Don’t be fooled: the Kinto SCS-S02 brewer looks a like a vintage chemistry set, but it’s really a one-stop shop for anybody looking to get into pour over coffee.
Kinto brewers have been highly fashionable over in Japan – where the company hails from – since 1972, and coffee buffs are predicting big things from the company in western coffee drinking markets over the next couple of years.
Kinto products have only been exported outside Japan since 2010 and the outfit has strengthened its presence in Europe recently, with a subsidiary set up in 2016. The Kinto SCS has been hotly tipped as one of the best drip filter coffee makers for 2019.
It’s easy to see why – it is a beautifully designed and crafted machine that has been made from top-quality materials. The Kinto SCS features a brewer basket stand made from brass and a base made from stain-resistant walnut.
The brew basket itself is made from stainless steel which is mounted inside a borosilicate glass funnel, which filters the brewed coffee down into a borosilicate glass carafe below. This all in one set comes with its own 700ml carafe capable of making four cups of coffee, but several different sized jugs from Kinto are available.
A gorgeous looking and really well made pour over set that is sure to last you a lifetime. It’s not especially cheap and some may baulk at the rather steep price of what is a low tech bit of kit – but the aestetics as well as the level of brewing control it affords will mean it is right up many coffee geeks street.
You can even brew directly into a mug depending on how much coffee you want to make. This is made a lot easier by the fact that the brass stand is height adjustable, so it is very easy to tailor each brew to your needs.
Another element which makes the machine easy to use is its steel filter basket, which does not require filter paper – thus removing an element of faff that pervades other pour over methods such as the Chemex (you can read our full review of the Chemex set here).
How to make pour-over coffee with the Kinto
Pour over is gaining traction thanks to its ‘slow’ philosophy of making coffee, as it gives people’s daily cup a relaxing sense of ritual.
It also affords discerning coffee geeks a lot of control over the brewing process. With pour over it’s possible to tinker away with grind size, water temperature, brew times, pouring methods and water to coffee ratios.
The Kinto leaves everything in your hands – it’s not prescriptive.
We played around with it and recommend the following recipe for a three cup Kinto brew:
- Freshly grind 30 grams of coffee beans to a medium-coarse grind (that’s sea salt-esque sized particles)
- Heat some water up to 92 degrees
- Add the coffee to the basket
- Slowly pour around 75 ml of water through the freshly ground coffee -wetting all the grinds.
- Wait thirty seconds for the wet grounds to expand in size and bloom. (This is when they release the carbon dioxide trapped within the beans so that the water can better work on them during the rest of the brew).
- Very slowly pour the rest of the water over the grounds in a circular motion – it should take you about 1 minute 20 seconds to get it all poured.
- Wait for the coffee to finish dripping through below (this should take another minute and a half)
We suggest you try something like that and play around with it until you get it to where you want it.
NB: Some people will recommend a thin-spouted gooseneck kettle for your slow pouring. They look cool and make it easier, but are far from essential.
The Kinto SCS is a timeless piece that promises you a lifetime of good coffee.
The adjustable nature of the set allows you to use it to prepare large or small quantities of Java. This is a great virtue, rival sets like the Chemex and Aeropress offer much less flexible brewing capacity ranges.
The lack of brewing paper further streamlines the process and the fine stainless steel basket still ensures a very smooth cuppa without any sediment. Although it may not fit the aesthetics of everybody’s kitchen, the machine looks great. No doubt some may quibble at the fairly high cost of what is a very low-tech piece of kit.
It is however, very easy to use and makes damn good coffee without much fuss.