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The Matsuya Paper Drip Method


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The Matsuya method was developed by Matsuya Coffee in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, Japan to make clear, flavorful coffee free from astringent, harsh, and other unpleasant tastes.

Matsuya Coffee's website (Japanese only):

http://www.matsuya-coffee.com/

What distinguishes this method from others is that you first make coffee with half the required amount of water and then add the other half to make complete coffee. Assume that you want 600-cc (20-oz) coffee, then you first make coffee with 300-cc of water and then add another 300-cc of water to the coffee.

The following is a translation of part of the page, "Mastering the Matsuya drip method", of Flavor coffee's website.

http://www.flavorcoffee.co.jp/2f/2f-6.html

***

Mastering the Matsuya drip method

The way you make coffee makes such a difference.

Do you think that coffee must be fresh?

The degradation rate differs greatly depending on the coffee extraction technique.

i10410.jpg

Explanation of the photo:

A: Extracted three days ago with the Matsuya method

B: Extracted three days ago with an auto drip maker

C: Extracted two hours ago with the Matsuya method

D: Extracted two hours ago with an auto drip maker

Remark: The type of coffee beans used is Kilimanjaro.

Glasses B and D glow whitish because they reflect diffusely the light of the fluorescent tube from above.

This is due to the turbidity of coffee.

An auto drip maker produces coffee that becomes turbid in about 30 minutes.

If properly hand-dripped, coffee does not become turbid for two to three WEEKS.

Properly extracted coffee is slow in degradation.

The kind of coffee that you can drink when it's hot but cannot drink when it has cooled because it tastes bad is the one that also tastes bad when it's hot, but because it's hot, your tongue cannot sense the taste.

When the coffee has cooled, your tongue is sensitive, making you feel it taste bad.

Basically, good coffee also tastes good when it has cooled.

When coffee has cooled, you will feel its acidity more.

This is why iced coffee is made from deep roasted beans with less acidity.

We feel cold coffee taste better when it's bitter than when it's tart.

I'm going to tell you how to make coffee with the Matsuya method.

Coffee made with the Matsuya paper drip method remains clear for a long time.

It does not lose it flavor over time.

It does not become turbid over time.

I'm going to tell you such a professional way of making coffee.

You need the following items:

Matsuya dripper for five

Matsuya paper filter for five

600-cc (20-oz) drip pot

Kono server for five

i10399.jpg

***

In my next post, I'm going to provide step-by-step instructions on how to make coffee with the Matsuya method.

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I remain in pleasant anticipation for your next post on the superheated steam roasting process. I will also read the Matsuya drip method post with interest but will respectfully suggest that it appears to be more or less identical to the process used with Melitta and Chemex manual drip systems. I'm not sure whether Melitta clearly states it in their literature but the common practice for those using a Melitta paper filter (identical in shape to the one shown in your picture) is as follow:

1) Prewet the paper filter with hot water

2) Add the coffee and then add 1/3 to 1/2 of the water to be used, pouring the water in such a way that the grounds are fully saturated and the initial quantity of water has dripped through

3) Add the remaining water and pour it so that the grounds are floating in the water in an equally distributed way (i.e. do not just pour all the water into the center of the filter - pour it in around the edges so it loosens any grounds that have settled against the filter).

Some believe that the use of unbleached filters produces a very small but perceptible improvement in flavor, as chlorine is used in the bleaching process when white paper filters are produced and tiny trace amounts may be left int he paper and released by the hot water. My taste buds are not discerneing enough to confirm this but I choose the unbleached filters because they are more environmentally friendly (relative to how they are produced).

Just curious - what is the most common method for making coffee in the home in japan? Is it auto drip makers as is the case here in the US?

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but will respectfully suggest that it appears to be more or less identical to the process used with Melitta and Chemex manual drip systems.

Thank your for your reply and your personal message.

With the Matsuya method, you make strong coffee and then you water it down--dilute it with an equal amount of hot water. Is this the case with Melitta and Chemex too?

Anyway, I hope my next post will clear up any confusion.

As for the most common method, you are definitely right--auto dip makers. Do you use one? I don't.

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Ahhhh.... dilution. No - the Melitta and Chemex methods do not involve adding water although one could simply make the coffee stronger and then do that. I'm curious - is the goal to have a smoother and more mellow taste profile or is it to reduce acid? We have discussed the Toddy cold brewing system here on a few occasions. It yields low acidity and like the Matsuya method produces a concentrate that is subsequently mixed with hot water for hot drinks or cold water for iced drinks.

