For months, Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters co-founder, Ninja Coffeebar pitchman and general specialty coffee pundit Nick Cho has been using social media to tease details of the December Dripper — a new pourover coffee brewer he’s been designing in collaboration with Korean master barista and CBSC International Coffee Lab CEO Youngmin Lee. Earlier this month, the product launched for sale at last, in Korea.
The December seems to use the Kalita Wave brewer as its foundation, which comes as no surprise given that Wrecking Ball owns Kalita USA and Cho has been a longtime, outspoken champion of the brewer.
The December is of similar size and geometry to the Kalita, accepts fluted Kalita filters and has similar filter-supporting ridges at its base, but departs by way of a slightly more streamlined, handle-free appearance and more importantly its system of 12 coverable holes, as opposed to the Kalita’s always-open three.
The upper portion of the December rotates on a screw that fastens it to the base, sealing shut four holes at a time. Configurations vary from fully closed to having four, eight or 12 holes open, with demarcations on the outside guiding a user’s adjustments while brewing. This allows a user to retain full volume while blooming or at any other phase for either an immersion-style brew or to quicken or restrict the flow of water through the grinds without necessitating a finer grind or slower pour.
This level of adjustability differentiates the December from other immersion-capable drippers such as the Clever Coffee Dripper and Bonavita Immersion Dripper. While other recently released drippers do offer manually adjustable valves to control flow, the December is taking the place of being the only adjustable-flow immersion dripper to utilize Kalita filters and the associated flat, circular bottom and fluted walls.
Though not yet available directly in the U.S., the December Dripper is currently listed for sale on the website of CBSC International Coffee Lab for 44,000 KRW, which at the time of this writing was roughly $38 USD.
(Editor’s note: Cho did not respond to interview requests regarding this story.)