I believe it’s every coffee geek’s dream to have a Yama Tower in their collection. After seeing various slow-drip cold brew devices in use at a handful of shops, admiring the beautiful design and presentation, I took the plunge and bought the Yama Glass 6-8 Cup Cold Drip Maker during the Thanksgiving week sales last year. But since it was too tall to fit on my coffee bar, I didn’t get it setup until just last month.
Now after a couple weeks of anticipation, I finally brewed our first batch of slow-drip cold brew coffee, using one of my recent favorites: the awesome Kenya Riamute Kiambu from Zeal Coffee Roasters. I went into this prepared for a learning experience, full of uncertainty of how to manage this unique brewing method. It’s not as easy to judge the effect of variables over such a long extraction, but the end result was better than I expected.
The cup was bright, full of character but still smooth and balanced. My biggest surprise was the aromatics, which hit me in the face with each sip. Honey and cantaloupe melon dominate the senses, with a hint of acidity that reminds me of a tangerine. I’ve been digging this coffee in the V60, but this was a brand new experience that lingered on the palate.
Now as far as the brewing process, there is still a lot I’m not sure about. I was brewing 62.5g of coffee at the same grind setting I use for a 30g V60 pour-over. A standard ratio would have been a bit over 600g of water, but everything I read said to add 500ml to account for loss, so I wound up with 1103.5g of water and ice at the start of the brew cycle.
Not all of this made it to the coffee grounds, as I had to stop the brew for clean up prior to leaving the house for a bit, but I didn’t take time to measure what was left. Nor did I get an accurate yield since I stole half of the coffee after the first few hours in order to share with family while there was still a lot more brewing ahead. But my overall brew cycle was around 5 hours, and the best cup came from the second half after it rested overnight in the fridge.
Another first for me, I tried out our cocktail shaker just to have a bit of fun. I was inspired by the presentation of various cold brew drinks during our visit to Seattle, and had been waiting to shake things up at home. This will be another learning experience, trying to figure out the right balance of ice and coffee and how to best pour the resulting foam, as most remained in the shaker on my first go, but it was refreshing nonetheless!
I’m happy with the new addition to our coffee bar, and while it may only be a weekend indulgence, the Yama Tower is well worth the investment. There are so many amazing coffees passing through our house. It’s nice to experience them in as many ways as possible, and the Yama Tower definitely provides a cup unlike any other brew method I’ve tried.