Auto drip makers are by far the most popular method for home coffee production here in the US. I used one foir years after starting out with the Melitta but eventually went back to the Melitta for the improved taste. More recently I began using a vacuum pot coffee maker on weekends and have been very happy with the results. It takes more coffee than drip methods but yields excellent results - robust and flavorful like press pot coffee but without the sludge in the bottom of the cup.

It is a bit more time consuming than drip methods and does not lend itself to hurried mornings on a workday. I make espresso before work and reserve regular coffee for weekends or for when guests visit.

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it sounds like a method geared at making coffee that is low acid, sweet, but also low in complexity, brightness and body.

i would guess it is similar to a toddy coffee, but more filtered.

for some tastes, i would guess it would be ideal.

for those whose preferred method of extraction would be a french press, however, i would guess the resulting coffee would taste bland.

it's an interesting example of how a solution is derived from a perceived problem that can be purely personal taste. the negative traits of coffee as described herein are not, for example, what i would see as a problem.

i've just brewed up some coffee based on these instructions. i'll dilute and taste. for interest's sake i've chosen to brew both a very low acid coffee (a naturally processed brazilian) and a very bright coffee (an auction lot Kenya). i'll let you know what i think.

fanatic...

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resulting coffee was very sweet, very mild. no bitterness at all and no acidity either.

a very very clean cup.

for people who don't like coffee because of the "bite" or who feel coffee is too "strong" this might be an ideal solution.

on the downside, there was dramatically diminished difference in cup character between the two coffees. aromatics were almost gone, body was way down and fruit notes were flattened.

of course... i may have made some mistakes in methodology, so i'll wait for a follow on description and double check the guesses i made.

fanatic...

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Here are step-by-step instructions:

1. Fold the paper filter along the machined edge and place it in the dripper.

Photo: Folding the paper filter

i10400.jpg

(I strongly recommend that you see the movie.

To do this, just access the page

http://www.flavorcoffee.co.jp/2f/2f-6.html

scroll down to find the same photo as this one and click the Chinese characters below the photo, and the movie will start.

The same goes for five of the seven photos shown here.)

Use either water from a water purifier or mineral water.

Basically, with the Matsuya method, you don't wet the paper filter.

You can wet it, however, if you don't like the papery taste.

2. Place coarsely ground coffee in the dripper.

10 g per cup (120 cc, i.e., 4 oz)

For 1 to 3 cups, use 15 g for cup.

For more cups, 10 g per cup.

With the Matsuya method, you start extraction after making all coffee grounds heavier than water. If, therefore, the grounds were too fine, the water would not pass through.

For this reason, you use a coarse grind with the Matsuya method.

3. Make a well in the center with a spoon.

Photo: Making a well

i10401.jpg

(See the movie.)

Dig a hole, using the back of a spoon. Using the back of a spoon makes the grounds steady.

For fresh coffee, dig a deep hole; for old, a shallow one.

Determine the depth according to how much the grounds bloom when you pour hot water.

(Fresh coffee grounds of 50 g give off 100 to 200 cc of carbon dioxide gas.)

4. Pour boiled water at the center as gently as possible, and when coffee starts dripping into the server, start pouring water to the other portions in a circular motion. Stop pouring when water has spread throughout the grounds.

Photo: First pour

i10402.jpg

(See the movie.)

(Just set aside the drip pot; you don't have to bring the water to the boil again before the second pour.)

5. Let the grounds settle for 3 to 5 minutes.

Put a lid on for a better result.

This long-time wetting is a key to flavorful coffee.

Photo: 3-minute wetting

i10403.jpg

(No movie for this step)

Wetting is a process in which you pour water over coffee to drive out the gas inside the coffee, so that water can enter the grounds smoothly during the extraction process.

Fresh roasted coffee loses its inner gas when wetted for 3 to 5 minutes, and does not bubble up the next time water is poured. Fully wetted coffee grounds are heavier than water and sink down entirely when put in water.

6. After the wetting, pour water unevenly, gently at all times.

During this time, take care not to produce bubbles and avoid moving the grounds in the paper filter as much as possible.

Photo: Second pour

i10403.jpg

(See the movie.)

Keep pouring water up to the level of the coffee grounds. The important thing to remember is to always keep just enough water to cover the grounds.

You brew coffee by taking advantage of the difference in characteristics between the flavorful and unpleasant components.

Characteristics of flavorful components:

- Can dissolve even in a dense water solution.

- Generally easily soluble.

- Can dissolve even at low temperature.

- Not easily absorbable.

Characteristics of astringent and other unpleasant components:

- Can dissolve in a thin water solution only.

- Generally not easily soluble.

- Not easily soluble at lower temperature.

- Easily absorbable.

7. Stop pouring when you have made half the amount of coffee you need.

At this point, the flavorful components of coffee have been extracted completely.

