Types Of Japanese Coffee Maker - A Coffee Lovers Guide!

Types Of Japanese Coffee Maker – A Coffee Lovers Guide!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 14:18

This article is all about the various Types of Japanese Coffee Maker that you will come across. If you have ever been to the land of the rising sun or know a bit about Japanese culture, you will know they have a great attention to detail, from the Ginza style cocktails that take half an hour and more to make to the patiently crafted bonsai trees and the art of Kintsugi, painstakingly putting together a purposely broken plate with gold and gold lacquer.

This patience, attention to detail and thoughtfulness is evident in the different types of Japanese coffee makers that you will come across. The preparation of coffee is front and center in Japan, as it should be.

After all, coffee is art! And there is nothing better than a well-crafted cup of coffee.

Grab a chair and keep reading as we dive into the subject of Japanese coffee brewing equipment.

The History Of Japanese Coffee Brewing Equipment

The Japanese have always had great elaborate rituals and ceremonies associated with tea drinking. A large degree of that grace and elegance crossed over to coffee brewing by our Japanese coffee loving brothers and sisters.

Japanese coffee makers can look incredibly elegant with fine wooden design and require patience, such as the Kyoto Flash cold-brewing coffee brewer.

And then there is the Siphon coffee maker, which looks like it was taken straight out of a science lab!

Types Of Japanese Coffee Maker - A Coffee Lovers Guide
Beautiful Japanese Coffee Makers

Read: Percolator vs Drip

Types Of Japanese Coffee Makers – How Japanese Coffee Is Made

Japan has no set tradition related to drinking coffee, which makes it very different from their very played out tea drinking ceremonies.

In Japanese coffee culture, coffee is generally seen as a “grab and go” drink. There are three principal types of Japanese coffee makers that you will see in homes across the island nation.

  • 1. The Kyoto Cold Coffee Drip Machine
  • 2. The Siphon Coffee Maker. 
  • 3. The Drip Filter Cone. 

There are a few established manufacturers of Japanese coffee equipment, which are Zojirushi, Hario and Kalita to name only a few!

How Japanese Coffee Is Made
A Kyoto Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Read: Which coffee maker makes the hottest coffee?

Japanese Coffee Maker Zojirushi

Zojirushi is not particularly a Japanese coffee maker as it is a brand, a company with 100+ years of history of making quality coffee equipment. The Zojirushi coffee maker is a traditional drip coffee maker that is well-designed, beautiful and makes great drip coffee.

It is not particularly a Japanese design or style as it is every bit the same as any other similar product on the market, only this is a Japanese brand.

Japanese Siphon Coffee MakerCoffee Meets Science!

Nothing says Japanese elegance and modern coffee magic more than a glass siphon coffee brewer from Japan. The siphon coffee maker, also known as a vacuum coffee maker, gives coffee lovers absolute control over the whole coffee brewing process.

It is a very scientific and eye-catching method and approach to coffee brewing where the pressure is regulated by means of scientific principles. If you are a coffee shop owner or the owner of a fancy restaurant, making coffee at the table with a Japanese siphon coffee brewer is certainly memorable and eye catching.

The best part of this piece of equipment is that it brews great coffee as the brewing process maintains the two chambers closed and helps to retain the subtle flavors of the freshly ground coffee beans.

This is definitely a brewing technique where you will want to use your best coffee beans. The best Japanese brands are hario, and Yama for both quality and their look. Both produce Siphon brewers that will look great on your kitchen countertop, and probably get a lot of questions asking what it is for.

Expect a great, well-brewed cup of coffee that is crisp and clean tasting. Experiment by replacing the cotton cloth filter with a metal one for a slightly fuller taste.

Japanese Siphon Coffee Maker
Japanese Siphon Coffee Maker

Japanese Cold Brew Coffee Maker

In the hot summer climate of Japan, few coffee drinks are as cool and refreshing as a cold brew. Japanese cold brew is slightly…okay very different.

The slow drip method of slowly dripping iced water over coffee results in a flavorful coffee that is bold, fruity and less acidic with far less, literally removing the bitter aftertaste and stale tones.

It is very smooth tasting and is an ideal choice and a very good alternative way of making cold brew.

You end up with a cold brew coffee that is very different from the regular full immersion of coffee grounds steeped in cold water overnight.

I absolutely suggest that you try a Japanese slow drip coffee at home or in a local specialty coffee shop. This particular technique of cold brewing has a few different names, including Kyoto cold brew, Japanese flash cold brew, cold brew tower, or just Japanese cold brew.

Regardless of the name it goes by, it is a well-respected and established technique that is known for bringing out the complex, the sweetest flavors and retaining the character of the beans.

The equipment used, similar to the siphon coffee maker, also looks like it would not be out of place in a science lab.

Japanese Cold Brew Coffee Maker
A beautiful Japanese Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Nispira Japanese Iced Coffee Cold Brew Dripper

The Nispira and Yama drip cold brew coffee makers are very similar in many ways. With a few key differences, the Nispira has a stainless steel stand and not as many straight lines as the Yama, making it a very beautiful addition to your kitchen.

