How to Make Kyoto-Style Cold Drip (or Slow Drip) Coffee

Is your contraption out of the box and on the counter? Do you have everything? Then let’s begin the science project!

Step #1: Grind the coffee. You’ll want it coarsely ground, in traditional cold brew fashion. Measure it using the kitchen scale to ensure that you’re working with the correct amount—this is a crucial element in setting you up for success.

Step #2: I’m sorry to make you make a decision without knowing, but there are two methods for this next part and I’ve found a pretty clear divide. It has to do with the filter. Some people put it at the bottom of the grind container, as you would typically assume. Dampen the circular paper to remove any paper-flavor-contamination and settle it in.

On the flipside, which you may have noticed in the video, some people put the grinds in first and then top them with the filter.

Why? I have literally no idea. It really doesn’t make sense to me. The filter is supposed to keep the grinds from getting into the carafe, right? Right! I vote the filter goes before the grounds. It’s what I do. I’ve spoken.

Step #3: Now, dump in the 50 grams of coffee grounds. To get the process started and ensure that the water mingles with the beans long enough, you can add a bit of water and use a chopstick or kabob to mix it all around. Don’t use too much, just enough to dampen the grounds.

Step #4: There’s a split in the water community when it comes to filtering. Many people say that they can’t tell the difference between filtered and non—I can tell the difference in a plain glass of water if I care to pay attention, but I’ve never noticed anything in my coffee.

This is totally your call, is what I’m saying. Fill the reservoir with some kind of ice cubes. Once you’ve done that, add a few ounces of water. This is another way to get the drip process started and steady. This’ll become more crucial in a moment.

Step #5: The key aspect to making a perfect batch of Kyoto-style cold-drip coffee is the drip rate, which is literally the whole thing. There’s a little nozzle under the reservoir that’s filled with ice. Slowly open it. You’ll definitely want to take a few minutes to monitor this in action because this is truly a steady-as-she-goes thing.

Ideally, you’ll want about 1 drip per 1 second. Some cold brewers extend this to 1 drip per second and a half—that will ultimately come down to your preference.

Step #6: You’re looking at about an 5 to 12 hour wait time, depending on the temperature of your house and size of the reservoir. Once all of the ice has melted and your delicious brew is all in the carafe, you’re all set to enjoy a cuppa joe! Serve with ice or dilute with hot water. It’s nicely concentrated, so there’s no wrong way to enjoy this caffeine.

Before we end this step-by-step, I’d recommend that, the first time you use the Kyoto-style cold dripper, you opt to start it on a Saturday morning. Overall, I’m a fan of letting it go overnight, but stoppage can happen.

Start it Saturday morning and check on it a few times throughout the day to make sure that the drip rate is consistent. After the first batch goes without a hitch, start that baby up right before you hit the hay. 

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