slow drip coffee

Attention coffee enthusiasts! Have you heard of slow drip coffee? This unique brewing method is taking the coffee world by storm. Our comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about slow drip coffee, from the equipment to the brewing process. Discover the benefits of this slow and steady approach and get ready to enjoy a perfectly balanced cup of coffee. It's time to add slow drip coffee to your brewing repertoire.

What Is Slow Drip Coffee

Slow drip coffee, also known as Kyoto-style coffee, is a method of brewing coffee that extracts the flavors from the coffee beans in a delicate and controlled manner. This method is especially popular in Japan and has gained a reputation for producing high-quality cold brew coffee with a smooth and refined taste.

The brewing process involves a three-section brewer, consisting of an upper chamber for water, a middle chamber containing coffee grounds, and a lower chamber for the coffee concentrate to collect. Cold water is gradually dripped onto the coffee grounds from the upper chamber, allowing the water to slowly pass through the grounds and extract the flavors. The concentrated coffee then drips down into the lower chamber, creating a smooth and full-bodied coffee concentrate.

While immersion cold brew methods soak the coffee grounds in water for an extended period of time, the slow drip method is unique due to this continuous water flow. This results in a coffee concentrate that can be diluted with cold, filtered water to taste. The specific dilution ratio depends on the brewing ratio used during the slow drip process.

There are several benefits to using the slow drip coffee method. For one, this brewing process enhances the coffee's natural sweetness and reduces the acidity, creating a smoother coffee taste that many prefer. Additionally, the slow extraction allows for a more nuanced flavor profile, giving each coffee bean variety the opportunity to shine.

In summary, slow drip coffee, or Kyoto-style coffee, is a brewing technique that involves the slow, controlled dripping of cold water onto coffee grounds to extract a smooth, high-quality coffee concentrate. This method is known for its ability to produce cold brew coffee with a refined taste, subtle flavors, and low acidity.

Historical Origins

Slow drip coffee, also known as Kyoto-style slow drip coffee, originates from Japan. This brewing method has gained popularity due to its unique flavor profiles and presentation. The Kyoto-style method extracts coffee drip-by-drip, differing from the immersion-based extraction found in standard cold brew or toddy coffee. This Japanese version of iced coffee can be enjoyed exclusively as a cold beverage.

The Japanese coffee culture has been influential in the development of various brewing techniques, with slow drip coffee being a premier example. In the Kyoto-style brewing process, an elegant setup with a tall and narrow glass tower is often used. Dripping water over the ground coffee at a slow, consistent pace allows for a concentrated, flavorful extraction.

Some factors to consider when preparing slow drip coffee include:

  • Grind size: Using a coarser grind allows for better brewing results in comparison to finer grinds.
  • Filter: Typically, a paper filter is used to separate the coffee grounds from the brewed liquid. This ensures that the water passes through the grounds effectively, creating a clean and smooth coffee.
  • Water temperature: Cold water is recommended for this brewing method, as it extracts the flavors slowly and creates less acidity.

The historical origins of Kyoto-style slow drip coffee are rooted in its uniqueness and attention to detail in the brewing process. With its distinct and concentrated flavors, slow drip coffee has become a favorite among coffee enthusiasts across the globe.

Key Components of Slow Drip Coffee

Coffee Beans

Selecting the right coffee beans is critical to the overall flavor and quality of slow drip coffee. Experiment with beans of different origins, roast levels, and flavor profiles to find the perfect match for your taste preferences. Remember that the beans should be fresh and properly stored to preserve their distinct flavors and aromas.


The quality of water used in slow drip coffee has a significant impact on the final taste. Opt for filtered or bottled water to ensure a clean, crisp foundation for your brew. The water temperature should be lower than in other brewing methods, typically around room temperature or slightly cooler. The drip speed plays a crucial role as well; aim for one drop per second, adjusting to one drop every 1.5 seconds if needed.

Grind Size

Choosing the appropriate grind size for your coffee beans is essential for proper extraction in slow drip coffee. The size should be consistent and slightly coarser than that used for drip coffee makers. An even grind ensures that water extracts the desired flavors and oils, while a coarse grind prevents over-extraction and bitterness.