What comes out afterwards is astringent, bitter, and other unpleasant tastes.

Photo: Ending extraction

i10404.jpg

(See the movie.)

8. Bring the kettle on the boil and dilute the coffee with the boiled water to the strength you like. The coffee extraction temperature is about 85 C (185 F), so the undiluted coffee in the server is about 60 to 65 C (140 to 149 F) (for five cups).

When you dilute the coffee with boiled water, the mixture will be about 80 C (176 F), which is good for drinking.

Photo: Done

i10405.jpg

(No movie for this step)

***

You need not feel left out if you don't have all the necessary items, which I mentioned in a previous post. You can always use substitutes. Use your brain. The following link will give you valuable insight:

http://www.h4.dion.ne.jp/~tzr-bass/coffee/matsuya/drip.htm

This site discusses a "pseudo" Matsuya method.

A wire mesh filter is used for a dripper,

a pot with a hole drilled on the side for a drip pot, and

a regular paper filter for a conical filter (see the last photo).

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of course... i may have made some mistakes in methodology, so i'll wait for a follow on description and double check the guesses i made.

I'd really appreciate it if you could do that and post your comments here.

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How does the Matsuya filter differ from say, the Melitta or Chemex filters, if at all? Excellent post by the way, very informative.

Warning: I'm speaking as a layman.

I can't discern any major difference between the Kono's conic paper filter, used with the Matsuya method, and the all-purpose paper filter I happen to have at home at the moment.

i10496.jpg

(top: Kono paper filter, bottom: All-purpose paper filter)

From several online sources, I have learned that Melitta's paper filter is thicker than that of Kalita (famous Japanese brand; Kalita's dripper has three holes at the bottom whereas Melitta's dripper has one) and that Chemex' filter is thicker than Melitta's.

I asked Nakagawa of Flavor coffee about your question on his bulletin board. He may provide us with useful information.

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other than creating a "well" in the grounds, this is in essence the process i followed.

OK, thanks, and I must say I really appreciate your candid opinion.

I must confess that the Matsuya method is little known even in Japan, except in Aichi prefecture where it was developed. Being such a laborious one, it can never be a popular method. I personally love this method (I think it's really artistic), but certainly it's not for everyone.

For me, one of the greatest advantage of this method is that the dripper is easy to keep clean. Look at the simple shape. I never have to drink rancid coffee, and I think that's great.

i10497.jpg

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This is a really interesting method, thank you Hiroyuki for all of your work!

Just 3 weeks ago I picked up the Toddy cold water brew set and am absolutely hooked, this one sounds similar in taste. I like the Toddy because it brews a large amount at one time and lasts up to 18 days in the refrigerator, when I drank it at day 14 it tasted the same as day 1. It seems to be a little more concentrated than this one however.

I am going to take a look at this when I get back to Japan, only 5 more days..... :sad:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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He replied to malachi's comment about the Matsuya method. He assured me that the method is totally different from the Toddy Coffee.

His reply is quite lengthy and I have translation problems as a coffee novice. I'll translate part of his reply and post it here, probably much later.

Flavor coffee's bulletin board, where I communicate with Nakagawa:

http://www.flavorcoffee.co.jp/cgi-bin/minibbs.cgi

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You can wet it, however, if you don't like the papery taste.

i was wondering about this comment.

does wetting the paper of a filter lessen the papery taste? or for that matter does rinsing it lessen the papery taste?

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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it sounds like someone could eventually actually produce an automatic matsuya drip machine.

it would be similar to automatic drip machines that are presently available, but the way the water is delivered to the grounds would have to be adjusted. somehow, the water would have to be dripped in a fashion so that it covers a large circular area (say about 5 inches/12 cm in diameter) instead of one single point from a skinny tube. maybe a very gentle spray of some sort. also the water must be given out in timed, measured amounts.

doesnt sound that difficult to engineer. and it would only add maybe 5 minutes at most to total brewing time.

if the results are really that different, than it should be incorporated into some models, dont you think?

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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commercial high end brewers (like Fetco) usually use a large diameter spray pattern and feature both pre-infusion and programmable "pulse" modes.

it sounds like if you have the money, then you can have an automatic matsuya machine. :D

next time i brew a cup (today?) ill give it a try (manually that is).

Edited by melonpan (log)
"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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I'll translate part of his reply and post it here, probably much later.

The following is my translation of part of Nakagawa's reply. I have tried to be true to the original whenever possible, leaving the ambiguities and redundancies as they are.

***

(Omitted. Some personal comments.)

Originally, the Matsuya drip method is a technique for extracting coffee components selectively, that is, it is basically designed to dissolve 'umami' (flavorful components), which are easily soluble, by taking advantage of the high concentration of the solution.

