Guide to Japanese-style Coffee Makers

There are so many coffee makers out there. So, if you’re like us, and you want to stay informed of all the latest coffee paraphernalia, it might seem like a tall order. After all, it seems like near-on each week there’s a shiny, new, and seriously cool piece of kit on offer.

This is especially true for those of us who consider ourselves to be ‘very serious’ and ‘grown-up’ about our coffee drinking habits! Needless to say, you’ll want a machine that does justice to those delicious beans and looks the business on your kitchen worktop. 

Luckily for you, here in this guide, we’re going to look at three different Japanese-style coffee makers, and let you decide which of these best suit your coffee-making needs. 

Pour Over Drip Coffee Makers 

So what’s a pour over?

Pour overs are becoming pretty popular…and not just because of their stylish aesthetic.

Imagine the slow, almost mindful experience of pouring your coffee this way. It’s less hassled, less rushed, and just smooth. Want to impress someone? Create a steaming cup of Joe with one of these! It really is as easy as it looks to get started, although will take time to perfect.

Simply put your coffee in the funnel, pour hot water over the coffee grounds through a filter and wait. 

Just remember to go slow.

Using a pour over dripper is an easy way of controlling how you make your coffee, how much you make (think zero waste!), and what temperature you make it at- what’s not to love about that?!

You also control the flow of water. Not only that, but the entire process ensures that best possible circulation and expansion of the coffee beans, which gives them a better, fuller, and deeper flavor. 

Like the idea? Then let’s go:

Hario v60

Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, Size 02, White
  • Durable, ceramic body retains heat to help ensure a constant temperature throughout the brewing cycle.
  • Cone shape helps to better accentuate coffees with floral or fruit flavor notes.
  • Spiral ribs allows for maximum coffee expansion.
  • Large single hole can change coffee taste according to the speed of water flow.
  • Designed and manufactured in Japan

This cute looking cone-shaped Japanese ceramic coffee dripper comes in a variety of colors. You can choose from: white, grey, pink and red- so there’s a good chance one of these will match your kitchen decor.  

Weighing 14.4oz, it comes in at a cheap enough price, but you have to buy the glass coffee server and filters separately. Alternatively, just buy the paper filters and let it drip straight into your cup- the choice is yours. 

The coffee dripper itself fits over mugs measuring up to four inches wide. It also has spiral ribbed walls, which are designed to allow the air to flow between them, which keeps the grounds away from the wall and creates a more rounded and balanced flavor.

You can also buy a plastic, metal or glass version of the dripper too. All three of these are durable and retain heat. So, you can be sure the temperature remains constant as you’re brewing.

Prima Coffee has a version with olive wood.

All that aside, it’s a rather beautiful cone shape which actually serves to accentuate the flavor of your coffee further!

Also, because there’s only a paper filter involved, cleaning is super simple! It’s dishwasher safe (thank goodness!), so just take the filter out and let your dishwasher do the rest.   

You should note: as with any pour over dripper, the speed at which you brew your coffee, alters the taste. So, the slower you go, the deeper the flavor. It’s worth being patient. Have a try at just pouring a little water at first and once the grains have settled, wait maybe 30 seconds, before pouring any more. Trust us; it’ll be worth the wait. So, you’re looking at three to four minutes per brew. Also, really make sure your water is hot, hot, hot. 

If you’re unsure how best to use the Hario, there are tons of videos online that’ll show you how. It’s also important to try and use the right coffee grounds. So, the coarser your coffee, the thinner and weaker the taste. You don’t need espresso-fine coffee, just something a little more delicate than the courser stuff.

Users report it makes a great tasting brew. Those who are less keen say they’re not a fan of the fact the dripper only has one hole for the water to pass through. However, this may be because they’re pouring the water too fast- so be sure to take these complaints with a pinch of salt! 

If you’re hoping to make a brew for your friends too, this could take quite a bit of time. You’re looking at one to two cups per gal. You could go for buying three or four of these coffee makers, but we think this would make a slow and steady performance into something rather stressful!

However, if quantity is important to you, it’s worth noting this model comes in 3 sizes, 01, 02 and 03. The 01 give you one to two cups, while the 02 provides a more generous one to four, and the 03 can make as many as six cups. Again, it really does depend on your own cup sizes. Either way, it’s great to have a choice.

Read our in-depth look at the Hario v60.

Kalita Wave Dripper

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Kalita Wave 185 Drippers
  • The Wave Series from Kalita is the premier coffee dripper available on the market
  • The flat-bottom coffee bed geometry, patented "Wave" filter, and three-hole design work together to provide an even extraction that makes brewing a perfect cup accessible and easy
  • Available in three styles: stainless steel, glass, and ceramic
  • Filters not included

The Wave series from Kalita is a premier coffee dripper. 

