The Torch Mountain dripper is a porcelain dripper with concentric ribs. It is a flat bottom dripper with four holes surrounding a large opening in the center, making it most similar to a Kalita brewer. The Mountain sits on a wooden ring, which gives it an aesthetically appealing appearance, but can sometimes cause the coffee bed to slant, leading to uneven extractions.
Overall, the Torch Mountain is a beautiful alternative to the Kalita 155 and 185, a welcome addition to any home pour over setup.
Torch Mountain Origins – The Donut Successor
The Torch Mountain dripper was invented by Japanese cafe owner Nakabayashi Takayuki, who wanted brew options outside of the Hario V60 and Kalita brewers.
The Torch is the light-roast successor to the Donut Dripper, which was designed by Nakabayashi san to extract dark roasted coffee.
Flat Bottom vs Conical Brewers
Flat bottom drippers have one to three small holes for liquid coffee to flow through whereas conical drippers typically feature one single large opening at the bottom of the dripper.
The Torch Mountain has a circular opening and four smaller holes around it. This results in a more forgiving flow rate compared to conical brewers, which can become clogged (and therefore lead to overextraction) because coffee flows through a single concentrated point.
To achieve higher extractions, we recommend grinding coffee finer for the Torch Mountain Dripper.
Flat-bottomed brewers tend to require a finer grind size to achieve similar extractions to the Hario V60 and other conical brewers.
Therefore, we recommend a grind size between iodized salt and kosher salt. You can use your grind settings for the Kalita Wave or Sangan as a reference point.
For single servings (15 to 18 grams of coffee), use the Kalita 155.
For two or more servings (18 to 24 grams), use the Kalita 185.
How do you use the Torch Mountain Dripper?
We use a 1:16 coffee to water ratio for our pour overs. Feel free to experiment with a higher brew ratio (more water) for “wider” notes, or a narrower ratio (1:15 or 1:14) for a more concentrated flavor.
- Heat the water to 95C / 203F in your gooseneck kettle.
- Warm up the Torch Dripper by placing the porcelain cone on top of the kettle.
- Weigh out a 18 gram dose of coffee.
- Grind to the consistency of iodized salt; you can start a bit coarser and then adjust finer depending on taste.
- For a 18 gram dose of coffee, aim for 288 grams of water at 95C.
- Bloom the coffee, adding three times the mass of your dose (between 50 to 60 grams of water).
- Swirl the coffee, agitating the grounds, and ensuring that all the coffee is coated in water.
- When the puck has completely drained through, pour 100 grams of water and gently swirl to flatten the brew bed.
- Repeat to complete the brew.
- The total brew time should be between 3 to 4 minutes.
Heat Retention: Porcelain vs Metal
Because the Torch Mountain is a porcelain dripper, it doesn’t retain heat as well as metal.
As a result, be sure to adequately heat up your brewer prior to brewing. Placing the Torch on top of your electric kettle as the water boils prepares the porcelain dripper for brewing by ensuring that heat is transferred to the coffee bed and not the dripper itself.
Porcelain retains heat better than ceramic, making it a faster heating alternative to the Kalita Sangan.
Clean and Care for the Torch Mountain
The Torch dripper comes in two separate pieces: porcelain top and wooden ring.
To protect the porcelain, use hot water and a soft, non-abrasive sponge to wash the Torch Mountain dripper.
Do not soak the wooden ring in water or hot water.
Do not put the Torch dripper in the dishwasher.
Buying the Torch Mountain Dripper
The Torch Mountain dripper is a favorite amongst Japanese cafe owners and specialty coffee hobbyists alike. For pour over lovers, the Torch Mountain is a beautiful alternative to a Kalita flat-bottomed brewer.
Purchase one for an aesthetic addition to your pour over collection.