There are various slow-drip coffee brewers available, including the popular Kyoto-style. These brewers typically consist of a three-chamber design: a water chamber at the top, a middle chamber for coffee grounds, and a bottom chamber for capturing the brewed coffee. They can also be supported by a sturdy frame. The brewing process can take anywhere from 6 to 24 hours, depending on the equipment used and desired intensity of the brew.

In summary, mastering slow drip coffee requires attention to the selection of coffee beans, water quality, grind size, and proper equipment. By experimenting and refining these key components, coffee enthusiasts can create a brew that is uniquely tailored to their taste preferences.

Brewing Process and Techniques


Slow drip coffee, also known as Dutch or Kyoto-style coffee, is a brewing method that involves a slow, steady drip of cold water through coffee grounds. The process can take several hours, resulting in a smooth, low-acidity coffee concentrate that can be served hot or cold. To start, prepare your coffee grounds by grinding them to a medium/filter setting. Measure the appropriate dose of coffee for your chosen slow-drip brewer. Many devices recommend using a paper filter for a clean taste, but some models come with a metal filter included.

To prepare the brewing vessel, place it on top of the cup or carafe and insert a moistened paper filter (or a metal filter if your device includes one). This will help ensure proper flow of water and prevent grounds from getting into the finished coffee.

Brewing Time

The brewing time for slow drip coffee depends on the desired strength and size of the brew. Typically, it can take anywhere from 3 to 12 hours or even more. The drip rate may vary depending on the device used, with general recommendations ranging from one drip per second to one drip every few seconds.

During the brewing process, cold water is gradually poured over the coffee grounds in a controlled and slow manner, allowing the coffee to extract flavors slowly and gently. The result is a coffee concentrate that can be diluted with hot or cold water or milk to taste.

Adjusting Variables

There are several variables to consider when brewing slow drip coffee, such as coffee grounds size, water-to-coffee ratio, and drip rate. Here are some tips for adjusting these variables:

  • Coffee grounds size: Use a medium/filter grind for slow drip brewing. Adjust the grind size slightly coarser or finer to achieve your desired taste and extraction level.
  • Water-to-coffee ratio: Different slow-drip brewers have different recommendations for ratios, but a general guideline is 1:8 (coffee to water). Experiment with the ratio to find what works best for your taste preferences.
  • Drip rate: Adjust the drip rate depending on the desired brewing time and strength. A faster drip rate will result in a shorter brewing time and a milder taste, while a slower drip rate will produce a longer brewing time and a stronger taste. Experiment to find your ideal drip rate.

Through experimenting with these variables, you can tailor the slow-drip coffee brewing process to your personal taste preferences and achieve the perfect cup of coffee for your palate.

Taste Profile and Benefits


Slow drip coffee, also known as cold drip or cold brew coffee, is a brewing method that enhances the natural flavors of coffee beans by steeping them in cold water for an extended period of time, usually between 12 to 24 hours. This process brings out the coffee's inherent taste without extracting harsh or bitter compounds, which can often be present in other brewing methods. The result is a smooth, chocolaty, and slightly sweet beverage that is highly appealing to many coffee enthusiasts.


Cold-brewed coffee has a significantly lower acidity level compared to hot-brewed coffee due, to the absence of high temperatures that cause the release of acidic compounds in the beans. This makes slow drip coffee an ideal option for those who suffer from acid reflux or sensitive stomachs, as it offers an enjoyable coffee experience without causing irritation.


The distinct brewing method of slow drip coffee produces a coffee with a medium to full body that is silky in texture. The cold water extraction process allows for better retention of the coffee's natural oils, which contribute to its mouthfeel and body. Because this technique does not use any filters, the coffee is less diluted and offers a richer, heavier texture, which many find pleasing on the palate.


Slow drip coffee is known for having a unique and subtle aromatic profile, characterized by notes of caramel, cocoa, and raisins. This is in contrast to the more vibrant and fruity aromas often found in hot-brewed coffee. During the cold brewing process, fewer volatile aromatic compounds are extracted, which allows the more delicate and nuanced flavors of the coffee beans to shine. This creates a pleasant and enjoyable coffee experience for those who appreciate a more understated flavor profile.