It’s a one or two cup filter and comes in ceramic, stainless steel or glass. Many users love the metal option because this material tends to last longer, it’s less likely to break, and it’s way harder to damage. 

Instead of just one hole, it has three, meaning that when the water goes through the coffee grounds, the extraction is more intense, which gives you a deeper flavor of brew. 

The deliciousness of your cup of Java is further aided by Wave’s design, which again, stops the grounds from sticking to the sides of the coffee maker as you slowly pour in your water. 

Manufacturers recommend using between 26-45g of coffee, and that’ll get you between 16 and 26 ounces of beautifully brewed coffee. 

Reviewers say it’s the easiest coffee-making method they’ve used and the end-product is consistently good. So, even if you’ve overslept, or have a crazy deadline looming, and you can’t afford to hang around, you’ll still get an excellent caffeine hit. But, despite this, most users still recommend just wetting the coffee first, letting it settle and pouring your water bit by bit. 

One of the major downsides to this product is that according to some users, the screws holding the handle onto the filter start to rust over time. 

Osaka Drip Carafe

Osaka Pour Over Coffee Maker with Reusable Stainless Steel Drip Filter, 37 oz (7-Cup) Glass Carafe and Lid 'Senso-JI', Brown
  • ☕ new unique filter design - the double filter is laser-cut with an additional mesh inside. Unlike paper filters which are a waste of money and rob you of coffee's natural essential oils, this will provide a clear rich tasting balanced Coffee. The curved flow channels will help you get optimal extraction.
  • ☕ borosilicate glass carafe - the carafe is made from borosilicate glass, which is resistant to thermal shock, it also does not absorb any odors, chemicals or residue. Giving you a fresh tasting Coffee every time.
  • ☕ glass lid - the lid completely closes up the mouth of the carafe and helps keep the heat in. Made from the same borosilicate glass it will prevent accidental spills.
  • ☕ colorful heat-resistant collar - the collar lets you hold the carafe and pour even while your Coffee is still piping hot.
  • ☕ quality guaranteed - create a delicious Coffee like a Pro, with our detailed Instructions and tips. For any defects in the materials or craftsmanship of any Osaka product, please contact our customer service team and we will be glad to assist you.

This lovely curvy carafe design looks pretty, stylish and unique, a bit like an hourglass in fact! It holds one liter of coffee (that’s up to seven cups to you and me!), comes with a paper-saving steel drip filter, and even has a lid. 

Not using a paper filter isn’t just kinder to the environment and your wallet, but a steel filter ensures none of the essential oils in your coffee are absorbed into the paper. So, you get every drop of deliciousness from your beautiful tasting coffee beans. 

Made of something called borosilicate glass, this pour over dripper is heat-resistant and doesn’t absorb any chemicals, odors or residue, meaning that in theory at least, your coffee will always taste fresh with no aftertaste. The glass lid also helps to keep your coffee warm while you go about making your breakfast and limits the chances of any accidental spillages. 

If you’re wondering how you’re going to hold this bad boy, there’s a cute plastic cuff that’s also heat and melt resistant, making it easy to pour your coffee into your favorite mug. The collar comes in a choice of four: colors, brown, green, purple and red. So, you’re bound to find a design that suits your tastes! 

Users love its stylish design as well as the fact you don’t need paper filters. Its aesthetic is certainly unlike any of the others in this review!  

However, there are a few reports of the glass not being entirely shatterproof, so don’t handle it with wet hands! 

Users report this model is dishwasher safe. 

If you’re nervous about using this the first time, it comes with easy to understand instructions on the box (complete with pictures). The advice seems to be that users should purchase medium coarse coffee and to ensure your water’s hot enough. Failure to follow this advice means you probably won’t get the best out of your latest kitchen addition!

Hario Woodneck

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Hario Woodneck Drip Pot, 480ml, Acacia Wood
  • Slow extraction through fine and delicate cotton flannel
  • Original characteristics becomes even more present with unique brewing process
  • Coffee oils are maintained so you get full and rich flavor and complexity
  • 4 Cup Capacity
  • Designed and manufactured in Japan

More expensive than the other two, this glass and olive wood device boasts an exciting and eco-friendly design. The flannel cloth filter comes with an attractive olive wood handle. You’ll get around two to four cups of your favorite brew, depending on your mug size. It also has a traditional look about it, while still managing to be a hip addition to your kitchen. 

We love that you can use the flannel filter multiple times. Again, you’re reducing your carbon footprint by going for a coffee maker that’s paper free. Similar to a metal filter, you’ll still get those magnificent coffee oils, giving you a smoother flavored drink. 

All you have to do is put the coffee grounds into the filter, add your water, slowly (of course), and watch your brew drip into the glass pot underneath. Then when it’s ready, hold the pot by its wooden neck and pour into a mug ready for drinking. 

