How to Nel Drip the Daibō Way

coffee japanese

  1. Firstly, if the flannel (also known as a nel) is new, remove it from the wire frame and boil it for 5 to 10 minutes then carefully remove it. Brush the flannel with a soft bristle brush on both inside and outside. Skip this step if you are using a previously-used nel. 

  2. Pinch the bottom of the nel and twist to wring out excess water.  Place the nel between a clean dish towel and slap the towel to remove additional water.

  3. Grind approximately 40 to 50 grams of coffee to a very course grind. Add coffee to nel in a very loose mound making sure the seams of the nel are on the outside.

  4. Use a thin, flat utensil (like a pancake spatula) to “groom” the coffee. Slide the utensil to the bottom of the ground coffee, and in a up and down motion, loosen the coffee ground to add air between the nel and the ground beans. Once a full rotation has been made, use the utensil to make a divot on the top of the coffee mound.

  5. Place cup or carafe on a scale and tare. Hold the nel over the cup without making contact with the receptacle.

  6. TIP: In order to keep the coffee temperature consistent, heat the cup prior to dripping. Some famous nel brewers reheat the coffee in a copper cup over a burner.

  7. Bring water to a boil, and pour water into the kettle to bring water temperature down to approximately 175F, or 79C. 

  8. Start a timer and pour 45ml of water in a clockwise direction around the divot over a 45-60 second period. Pause for 45 seconds while the coffee “blooms”.

  9. TIP: Pour water in tiny drops (like a leaky faucet) while raising or lowering the filter and rolling the wrist to tilt the grains, always moving the filter up and down to control the brewing process. 

  10. Pour 80ml of water in the same way over a 60-80 second period. The coffee grounds should start to float. Pause for 20 seconds.

  11. Pour 60ml of water at a faster pace in the same way over a 30 second period. 

  12. After each use, run the nel under hot water to rinse and brush both sides with the same soft bristle brush you used the first time. This brush is now forever your nel drip coffee brush.

  13. Put the nel in a jar and submerge in cold water. Place uncovered in the fridge for next use.

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