News

Hario V60 Metal Dripper Adventure May 25, 2015 16:30

We love to take our coffee on every adventure we go on, and the V60 is perfect for making pour over coffee on a camping or hiking trip. We've tried a lot of brewing methods (Aeropress, Chemex) and the most hassle free way to brew a delicious cup is using a Hario V60 metal dripper (which being made of unbreakable metal is a BIG positive) and a 1L Buono kettle on your camping stove. Check out Hario's take on adventure brewing that any coffee fanatic will find to be the simplest way to brew in the wilderness!  

Hario v60 Drip Decanter VDD-02 700ml Video Review May 12, 2015 14:00

The v60 Drip Decanter can become your all in one v60 dripper and decanter coffee set up. Tiffany does a video review on the newish Hario product. What we like: It's a filter and decanter all in one. The design is sleek and looks nice enough to put on your table and serve a group of friends for after dinner coffee. Don't like: We don't like that the v60 is plastic. We tested the temperature after brewing and the coffee temperature is lower when using the plastic vs. the ceramic. It's a bit awkward because you need to remove the dripper before you serve coffee. Have something ready to  place the wet dripper on or brew next to the sink and place it in the sink before serving. This is a great option for those who want to start brewing pour over coffee at home and want just one product. You may want to think about buying a goose neck kettle though to complement the v60 drip decanter. Check out the product and complementary products on our web shop: v60 Drip DecanterHario Buono Kettle, Hario Scale and Timer, v60 Filters

Hario Tea Dripper Largo TDR-80 Video Review April 29, 2015 11:00

We're releasing a new product video review today. Yeah! Today we're talking about the new Hario Largo Tea Dripper, which is a new product from Hario. If you're familiar with the Hario v60 coffee dripper, this looks like Hario's version of the v60 for tea. You can place the Largo on a stand or directly over your cup and steep the tea leaves. Once the tea has steeped long enough you just release the valve and the tea flows quickly through the metal filter at the bottom of the Largo. We love it because it's easy to clean and drains very quickly. The filter and parts are simple and easy to disassemble for cleaning and the tea flows out through the filter very quickly to prevent the tea from over extracting.

The Largo In A Tea Shop

The Largo is also a pretty good solution for a tea shop to brew a bunch of different teas very quickly while still having a nice presentation for the customer. I think the Largo looks extra nice in a shop compared to other tea brewers because it's propped up making it very visible to a customer and helps keep the counter clean. I can imagine three or four largos sitting side by side brewing tea on a stand that can be visible from anywhere in the shop. Since it's clear and made out of glass, customers will be able to see the different teas brewing. It also works with the Hario stand and Hario's scale and timer, so you can weigh out the tea and water all in one system keeping the counter top looking clean and organized.

Hario Clear Coffee Grinder Review April 20, 2015 08:30

Hario Clear Coffee Grinder My friend, Tim Wu, is a journalist in the tech start-up world and writes for TechZulu. I recently let him borrow the new Hario Clear Coffee grinder in exchange that he helps me write a review for it. Thanks Tim! Anyways, if you're interested in the start-up world in Los Angeles, checkout TechZulu. I've had the privilege of attending some of their events, and it's always been a fun time. Tim's been getting more and more into specialty coffee over the years, and I'd like to think I've played some sort of roll in exposing him to this strange world. I plan on taking him to a Barista Competition soon haha. He talks a little bit about what he thought of coffee before really knowing it, and then goes into the grinder review. For me, it's always interesting to hear how people get into specialty coffee because the stories are all kinda similar but different. If you don't know what I mean, you will after you hear a lot of people's "origin" stories. Hope you enjoy it. Enter Tim...

Hand grinding your own coffee?

A past-time I'd observed inquisitively, but poked fun at and personally ridiculed as an otaku interest. "Unnecessary, too extreme." I assure you, things are different now, which brings me to today. It took a number of years, but my original relationship with the black, acidic beverage has also drastically evolved over time. Let's start at the beginning.

 The Dark Ages

As an ignorantly "caffeine free" individual up through my mid-20's (due in part to my refusal to be inquisitive on sensationalist "COFFEE IS THE DEVIL" articles in trashy mainstream media), my worldview of coffee culture was extremely narrow and limited. "Coffee's bad for you." I'd spout nonsensically. "Caffeine is addictive and causes headaches" I'd spew, as I regularly demolished Jagerbombs and Redbull-vodkas on weekend nights out. Not sure when it happened, but something eventually clicked. I underwent a personal renaissance. A brief period of light shedding where I started doing my own research and allowing myself to learn of the multiple benefits of a nice cup of black to start my mornings. I began realizing that the vilifying health claims associated with habitual coffee drinking were actually due to high sugar-cream content from frappablends: The sweet, foamy desserts that our Starbucks generation furiously consume, with the steady diligence of baleen whales, grazing in the open seas. Wait, Where the Hell Am I Going With This? Sorry for the major digression. I'm actually here to review the Hario Clear Coffee Grinder (ref: Hario Clear). Cliff notes: It's a great product and I enjoy having it in my home Grinding your own coffee is somewhat of a calming experience for me. As new age hippy dippy as it sounds, I believe in the benefits of following steady, morning routines. In addition, I've acutally been too cheap to purchase a fully powered grinder and have also found personal value in manually grinding my own cofee: "Hand grinders get the job done and double as a morning shoulder pump."

