Brewing pour overs on the trail or when camping without a proper goose neck kettle has proven to be a challenge for me. The Jetboil or a Thermos can double as a pouring device no problem, but I struggle to let go of the need for accuracy (or at least the perceived need).
It’s the same with never wanting to pre-grind, or not being able to weigh. It’s not that I can’t brew a satisfying cup with pregound coffee and no scales, but mentally I have trouble being ok with letting go of my “at home” habits and methods.
I have looked online for a while to find a cost-effective small goose neck I can take camping or throw in a backpack. I say cost-effective because the Monarch Methods copper goose necks would work perfectly and are a thing of beauty, but if I spent good money on one of them I’d be terrified to scratch it, lose it, or drop it off the edge of a cliff (on all those times you brew on the edge of a cliff).
I recently came across a small black 350ml goose neck on eBay for only $12 out of China. I’m not sure if I’ve just always missed this in my searches or if it’s a new product, but online it looked like it suited all my requirements perfectly so I splashed out and handed over my hard-earned $12.
So far it’s been money well spent. It’s extremely sturdy and doesn’t feel cheaply made. The powder coating seems very resilient and I’ve yet to scratch it up when it’s been carted around on a ride or to and from work. That’s another benefit of it….it’s opened up being able to brew pour overs at work without taking the Hario to and from. I’ve just ordered a second one to keep at work, and for that price, why not?
So for someone whose after a basic, cheap pour over kettle it ticks all boxes; it holds hot water and it pours; what more could you need!
For those like me that aren’t satisfied with just the knowledge that it holds hot water and pours, here’s some meatier data:
The following info was born out of my concerns, curiosities, and boredom during a rainy day off work:
On the trail I have been preheating my brew water in the Jetboil then transferring to the 350ml to pour. The main reason for this is that the base of the 350ml is too small to fit on the Jetboil pot support. When being used solely for pouring, not heating, the handle never even started to heat up.
During a test at home when putting preheated water in, then placing it over a gas flame to get it back to boiling the handle definitely started to heat up and this would become an issue if you were trying to boil water from cold. The handle is not insulated and is connected directly to the body so conducts heat a little too well to boil in.
This test was done by boiling 300ml of water in both the 350 and the Hario and tracking the decline in temp using an analog thermometer in 10 second intervals over a length of 3 minutes (an average pour over time). The water was brought to the boil in each respective vessel then they were left to sit still; 350 with no lid, Hario with lid on.
I originally tried using an infrared thermometer but due to the difference in reflectance values between the 350 (matt black) and the Hario (polished silver) the results were not accurate for the sake of comparison.
The test was also not conducive to an outdoor brew as it was conducted in ambient room temperature, but gave a good visual result none the less. Results in Celsius.
The results show that the 350 held it’s own against the Hario until the 1:40 mark before the temperature began to drop off more quickly. The Hario was still at 93 degrees at the end of the 3 minutes while the 350 had dropped to 90.5. Not a massive difference, and not really an issue on the trail as my method has me boiling in the Jetboil, decanting what I need for each pour into the 350, keeping the remainder in the insulated Jetboil until required for the next pour.
The advertised 350ml is deceiving as I could only get 300ml in before the water was dripping out of the spout.
My concern that 300ml wouldn’t be enough to comfortably do a single cup pour over proved irrelevant due to the method of brewing on the trail using the Jetboil as described above.
The very narrow neck on the 350 is great for being able to do very slow, controlled pours. The max flow rate averaged 11.8 grams per second compared to Hario’s 47.35 g/s. Data collected using the Acaia Brewmaster app.
I originally thought it would make ultra-slow pours a lot easier. But when I measured the two against each other I was surprised to find how slow I could actually get the Hario to pour. (I counted a slow pour as the slowest I could pour in a consistent stream without the water stopping and starting adding unnecessary agitation)
While I could get the 350 down to an impressive 1.55g/s over the Hario’s 3.59g/s, it was very hard to keep the low flow rate consistent.
I know for brewing on the trail this data is totally irrelevant but that’s not important because I like data.
I cannot fault this small pour over kettle for the purposes I bought it for. It’s affordable, strong, and saves so much space compared to the Hario.
It’s even a great entry level kettle for a home brewer not wanting to fork out $60+ on a Hario. It means that for under $30 you could get (or gift) the kettle, a plastic Hario V60 01, and a pack of 100 filters. Can’t beat that!