Hario Mugen Review
What is the Hario Mugen?
The new Hario Mugen is a cone-shaped pour over coffee maker. You balance The Mugen coffee dripper on top of a cup or decanter to make 1-2 cups of filter coffee. Does that sound familiar? You could be forgiven for thinking the Mugen is just a tweaked-up version of the classic V60 coffee dripper but it’s actually much more interesting than that. Here’s why:
Is the Mugen dripper the same as a V60?
Our V60 coffee dripper is celebrated both for its looks and its ability to make a delicious cup of coffee. So, the Mugen dripper follows suit, but despite looking remarkably similar to the V60, the Mugen actually works in a completely different way to brew a cup of coffee.
The Mugen is created to fill a niche but very important role; a fool-proof, single-pour dripper that requires almost no specialist technique or knowledge to master.
Whilst both the Mugen and V60 are simplistic in design, with the V60 there are an overwhelming number of recipes and techniques possible when brewing, and all of them require a certain level of effort and skill.
The idea behind the Mugen dripper is to make the art of manually brewed coffee fool-proof. The Mugen can, in theory, produce a tastier cup of coffee since the V60 technique is challenging and results can be hit & miss whereas the Mugen gives consistent results, regardless of the user’s skill level.
How is the Mugen different from other coffee drippers?
The revolutionary thing about the Mugen is that it enables the user to brew a delicious filter coffee without any need to bloom, pulse or stir. You simply pour the water straight in, all at once and wait for the brewer to do its thing. It’s a time-saver for the busy coffee lover and a game-changer for accessibility.
The other helpful thing is the longer, oval shaped bottom plate which is designed to fit a broader range of servers, decanters or mugs. Or it can be removed completely if preferred. The funnel opening of the Mugen is much narrower than a traditional V60 so is potentially easier to balance whilst brewing.
How does the Hario Mugen Brewer work?
The Mugen requires the same paper filters as a V60, but the water moves around inside in a totally different way to a V60. This is down to the Mugen dripper’s star shaped ribs.
The filter paper sits tight against the walls of the brewer, stopping any side-channelling and making sure all the water flows down through the bed of coffee. This creates a higher extraction. Additionally, the star-design slows the flow of water from the top to the bottom of the brewer meaning there’s no need for pulsing the water input – leaving you free for morning-multi-tasking!
Our Preferred Mugen Pour Over Recipe
The beauty of the Mugen dripper is that if you want to engage in typical techniques of blooming, multi-step pours and stirring etc you absolutely can – it will also work beautifully for this type of brewing.
However, if you want to use it in the most simplistic way; you can take it easy, and also be guaranteed of consistently delicious results.
Since its release, baristas have been experimenting with different brew methods for the Mugen so there are lots of recipes out there for you to try. However, our preferred and recommended recipe for the Mugen comes from 2016 World Brewers Cup Champion, Tetsu Kasuya:
25g finely ground coffee
300g water at 93°c
15 second pour, 90 second brew time.
Wet the filter paper before brewing and add in 25g of finely ground coffee. Pour in the water with some intensity – ideally it should take 15s to pour all 300g of water into the dripper.
Leave the brewer to do its magic! It should take 90s for all the water to drain through, leaving the coffee grounds evenly distributed around the sides of the dripper. If it take less than 90 seconds, adjust your grind finer. If it takes more than 90 seconds your grind needs to be coarser.
Watch the video for a full demonstration of the recipe and to see the Mugen at work.
Why buy the Hario Mugen Dripper?
We may be biased, but we think the Mugen brewer is a clever bit of kit with impressive practical applications.
Most exciting is that it will help beginners get into manual brewing in a really engaging and accessible way. It also has great appeal for those who love the clean taste of filter coffee but don’t always have time for a complex method.
It’s available in both ceramic (white) and black resin and looks good enough to keep on display in your house!
If you want a fool-proof, hassle-free way to make coffee it could be the answer to all your prayers.
Hario V60 One Pour Dripper MUGEN (Plastic)
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Hario V60 One Pour Dripper MUGEN (Ceramic)