From a European perspective, Kinto is more or less the Japanese equivalent of Bodum. Both are founded on the idea of affordable design. Both companies also enjoy a reputation for good quality home and kitchen products.
At the same time, the cultural backgrounds of these companies inevitably lead to differences in the product line-up, and different approaches in styling.
Whereas Bodum focuses primarily on press pots, we take a look at a special item by Kinto in part III of our series on drip coffee makers.
In recent years, Kinto launched a series of new drip coffee makes styled by the renown Japanese designer Kosei Shirotani. The series is named “Faro”, Italian for lighthouse, the obvious source of inspiration.
All parts of the Faro series are in a clean, form follows function style, without unnecessary decoration. We certainly appreciate that. The series consists of a coffee pot, a mug, and a cup. The cup is a double wall design that keeps the coffee hot, while still remaining cool on the outside.
The Kinto Faro Grande is a slightly larger derived version, available only as a cup set, or the slightly larger mug set. While the original Faro series is available only in white, the Faro Grande series is also available in stylish, toned-down blue and brown.
What we like
- Very stylish
- Excellent quality materials
- Permanent filter, so no paper needed
- Makes great coffee
- Almost no sediment in the cup
- Very affordable
What we don’t like
- Fine grinds can stall brewing
Lets look at the good part first. The main elements of the Kinto Faro are made in high quality glazed porcelain, that can simply be cleaned in the dishwasher. When making coffee it is best to first preheat the porcelain with a little hot water. The porcelain keeps warm for quite a long time, an indication of quality.
The filter is of stainless steel with a neatly finished fine wire mesh. It is best cleaned with a special coffee cleaner (eg. Urnex), because it is in close contact with the coffee mixture.
The heart of the Kinto Faro series is the ceramic filter holder with its stainless steel insert. Most popular drip coffee makers of today (Chemex, Kono, Hario V60) use a large exit hole, and have a high flowrate. These can be seen as pure percolation brewers. The brewing time is primarily determined by the grind size, and the amount of agitation provided by the pouring technique.
The Kinto Faro is different. Its filter holder has a relatively small single hole in the bottom. This reduces the flowrate, and increases the contact time between the grinds and the water. This largely determines the brewing time, and makes the Kinto Faro somewhat of a combined percolation and infusion brewer.
Using the Kinto Faro is relatively easy. For best results, we recommend preheating the ceramic filter holder. The filter itself has marks to indicate the amount of coffee, and the amount of water needed to make one cup of coffee. Put the filter with fairly coarse ground coffee in the filter holder, and pour a little water (ca. 50ml) to wet the coffee. After ca. 30 seconds, pour on the rest of the water, and stir two or three times during brewing. We recommend using 60g to 65g coffee per 1000ml. The total brewing time in the Kinto Faro coffee makers is about 4 to 5 minutes for a single cup (230ml – 260ml).
With a proper grind from a good grinder, the Faro coffee brewers can make a truly excellent cup of coffee.
Paradoxically, the only problem of the Faro coffee makers is a result of the good filter. The fine wire mesh filter stops the fine coffee particles, resulting in a clean cup with very little sediment, but there is a trade-off.
Too much fine particles in the ground coffee can clog the mesh filter, causing the brewing to stall. This is only a problem when using coffee that is ground too fine, or ground in a poor grinder (eg. blade type). Stirring the mixture in the filter reduces the chances of difficulties, and will improve extraction.
We certainly like the styling, and the quality of the Kinto Faro coffee makers. We also like the coffee, and clear brew with almost no sediment. The design makes this an excellent drip coffee maker for use at home, or at work.
Apart from personal use, we feel the Kinto Faro coffee makers would also be quite suitable for horeca use. The units are stylish, made of excellent materials, and provide a fairly unique way to offer coffee at the table. On top of that, these drip brewers require very little staff overhead.
Overall, we are happy to recommend the Kinto Faro series of coffee makers.
Kinto is imported in Europe by Roxxor international.