First off, let me just start by saying this build isn’t for everyone BUT if you’re a full-fledged coffee-holic like me you might just want to give it a try! The build portion of the project is actually really simple once you have the glassware. That’s where the bulk of the budget goes for this one. What’s cool about this project is you could modify it however you’d like and make your tower contraption as detailed or as basic as you’d like. For this one, I went super basic because I was outside the shop for the build. Check out the video above, and then let’s go into the details!
STEP #1: MATERIALS
The “beakers” I used in this build all from Amazon.com
All the glassware for this build was purchased on Amazon.com. The majority of it is from a company called Yama which is a Japanese company that focuses on these types of cold brewers and was the inspiration for this build. They sell completed systems already assembled for anywhere from $250-$450 so rather than spend quite that much I thought I’d build my own. You could even go cheaper than what I did by buying a cheaper chemistry set or something or making your own beakers out of other materials if you wanted but here’s what I bought.
- Yama 8 Cup Bottom Beaker – $24
- Yama 8 Cup Top Beaker – $27
- Hario Middle Beaker – $24.88
- Yama Brass Ball Valve – $51.00 – HOLY HELL?! That little valve was $51? I did not pay attention when I ordered that stuff apparently. Well I already told you this build isn’t for everyone and apparently I have a bigger coffee addiction that I even knew! Anyway, moving on.
- For the wood I bought, I bought (3) 1 1/4″ x 36″ poplar dowels – can’t find the receipt but they were cheap and a 1″x 10″x 6′ of common pine (Only needed about 36″ of it), and a 5/8″ x 36″ dowel. The dowel and 1″ x 10″ cost about $12.
All in the materials cost about $150. It’s a lot for a coffee maker but this is more in line with something at a coffee shop probably than personal use. I still think it’s cool and I’ve used it a bunch of times already and really enjoy the coffee it makes. Plus it’s like a wacky science experiment going on in your kitchen which is also kinda cool.
STEP #2: BUILDING & ASSEMBLY
This one was pretty basic build. Watch the video for the detailed step-by-step build instructions and showing what I did, but the basics of it were as follows.
- Cut 3 pieces of the 1″x 10″ to the size you want. I made each one 12″.
- Lay out where you want your dowel risers to go. I laid them out in a triangle pattern, centering them on each side, and inset them from the edge about 1″.
- Once I had the marks for the dowels I clamped all 3 pieces together tightly and used a 1 1/4″ forstner bit to drill out holes for the dowels to pass through.
- I pushed the dowels through the holes and figured out a spacing for the shelves. (Took a little love tapping with the rubber mallet at times to get them where I wanted them) The spacing between the shelves ended up being about 11″ bringing the total height of the tower (without the top glass beaker inset) to just over 24″ tall.
- With the rough assembly complete I took it apart and drilled a hole in the center of the second shelf for the middle beaker with the rubber grommet to pass through. It too was 1 1/4″.
- I measure the diameter of the lower portion of the top beaker (ended up being 5 1/2″) Since the top was wider, I marked a 5 1/2″ circle from the top shelf and used a jigsaw to cut out the circle. This allows the top beaker to sit down in the top shelf (as shown below)
- Once all the cuts were made, I reassembled and drilled holes in the sides where the shelves went and used the 5/8″ dowels as fasteners to secure the shelves to the dowel risers.
- After that it was just prep and paint. I used an orbital sander to sand it smooth and used some flat black paint to finish it!
STEP #3: BREWING COFFEE!
Now I’ve never tried to brew cold brew coffee before. It’s a skill for sure! First I cut a couple pieces of coffee filter to size and set them in the middle beaker. One on the bottom to keep the coffee from pouring out and the other I wet and placed on top of the grinds. I read it was good to do that to disperse the drip. I first tried like a 5 hour drip with a coarse grind and it was good but ended up being a little on the light side. So for the next attempt I tried an 8 hour drip with more of a medium grind. That was also good and smooth but I wanted even more so the third time I did a 12 hour drip with a even finer grind and THAT WAS MONEY!!!
Here’s the finished product!
Overall I’m really happy with the way this thing turned out and the coffee it makes is delicious. I’m still an amateur when it comes to cold brew but now that I’ve got a setup I can really dive into figuring it out!
Thanks for checking out the post and happy building!