However, you should be aware; some users report the cloth filter to be hard to take off of the wire holder. It’s also worth investigating how to keep the cloth filter clean to stop it from getting moldy. As it’s evident the quality of your cup depends on how you look after your filters.

Some users report simply soaking their cloth filters in water straight after using it and then keeping it in the fridge, wrapped in a plastic bag, either steeped in cold water or rinsed, usually does the trick. Others wash it with warm water or occasionally pop it in the dishwasher, and all is well. No one reports cleaning the filter to be a tough process.

This model comes in two sizes, either a 240ml or a 480ml. 

Cold Brew Slow Drip Makers

So, what’s a cold brew slow drip maker? 

If you love iced coffee, read on. 

This is a way of brewing coffee by soaking the grounds in cold or room temperature water for anywhere between 12 and 24 hours — however, not all slow drip makers require that length of time! 

Unlike other coffee brewing methods, the grounds never go anywhere near hot water. 

As your coffee grounds are steeped in water for a while, the caffeine content gives you a great hit! Although many iced coffee drinkers dilute their beverage with either milk and/or water. 

Typically, if you fancy an iced coffee, it’s always been that you brew coffee the usual way with hot water, let it cool, and then add ice. 

Not so here. 

The main difference, apart from the soaking method, is that when you make a coffee with hot water, it releases certain oils. If you make coffee cold, this doesn’t happen. It means your coffee doesn’t taste bitter and you get an altogether smoother, if cold, experience. 

Intrigued? Here goes:

Yama Glass

Now, this model looks like you took the chemistry lab equipment home with you. It’s a glass, three-tiered system encased in an attractive wooden structure which holds all three glass containers, one above the other, like a water reservoir. 

You’ll get between six to eight cups out of this funky looking contraption, which is excellent since it retails pretty expensive! Rather than having to steep your coffee for up to 24 hours, the Yama delivers your cup within three to four hours instead. 

It promises an acidic-free, floral, fruity and profoundly flavorsome drink. Not to mention, this slow drip maker’s used by premium coffee shops all over the globe, and it looks so great too- what’s not to love?! 

Its heftier price tag is largely due to the Borosilicate glass is blown by hand. The wooden stand is also handmade and comes in a mid-century design, which gives the Yama an overall quaint and old-fashioned feel to it. 

There’s a permanent inbuilt ceramic filter mechanism too. It’s a substantial piece of kit, weighing just over ten pounds. Many users love it and say it creates the best cold brew they’ve ever had. Some also use it to brew tea.

However, there are some reports of design flaws, namely the water pressure at the top changes as the water drips through, so the drip rate changes. There are also a few complaints about the valve dripping water. 

Yama Glass, YAMCDM8BELLA, 6-8 Cup Bamboo Straight Frame (32oz), Bamboo
  • BETTER TASTE: Ice water reservoir paired with slow drip system delivers 6-8 cups of premium cold brew ensuring you are extracting the full profile from you coffee grounds more effectively than traditional brewing methods
  • FASTER BREW TIME without sacrificing premium results. Our cold brew drip technology delivers the best cold brew in 3-4 hours compared to 16-24 hours with immersion style brewing
  • PREMIUM and INNOVATIVE drip cold brew system ensures the richest, acidic free, full-bodied cold brew preferred by most over immersion style brewers
  • GO-TO BREWING METHOD FOR CAFES around the world delivering in the highest quality cold brew that your customers, friends and family will love
  • PREMIUM hand crafted, hand blown Borosilicate Glass which is non-porous and does not absorb odors or chemicals ensuring each brew is as fresh and pure as intended. BAMBOO TOWER is made from 100% real bamboo with a beautiful mid-century style perfect for any home, cafe or business

Nispira Cold Brew Dripper

Similar in design to the Yama, except with fewer straight lines and the wooden tower housing the three glass bowls is curved in design, with a stainless steel stand. All in all, it’s somewhat less attractive than its Yama counterpart, but would still sit well on your countertop as it exudes a charming old-fashioned lab look about it. 

You’ll get six to eight cups from the Nispira, and it isn’t too heavy, weighing 4.4 pounds. 

The glass is heat resistant, and there’s a valve to control the dripping. There’s a stainless steel filter screen in the middle pot that should enhance the flavor of your coffee, ensuring nothing is lost from your grounds. 

Unfortunately, some users report their coffee maker arrived broken! Plus, some claim that the wooden structure isn’t as sturdy as it could be. It appears the glass breaks easily, and there are complaints that overall, it just isn’t great value for money. Reports are definitely mixed. Some people love it; some really don’t. Definitely handle this delicate slow drip maker with care. 

