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 is the magical drink also known as Kyoto-style slow drip coffee.

It has come from the old streets of Kyoto, Japan.

In this article, I will tell you how to make slow drip coffee using Kyoto-style method.

So let's move ahead.

What is Kyoto-style Slow Drip Coffee?

It is not just a brew but it is an 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?

Yes, you can.

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 slow drip coffee makers

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 slow-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.

Taste profile of slowly brewed drip coffee

This coffee has a smooth and silky texture, yielding coffee with nuanced acidity without overwhelming the flavors.

You can expect it to have a well-balanced sweetness that complements the coffee's overall profile.

Difference between slow-drip coffee and cold brew

1) Brewing Method

Slow-drip method involves a precise setup where cold water drips slowly over coffee grounds, using gravity for extraction and collecting the brewed coffee in a chamber below.

On the other hand, cold brew is created by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period which allows time to do the work of extraction before the coffee is filtered from the grounds.

2) Flavor Profile

Slow-drip coffee is characterized by its nuanced, delicate flavors, with a noticeable acidity that can highlight floral or fruity notes. This method is praised for its ability to extract a wide range of flavors, offering a complex cup.

Cold brew, in contrast, delivers a smooth, rich taste with minimal acidity. Its brewing process results in a sweet, mellow flavor that's less bitter, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a smoother coffee experience.

3) Texture and Body

The texture of slowly dripped coffee tends to be lighter and cleaner, which can be particularly refreshing, especially when served cold.

Cold brew coffee is known for its full body and silky texture, due to its concentrated nature. This makes it versatile for dilution with water, and milk, or use in various coffee-based drinks.

4) Brewing Time

Slow-drip coffee requires several hours to brew, ranging from 3 to 12 hours, depending on the setup and desired concentration. Whereas cold brew demands a longer steeping time, usually between 12 to 24 hours, to achieve its characteristic smoothness and depth of flavor.

The Final Words

Here, I have got you covered with the step-by-step process of how to make slow-drip coffee in Japanese style.

If you find this coffee to be interesting, go and grab your tools, pick your beans, and get ready to brew something new.


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) What is the 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.

4) What are the advantages of the slow-drip brewing process?

The slow-drip brewing process extracts a wide range of flavors, including delicate notes often missed in faster methods. It also reduces acidity and bitterness, resulting in a smoother taste. This method offers control over drip rate, grind size, and water temperature, allowing for a personalized coffee experience.


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 ...