A Substantial Upgrade

All jokes aside, prior to the Hario Clear, my grinding option was a little wooden piece that mysteriously entered our household from a roommate's signifcant other. Quaint in appearance and feel, it was something you'd find in the housewares section of Goodwill (or the corner of your Grandmother's kitchen). It did the trick, but was woefully inefficient and hitched every 4-5 rotations. With little quirks and hiccups, the experience was like driving an early 90's domestic. Lots of character, but frustrating as all hell. By a stroke of luck (or misfortune), the little vintage grinder disappeared and the Hario Clear was (thankfully) introduced into our household. Sleeker than an Italian mobster's hairdo The smooth, glossy box immediately gives away its Japanese roots. A coffee grinder that'd fit right in within an Apple "Genius" Bar's breakroom, the sterile acrylic build is light, but still feels nice and solid. The sturdy grinding arm has a smooth aluminum finish, and the bearings feel smooth. No roughness or hitching during the grind.

Features Features Features

I'm a sucker for details, so here's an interesting list of little features that give the Hario Clear some extra cool points (does anyone say that anymore?) The Hario Clear is geared towards small (maybe cluttered kitchens). You can physically remove the handle and tuck it away into a neat little slot in the top. The grinder's bottom is lined with an awesome rubber seal. Place the box on a smooth, non-porous surface (unfinished wood won't work), flip the switch, and the Hario will secure itself onto the surface, saving your non-dominant arm from extreme stabilizing duties. Grinding quality is easily adjustable from coarse to ultra fine. Keep in mind the finer you go, the more raw grounds you'll need to add. Finer grounds will also yield a stronger, thicker extraction. My brewer of choice is this stovetop Italian Press. *Noting here that wooden Goodwill grinder didn't have adjustability setting*

So Uhh.... What About the Grinder?

Since the first day of use, I immediately noted the smoothness of the turns in comparison to the the Hario Clear's predecessor. From 1-5 on the fineness scale, my Hario is set to ~ 3.5. It takes a little while longer on this setting to ground my coffee each morning, but overall, the experience is still enjoyable. Out of a 3 star system, I'd give the Hario Clear Grinder a 3.

Cold Bruer Cold Brew Drip Coffee Maker Video Review April 06, 2015 10:52

Positives: It looks beautiful compared to other cold brewers. You don't have to time your brew to "drop" the cold brew because it's filtering as it brews. Easy to clean.

Negatives: It may not brew enough for your liking.

Unlike full immersion brewing methods, the cold bruer makes a ready to drink cold brew.


