There arecountless ways to prepare coffee, but some are more theatrical than others. If you want to wow guests or watch some cool science in the morning, a siphon vacuum coffee maker is the right choice. However, this method can be tricky, and you'll want a well-constructed brewer - it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
We've taken the time to look at many of the most notable models, and we've compiled eight top picks. We hope these reviews help make your decision easier. Scroll down to find our top eight favorite siphon coffee makers and read the buyer's guide for some handy shopping tips.
Comparison of our favorites for 2023
The 8 Best Siphon Coffee Makers (Vacuum Brewers)
1.Hario Technica Siphon Coffee Maker - Overall the best
We love them5 cup machine by Hario Technica, partly because it's built so sturdily. It is made of technical glass as well as stainless steel and silicone. The result is a product that performs well and will stand the test of time.
Of course, like any siphon machine, this is a bit delicate. But the Hario Technica is pretty sturdy, and partly that's why we choose it as our top pick.
This goes beyond a mere construction. Thanks to the alcohol burner under the machine, you can watch your coffee go through all the brewing phases quickly and correctly. This machine heats up quickly (if you're in a hurry, you can fill it with near-boiling water from the stovetop), and the coffee flows back to the base very efficiently.
All in all, we think this is the best siphon coffee maker in 2021 as it's a great choice for maximizing flavor and shelf life.
- Great construction
- Attractive styling
- Alcohol distiller requires fuel, which you may not have on hand (although it can be easily purchased at any hardware store)
2.Kendal Tabletop Siphon Coffee Maker - Best Value
TheGlass table top siphon coffee maker from Kendalis similar to the Hario Technica, and because of its affordable price, we vote it the "best vacuum coffee maker for the money". While the Hario Technica is made of sturdy technical glass, this machine is built with a more humble construction. That said, we still think this is a great choice for anyone looking to get the most bang for their buck.
Feel free to experiment to find the burner you like the most. The Kendal machine comes with an included alcohol burner (like the Hario Technica), but some users prefer to use other types of propane burners. Ultimately, it shouldn't make too much of a difference because - as with any siphon machine - the magic happens in the upper chamber as the water mixes with itthe site.
This coffee maker is a great choice for anyone looking to impress guests or enjoy a bespoke cup of coffee at the weekend. We love the relatively modest price and we love the creative styling.
- Looks great
- Including cloth filter
- The included alcohol burner is a little weak
- A little tender
3.Bodum PEBO vacuum and siphon coffee maker
Unlike the previous two whoBodum PEBO vacuum and siphon coffee makerwas designed to sit on top of your stove. This is great because you don't have to worry about handling alcohol or butane gas torches - but this machine requires a lot of caution. The Bodum PEBO is designed to work well when filled with water and placed on a burner over medium heat, but at very high temperatures or in the event of improper brewing, it can shatter and pose a definite hazard.
However, we think it's a great choice for anyone looking for a stovetop option and will brew carefully.
Simply place the water-filled Bodum PEBO on your stovetop over medium-high heat and wait for the water to rise into the top chamber. Then add your coffee and steep (experiment to determine your preferred length of time). When the pot comes off the stove, your brewed coffee drips back through the custom filter in this machine.
Some users report frustrations with the filter - that it can clog and drain too slowly - but we think it's a good sacrifice for an otherwise pretty great product.
- Stovetop compatible
- Impressive eight cup capacity
- Some issues with the included filter
4.KitchenAid Vacuum Coffee Maker
We love themKitchenAid KCM08120B Siphonmaschinebecause it's exactly what you would expect from a trusted brand like KitchenAid. It's not particularly special in any way - and it won't turn too many heads when you're sitting on your countertop - but it's reliable and a great option for anyone looking for a trustworthy siphon machine.
It's packed with great design features, including its electric heating base. That means you don't have to worry about a complicated burner or even a cooktop. We think this makes the KitchenAid a great choice for anyone who has young children around the house or wants a better machine in the office.
Unfortunately, it's on the pricier end of the options we looked at. That's certainly a bummer - but this is a case of "you get what you pay for" when you're able to splurge a bit for this KitchenAid machine.
- Easy to use
- Robust construction
- Less Dramatic (No Burner)
- Quite expensive
5.Yama Glass 8-Cup Stovetop Coffee Siphon
If you are interested in a stovetop option, theYama Glass 8 cup stovetop coffee siphonis another good choice. It's very similar to the Bodum but has some nice extra touches. For example, we love that it's made from borosilicate glass - this technical material makes the Yama a slightly sturdier option.
We also like the included filter. Unlike some other options, the filter for this machine is quite large, which helps ensure you don't have to worry about clogging.
Take a look at the different sizes this siphon is available in. For those who will be entertaining weekend guests, the larger 32-ounce option is a good choice. If you opt for the smaller 20-ounce model, you'll still have room to brew about four generous cups of coffee.
We think the Yama is a good choice for anyone who likes the showmanship of a hob - and is willing to spend a little more for a sturdier product.
- Simple stove operation
- Great filter included
- The handle placement is perfectly adjusted to accidentally singe your hands (be careful).
