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How to make Kyoto Coffee better than Blue Bottle in your own home
As the Specialty Coffee world continues to develop, Kyoto Style Coffee Towers, Siphon Brewers, and other alchemist-type devices are gaining popularity. Aside from standing out as showcase pieces, there is science behind each brewing process. Our expertise is Kyoto Style Coffee (used interchangeably with Dutch Coffee, Kyoto Coffee, Cold Drip, and Water Tower Drip), which is a method that uses drop by drop gravity extraction for 16 hours to produce the most flavorful and caffeinated beverages available.
We’ll be going over the best way to set up the system for precision brewing, and sharing tricks we’ve learned while being the largest manufacturer of Kyoto Coffee in the US for the last 2 years.
Since water is the main ingredient in coffee, the final product relies on the source. We aim for 7.0 pH and recommend using Reverse Osmosis Water or Alkaline Water. Most importantly, avoid tap water at home due to minerals and unwanted flavors.
PICKING THE RIGHT COFFEE
Unlike hot coffee, which extracts oils and earthy aromas from coffee, Kyoto Style Coffee brings out nuanced high-notes and fruity flavors. It takes a few trials before finding the perfect blend so we’ll offer you a shortcut for tried-and-true.
One of our favorite blends is designed to resemble history’s first coffee blend — commonly known as Mocha Java. The original blend is expensive and difficult to source, but to mimic the flavor, we use Ethiopia and Nicaragua. The Ethiopian coffees will generally have stone-fruit flavors, while the Nicaraguan will balance it out with dark chocolate notes.
Let the coffee de-gas for at least 1 week after the roast date in order to avoid unwanted aromas. The prime flavor for Kyoto Style Coffee will be between 2–3 weeks after the roast date so it’s enough time to de-gas the beans, but not long enough to let the coffee go stale.
GRIND SETTING & DOSE
100 grams of coffee to 1 L water is the perfect ratio — don’t try to tweak it, you will be disappointed.
The ideal grind setting is medium-fine or pour-over grind setting. The grind size can vary depending on the grinder you are using — we started off with a Baratza Virtuoso for home use.
The Yama Glass comes with a ceramic filter, which is very porous and can be reused at the bottom of the coffee bed. The filter is very fragile, so we’ve found paper filters to also do the trick if you need a back-up option. To avoid adding unwanted flavors from the paper filters, wet the paper filter before starting your batch. We also use a paper or cloth filter on the top of the coffee bed, which helps disperse the water evenly during the extraction process.
The key to making a good batch of Kyoto style coffee is a controlled and consistent flow rate without flooding. The water dispensing from the water beaker should be moving at the same rate as the water dripping from the coil into the bottom carafe. Adjust the flow rate every few hours as it gets slower due to water-pressure changes. Aim for 1 drop per 3 seconds.
With proper setup and calibration of flow rate, 6–12 hours would be the total brew time, depending on the level of intensity. Quicker brew cycles will produce less intense coffee since the extraction time is shorter, while slower cycles will create a heavier body.------------------------------
THE FINAL SETUP
Now that we understand the theory and pieces in the device, we can put it all together and start our first batch. After weighing the coffee and water, take 100 grams of ground coffee and mix it with 100 grams of water — this step is called pre-infusion. Make sure all of the coffee is saturated with this water in order to ensure the batch starts properly and has even water distribution.
In the Buchner funnel, place the ceramic filter at the bottom and stack the pre-infused coffee above it until it has a medium firmness and a dome-shaped top of the coffee bed. Place a paper filter above the coffee bed to ensure the water doesn’t drip directly in the middle, and rather is dispersed using the absorbent filter. Put all pieces in place, add the remaining 900 grams of water into the water beaker, set the flow rate properly, and wait until the last drop before consuming!
We recommend consuming small portions since the coffee will be highly caffeinated. 4 oz should extract around 120mg-160mg caffeine (equivalent to 2–2.5 shots espresso). For more information about the best ways to drink Kyoto Coffee, go to this article and feel free to contact us directly on Instagram (@dripdash) or email (email@example.com) with any additional questions.