The Nispira is loved by coffee enthusiasts due to the brewing sizes and for those that love making large batches of cold brew thanks to its ability to make up to 8 cups and has a very classy vintage look thanks to the wooden structure and steel frame.

The drip frequency allows you to adjust and control the strength of your brew and the time it takes to make a cup of coffee (usually 4 hours).

The Osaka Glass Cold Brew Coffee Maker

This cold brew coffee maker is very easy to use when you want to make a Japanese cold brew. The Osaka glass cold brew maker makes what is a messy process of straining your grounds from the brew after brewing overnight much easier.

This is the benefit of the very technique that is the genius of the Japanese. You get your cold brew in a clean mess-free way. This particular brewer comes with an airtight lid which makes the carafe work as an ideal storage unit also.

The carafe is resistant to odors and keeps your brew fresh for about 7 days as long as you store it well.

The coffee maker is ideal for residential use, and it has a very attractive, easy-pour design to prevent spillages. The carafe is made with borosilicate glass which is resistant to heat; thus, there is protection from thermal shock damage. The borosilicate glass also prevents absorption of any scent, residue, and chemicals, resulting in clear, fresh-tasting, and delicious coffee.

The Osaka Glass Cold Brew coffee maker is versatile, so you can easily brew hot or cold coffee or tea, as long as you allow either to steep well.

The filter is designed to let in the natural flavors and essential oils during extraction while retaining the coffee grounds for a smooth cup of coffee with no bitterness or acidity. If you are looking for a quality Japanese cold brewer, this is a suitable choice that allows you to make your coffee like a pro, and the result is a delicious, concentrated, and perfect drink.

The Osaka Glass Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The Osaka Glass Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Yama Glass Cold Brew Maker

The Yama glass cold brew coffee maker can brew up to 8 cups of coffee and allows for a faster extraction than the other two, which is ideal if you are busy and don’t want to wait around for making a cold brew – which can take hours.

It is made with high-quality borosilicate glass with a fully adjustable brewing portion which you can adjust depending on how much coffee you are brewing.

The special construction aids in perfect extraction of your coffee at very cold temperatures as the ice drips away.

The handmade wooden design is classy, elegant and has a certain old-fashioned classic look and feel to it, very chic.

Japanese Pour Over Coffee Maker

Japanese pour over coffee makers don’t stand out in the way their siphon or cold brew coffee makers do. Nothing like a science lab experiment or anything at all that stands out as being uniquely Japanese or even a new brewing technique.

A Japanese pour over coffee maker can only be identified as such due to the manufacturer being from Japan.

Pour over coffee is easily one of the better coffee brewing experiences and to get it right and do it properly you need some specialist equipment and a lot of patience.

It becomes a slow, meditative practice. Perhaps this is where an element of Japanese culture comes into it.

The use of a gooseneck kettle is essential to get the slow, controlled flow of water and to pour in a slow, smooth circular fashion. Stopping, starting, keeping that smooth flow and ensuring the grounds are not flooded is very meditative in its practice.

Don’t just pour your hot water over the coffee ground; do it patiently and be in the moment. Concentrate on the flow of water, and you will get a deeper flavor from your coffee beans.

Hario V60 is made from a Japanese style of ceramics known as Arita Yaki and is handmade and handcrafted and has a 400-year history. It is capable of just a 1 -2 cup brewing capacity.

You will need to purchase the glass coffee server and the filters.

The Kalita wave is another dripper that you can consider. It is a premier high quality pour over coffee.

Hario Japanese Coffee Maker

Probably the most famous and best known Hario Japanese coffee brewer is the Hario Sommlier Siphon coffee maker. It is made with heat-resistant high quality borosilicate glass and has a brew capacity of 600ml, or 20 ounces for my American readers.

The design resembles a wine decanter and certainly looks the part and is designed with coffee enthusiasts in mind, with a gas burner and stainless steel filter.

The Hario Sommelier produces a great tasting, bright and crisp cup of coffee and is popular in coffee houses all over Japan. You’ll recognize it instantly due to the hybrid coffee siphon and wine decanter hybrid look.

I particularly like this for the metal filter which brews better coffee due to not removing any of the coffee oils. The design is very well-thought-out and made, so the sediment is left behind and doesn’t get into your cup of coffee.

If this brewer catches your attention, I suggest that you get the optional butane burner for better control of the heat.

Hario Sommlier Siphon coffee maker.
The Hario Sommlier Siphon Coffee Maker

Hario Woodneck Drip Pot

Unquestionably, Hario make top quality coffee makers and their Japanese drip pot, made with acacia wood, is outstanding.

Many coffee lovers consider the Hario Woodneck drip pot as their top choice due to it looking incredibly beautiful and elegant and being a great choice for slow, smooth extraction of coffee with an aromatic scent that is impeccable and great flavor to boot.

The filter is ideal for pour-over brewing and permits the coffee oils to be released into your cup of coffee, a cup of coffee that is very smooth tasting yet pulls out a very rich flavor.

