Today, we want to highlight one of our favorite products from the company Torch – a manufacturer that is making its mark in the specialty coffee scene. The Donut Dripper was designed by Torch's founder Nakabayashi Takayuki san who became disillusioned with the designs of current drippers while running his cafe in Gunma prefecture. Having a background in design, Takayuki san set out to design and create his own dripper, an improvement among conventional coffee drippers and product which would brew coffee to his own liking.
The result was the Donut Dripper, and it was an instant success. Word of mouth carried word of the design all throughout Japan, and eventually beyond. Now, the Donut Dripper is used in many homes and cafes within Japan, as well as high end overseas establishments like COUTUME in Paris.
What's so amazing about the Donut Dripper? To put it simply, the design allows it extract coffee that's rich, but not too heavy, with clean and clear aftertastes. How does the Donut Dripper pull it off? There are three important aspects to the design that make it possible.
Takayuki san wanted to deepen the layers of coffee roast within the dripper, so he steepened the angle. His design choice increases the surface area of the grounds, meaning that while the water spends less time contacting each grain, it makes contact with more of them.
Next, Takayuki san redesigned the hole at the bottom of the dripper. It was necessary to calibrate the size and placement of the hole perfectly, since the steeper angle completely changed the speed of water flow. Contrary to what you might expect, the steeper angle slowed down the extraction speed, which is why the Donut Dripper's hole is so large. Don't be misled into thinking the larger hole will produce a thin, weak cup of coffee, because that's far from the truth!
The inside of the Donut Dripper isn't smooth. Takayuki san created a number of graduated ridges within the cone, a design that causes the water to bound down the sides of the dripper rather than flowing straight through and out the bottom. As the water is poured through, it meets with these ridges and is pushed back into the filter. This allows even more contact between the water and the grounds, giving more depth to the extraction.
These are the main design aspects of the Donut Dripper that make it one of the most beloved brewing methods in Japan. This dripper produces a brew with a balanced flavor that makes it easy to drink, all while retaining the nuanced characteristics of the coffee beans.