Flavor Coffee, run by NAKAGAWA Masashi, broadcasts the program, “Shukan Flavor” (Shukan = Weekly), live on USTREAM on Wednesday, starting at 9:00 p.m. The program is later uploaded to YouTube. Many of the editions are about coffee, and you can learn a lot from them (if you understand Japanese).
(Message to Dan: I selected this Edition, 28, first because it answers all of your questions.)
(From here on, Japanese text omitted to save time)
In Weekly Flavor 28 (not 29), Trying Different Gadgets, Nakagawa-san compares three different types of cone-shaped dripper:
Matsuya-style wire frame dripper,
Kono’s meimon dripper, and
Hario’s Ensui Dripper (made of glass, not plastic).
(Ensui = Cone)
With these three drippers, he makes coffee IN THE MATSUYA WAY, and measures the time it takes to brew 300 cc coffee from 50 g coarsely ground coffee, as well as the weight of the liquid that remains in each dripper.
Matsuya: 36 g, 1 m 45 s
Kono: 32 g, 1 m 13 s
Hario: 32 g, 1 m 09 s
While he stresses the fact that Kono’s and Hario’s drippers are NOT designed to make coffee in the Matsuya way, he points out the differences among the three due to ribs.
Matsuya: No ribs
Kono: Straight ribs in the lower half
Hario: Spiral ribs all the way from top to bottom
Sae-chan (the female assistant) agrees that Hario’s dripper produces the weakest coffee. Nakagawa-san explains the reason in detail. When Hario’s cone-shaped dripper with spiral ribs was first released, Nakagawa-san made various experiments with it, and concluded that the spiral ribs pulled water because of surface tension, resulting in rather weak coffee. He adds that Hario’s cone-shaped dripper is a “follower product” (Kono’s cone-shaped dripper was released earlier), but Hario produces “cool-looking products”, so their products have become quite popular.
Near the end of the program, Nakagawa-san talks a little about the Melitta and Kalita gadgets. He says that with the Melitta gadget, with a single hole, no water-pouring techniques are involved. You just pour water. With the Kalita gadget, with three holes, you need to pour water in several parts, so the water-pouring method becomes important.
I will provide some more details about this video when I have enough time.
Edited on Aug. 5 to add the following:
Other things I have learned from the video:
1. The Matsuya method is no different from the nel (flannel) method in that they do not depend on ribs, brewing coffee only by gravity.
2. At 36:30 and after, Nakagawa-san explains how to pour water from a drip pot. He uses his thumb, not wrist, to control the water flow. He says that human fingers are tireless, so you can pour water endlessly this way. To move the pot in a circle, he uses his shoulders and elbow, not wrist.
3. At 55:26, Nakagawa-san shows the spiral wire-frame dripper that he previously made. He once brewed coffee for 20 cups with the dripper, and found that the resulting coffee was weaker. He has a feeling (has not yet confirmed) that spirals tend to quicken the water flow.