Man pouring coffee made using Kyoto slow drip method

How to Make Kyoto-style Slow Drip Coffee?

Henry Muller

Ever heard of the "smoothest cup on earth"?

No, No! It's no gibberish stuff, It's the magical drink of the coffee world - Kyoto-style slow drip coffee, bringing flavors to life in a slow, elegant manner.

Emerging from the old streets of Kyoto, Japan, this brewing method is all about turning your regular cup into a caffeine adventure.

It's a flavorful journey. I am very excited to delve into this Kyoto-style slow-drip coffee!

So without waiting any more, let's unwrap the secrets behind this renowned coffee drink.

Today, in this deep dive I will also share the tools you need, spill the beans on ratios, and make you the master of the slow drip process. It's like coffee-making but with a touch of magic and precision.

So let's move ahead.

What is Kyoto-style Slow Drip Coffee?

Kyoto-style slow-drip coffee is not just a brew; it's a graceful art form arising from the heart of Japan. This method transcends your coffee routine into a ritual, extracting flavors slowly.

In this process, cold water gradually drips over coffee grounds, patiently infusing each particle to create a drink that's not just a pick-me-up but a blend of nuanced tastes.

Here, we can also say that the time itself becomes a barista, enhancing the richness and depth of every sip.

Can you make it at home?

A big fat yes!  Grabbing a quick cup on the go is fine, but imagine a flavorful drink brewed with your own hands and filled with the stories of distant mountains. With the right tools and some enthusiasm, you can turn your kitchen anytime into a coffee center for this elegant brewing method.

Three most popular Kyoto-Style Slow-Dripper

1) Yama glass 6-8 cup cold drip maker

This classic cold drip maker comes with a sleek black wood stand and timeless glass tower creating a mesmerizing spectacle as each drop blends. It's perfect for brewing larger batches for coffee-loving households or gatherings.

The only challenge is its higher price tag but the premium material that it has is worthy enough. Made with the idea of maintaining precision and durability, the Yama Glass is a favorite among Kyoto-style enthusiasts.

2) NISPIRA ice cold brew dripper coffee maker

For those who appreciate a touch of sophistication, this dripper is perfect.
It offers a stylish acrylic frame that adds a touch of contemporary touch to your kitchen.

The best part is its single-serve size, ideal for those solo coffee rituals or space-conscious homes. It's a budget-friendly option compared to the Yama, but the acrylic might scratch more easily, so you have to be very careful with it.

3) Osaka cold brew coffee maker

This cold brew maker strikes a balance between tradition and practicality. Engineered with a focus on simplicity and efficiency, its sturdy stainless steel construction offers ultimate durability.

Ideal for frequent use or those prone to occasional damage, it has a 6-cup capacity, making it a versatile choice for both individual coffee rituals and group gatherings.

Ingredients needed

  • 35 g of coffee 
  • 245 ml of filtered water

Equipment needed

  • Slow drip tower
  • Digital scale
  • Coffee grinder
  • 35 g of coffee
  • 245 ml of filtered water
  • Ice cubes

How to make Kyoto-style drip coffee?

Step 1: Prepare your coffee

Measure the amount of coffee and grind it to medium consistency. It can vary as per your requirement, but usually 50 to 70 g depending on the specific design of your brewer would be good to go. You can experiment with different coffee-to-water ratios.

Step 2: Add your coffee to the coffee maker

Once done, put a coffee filter at the bottom of the ground coffee chamber, then add the fresh coffee grinds on top to prepare the coffee bed. Anything from a paper filter or a metal filter will work.

Step 3: Pour the water

Measure the amount of water you will require as per the ratio used. Here I am using a 1:7 ratio i.e. 245 ml water for 35 grams of coffee. Slowly pour the water into the water chamber of your drip coffee brewer and add some ice from the top.

Step 4: Start brewing

You will find a valve at the base that controls water flow. The more you open it, the faster the drip-rate will be. Changing the drip rate is the basic way of controlling the flavor of the cold coffee you produce. Yes, the brew time is directly proportional to the flow rate.

Step 5: Dilute your coffee

The slow drip method produces a concentrated brew. You can dilute it as per your preference to yield a flavorful cup.

