I have to admit, despite its oft fickle nature, I’m a sucker for a pour-over. Don’t get me wrong, batch brew is great—especially when the cafe isn’t too keen on hand brewing coffee or making even halfway decent espresso, which is sadly more shops than you’d imagine—but a really good pour-over, for me, is just tip top. I honestly wish there were more areas of my life where the persnickety method could be applied. (Why? I dunno. I think I just like being difficult.)
And lo and behold, from half the world away, Kikkoman has heard my cries and created pour-over soup. That’s right, it’s soup, that you hand brew, and I’m all about it.
The news comes via Sora News 24 (and graciously brought to our attention by games contributor Brianna Fox-Priest) that Japanese soy sauce will be releasing Yohaku Drip, brewable dashi broths that use “the same technique as drip brewed coffee.” Yokahu Drip packets have the look, feel, and functionality as similarly positioned single-serve coffee pour-over packet. The paper filter containing the broth to be brewed is placed on the rim of a mug or bowl. Then two-to-three pours of 150ml off-boil water is poured over the filter (depending on mug size and desired quantity) before letting the brew steep for two minutes.
Kikkoman will initially release three flavors of Yohaku Drip: Katsuo Karebushi, made from smoked and fermented bonito fish from the Kagoshima Prefecture, with a “sophisticated yet mellow taste;” Katsuo Arabushi, made from smoked but not fermented bonito from the Shizuoka Prefecture, with a “crisper smoky flavor;” and Magurobushi, made from dried tuna flakes and Hokkaido kelp, with a “rich umami taste.” Unlike canned soups, the pour-over broths “contain no artificial flavors” and thus are said to offer a more pure taste of the ingredients used.
Yohaku Drip won’t be available for purchase until March 2022, but according to Sora News 24, those who absolutely cannot wait that long can a pre-release taste via Japanese crowdfunding website Makuake. Otherwise, folks can wait a few months and purchase them directly from Kikkoman’s website in nine packs for JP¥1,800 ($16 USD) or 30 packs for JP¥4,950 ($43 USD).
As a person who often craves a midday pour-over break but doesn’t necessarily desire the caffeine or coffee flavor, I must sat that broth seems like an obvious choice. You can still get the brief respite making a pour-over provides but with flavors more appropriate for the PM hours. And let’s be real, the best part of any soup is the broth (or it should be at least). Reducing a soup down to its greatest element for a casual midday sippable sounds pretty ok to me.