A savory alternative to drip-brewed coffee.

Coffee and tea have long dominated a particular category of hot beverages often enjoyed while relaxing. Recently, however, the concept of drinking straight soup stock has been gaining momentum in Japan with many canned soup broths appearing in vending machines and convenience stores.

But now a fresher alternative has appeared from soy sauce giant Kikkoman in the form of Yohaku Drip. This home-brewed soup uses the same technique as drip brewed coffee in which a paper filter is hung on the rim of a cup and hot water is poured in and brews with the coffee grounds before seeping into the cup. This kind of coffee is especially popular in Japan for its convenience and rich taste.

So it seems only logical that the same magic can work for soup broth too. Unlike their canned counterparts, these soups are said to contain no artificial flavors to maintain the pure taste of the ingredients.

They come in three flavors, starting with Katsuo Karebushi, which is made from bonito fish from Kagoshima Prefecture that has been smoked and then fermented for a sophisticated yet mellow taste. There is also a Katsuo Arabushi, which is made from bonito sourced from Shizuoka Prefecture that doesn’t undergo the fermentation and keeps a crisper smoky flavor.

Finally there’s the Magurobushi flavor, which is made from dried tuna flakes and Hokkaido kelp, giving the soup a rich umami taste.

Making these soups is about as easy as it gets. Just place the drip filter over a tea cup, pour about 150 milliliters (5 ounces) of boiling water into the filter two or three times depending on the size of the cup and desired amount, and then let sit for up to two minutes.

Yohaku Drip will be sold direct from Kikkoman’s online store in packs of nine for 1,800 yen ($16) or thirty for 4,950 yen ($43). They don’t go on sale there until March of 2022, but for those who can’t wait, a special crowdfunding campaign has been set up on the Japanese site Makuake from 23 December to 20 February offering an early taste.

In this type of crowdfunding the target amount doesn’t need to be met for orders to ship out. It turns out that didn’t matter anyway because the target has already been smashed, but that also means that supplies are running short, so anyone who wants to get in on the latest trend of enjoying soup broth as a drink better act fast.

Source: Kikkoman, Makuake
Images: Makuake 
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[ Read in Japanese ]