Nispira Iced Coffee Cold Brew Drip Tower Coffee Maker Wooden, 6-8 cup
  • Vintage cold brew coffee maker set in wooden frame
  • Including glassware, filter and adjustable valve to perform dripping
  • Easy to assemble and clean after use. Brief instruction included.
  • It makes slightly sweeter, a bit milder, and way less acidic than your average iced joe
  • Good for 6 - 8 cups of coffee.

Siphon Coffee Makers

So what’s a siphon coffee maker? 

If you love the whole science lab look in your kitchen, whether you go for industrial chic or prefer the classic country look, these machines grace your kitchen or office like nothing else does. 

Basically, it’s coffee made in a vacuum. 

There are two chambers, and between them, they produce vapor pressure to provide your morning caffeine hit. Invented in Berlin, Germany in the 1830s, the modern-day equivalents are a favorite among coffee aficionados the world over. 

You can buy stovetop siphon machines or electric ones. Here we take a look at two electric ones. However,  if you want to find out a bit more, check out this review

If you already know siphons are your jam, take a look at our guide to the differences in American and Japanese brewing styles.

Hario Technica

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Hario Glass Technica Syphon Coffee Maker, 5-Cup
  • Upper bowl, lower bowl and burner are made of the best heat resistant borosilicate glass from Hario
  • Stand, burner cover, and filter are made of stainless steel
  • Imported from Japan
  • Item dimmensions are: 14"H x 6.2"W x 4.3"L; 5 Cup Capacity
  • Fasteners are made of brass; windbreak is made of aluminum

This moderately priced and cool looking Japanese design is as attractive as it is compact. 

So, what’s it made from? 

There’s an upper bowl, a lower bowl, and a burner, all made with Borosilicate glass, making it heat resistant. The handle gives you a firm grip because it’s made of rubber. 

The filter, stand, and the cover are all made of sturdy stainless steel. The fasteners are made of brass, and the windbreak is aluminum. It comes with the alcohol burner as well as the cloth filters, but you can buy these separately (should you need more). It’s nice and light, weighing just three pounds and measuring 15 inches high, six inches wide, and four inches deep. 

You can reuse the cloth filters, but when you wash them, do so with gentle soap, not harsh detergents, this helps to ensure they’ll go the distance. 

You’re supposed to get five cups from the Hario Technica, but as always, this depends entirely on your cup sizes.  Either way, if you want to share, you can. 

Users report the coffee produced from this machine is nothing short of fantastic. For the price, it’s incredible quality, but you can’t rush this beauty as the alcohol burner is a little slow.

There are other Hario siphons out there too. In our enthusiasm, we also took an in-depth look at the Hario TCA-5 Technica Siphon, so be sure to check that out!

The Yama Tabletop Siphon

Last but not least, we take a look at another Yama. The Yama Glass YAMCNT5 Tabletop coffee siphon with a butane burner comes with a ceramic base and should hopefully give you five cups of Joe. 

Like its cold counterpart, the Yama siphon is definitely a looker and will upstyle any kitchen. Or, it’ll certainly impress your clients if you’re planning on bringing this beauty into the office. 

Made from hand-blown premium borosilicate glass and ceramic construction. The Yama claims you’ll brew the best and smoothest coffee you could ever have hoped for. The good thing about borosilicate glass is that it isn’t porous, so all the coffee’s flavors and essential oils stay packed inside its neat bowl. 

The Butane burner is designed to brew coffee quickly. However, the burner doesn’t come filled…for pretty obvious reasons. So, be sure to factor this into your budget. 

This model also comes with reusable filters and a scoop to add your coffee when you’re ready to brew.

If you need to buy new parts, be sure to buy the right sized siphon for your machine- as there’s both a three-cup and five-cup version of this model.  

Some people report the bowls to be really fragile and easily breakable, but you can order replacements on their own. Those who didn’t like this product, say the rubber seals between chambers become loose. Others complain their machine arrived broken! 

However, most people love it, and say the main thing with this machine is that it simply makes the best coffee. That’s your payoff. It may take a little time and careful handling before you get to know your Yama, but it’s worth it in the end!  

Yama Glass Tabletop w/Ceramic Base (20oz) 5-Cup Coffee Siphon with Butane Burner
  • Made from premium hand-blown borosilicate glass and ceramic construction
  • Yama siphon allows you to brew smooth and rich coffee just the way you intended
  • Borosilicate glass is non-porous, trapping in all the flavor and essential oils for the perfect brew
  • Includes a heavy duty butane burner for even and fast brewing - burner do not come filled
  • Includes reusable filters and Coffee scoop

Final Thoughts

We hope this review has given you food for thought. Do you have experience with any of the models listed above? If so, we’d love to hear your opinions in the comments box below. Speak soon!

Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API