During a hot summer, there are few things more satisfying than a refreshing cold coffee beverage. However, you don’t have to spend several dollars a day at a local coffee shop for a high-quality cold brew. You can also make cold brew quite easily at home.
This hands-on review will look in-depth at an elegant cold brew coffee dripper courtesy of Soulhand. We’ll also share our recipe and instructions so you can make tasty and smooth cold brew coffee with the brewer. Finally, we’ll explain ways you can improve your slow drip cold brew coffee.
Why Cold Drip?
One of the big reasons many coffee lovers enjoy cold brew – aside from it being so refreshing – is its lack of bitterness and acidity. It’s also smoother than hot coffee. Therefore, it’s appealing for coffee enthusiasts with sensitive stomachs, as well as anyone who loves the taste of cold coffee.
You can make cold brew coffee two ways – with the immersion cold brew method or cold drip method.
Making cold brew coffee with immersion brewing method requires the coffee to steep for between 12-24 hours, and some domestic brewers are put off by that length of time. However, the Soulhand cold drip-style coffee maker reduces that length to just three or four hours. Also, with this cold dripper, there’s no need to carry out the kind of messy filtering process you’d need when making cold brew in a mason jar or other cold brew coffee maker.
Soulhand Cold Brew Coffee Dripper Review
Soulhand Cold Brew Coffee Maker Summary
- Easy to use option for domestic cold brewing coffee
- Minimalist, elegant design
- Brews authentic cold drip coffee
- Shorter brew time than standard immersion cold brew
- It’s too tall to store in the fridge
- The carafe isn’t sealed, so the brewed coffee needs transferring to another container for storage
Aesthetic Design And Build
The design of the Soulhand Cold Brew dripper bears similarities with a standard cold drip coffee tower. Most cold drippers with similar designs are large, costly, and aren’t built for home use. However, this machine is slim and compact, meaning it won’t take up excessive space on your countertop. Nevertheless, it will still brew several servings of iced coffee per batch.
There is an 800ml (27oz) flask-like carafe at the bottom whose shape resembles a Chemex – in other words, it’s elegant and easy on the eye.
In the center is a stainless steel permanent coffee filter for holding up to 50 grams of grounds. Because this stainless steel filter is reusable, there’s no need for paper filters. Indeed, in our testing, we found the filter fine enough to hold most of the smaller particles.
At the top is a water chamber with an adjustable drip valve at its base. This valve lets you alter the drip rate very precisely to align it perfectly with your taste preference. We’ll explore the drip valve in greater detail further on in the article.
The dripper has a collar and lid made from bamboo, which are aesthetically pleasing and work beautifully. The collar holds the water tank in position reliably, while the lid fits both the water chamber and the glass carafe. That means you can fit it on the water chamber while brewing as easily as you can place it on the carafe for serving and storage.
There is also a smaller version of the Soulhand, which has the same features as the 800ml model, but with a carafe capacity of around 355ml (12oz) – a good option If you only intend to make cold brew for yourself or have very limited countertop space.
How To Make Cold Drip Coffee With The Soulhand Cold Brew Maker (using the 800ml model)
- Cold Water: 600ml
- Coffee: 45g of medium-ground coffee. If you prefer a milder coffee, use a 1:16 ratio (50g coffee to 800ml water).
- Brew time: Three hours
Step One: Grind The Coffee
Weigh 45 grams of freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them to a medium size – aim for a little more coarse than brown sugar. You can use regular ground coffee for drip coffee makers too.
Because the Soulhand has a stainless steel mesh filter, if you use grounds that are too fine, the water will be unable to seep through the coffee, and this will cause a mess. However, if you use coarse coffee grounds like other cold brew makers, it will leave the coffee too weak.
Step Two: Set Everything Up
Place the coffee grounds in the filter and allow the filter cup to sit on top of the carafe. Then pour water into the top tank. If you’d prefer, you can use half water, half ice, which is an effective way of keeping the water even cooler while brewing. We pre-wet the ground coffee with just enough water for better extraction.
Step Three: Set The Drip Rate
Once you pour water into the tank, it begins to drip. Turn the valve to find the drip rate you need.
How do we determine which is the ideal drip rate? Well, the longer the coffee brews, the stronger it will be. We aimed for one drip per second for a minimum of two to four hours to complete. Ensure that by the end of the brew, all the grounds are completely saturated.
It is worth keeping in mind that the flow rate will slow down as the brewing process proceeds and the water pressure in the tank reduces. Then, as more water reaches the grounds, the dripping will begin again. Therefore, we suggest slightly increasing the speed of the drip rate if the brew time is too long.
Step Four: Leave It To Drip
Even though the slow drip method is far quicker than the immersion method, it will still take several hours to complete so, once the process is underway, leave it and return to it later. When it has finished, you should have a vibrant cold drip coffee.
You can drink the beverage over ice, dilute it with water or add milk for an iced latte. Additionally, you can store it in your fridge for up to three days.
How To Alter The Drip Rate
Earlier, we mentioned the adjustable drip valve, which offers you complete control over the drip speed of the water. That means you can either extend or shorten the overall brewing time.
