by Randy Glass - Copyright 2017 - All rights reserved
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently started enjoying cold brew coffee at home. Straight from the brewer, slow, cold brew is delicious. This method of extraction is nearly acid-free and requires nothing more than a brewing device, ground coffee, and water (in liquid and frozen states). I can also attest, and have "witnesses," that it is a marvelous base for making homemade coffee liquor ("Kahlua").
I recently reviewed the Cold Bruer and have made around five or six batches with it. It is a beautiful device but has a couple of small problems. While it makes excellent slow-cold brew, the drip chamber (the area between the top of the coffee bed and the bottom of the dripping spout, is small. The cold water causes condensation on the inside wall of the glass making it difficult to ascertain the drip rate later in the process. The drip-rate adjustment is done by removing the lid but the condensation and lack of usable calibration lines or visible indicator makes that a bit of a guessing game. Still it makes a great cold brew beverage. It is a quality device, but at $80 may not appeal to those who just want to see if they like cold brew. I understand.
To fill that "starter void," A search led me to a number of cold brewing devices. There are a lots of full-immersion brewers selling in the $10 to $20 range. These use a fine-mesh basket that holds the ground coffee in contact with the cold water. At the other end of the spectrum are some wood and glass tower drippers that sell for well over $100 (and one sells for over $400!). But fortunately for us coffee-consuming mortals there are some affordable slow brewers.
I was specifically looking for a slow drip cold brewer that had more capacity than the "Cold Bruer." I wanted one that featured a design that made it easier to see as well as adjust the drip rate. During that narrowed quest I came across the Osaka Cold Brew Dripper. I received the small size Osaka for review.
This affordable device is designed in Japan and made it Taiwan. It consists of three main parts. From the bottom up, they are:
THE CARAFEThe carafe is the only portion of the brewer made of glass. All other components are plastic. There is an included pouring cap that snaps securely into place in the mouth of the carafe. The cap does not create an airtight seal so plan on saving any leftover coffee in a separate vessel. The carafe's markings are for the number of five-ounce cups (2, 3, and 4). The small size (seen here) has a maximum capacity of about 20 ounces, so two coffee drinkers can empty the carafe at one sitting without too much difficulty. There is also a larger size available rated at 6 cups (30 ounces).
THE BREWING CHAMBER WITH FILTERThe brewing chamber holds the ground coffee. The inset image shows the fine-mesh stainless steel filter located on the bottom of the brewing chamber. It is permanently mounted in the plastic and cannot be removed. There is also a separate stainless mesh filter which is included. This is placed on top of the coffee bed to assist in water distribution and to avoid the disruption of the coffee by the dripping of the water.
THE ICE AND WATER CHAMBERThe top assembly acts as the reservoir. It has a lid to make moving the Osaka Brewer easier as the lid can be held in place to avoid spilling. It also keeps dust and dirt out during the brew cycle. It does not snap into place so a brewing vacuum in the reservoir as the water is released should not be a problem.
The inset image shows the valve which is permanently attached to the reservoir. The shaft can be easily turned by hand to regulate the drip rate. The only confusion was that when the valve was in the position that places the grip horizontal, the valve is full open. Aligning the grip with the flow direction is full off. This is opposite of how most such valves like the gas supply and water main supply valves to your home operate.