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Unleashing the Bold Flavors of Nel Drip Coffee: A Complete Guide to Brewing and Cleaning Filters

Introduction to Nel Drip Coffee

If you are a coffee lover, then you must have heard of specialty coffee, but have you ever tried Nel drip coffee? This unique coffee-making technique comes from Japan and has been around for over a century.

Nel drip coffee uses a flannel filter, which is quite different from the paper and metal filters used in most coffee-making methods. I first experienced Nel drip coffee in Japan, and since then, it has become a staple in my coffee routine.

In this article, we will explore the history of Nel drip coffee, compare it to different coffee-making techniques and highlight what makes Nel drip so different. This may inspire you to try it out for yourself.

History and Personal Experience

Nel drip coffee has a rich history that can be traced back to the Japanese in the early 1900s. The name “Nel” derives from a character in a Japanese myth, who was believed to have brewed coffee for the gods in a similar method.

My first experience with Nel drip coffee was in a small coffee shop in Hokkaido, Japan. The barista carefully poured hot water over the coffee grounds, which were placed in a flannel filter that sat atop a glass carafe.

The resulting coffee was bold, yet smooth and had a unique sweetness that was unlike anything I had ever tasted before. I was introduced to a whole new world of coffee that I had never known before.

Definition and Differences from Paper and Metal Filters

Most of us are familiar with paper and metal filters, which are commonly used in coffee-making methods such as the French press, pour-over, and drip coffee machines. However, Nel drip coffee uses flannel filters, which have different properties that make them unique from paper and metal filters.

Flannel filters are made of tightly woven, soft cotton fabric that traps coffee oils and micro-fines. This results in a bolder flavor and thicker mouthfeel in the coffee.

In contrast, paper filters remove coffee oils, leading to a smoother and less intense cup of coffee. On the other hand, metal filters, such as those found in a French press, allow coffee oils to pass through, making the coffee thicker and bolder than paper filters.

Benefits and Unique Qualities of Nel Filters

Nel filters offer unique qualities that make them a great choice for specialty coffee enthusiasts. One of the main benefits of Nel filters is the bold and intense flavor that comes from the flannel filter.

The filter traps coffee oils and micro-fines, resulting in a richer and heavier mouthfeel. This makes Nel drip coffee perfect for those who prefer a richer and bolder coffee.

Another unique quality of Nel filters is that they allow for a longer brew time than paper filters. Paper filters tend to restrict water flow, which can lead to a shorter extraction time.

With Nel filters, water can pass through more easily, allowing for longer extraction times. This produces an even more intense and flavorful cup of coffee.


In conclusion, Nel drip coffee is a rich and bold coffee-making technique that has been around for over a century. It uses flannel filters that allow for a bolder and more intense flavor profile compared to paper and metal filters.

If you are a coffee enthusiast looking to try something new, then Nel drip coffee is definitely worth exploring. It may just become your new favorite way to enjoy a cup of coffee.

3) The Ultimate Nel Dripper? Hario Woodneck Review

If you want to try Nel drip coffee, you might have heard of Hario Woodneck as the ultimate Nel Dripper.

Hario is a Japanese company and one of the most respected names in the coffee world. They have been producing high-quality coffee products such as brewing equipment and accessories for more than 90 years.

Hario Woodneck is one of their most popular products and is widely used by coffee enthusiasts.to Hario Woodneck Filter

The Hario Woodneck is a filter holder that uses a unique cloth filter instead of the traditional paper or metal filters. The filter is made of flannel, which brings out the coffee’s natural oils and preserves the flavor.

The Woodneck comes with a reusable stainless steel ring that holds the filter in place, making it easy to use and clean. The Woodneck is known for its simplicity and elegance.

It is made of heat-resistant glass, which allows you to see the coffee brewing process. The wooden collar gives it a classic look and protects your hands from burning when handling hot coffee.

Reasons to Choose Hario Woodneck and Alternative Method

If you are looking for a unique and high-quality Nel dripper, Hario Woodneck may be a great option. Here are some reasons why:


Flannel Filter – The flannel filter used in Woodneck preserves the coffee’s natural oils and produces a bolder and richer flavor than a paper or metal filter. 2.

Easy to Clean – The cloth filter is easy to clean and reuse, making it environmentally friendly and cost-effective. 3.

Elegant and Stylish – The Woodneck’s classic look and wooden collar add a touch of elegance to any coffee setup. If you don’t have a Nel dripper or Hario Woodneck, an alternative method would be to use a Chemex or other brewing equipment with a cloth filter.

These filters are similar to the Woodneck filter and produce a similar flavor profile. 4) How Do You Brew Nel Drip Coffee?

Nel drip coffee is not just another coffee-making method. It is a specialty coffee that requires a unique brewing recipe that brings out its flavors.

Here are two Nel drip coffee recipes using different brewing methods:

James Freeman’s Japanese-Style Recipe

James Freeman, founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, is known for his unique brewing methods that bring out the coffee’s flavors. Here’s his recipe for brewing Nel drip coffee:

What You Need:

– Hario Woodneck or other Nel dripper

– Scale

– Stirrer

– Coffee kettle

– Digital thermometer

– Coffee beans

– Flannel filter



Boil water to 205F. 2.

