Kyoto coffee

Kyoto Coffee Style (Explained)

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If you’re a fan of cold brew coffee, then you’re going to love Kyoto coffee. With its origins firmly rooted in Japan, this cold brew promises to change the way you regard coffee made with cold water.

The question, “What is Kyoto style coffee?” can be answered with just four words—Kyoto Coffee is the Japanese cold brew coffee.

Made using the slow drip method, this type of coffee is gaining a huge amount of popularity outside of Japan. In this article, we’ll be looking at exactly what Kyoto coffee is, what are the best beans to use, how it tastes, and how strong it should be. We’ll also look at some tips for brewing this cold drip coffee at home.

What is Kyoto Style Coffee?

Kyoto style coffee, or Kyoto cold brew as it’s often called, is a slow-drip coffee made famous in Kyoto, Japan. Most cold brew coffee is made by steeping in a big vat of cold water for a period of 24 hours. Kyoto style cold brew is made by dripping water slowly, for roughly eight hours, through coffee grounds and then chilling it for 24 hours. This results in a clean and clear flavor.

Kyoto style coffee can be served in any way you can possibly imagine. Hot, cold, with or without milk or even over ice. The concentrate can also be used as a base for other coffees or lattes.

The History of Kyoto Coffee

Its roots date back to the early 1600s when Dutch traders used cold-brew concentrate to take with them on long voyages so they could always have coffee aboard their ships. It was sometimes referred to as Dutch coffee. When Dutch traders visited Far East, a new method of producing cold coffee was introduced.

With its high concentration levels, cold-brew coffee became a resourceful way of producing hot coffee across the world. The cold-brew concentrate allowed households to stock up on this brew and then add hot water at any time they needed a cup of coffee.

Many years later, cold coffee has become a drink on its own. Many coffee drinkers prefer cold brew, and its popularity equals that of a steaming hot cup of specialty coffee.

How Does Kyoto Coffee Taste?

Because it’s made with cold water, the barely has time to oxidize. This makes it exceptionally simple to taste the subtlest hint of fruity flavors in the cold black coffee. With the absence of oxidation, the Kyoto coffee offers a much lower acidity level and is, therefore, less bitter than a hot coffee brewed with the very same beans.

Kyoto cold brew caffeine is estimated to be three times stronger than ordinary coffee, making it a very strong brew. With its thick rich flavor, Kyoto coffee is a definite head-turner.

How Does it Taste Compared to French Press, Espresso, and Drip Coffee?

When it comes to comparing the taste to espresso or a French press, there is a definite difference. Espressos are generally more bitter and heavy-bodied. The French press is more known for its light body offering a mixture of flavors you won’t find in an espresso or a dripped coffee.

Most coffees lack the sharp flavor you get from a strong pour-over coffee, but the Kyoto cold brew still has a strong, bold flavor making it a step above the usual dripped coffee.

What Equipment is Used to Make Kyoto Coffee?

When it comes to the equipment needed to make a great cup of Kyoto style coffee, the process is not as complex as you might think.

The items needed for Kyoto coffee brewing are listed as the following:

–      Kyoto-style dripper: Also known as a Kyoto coffee maker. The most popular brand for this is the Yama version which resembles a tall, gilded hourglass, that you can check out on Amazon clicking this link.A Kyoto coffee tower actually looks like a miniature chemistry set. The upper chamber gets filled with ice. The ice then melts and drips into the coffee grounds which are in the middle container. The water and coffee mixture then filters down to the bottom container.

–      A bag of whole bean coffee: Coffee experts suggest using a brand and roast you’re already familiar with. If you don’t have a favorite brand, the brand of choice for Kyoto coffee is Arabica medium roast.

–      Conical burr grinder: Using a burr grinder to grind the coffee beans will ensure your brew stays fresh. Avoid blade grinders as they will give your Kyoto coffee brew a burnt taste. Metal blades will also crush your beans and that will spoil the taste of your Kyoto coffee. We suggest this manual grinder by Kopipresso that you can buy here.