Hario Clear Coffee Grinder Review [Video] April 02, 2015 08:00

My roommate and I have been using the Hario Clear Coffee Grinder for the past two weeks now. We used to have a similar grinder. It was a no-name brand wooden box grinder. The ones you may see in an antique store or maybe at your grandmas house, which was true in my case. It looks like a wooden box with a tiny drawer on the bottom. On the top is usually a metal funnel where the beans go and a metal handle connected to the center that rotates the burrs. The whole beans go into the funnel and the grounds fall into the drawer on the bottom. I first used one of these grinders at my grandmas house when I was a kid. I have fond memories of it. It was kinda like a Jack in the Box game where you wind up the box and the puppet pops out, but instead, you’re surprised with the smell of ground coffee. I loved that as a kid. We used to have a grinder because when my roommate broke up with his girlfriend, she took her grinder with her. We were without one for a week, and my friend was resorting to grinder beans with an improvised mortar and pestle, a bowl and the end of a wooden spoon. He looked like a caveman, so it was time to try out the Hario Clear Grinder. It’s a modern version of grandma’s wooden box grinder. Instead of wood it’s made out of tinted plastic, stainless steel, ceramic and silicon. It also seems to fix some of the problems that the old grinder had. Everyone who has used a hand grinder knows that grinding coffee by hand can by a little difficult because it can take a long time, especially if you’re grinding fine, and you need to turn the handle to crush the beans and hold the grinder in place. You’re not only using energy to turn the burrs, but you also need to put in power to counter act that turning force so the grinder stays in the same position. This can be tiring and also a little frustrating, but it’s actually not that bad. I think the nature of it being not that bad has actually contributed to no one really focusing on the issue and solving it. Instead we just put up with it. I like that this grinder has made a good attempt at making the hand grinding experience more enjoyable by offering a simple solution. On the bottom of this grinder is a silicon suction cup that is activated by a lever on the left hand side. Pull the lever forward to release the suction and push it back to activate it. It works best when the surface you’re trying to attach it to is smooth, hard and clean. I’ve tried many times to attach it to our counter top which is just raw wood (no sealant or finish on top) and after a couple of turns the grinder pops off. It can be kinda scary at first when the grinder detaches suddenly, you realize how much force you’re exerting on those burrs as the grinder jerks erratically. In my case it was really scary because the drawer started to open and the coffee powder almost spilt on the floor. My stomach dropped but I was able to grab the grinder before the drawer slid all the way out. Thank God… good coffee is expensive and hard to come by. It can be heart breaking to see the last of your coffee spilled on the ground. When I do spill the beans sometimes, I pat myself on the back by claiming they’re for the fallen homies. Kiss my fist, peace sign to the sky. The grinder isn't anything without burrs of course, and I have to say that I like the burrs on this grinder. They’re made out of ceramic and they’re plenty big. So unlike my grandma’s grinder, I can grind a lot faster and have a more even grind. More even grinder means better tasting coffee. They actually look like the same size burrs as some electric grinders. The large ceramic burrs in combination with the suction cup makes for a pretty quick grind session compared to other hand grinders I've used. I like that this grinder has a large opening on the top. In other hand grinders I’ve used like the Mini Mill and the Porlex, the opening is not as large and it can be more difficult getting the beans in there without spilling any. However, those grinder are meant more for travel, and the Hario Clear Grinder is not, so that’s understandable. I’ve been really enjoying the process of putting the whole grinder on my scale and measuring the beans in grams as I put them into the hopper. In the past I would weigh out the beans on the scale then put them in the the grinder. I think that was because the grinders I was using were either to heavy for the scale or the opening to put the beans into wasn't wide enough. The Hario Clear Grinder works well for this though. I’ve been using the Hario Scale and Timer combo for this because it can carry the weight and still have the accuracy to 0.1 grams, which is good for coffee making. Overall I really enjoy this scale. One because I think sometimes electric grinders are just overkill in a space, and in my space, it would be overkill. An electric grinder would be a pain to takeout, plug in, unplug and put away everyday. The Hand grinder kills this problem because it’s like taking out a book and putting a book away. It’s so small and light and it does everything it’s supposed to do, and from the looks and feel of it, I highly doubt that it will be breaking anytime soon. The biggest complaint about this grinder is going to be that the housing is made out of plastic. I've found that the plastic's strength holds for what it's meant for, however, I would take care to not drop it. I could see it cracking if it fell from a counter top. On the bonus side the plastic can be cleaned spotless under a sink and if the housing was made out of wood or aluminum you may encounter some water damage or you would probably never get it as clean. The grinding mechanism, handle, suction cup all come apart from each other, leaving the shell of the grinder wide open to clean up any coffee grounds that have gone astray. This one aspect is something that I think is absolutely awesome because I like keeping my shit really clean. In putting an end to this review, I’m going to say that this grinder is staying put and we’re going to be using it for many brews to come. I may even try and travel with this grinder next time.

Hario Filter in Bottle cold brew tea brewer. March 30, 2015 19:30

Just arrived! We've got our first shipment of the Hario Filter in bottle cold brew tea carafe in our warehouse. Make sure to get in touch with us if you're interested in trying out this product at the Vancouver Coffee & Tea show. Check out the video below for an overview of how the system works. We've tried it ourselves and think it makes a fantastic (and un-bitter) cup of cold brew tea!  

Barista Lab is now accepting Bitcoin. March 20, 2015 00:00

Hey everyone, we only just set up our online retail store and things are off to a big start. Thanks to everyone sending their feedback and we're happy to serve all our customers as best we can. We've started accepting payment using Bitcoin to help reduce both your and our overall costs (and because our web guy is a total Bitcoin nerd). So if you have Bitcoins and want to pay using them, you can choose the Bitcoin option during checkout. Thanks for reading!   tl;dr: Barista Lab is now accepting Bitcoin. So use them!

Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Video March 19, 2015 12:20

Latest video from Hario Japan, quick and simple instructions on how to cold brew coffee grounds using the Hario Miziudashi Cold Brew Pot!  

Hario's latest syphon, NXA "Next" August 19, 2013 23:51

Hario's update to their popular syphon brewing system, the TCA "Technica" is dubbed the NXA "Next." Check out the video below!