In summary, slow drip coffee offers a unique and enjoyable taste profile, with benefits such as lower acidity, a full and silky body, and subtle aromatic notes. This brewing method caters to coffee lovers who appreciate a smooth, rich flavor profile that highlights the coffee beans' inherent qualities without the harshness often found in hot-brewed coffee.

Comparisons to Other Brewing Methods

French Press

Slow drip coffee, while having its unique characteristics, can be compared to other brewing methods, such as the French Press. The French Press is a widely popular method, using a cylindrical container in which coffee grounds are steeped in hot water for a few minutes, then separated by pressing a plunger down. In contrast, slow drip coffee utilizes a slow, gravity-driven extraction process that may take hours to complete. While both methods highlight coffee flavors effectively, French Press tends to produce a richer, full-bodied brew, whereas slow drip coffee offers a lighter, smoother experience.

Pour Over

Another brewing method to compare with slow drip coffee is Pour Over. Similar to slow drip in the sense that both methods rely on gravity for extraction, Pour Over requires manually pouring hot water over coffee grounds held in a paper or metal filter. The water then passes through the grounds and into a vessel beneath the filter. The key difference between slow drip and Pour Over lies in the brewing time and the level of control in the process. Pour Over typically takes around 3-4 minutes, demanding close attention to pour rate, water temperature, and grind size. Meanwhile, slow drip coffee brewing spans several hours, providing a more consistent extraction due to the slow and steady flow of water as it interacts with the coffee grounds.


Espresso, known for its concentrated, bold flavor and characteristic crema, requires a vastly different brewing method than slow drip coffee. Espresso machines use high pressure - typically 9 bars - to force hot water through finely ground coffee in a matter of seconds. This results in a small, intense shot of coffee that can be consumed on its own or as a base for other popular drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

Comparing the two methods, slow drip coffee uses time and gravity to produce a lighter, cleaner taste, whereas espresso relies on pressure and extraction speed to create its signature strength and consistency. As a result, choosing between the two methods heavily depends on the individual's taste preferences and desired coffee experience.

In conclusion, slow drip coffee stands distinct among various brewing methods in the world of coffee. Its gentle, extended extraction process yields a smooth, subtle flavor profile that sets it apart from others like French Press, Pour Over, and Espresso. Preferences for brewing techniques ultimately depend on individual taste and the desired outcome, and slow drip coffee provides an attractive option for those seeking a delicate yet satisfying brew.

Popular Slow Drip Coffee Makers

Slow drip coffee, also known as cold brew coffee, is a unique method of brewing coffee that has gained popularity in recent years. This process involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, typically 12 to 24 hours. The result is a smooth, less acidic coffee concentrate, which can be served over ice or mixed with milk or water to adjust the strength and taste.

One notable aspect of slow drip coffee makers is that they come in various styles and designs. Some popular slow drip coffee makers include:

  1. Yama Glass Cold Brew Tower: This elegant glass tower is an eye-catching option for those who want a stylish and functional coffee maker. It has a unique design, featuring adjustable drip valve to control the flow rate, and produces smooth, full-bodied cold brew coffee.

  2. Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Pot: Hario, a well-known Japanese brand, offers this simple and affordable option for making slow drip coffee. The Mizudashi is a compact, easy to use and clean coffee maker, featuring a fine mesh filter to keep grounds out of your coffee.

  3. Toddy Cold Brew System: Toddy is a reputable brand in the cold brew market, and their system is designed for ease and efficiency. Complete with a brewing container, reusable felt filters, and a glass decanter, this system is a user-friendly option for making slow drip coffee at home.

  4. OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker: OXO offers a user-friendly and versatile cold brew maker that simplifies the process, featuring a built-in rainmaker to evenly distribute water, and can produce up to 14 servings of cold brew concentrate.

  5. KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker: This stainless steel option from KitchenAid provides a convenient and durable solution for making slow drip coffee. It has a compact design that easily fits in your fridge and a built-in stainless steel tap for dispensing your coffee concentrate.

When deciding on the best slow drip coffee maker for your needs and preferences, consider factors such as ease of use, capacity, design, and price. Each of these popular options has its unique features and benefits, making it easier for you to choose the perfect slow drip coffee maker to elevate your coffee experience.

Drip coffeeFilter coffeePour over coffee
Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.

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