My obsession for coffee started once I moved to Italy, and saw how seriously everyone took their coffee. But my true love for the coffee culture only started after my numerous trips back to Japan, where I started discovering specialty coffee shops and the true enjoyment of sitting down and having a nice cup of coffee. This is when I started enjoying pour-over coffee.
When I learnt that Mr. Oji Masanori (by now I think you know he’s my favourite designer) was involved in a project to design a coffee machine, I had to look more closely into it.
In the past, flannel cloth has always been used as a filter to brew coffee when using the pour over method. The cloth is known for its ability to retain a richer amount of coffee oil in the coffee. The fabric pour over method was originated in France, which was thought to be a revolution in coffee making. However due to the process being quite complicated, many moved onto paper filters. In Japan there are still quite a few cloth filter pour over enthusiasts, the late Mr. Morimatsu of Cafe Bimi was one.
Mr. Morimatsu believed that when it comes to the best way of brewing coffee, fabric filter pour-over is the ultimate method. According to him, When coffee is made right, the color of it becomes clear. 'As they say diamonds lose their clarity by a finest flaw, my master Shimegi’s coffee was called ‘a diamond of coffee’ for it’s spotless clarity. Coffee also becomes muddy when the beans have impure substances. Still, you don’t want to filter out the adequate amount of oil in the brewed liquid, since the aroma, the life of the coffee, only can be fused into oil substances. The fabric filter brewing is the solution to achieve the best balance between these conflicting needs.’
He made it his mission to discover a way that normal people at home can enjoy a perfect cup of coffee in their own home, every day.
After all, all the work you are putting into making coffee as a coffee expert comes down to bettering the coffee you drink every day at home.
He decided to ask Mr. Oji Masanori to design Nelcco. He had become accustomed to Oji’s designs such as his bottle openers and cutlery’s and he related to Oji’s attitude towards designing simplistic beauty which can last long when used with care.
Oji said he was surprised when Mr. Morimatsu contacted him regarding this project. He had never before designed a stainless steal product, or a coffee equipment. He says the shape was naturally born out by aligning all the conditions and restrictions together when the equipment is in use. ‘In designing, I give my senses a higher priority on what kind of scenery I want to see the product put in, rather then minding about restrictions on the material or manufacturing process.’
They also sought the help of Mr. Naoto Sato, who designs metalware. It took them 2 years to finalise this project, since Mr. Morimatsu first suggested his project to Mr. Tatsuo Fukushima, the present of Fuji Royal, the coffee machine making company.
Mr Morimatsu’s goal was to find a way to make sure everyone was able to make the best coffee at home using NELCCO without over the top techniques required. It was to be used for working parents, a busy mother with small children, for all coffee lovers, whether amateur or professional. I have to say that we have welcomed this NELCCO machine into our house, and my husband has a smile on his face whenever making his morning cup of coffee.