You will definitely love this drip coffee maker, one that will step up your coffee game, and give you a coffee full of the healthy nutrients that are in the world’s most popular drink. It comes with a reusable cotton filter and heat-resistant glass carafe.

Hario V60 Ceramic Drip Coffee Maker

The famous Hario V60 is a Japanese coffee maker is cone-shaped, available in a number of different colors and has a large capacity and spiral ribbed walls, designed to keep your coffee grounds away from the wall, the result of which is a very rounded and even coffee flavor.

The glass coffee server is sold separately. Take your time with this dripped, and you will get a deeper flavor and avoid coarse coffee as this grinding size is too coarse for drip coffee. You will end up with a coffee that has a great taste.

Hario V60 Ceramic Drip Coffee Maker
A Hario V60 Ceramic Drip Coffee Maker

Japanese Coffee Maker With Grinder

The Zojirush EC-CB40-TD is an all-in-one drip coffee maker with a built-in blade grinder. The grinder style is blade grinder which is inconsistent in terms of grind size and regularity, uniform conformity of grind size.

This is not the fault of the manufacturer or the actual grinder it’s self. It is due to the fact that blade grinders themselves give an inconsistent size due to the way they function.

As much as it is convenient to have an all-in-one unit with a built-in coffee grinder, and you will be able to get fresher cups of coffee when you grind your own beans immediately before you brew your coffee.

Your money is better spent on getting a special grinder which you can then use with any other coffee machine.

Even if it had a built-in ceramic burr coffee grinder instead of the built-in blade coffee grinder, I still would not recommend any coffee maker with built-in grinders.

It is the policy of Latte Love Brew to help you make the best decision and make the freshest possible cup of coffee at the maximum of convenience. You will find that built in grinders are more difficult to clean and keep clean than stand-alone grinders.

Pro Tip: Only use the exact amount of grounds that you are going to use and grind them immediately before you brew your cup of coffee. Keep the storage area empty, clean and brush it out after every use to prevent old coffee grounds and coffee oils from spoiling your perfect cup of coffee.

Notably, a ceramic conical burr grinder will get you the consistent coffee grounds that you are seeking and heat resistance. Being conical, they are easier to clean and wipe down after use. They are also safer due to being non-blade.

The downside of this machine is the instructions are in Japanese only.

Japanese Style Espresso

Espresso shots are not at all that popular in Japan, sure they drink them, and they are used as the base for many milk based drinks such as a latte, cortados, affogatos, flat whites, moccas and so on.

The Japanese are, as you can imagine, are big on the whole latte art thing and make some awesome elaborate and very original designs.

What Is The No 1 Coffee In A Can In Japan?

The top-selling coffee in a can in Japan based on sales volume is Suntory boss coffee. The company started in 1992 and grew to become Japan’s top-selling canned coffee.

Do Japanese Add Milk To Coffee?

Milk in coffee varies from person to person in Asian nations, Japan is no different. The reason being is Asians and Japanese are lactose intolerant. When milk is added it is often UHT or condensed milk, it is rare that fresh milk is used.

Japanese do add milk to coffee but not as commonly as Europeans or Americans do.

What Coffee Is Popular In Japan?

The most popular coffee in Japan is dark roasted coffee. This is one thing that stood out, they love a good strong French and Italian roasts.

Frequently Asked Questions About Japanese Coffee Maker

What Is A Japanese Latte?

A Japanese latte is, more specifically, a milk tea drink. To be more exact, a green tea which has its origins in Kyoto and very much resembles a Chai Latte.

In terms of coffee, don’t expect anything different from what a normal latte is and expect excellent latte art.

How Is Japanese Coffee Different?

Japanese coffee differs from other coffees as it is usually stronger, darker and made with cream rather than with milk. Black coffee is rare in Japan.

What Is Japanese Style Iced Coffee?

Japanese Iced coffee is brewed while it is hot. The coffee is then dripped over ice, which instantly cools it down. Often, it is served with ice to help keep your iced coffee cold.

Note that this differs from a Japanese cold brew, which is brewed with ice-cold water which drips over coffee grounds, starting its “life” as cold coffee and not hot.

What Is Camo-Latte?

A Japanese camo latte is a Japanese green tea latte with an espresso shot. It is made with a vibrant grassy matcha using hojcha tea which is charcoal roasted and brewed with an espresso base with the tea brewed in milk and poured onto the espresso shot.

What Is Tokyo Style Coffee?

A Tokyo style coffee is a coffee with Japanese black syrup added. You will see it labelled as Tokyo style on the drinks list. It works very well with milk based drinks, especially a cappuccino and a latte. It has a very powerful explosion of sweetness.


Frappé-Ing It All Up – Types Of Japanese Coffee Maker

There are a wide range of different types of Japanese coffee maker that you can try out and get brewing your coffee in very eye-catching Japanese style with what are coffee brewers that really would not look out of place in a science lab.

….and it is not for show either! The siphon and Japanese cold brew really make outstanding coffee. Try it!

Join our cool coffee experience and tell us about your experience with different types of Japanese coffee makers. Do you own one? Have you brewed amazing coffee with one?

Your thoughts and input is appreciated. Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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