I have been studying and experimenting with new brewing techniques all this time.
It could be because of lockdown that I was hoping to find something meaningful to do while staying at home for a long time. (I guess everyone does?) But I think it was more because of my passion in hand-drip coffee, that I want to keep learning, keep improving, and keep discovering. (Do you also have this urge in you?) Indeed, hand-drip coffee is truly irreplaceable because of the too many attractive things it has!
The new Trapezoid Dripper
A few months ago, we purchased the Trapezoid Dipper, Cafec 101/102, from Sanyo Sangyo Japan. The first moment when we saw it… Wow! It is more attractive than it looked on pictures! Its smooth and charming appearance, comfortable touching, special colours all adds to its uniqueness and exceptionality!
Later I learned that it was jointly developed by Mr. Taguchi, the great master of Japanese specialty coffee, and CAFEC Japan. It is a designated dripper for the "Bach Café" opened in Tokyo and has a very high respectable status in Japan.
Only for professionals?
We learnt from CAFEC Japan that this Cafec 101/102 dripper is designed for professionals and is more difficult to use than the Flower Dripper. Indeed, we thought so at the beginning, as we have been trying with many different brewing methods, but the results were not as satisfactory as Flower Dripper. Though, to be honest, compared with Kalita HA 101, the Cafec 101 Trapezoid Dripper is already performing better! It seems to me that it is more approachable! So, I was more motivated to learn more about this dripper. (And we found a perfect brewing method pairing with this dripper!)
To learn more about the dripper, we thought it is most direct to learn from the creator and designer. Therefore, we got several books written by Mr. Taguchi. It turned out that Mr. Taguchi aim at bringing a more complete coffee extraction flavour to the industry with this dripper.
The Encyclopaedia of Specialty Coffee – Mr. Taguchi
Mr. Taguchi said that although Hario V60 (very widely used nowadays!) has an epoch-making design, the flavour it extracts is not complete. (Do you agree?) He hopes to bring a wider extraction spectrum to coffee lovers with this dripper.
It is true that Hario V60 brews a really different flavour compared with this dripper. If used properly, the coffee brewed from this trapezoidal dripper can be really amazing, with richer flavours and layers. (Yes! With the perfect but easy-to-learn brewing method!)
Mr. Taguchi’s books has taught us a lot of basic knowledge. The knowledge laid a very important foundation for my brewing. More importantly, it corrected many of my bad habits, such as washing, blooming, and even standing posture. Learning is just never ending, right?
Back to Mr. Taguchi's Trapezoid Dripper: he said that its steep slope angle can create a deep filtering effect. The elliptical shape is easier to pour water than the round shape. These designs are very thoughtful!
He mentioned that the first thing to pay attention to when using this dripper is the variety and roasting degree of the coffee. The degree of roasting determines the temperature of the water. After that, we can freely adjust the "concentration" by controlling the fineness of the grinding, the amount, and the extraction time.
He said that this trapezoidal dripper is exquisite because it is suitable for brewing coffee of any roasting level. The coffee brewed by it has a strong aroma, concentrated flavour, and sweet and mellow.
Brewing Cafec 101/102 with Light Roast Coffee
Do Japanese people prefer medium and dark roasted coffee? Is it not suitable to brew light roasted coffee that has bright, clean, rich and varied fruit acids such as Geisha and Ethiopia with this dripper?
No, it can! If we use our newly promoted brewing method, Fill-it-up brewing, this dripper can extract the acidity and sweetness even more than the conical dripper! We were really shocked the first time trying the coffee brewed with this method. The coffee has a very distinctive fruity flavour and a charming aroma.
The trapezoidal dripper usually gives the impression of a strong taste, not clear and sweet. But this dripper really subverted my imagination.
It is the most representative of the drippers in our collection.