Weigh out your coffee beans. 3.

Wet the flannel filter, insert it into the Woodneck, and place the Woodneck on your decanter or mug. 4.

Add the coffee to the filter, and pour just enough water to saturate the grounds. 5.

Let the coffee “bloom” for 30 seconds. 6.

Pour water in a circular motion over the coffee grounds, allowing the coffee to brew into the decanter. 7.

Stir the coffee for even extraction, and wait for the brew to finish. 8.

Serve and enjoy.

Osmotic Flow Style Recipe

Another popular Nel drip coffee recipe is the Osmotic Flow style recipe, which involves a different brewing method. Here’s how you can brew Nel drip coffee using this method:

What You Need:

– A Nel dripper

– Coffee beans

– Flannel filter

– Hot water kettle

– Scale

– Brew device to hold Nel dripper

– Hot water dispenser



Start by heating your water to 205F. 2.

Rinse the flannel filter and place it inside the Nel dripper. Place the Nel dripper on top of your brewing device.

3. Grind your coffee beans to medium-coarse consistency and measure them.

4. Wet the grounds with a small amount of hot water, and then wait 30 seconds for it to bloom.

5. Add 200ml of water to a hot water dispenser.

6. Gradually pour the hot water over the coffee grounds; the coffee should drip steadily.

7. Then, pour the remaining 800ml of hot water into the dispenser.

The coffee will slowly soak up the water from the bottom of the filter through osmotic flow. 8.

The coffee should finish brewing in about 4-5 minutes. 9.

After brewing, remove the Nel dripper from the brew device and serve the coffee.


In conclusion, Nel drip coffee is a specialty coffee that delivers bold and rich flavors. With the right brewing method and equipment, you can create a perfect cup of Nel drip coffee.

Whether you choose the Hario Woodneck or an alternative method, make sure to use a flannel filter to bring out the coffee’s natural oils and flavors. 5) How Do You Clean a Nel Drip Filter?

Maintaining your filter is important to keep your coffee tasting fresh and to extend the life of your equipment. Cleaning your cloths filter helps to remove oils and any unwanted flavors and prolongs the life of the filter.

Proper cleaning also helps to retain the filter’s effectiveness, ensuring that it stays in good condition and provides the best possible coffee flavors for a long time.

Importance of Proper Filter Cleaning

Proper filter cleaning is crucial to ensure the best possible coffee experience and prolong the life of the filter. The accumulation of coffee oils and micro-fines on the filter can negatively impact the taste of your coffee, making it harsh and bitter.

Failure to clean the filter adequately can lead to bacterial growth, which can leave you with an unpleasant taste.

Steps for Daily and Long-Term Filter Cleaning

Daily Cleaning

In general, you should clean your filter after each use to keep it in top condition. In the case of cloth filters, it is important to clean it properly before the first use.

Here’s how to clean your cloth filter on a daily basis:

1. Remove the filter from the dripper and discard any remaining coffee grounds.

2. Rinse the filter with hot water to remove any remaining coffee particles.

3. Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to gently scrub the filter to remove any stains or oil buildup.

4. Rinse the filter with warm water to ensure that there are no leftover residues


Hang the filter to dry. Note: Don’t use any soap in this process, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning the cloth filter is required periodically to remove oil stains or coffee buildup from the filter. Here’s how you can do it:


Boil water in a pot and remove it from the heat. 2.

Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the water and let it dissolve completely. 3.

Place the cloth filter in the pot of water and allow it to soak for at least 15 minutes. 4.

Drain the water and rinse the filter thoroughly with warm water. 5.

Allow the filter to air dry completely.

Long-Term Storage

If you’re not using your cloth filter for an extended period, you should store it properly to keep it in good condition. Here are the steps for long-term filter storage:


Wash the filter thoroughly using the deep cleaning method mentioned above. 2.

Allow the filter to air dry completely. 3.

Store the filter in an airtight container at room temperature. Note: Avoid folding your filter as it can damage the material.



Cloth filters are an excellent way to brew coffee and bring out its natural flavors without any paper taste. While they require maintenance, with proper cleaning and storage, you can enjoy their benefits for a long time.

It is important to clean them correctly to retain their effectiveness. If you’re hesitant to switch to cloth filters due to the maintenance involved, start with simple daily cleaning, and then gradually incorporate deep cleaning into your coffee ritual.

It takes extra effort, but ultimately, it is worth the time investment to enjoy the rich flavors that cloth filters can offer. In conclusion, cleaning your Nel drip filter, whether it’s a Hario Woodneck or a cloth filter, is essential for maintaining the quality and flavor of your coffee.

Proper daily cleaning removes unwanted oils and residues, ensuring a fresh and enjoyable cup every time. Regular deep cleaning helps to eliminate stains and buildup, prolonging the filter’s lifespan and maintaining its effectiveness.

Long-term storage in an airtight container keeps the filter in good condition when not in use. Embracing the maintenance routine may seem daunting, but the rich and bold flavors that cloth filters provide make it a worthwhile investment in your coffee ritual.

So, take the extra effort to clean your filter properly and savor the full potential of your Nel drip coffee experience.

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