How to make Cold Brew Coffee with the Iwaki Dripper

This is a post about how I make my cold brew coffee using the Iwaki Dripper. When summer comes around, iced coffee becomes the buzz word here in Japan. Chain restaurants like McDonalds and Starbucks will be selling it like crazy, and the local roaster cafes will be selling like crazy. Basically, Japanese people love iced coffee.

There’re many ways to make iced coffee and today I’ll be showing you the cold brew method which doesn’t require hot water.

The Iwaki dripper is divided into three parts. The server or where the coffee collects. The middle part where the coffee grinds are placed into. The top where the water goes into.

The water falls, drop by drop, into the middle chamber containing the coffee grounds. As the water goes down the chamber, it extracts the coffee-goodness and then passes through a fine mesh and finally drops down to the server. Sounds pretty simple right? It’s easier done than said…… and no, I’m not even joking.

Alright, let’s go through the steps. The recipe I use gives you about two glasses of cold brew coffee.

  1. Grind 40 grams of coffee (preferably a blend that’s made for a cold brew; otherwise stick to what you like) at about the coarseness of what I’d do for a pour over. Between a french press and an espresso may be a good bet.
  2. Put the grinds into the middle chamber. I then add a little water and allow all the grinds to get soaked. I use a bar spoon to make sure almost all the grinds get wet. Just be careful not to push too hard too deep or you’ll break the fine mesh.
  3. Flatten out the top using the back of the spoon and make it nice and even.
  4. Use a pair of scissors and cut a circle out of your coffee filter. If you don’t mind spending extra money, you can even buy filter papers for cold brew or use ones that go with the aero press. The paper allows the water to distribute evenly through the grinds.
  5. Place the water chamber on top. Pour 300 grams of cold water, and then a 100 grams of ice. I measure 100 grams of ice and 300 grams of water on a scale before pouring it all in. Using a scale and measuring grams is best since volume doesn’t interfere with the measurements.
  6. Once you confirm the water dripping into the coffee chamber, sit back and relax. It’ll take four to five hours for the brew to be done. The time does vary depending on the grind size.
  7. Once the brew is done, you can drink it straight away, or you can cover the server with a plastic foil and then keep it overnight which can be drunk the next day. Don’t try to keep it for more than a night or it may taste a little off.

One unique thing about this method of making iced coffee is that you don’t extract the flavors that would otherwise be extracted from hot water. So for lighter roasts, the acidity and fruitiness you would expect would be kept to a minimum, and some people say that you get to taste something different. As if the cold water extracts something else from the coffee.

This method is really handy if you’re always on the go and need a quick cold coffee brew. Give it a try and I think you’ll really love it!!