If you’ve been looking for a cheap way to make great tasting cold brew coffee at home the Iwaki cold water drip coffee maker might just be what you’re looking for. I first mentioned this coffee maker in my article about cold drip coffee makers, but I thought the Iwaki deserved a full review all of its own.
Let’s be honest, most of you reading this aren’t ready to dig deep in your pocket and part with $200+ on one of those more expensive cold drip coffee makers like the Hario or the Yama cold drip towers, right? You need to be a real coffee geek to part with that much money for a simple cold drip brewer and let’s not forget just how much space it’s going to take up in your kitchen.
Plus, you don’t want your neighbors thinking you’re running the local meth lab with all of those test tubes and pyrex beakers stacked up on your kitchen countertop! Joking aside, this is where the Iwaki coffee dripper shines; it’s the perfect entry-level cold drip brewer, that’s compact and creates a great tasting brew… and did I say it was cheap? Let’s take a closer look.
Iwaki Water Drip Coffee Maker Standout Features
One of the advantages of the Iwaki is it takes the guessing out of cold drip, so if you’re new to the whole drip coffee scene, it doesn’t get much easier than this. When you open the box, you’ll find only a handful of parts, the glass collection flask, the section for your ground coffee with a built-in filter, the top plastic water reservoir, and finally the two piece lid.
Unlike other (more expensive) cold drip coffee makers the Iwaki has no valve to control the drip rate. Now, this makes it super easy for the novice because things can get messy when the drip rate is not set correctly. The Iwaki is already pre-set to drip roughly every 2 seconds which is perfect.
The only way you can control the drip rate is by playing around with your coffee grind. A coarser grind will allow the water to seep through more quickly than a finer grind. Obviously, when the water passes through too quickly, the end brew is going to be less strong because the water hasn’t had enough time to collect all of the lovely oils and flavors from the coffee as it passes through.
Now I have had a good play around with my Iwaki, and I’ve found that a fine grind works the best, somewhere between an espresso and a Turkish grind. It’s trial and error because the instructions that do come with the Iwaki cold drip are not in English.
Thankfully there are some markings on both the water reservoir and the section where you place your ground coffee, so that takes a bit of the guess work out. I have measured both, and the water reservoir holds about 495g of water and the coffee section will hold up to 50g of ground coffee.
Operating the Iwaki is super easy (see my full instructions below) basically just place ground coffee and cold water in each of the sections to the markings, and that’s it.
Compared to other cold brew coffee methods such as the full immersion cold brew French Press, the Iwaki brewing process should have less caffeine. Plus, with it being so small the Iwaki can easily fit inside of the refrigerator while it is dripping away overnight.
Iwaki Cold Brew Instructions
As I mentioned above, setting up and using the Iwaki water drip coffee maker is pretty easy and straightforward, or as I like to say “no rocket science needed” with this brewer! For those of you struggling and want a better idea of how this cold drip brewer works keep on reading or watch my video where I show the brewing process from start to finish.
Rinse and place the glass pyrex beaker onto a flat surface.
Grind you favorite coffee beans, the Iwaki hold roughly 50g of ground coffee and then pour into the plastic center section with the built-in filter. Use an espresso tamp to compact the coffee gently, not too much because you don’t want to risk breaking the delicate built-in screen but just enough to slightly compress the coffee. Optional, place a paper AeroPress filter onto of the ground coffee to help with a better saturation of the grounds.
Place the section with the coffee in onto the glass, pyrex beaker.
Now place the top water reservoir onto the middle section with the coffee in.
Fill the water reservoir with cold water, up to the fill line (roughly 495g of water) and add ice if desired.
Give yourself a tap on the back, sit back and admire your handy work, that’s it! I told you it was easy. The whole drip brewing process should take no more than 8 hours. I like to place mine in the fridge overnight.
Final Thoughts on The Iwaki
The Iwaki is a low-risk purchase, an excellent introduction to cold drip at home and perfect for those of you that don’t want to fork out a small fortune to try this type of coffee brewing. The Iwaki water drip coffee maker is a great buy (at around $25 at the time of writing), and its low price point mitigates the lack of drip rate settings.
However, for the coffee geeks amongst us, there might not be enough settings to tinker with and adjust to get your final brew just the way you like it! So you might find the Hario or the Yama drip tower more to your liking.
Finding the Iwaki in a brick and mortar high street store is probably going to be difficult (I’ve never seen one). The best place to pick one up would be online at Amazon or other online retailers that sell coffee gear.
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