The valve is a really clever part of the machine and couldn’t be simpler to use. Just turn it to alter the drip rate. As you begin turning the valve, the dripping picks up the pace. However, if you carry on turning it in the same direction, that rate starts to slow down before eventually coming to a stop. Carry on turning, and the water flows again.
This design means there’s no danger of unfastening the valve by twisting too far in one direction – a neat touch from Soulhand and evidence that the company has put a lot of thought into the practicality and design of its product.
How Good Does The Cold Drip Coffee Taste?
Of course, aesthetics and ease of use are important, but these don’t count for much if the finished coffee isn’t very good. So how good is the coffee? We’re pleased to report that it is beautifully smooth and sweet, without a hint of harshness.
Because the coffee extracts at low temperatures, it means the acidic, bitter compounds don’t tend to come out. The cold-brewed coffee retains the flavor characteristics of the beans without any unpleasant acidity or bitterness.
We have tested many immersion cold brew coffee makers and experimented with different brewing methods, and there are distinct differences in flavor between the drip and immersion methods. For example, immersion cold brew is fuller-bodied, while the flavor profile of cold drip is cleaner and brighter. If you’ve yet to try cold brew, we think you’ll love the well-rounded and smooth flavor.
Tips For Improving Coffee Brewed With The Soulhand Dripper
You can implement a few tweaks when using the Soulhand cold dripper to further improve your coffee’s flavor.
If the coffee it brews is too weak for your palate, there are several ways to make it stronger. Changing the ratio of coffee to water is the most obvious, but you can also decrease the drip rate, use a finer grind, or use a hot pre-infusion of coffee bed before beginning the drips. However, if the coffee is on the strong side, try coarser grounds, increasing the brew ratio and speeding up the drip rate.
Any roasted coffee is good to use, whether dark roast, light roast, or espresso roast. Frankly, with this dripper, regardless of the coffee you use, you will almost always end up with a coffee lacking bitterness that’s low in acid. You can even use pre-ground coffee you bought in a supermarket or some coffee you found in your cupboard and expect similarly pleasing results. However, for the best results, we always suggest you use fresh-roasted beans if you can.
Ease Of Use
As you’ll have gathered from the brewing instructions we outlined earlier, this is one very easy-to-use machine. In fact, it’s so straightforward to operate that whether you’re a professional barista or a domestic brewing newbie, you’ll only be a few steps away from cold drip coffee to rival that which you’d find in your local coffee shops.
To achieve the perfect cup of coffee, you need to work out three variables: Coffee to water ratio, grind size, and drip rate. True, you may need a few attempts to find the perfect levels of each, but it’s still far easier than mastering espresso or brewing the perfect pour-over.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Cleaning the dripper is almost as easy as using it. Knock out the used grounds from the filter, remove any build-up of oil by rinsing it with water, ensure you dry it thoroughly, and put it back together.
If you live in an area with high humidity, ensure the bamboo lid is kept dry and that you wipe it with a dry cloth once a week to avoid mold.
Value For Money
The cost of the dripper is around the equivalent of 10 cups of coffee shop-bought cold brew, so if you’re a regular cold brew drinker, it won’t take long to save money.
The build of the dripper is straightforward, while the heat-resistant glass is sturdy. As long as you don’t break the glass, it won’t need replacing for many years. Also, you can use the carafe for everyday use, even when you’re not using it for cold drip coffee, which is a nice bonus
Despite the low cost, you can enjoy outstanding cold drip coffee or ice latte with this machine.
The Soulhnad cold brew coffee dripper offers a hassle-free way to make flavorful cold brew coffee that’s smooth and delicious. Furthermore, there’s no need for a lot of countertop space to hold a large drip tower as it’s compact enough for most kitchen sizes.
The brewing process may seem complex at first. However, it’s easy to get to grips with. The only thing you might struggle with initially is perfecting the brew ratio, drip rate, and grind size. However, once you’ve mastered this, the rest is easy. We’ve shared our own recipe in this Soulhand cold brew review for your reference.
We highly recommend this machine, whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or a novice. It is inexpensive and makes rich and beautiful iced coffee.
As well as this cold brew coffee dripper, Soulhand has a range of coffee gear at reasonable prices. So, if you’re looking for a portable coffee grinder, pour-over kettle, or any number of other accessories, we recommend you check out Soulhand’s official website.
No, you don’t need to use any paper filter with Soulhand cold brew dripper because it has a permanent stainless steel filter. As long as you use medium grounds, it will block most of them. If you use a grind size that’s too fine, some particles will reach the cup. However, we found they settle at the bottom of the cup, so as long as you don’t drink the very last bit, you won’t get a chewy coffee.
No, the iced coffee is ready to drink without dilution. However, if it is too strong, you can add water or some cold milk. One thing to note is that, unlike immersion brewing, the cold brew dripper can’t make coffee concentrate.
The official manual recommends five drips for every 10 seconds. However, we use one drop per second. We recommend going with Soulhand’s suggestion first, then tweaking according to your preferences. Remember, though, the longer the brewing process takes, the stronger the coffee will be.