from the top.
The V60 has what are called spiral ribs which are curved and span the entire height of the cone. On the other hand, the MEIMON has straight ribs which are shorter. They both have 12 ribs. (The V60 has 12 more at the top of the cone)
This difference in the ribs are probably the most significant.
Here is a photo of the drip holes.
Both are typical conical drippers having a single large hole. The V60 does have a slightly larger hole, but it is unlikely that either dripper will restrict the flow with the hole.
Let’s wrap up the visual comparison, and start brewing
First of all, I set paper filters in both drippers and gave them a quick rinse. I used the same HARIO papers for both. So this might technically give an advantage to the V60, but I have used KONO filters in the past and saw no difference in the shape of the filter.
I felt quite a bit difference in terms of usability here.
As you can see in the photo, the filter sits nice and snug on top of the ribs in the V60. But for the MEIMON, you get a massive gap where the ribs end. This is because of the sudden change in geometry of the MEIMON.
To be clear, I tried very hard to cleanly position the filter on the MEIMON. Wi the out repositioning, it had a big crease vertically.
I do not know how much this will affect the brew, but it is definitely
Finally it’s time to pour.
I used 9g of the exact same beans, the same grinder at the same grind setting. (The review for the TIMEMORE Slim Plus grinder I used is available, if you are interested)
I did my best to align my technique as well.
With the water temperature at 85℃, I added about 20g of water for a 45 sec bloom phase. After that, a slow steady pour so that I got to a total of 150g by 1min30sec. Once I got to 150g, I gave it a good swirl to agitate the grounds, then waited until all the coffee drained out.
The feel of pouring on both drippers were pretty similar. Because of the spiral ribs in the V60, there was a slight circular flow during the draw down phase of the V60.
The brew times were, 2min14sec for the V60, and 1min54sec for the MEIMON. The MEIMON did draw down a little bit quicker.
Let’s compared the state of the bed of coffee at the end of the brews.
I brewed them with the same technique so both looked quite similar. I expected the grounds to not stick to the top half of the MEIMON, since it does not have ribs on the top half. But that did not happen.
The coffee looks identical. They are from the same beans so that’s as expected.
Comparing their tastes, I honestly could not make out a significant difference. To be picky, the V60 did have slightly more acidity, the MEIMON being a bit more mellow. But how you drink it and how the coffee hits your tongue will affect the taste slightly. And I felt the difference was with in this range.
Maybe if I optimized the brew technique for both of these drippers and compared it that way, I may get a bit more difference.
But I am still far from mastering pour-over skills, so from this experiment I was unable to tell the difference between these drippers in terms of their tastes.
So we’ve compared the HARIO V60 and the KONO MEIMON, two popular (at least in Japan) conical drippers.
From what I can tell, the taste of the coffee you get out of them are quite similar. The MEIMON wasn’t as pleasant to use because of the way the paper filter does not sit quite nicely in the cone. The V60 is much more affordable and accessible around the world.
For these reasons, I would recommend buying only the V60.
If you are interested, it maybe fun to buy and compare two drippers. It may be a good way to train your sense of taste. But I would say, trying different techniques with the same V60 might be more productive. If you really want to try different drippers, I suggest going for a Kalita dripper or something that has a more significant difference.
Which pour-over dripper do you use? Are you happy with it? Thinking about getting a different one? Please leave a comment!