Benefits of slow drip process

1) Flavor profile

Slow drip allows for precise extraction of flavors, creating a well-balanced cup that captures the nuanced notes of your coffee beans.

2) Aromatic blend

The gradual infusion of cold water over time brings out the full aromatic profile of your coffee, resulting in an aromatic blend with every sip.

3) Reduced acidity

Different from traditional brewing methods, the slow drip process often produces coffee with lower acidity, providing a smoother and gentler taste on the palate.

4) Customizable strength

Adjusting the drip rate provides control over the coffee's strength. Experimentation allows you to tailor each brew to your preferred level.

5) Extended shelf life

Cold brewing, a common element in the slow drip process, results in a longer shelf life for your coffee concentrate, allowing you to enjoy your brew over several days.

6) Versatility

The slow drip method is versatile, accommodating different coffee bean varieties and grind sizes, extending up a world of possibilities for flavor exploration.

7) Low maintenance

The slow drip process requires minimal intervention. You can let it work its magic, freeing you up to focus on other tasks.

8) Less bitterness

The slow extraction overpowers the bitter compounds, resulting in a coffee that is rich and full-bodied without any bitterness often associated with other brewing methods.

Taste profile of slowly brewed drip coffee

When it comes to the taste profile Kyoto coffee is a journey through a blend of flavors and aromas. It results in a coffee with a remarkably smooth and silky texture, yielding coffee with nuanced acidity without overwhelming the flavors.

You can expect it to tailor a well-balanced sweetness that gracefully complements the coffee's overall profile, creating a delightful taste. It comes with a full-bodied flavor that captures the essence of the beans, showcasing their unique characteristics.

Difference between slow-drip coffee and cold brew

Slow-drip coffee

  • As the name suggests, it involves a meticulous process where cold water slowly drips over coffee grounds, yielding a brew that extracts its flavors gradually. 
  • Known for its precision it allows controlled extraction of nuanced notes. The slow drip results in a smooth, silky texture, balanced sweetness, and mellow undertones. 
  • With a focus on temperature consistency and customizable intensity, slow-drip coffee captures the essence of the beans, highlighting their distinctive characteristics in a full-bodied and refined taste experience.

Cold brew

  • In contrast, cold brew takes a different path by immersing coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, typically 12 to 24 hours. 
  • This method results in a coffee concentrate that is known for its boldness and simplicity. 
  • Characterized for its rich, full-bodied flavor with lower acidity, it produces a beverage that is smooth and less bitter than traditionally brewed coffee. The prolonged immersion process allows a comprehensive extraction of flavors, creating a concentrated coffee base that can be diluted to preference.
  • Celebrated for its convenience, it can be prepared in large batches and refrigerated for an extended shelf life, offering a refreshing and straightforward alternative to slow-drip coffee.

The Final Words

So, there you have it, coffee lovers.

As we wrap up our exploration into the world of Kyoto-style slow-drip coffee, it's evident that this brewing method is not just about making a cup of coffee; it's a journey, an art, and a celebration of flavors.

Whether you're a seasoned coffee barista or a curious enthusiast, the Kyoto-style slow drip is your way to a deeper, richer coffee experience.

So, grab your tools, pick your beans, and get ready to brew something truly legendary. Don't forget to share your brewing adventures with us in the comments!

We'd love to hear about your favorite beans, your perfect ratios, and the unique flavors you discover along the way. Let's keep the coffee conversation flowing!


1) How do you drink Kyoto coffee?

Kyoto coffee is generally served over ice which allows the slow-drip brewing process to shine, resulting in a refreshing and nuanced iced coffee experience.

2) Is slowly dripped coffee stronger?

Slowly dripped coffee is comparatively stronger due to its longer extraction time, resulting in a concentrated brew that can be customized by adjusting the drip rate.

3) Difference between Spanish and Kyoto coffee?

Both are cold brews, but Kyoto uses slow, single-drop drippers while Spanish employs a rapid "cascade" method, resulting in distinct flavor profiles.


Henry Muller

Team TAB
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I am a barista by profession hailing from NC. My journey began in my late teens when I started working as a barista in a local coffee shop. My passion for coffee quickly became evident as I immersed myself in the art of espresso extraction, latte art ...