My first weekend back, I stumbled into a coffee workshop.
Let’s rewind a little, my shokupan dealer Satoshi told me that their new space is finally ready, so come at 10am for a special event.
In my mind, it was soft-opening, with bread and pastry, refillable batch brew, and meeting new people, whom I could boast about my recent trip to Auckland.
The girls took the car to scout camp, but I’d tram to Brunswick for that.
Imagine my surprise, when I walked up to a seminar, a lecture on filter coffee. Audience with chairs, Japanese men standing around and I was ‘ushered’ to stand at the back.
Where did all these Asians / Japanese come from?
It took me a while to perform some Mentalist maneuvers to my brain - the World Barista Championship took place in Melbourne, the Thai champion was doing a we-fie in Victoria Market early in the morning, to conclude that this must be part of the ‘after party’, related to all things coffee.
So I stood in the back and listened to a full thirty minute of the benefits of Origami coffee dripper.
The guy must be a Japanese champion or something (I walked in late) and to be fair he gave a concise summary of what the company is trying to achieve.
Coffee drippers look the same (ugly).
It reminds people of old farts.
Origami drippers are unlike 1. and 2.
The new market is more sophisticated, people are treating coffee like wine, so the brewing equipment and cups etc can also be more elegant
Origami is also releasing a plastic version called the ‘air’.
He also touched on water temperature and materials, but he stressed a couple of times that making coffee should be enjoyable, and that there are no hard rules. So much so that you could use the same filter papers, the hario, the kalita wave on the Origami without any issue. They do not want to start another ‘standard’ to increase waste.
I’m ok with that.
But then came the Q&A.
The first guy asked: can you talk about the angle of the dripper?
He answered: it’s the same as the V60 dripper.
The second guy asked: can you talk more about the grooves on the dripper? Why 20, not 10 or 40?
He answered: so that it fits the Kalita wave dripper.
And then the first guy asked again: can you talk more about the angle of the dripper? If it changes the flow speed, drip speed?
Dude, he just told you it’s the same as the V60 and Kalita. They are here to offer alternative designs. Plus the angle doesn’t affect drip speed, try coffee grind size and water temperature!
I did not know that I have an inner voice, but you learn something every day. Maybe I did say those out loud, who knows.
It was at that precise moment, next to the guy who was scrolling through his social media feed, the couple who was live-streaming the event, when I realised I was back in Melbourne.
The unnecessary, pointless questions which led us to nowhere, like peeling an onion, only to find nothing but tears and in need of a wash of hands.
No one is really here for coffee; they’re here to look like they’re into coffee.
It should’ve been about how cute the drippers are, how we could customise the colours according to our bedrooms, about who’s who are using it (actually he did mention 3 out of 5 contestants used it during the competition), but we ended up spending 30 minutes on ‘angles’.
In the end, while the barista was demonstrating how to use the dripper, the guy with the 10,000 questions walked out and left.
That was the definite lei on the neck for me - welcome back, grumpiness, and high blood pressure.
You know what Origami should’ve done?
They should’ve posted this chart.
They should’ve mentioned they are both a manufacturer and seller.
Whenever you’re buying a dripper, you’re buying a product from Japan made in the town of Mino. If you’re a cafe owner or a professional, you could customise your own drippers, your saucers, and your cups since they can pretty much make whatever you want.
If you’re in the market for one, go plastic as plastic is a bad heat conductor = good for consistent brew temperature.
Go small, because the big ones are usually only for show, and let’s face it, you’ve never made filter coffee for 6 people at home, ever.
But what do I know right?
I’m the guy who just walked in expecting shokupan.
You know what though, the guy already said it in the beginning.
There are no hard rules - it’s your home, your coffee, you should just make it the way you like it.
And I can’t wait for the space to open up with proper bread.
Plenty of natural light.
A coffee-themed circle jerk - why yes, it doesn't get any more Melbourne than that 🙃