This is, however, the very fundamental form of this method.

I mean, judging from the fact that this gentleman used the term 'fruity', I assume that he drinks coffee containing fine particles, as brewed in a French press.

For people like him, I must employ the 'Shochiku drip' method, which makes coffee that makes one feel as if it contained fine particles, rather than the fundamental form of the Matsuya method, which makes a clear taste.

Coffee brewing techniques are there for you to be able to make the kind of coffee preferred by the drinker at will.

I mean, for those who drink it black, it is important to make a clear taste, as with the fundamental form of the Matsuya method, and

for those who drink it with sugar and milk, you must employ a brewing technique such as the Shochiku drip to make coffee that makes one feel as if it contained fine particles so that it tastes good when milk is added.

Besides, if you want to enjoy the aroma of coffee emitted when you grind it in a mill, you need a brewing technique using a lower water temperature, such as the 'Yasunaga method'.

Brewing coffee by controlling the flavor at will according to the preference of the customer is, I think, the whole point of brewing.

Probably, some people think that the French press is the absolute coffee maker.

This is a matter of personal choice, and I think that's fine.

(Omitted. He talks about the 'Sandwich Brewer', which he developed about twenty years ago. He says it is a kind of a combination of a French press and a coffee cartridge, and it makes a fairly good coffee, much better than the one made with a French press.

You can see a photo of this brewer by clicking:

http://www.flavorcoffee.co.jp/flavor-e.html

)

Why did I switch from the French press to drip brew?

As a matter of fact, the answer is very simple.

I thought that the French press could not make strong coffee.

I mean,

I thought it was impossible to dissolve more in a solution with components dissolved.

When you fill a pan with hot water, put coffee grounds, and stir up, you can only make it up to a certain strength.

With a drip brew method, the coffee can be incredibly strong.

This is because with a drip brew method, you pour water with nothing dissolved from above and drip water solution with the highest concentration down below.

(Omitted. He returns to a further explanation of his 'Sandwich Brewer'.)

As for the Toddy Coffee, I think it is something like mere cold-brewed coffee or iced-brew coffee, which I am currently studying.

Regrettably, however, considering the fact that there is no step taken for preventing the formation of any paths through which water can easily pass (Translator's note: He refers to the step of removing all carbon dioxide from the bean grounds.), I think that cold-brewed and ice-brewed coffees taste better.

I was a bit surprised to find that it has a concept of dilution, though.

Besides, you cannot make coffee that will last a long time, using that device without modification.

In order that the coffee grounds may become immobile by filling the dripper with solution of high concentration and that water may flow downward gradually by gravity, you must eliminate carbon dioxide from the coffee grounds. (Translator's note: I don't know whether this is the step necessary for helping the coffee last long.)

(Omitted. A reply to my question about the paper filter and other miscellaneous comments.)

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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does wetting the paper of a filter lessen the papery taste?  or for that matter does rinsing it lessen the papery taste?

'Papery taste' is my translation of the term 'kami kusasa' in the original, literally, paper odor. I didn't translate this, but the original text encourages those who wish to know more about this topic to proceed to this page:

http://www.flavorcoffee.co.jp/fla-79.html

A brief summary is as follows:

In the past, paper was bleached with chlorine, and blanching the paper filter in hot water was effective to washing out the chlorine. Besides, the paper filter was of poor quality. Today, however, the paper filter is bleached with oxygen or un-bleached, and what's more, paper making techniques have been improved drastically.

He made some experiments, and what he found was:

When you talk about paper odor, it is often the odor absorbed by the paper due to poor storage rather than the odor of paper itself.

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So can you use Melitta filters for this?

Sorry, forgot to respond to this.

Nakagawa says that with the Matsuya method, the paper filter does not make any difference. So, I guess you can use any type of paper filter.

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  • 4 weeks later...
it appears to be more or less identical to the process used with Melitta and Chemex manual drip systems.

Melitta vs. Matsuya:

I understand that the concept of the Melitta is standardization – providing a standardized procedure for brewing coffee so that anyone can make acceptable coffee. The Matsuya method, on the other hand, makes a distinction between umami (flavorful components) and zatsumi (miscellaneous (unpleasant) components), and provides a means for extracting umami selectively.

We have discussed the Toddy cold brewing system here on a few occasions. It yields low acidity and like the Matsuya method produces a concentrate that is subsequently mixed with hot water for hot drinks or cold water for iced drinks.

Toddy vs. Matsuya:

The obvious difference is that the Toddy is a cold-brew system while the Matsuya method is not, and it seems to me that the only similarity between them is that the resulting coffee can keep for as long as three weeks. I find the coffee made with the Matsuya method acidic enough.

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