–      Measuring glass: Because this is a slow process, you’re obviously not going to brew one cup. Bear in mind that if you’re going to make 500ml of coffee, you’ll need 50g of coffee grounds.

–      Kitchen scale: Use your kitchen scale to get exact measurements to ensure the correct Kyoto coffee ratio. 

–      Filters: With drip coffee, you’ll definitely need a filter.

What Bean is Used to Make Kyoto Coffee?

The coffee beans used for Cold Brew will mostly work well. There are two primary species of coffee beans known as Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica is a much higher quality bean and is commonly used in the Kyoto cold brew.

Arabica contains about 60% more lipids than the average coffee bean. The lipid and sugar content plays a crucial role in the final body and aroma of the final coffee product. Arabica coffee beans are also not as bitter as Robusta and provide a clearer taste.

Most cold brews are made using a medium to dark roast to produce the best Kyoto cold brew coffee. Using an Arabica light roast for a Kyoto coffee brew could mute the taste. Cold brewing methods bring out the richer, and sharper chocolate notes typical of medium to dark roasts.

How do You Brew Kyoto Coffee at Home?

If you’re in the mood for a cup or two of Kyoto coffee, the good news is you can make it in the comfort of your own home! With a simple Kyoto coffee recipe and a Kyoto coffee maker, you’ll be brewing up a few cups of slow drip-style cold coffee in no time.

Here’s a simple brewing method that’s worth a try

–      Step 1: Grind the coffee beans. If you want your recipe to follow the traditional way of doing things, you’ll want coarsely ground beans. Use your kitchen scale to ensure measurements are correct.

–      Step 2: You can either put your filter at the bottom of the grind container or on top of the ground coffee beans. This is actually a personal preference.

–      Step 3: If you’re sticking to the 500ml water to 50g coffee ratio, you’ll now add the 50g of coffee grounds. To start the process, add a few drops of water and stir with a chopstick to mix it all up. The water should just dampen the Arabica coffee grounds.

–      Step 4: Fill your water reservoir with ice cubes and water. This will get the drip process started.

–      Step 5: The key to success here is to get the right drip-rate. Open the nozzle on your Kyoto coffee maker so the drip process can begin.

–      Step 6: Depending on the size of your water reservoir, the drip process could take anything between 5 to 12 hours. When the ice has melted, your Kyoto style coffee should be ready to taste. You can either serve a Kyoto-style coffee or dilute with hot water to make a warm drink.

With the right equipment, some good quality Arabica coffee beans, and a bit of time and patience, you will master the art of Kyoto brewing in a very short time! 

Here’s a video tutorial to show you how to make Kyoto Coffee with a few simple kitchen items.

 Alternatives to Kyoto Coffee

While Kyoto black coffee is a very popular drink, it may not be for everyone. Or perhaps you enjoy a cold brew, you just don’t have the time or the equipment to brew a Kyoto cold coffee. If it is not for you, you can check out the Japanese Iced Coffee or go for options already brewed and bottled or canned you could give a try.

Some of the equally popular alternatives to your own cold drip coffee include:

–      Bizzy Cold Brew Concentrate: Can be served hot or cold and it’s perfect for a coffee drink on the go. No time to brew? This is the solution. This is the link to buy it on Amazon

–      Wandering Bear Organic Cold Brew: This tasty cold brew offers coffee lovers 150mg of caffeine per cup. Yo can buy at Amazon via this link.

–      Death Wish Cold Brew: If you want the ultimate cold brew, Death Wish Cold Brew with its 300mg caffeine per cup ratio is the option to try. It is comveniently available at to Amazon clicking this link.

–      Best Bargain: This cold brew has some milk and sugar added.


A Final Word on Kyoto Coffee

Whether you usually prefer a hot, fresh cup of coffee or you’ve simply never had a Kyoto iced coffee, it’s time to give this interesting brew a taste. With our simple guidelines, you’ll be brewing your own Kyoto style coffee in no time!