6.Nispira Balance Siphon Coffee Maker
This next machine is a bit of a marked departure from our previous picks. If you're looking for a dramatic throwback piece, this is itNispira Belgian Luxury Balance siphon coffee machineis it. Think of it as a wild gadget, straight out of a chemistry lab—but so does coffee. Guests will be very impressed when they see this sitting outside in the morning.
We love the golden styling and the artful attention to detail. But there's more to this machine than just the design. The Nispira makes particularly great siphon coffee. It uses an alcohol burner - similar to some of our other picks - but the Nispira has it all built into its body. As well as looking good, it also means it's been able to precisely control the way heat flows around the water.
This ensures proper brewing - and this makes it a great option for anyone looking for a bold machine that doesn't sacrifice function for form.
- Looks great
- Integrated heating elements
- Larger than other options
- Relatively small capacity
7.Boeng 5 cup siphon vacuum coffee maker
What sets theBoeng 5 cup siphon machineSetting aside some of our other options is his no-nonsense, no-nonsense approach to brewing. Everything about this machine is designed to work very well, but also not to do much more than what is necessary.
Like some of our other picks, it's made from borosilicate glass, which ensures very even heat transfer and a very sturdy, shatterproof chamber. In addition to this design touch, we also particularly like that the Boeng comes with such a great stainless steel filter. This machine uses an alcohol burner and - again - it should be fairly easy to find substitute fuel at your local hardware store if needed.
Overall, we love the sturdiness of this machine and it's a wonderful way to delve into the world of siphon coffee.
- Good price
- Solid construction
- Not super big
- Requires fuel refills
8.Yama coffee table siphon made of glass
For those of you who liked the previous Yama - the stovetop version - theYAMCNT5 Glass tabletop with ceramic base coffee siphonAlternative is a great option. Don't worry about fiddling around when you put this contraption on the stove. This siphon - like many of our other picks - uses an included alcohol burner.
This is great for anyone looking to impress guests with dramatic brows. Constructed of engineered borosilicate glass, this machine will surely stand up to a lot of use. We love that it's sturdy and that the stand looks so great - but we're a little disappointed with the customer service that many customers have received from Yama.
Despite all the great aspects of this machine, we rank it last, in large part because so many users have reported defective shipments or difficulties dealing with Yama support.
- Easy to use
- Dramatic performance
- Requires fuel refills
- Difficulties with Yama Customer Service
Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Siphon Coffee Maker
While all of these options are very different, there are some universal considerations to consider when making this decision. First, it's probably worth understanding exactly how siphon coffee works.
How does a siphon brewer work?
1. You fill the lower chamber with water and place it on a heat source. When the water in the lower chamber is heated, it begins to boil and turns into steam.
2. You add coffee grounds into the upper chamber. The steam in the lower chamber creates pressure that forces hot water into your upper chamber and mixes with the bottom.
3. You remove the brewer from the heat source and allow the coffee to steep. At this point you have mixed coffee with ground coffee in the upper chamber.
4. As the vapor in the lower chamber cools and condenses back into water, a pressure differential is created that causes your coffee to be steadily pulled back down from the upper chamber. It passes through a filter on the way down, leaving the coffee grounds in the upper chamber and the filtered coffee in the lower chamber.
5. The result is a delicious pot of coffee - all thanks to this impressive vacuum process.
Contrary to what it might appear, this isn't the result of gravity simply pulling the water back down. Rather, this action is the result of careful engineering - here you can see the physics happening right before your eyes.
Heber brewers must first achieve a perfect seal. The suction process only works properly if air and water vapor can be drawn smoothly through the device without excess air entering. The options we've selected are all capable of making that robust seal, and this is perhaps the single most important test of all coffee maker siphoning.
But besides simply making sure your machine is properly sealed, there's another important consideration when choosing the right model: the heat source.
Of course, something has to be heating the water in the lower chamber to start this whole process. This is where fuel comes into play. Whiletraditional drip coffee machinesrely almost entirely on electricity, these siphon machines give you a chance to be a little braver.
Many of our top picks use small containers of flammable alcohol. This is the same type of fuel that can be used for fondue pots or camping stoves. While this can be a perfectly safe option, you should consider whether this is appropriate for your particular situation. For example, if you use your machine around young children, these alcohol burners may not be the best choice.
However, some of these machines use simple electricity or stove top burners. Although less theatrical, this type of power source may make more sense for many users.
We hope these reviews have helped you find the best vacuum coffee maker for your personal needs. You're well on your way to wowing guests with dramatic coffee brewing and enjoying the perfect cup of siphon coffee.
Featured image: Kenny Louie, Wikimedia, CC 2.0
Table of contents
- Comparison of our favorites for 2023
- The 8 Best Siphon Coffee Makers (Vacuum Brewers)
- 1. Hario Technica Siphon Coffee Maker - Best Overall
- 2. Kendal Countertop Siphon Coffee Maker - Best Value
- 4. KitchenAid Vacuum Coffee Maker
- 5. Yama Glass 8-Cup Stovetop Coffee Siphon
- 6. Nispira Balance Siphon Coffee Maker
- 7. Boeng 5 cup siphon vacuum coffee maker
- 8. Yama Glass Tabletop Coffee-Siphon
- Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Siphon Coffee Maker
- How does a siphon brewer work?
- Tight closure
- heat source
- Final Verdict