You might have spotted a siphon coffee maker in a handful of hipster coffee shops and wondered what on earth the strange device was? The siphon coffee maker has recently ridden the specialty coffee wave back into the limelight. Reminiscent of a high school science lab, this fascinating brewing method is the perfect blend of science and art. We will first look at what a siphon or vacuum coffee maker is and then look at the best siphon coffee makers on the market today.
What is a siphon brewer?
Siphon or vacuum coffee makers are fascinating brewing devices made up of glass chambers and burners. The first chamber contains water that is under a direct heat source. As the water heats up, the vapor pressure increases, forcing the water to rise to the upper chamber. Then coffee is added to the water in the upper chamber and allowed to steep for a few minutes. The heat source is then removed and the coffee is drawn back through a filter into the lower chamber, leaving a perfectly brewed coffee.
History of the Siphon Coffee Maker
Despite looking like a newfangled hipster fad, the vacuum coffee maker actually dates back to the 1830's. It was first patented by Loeff of Berlin in the 1830s, and the first commercial vacuum coffee maker was sold 10 years later. In 1840, Madame Vassieux, a French woman, designed the first successful vacuum brewer. The artistic design and the unique brewing experience quickly caught on. It has been refined many times over the years, but the basic principles remain the same: it produces a delicate, tea-like brew; It can be tricky to use, and it's one of the coolest brewing methods out there.
Why use a vacuum coffee maker?
There are four unique characteristics of a siphon brewer that set it apart from other brewers...
The siphon brewer works similarly to an Aeropress or French Press in that it is a full immersion brewing method. It means thatAll coffee grounds are in contact with the water throughout the brewing process, similar to steeping tea. This brewing method usually produces a lighter and clearer flavored brew, but it doesn't do as well as extracting the flavor from your grounds like the drip method. Remember to clean a dirty cloth by running it under water instead of soaking it for a while.
The second unique selling point of a siphon coffee machine is theVacuum. When the lower chamber is heated, the air inside expands, pushing the water into the upper chamber. Once the heat source is removed, the air contracts back to normal, creating a large pressure difference between the two chambers. This vacuum sucks the water back through the coffee bed and back into the lower chamber. The vacuum effect helps extract any remaining solubles in the coffee grounds andproduces a full-bodied cup of coffee.
Unlike other brewing methods, the siphon coffee makercontinuously heated during brewing. Because temperature is a key element for optimal extraction, you have more control over the brewing process.
Finally, you can't help but notice that these brewers have an elegance and almosttheatrical qualityto them. One of these bad guys on your bench will immediately draw the attention of all guests.
How does siphon coffee taste?
The taste of a siphon coffee largely depends on the type of beans used. However, siphon coffee is often described as a rich and full-bodied brew, with an intensity similar to that of a moka coffee. The main difference is that it has a smooth, clean and crisp, almost tea-like quality.
Before you jump into buying one of these bad guys, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Stovetop vs Standalone
There are two types of vacuum coffee makers on the market: stovetop and standalone brewers. The main difference between these two brewers is not the brew quality but the aesthetics. There's no doubt that a standalone siphon coffee maker looks better; They often come with an elaborate stand and their own built-in burner. Whereas a stovetop siphon coffee maker has a simpler design and sits directly on top of a gas or electric stovetop.
Vacuum coffee makers are available in a variety of brew sizes, ranging from 3 to 8 cups per brew. Consider how much coffee you need and choose a brewer that delivers.
When choosing a standalone vacuum coffee maker, you need to consider which burner you want to use. The most common are alcohol, butane and gas burners. Alcohol burners are the cheapest option, but they are difficult to control and often deposit soot at the bottom of the siphon. Gas or butane are more reliable options and easier to use. When buying a burner, first check if it is compatible with your siphon.
The last thing to consider is what type of filter the coffee maker uses. The majority use a cloth filter. These are great for catching dregs and making a clean brew, but can be very difficult to clean and mold easily. The other option sometimes available are stainless steel filters, which are easier to clean but may not be as efficient as a cloth filter.
The best siphon coffee makers
Hario Technica coffee siphon
The Hario Technica is our pick for best siphon coffee maker. Manufactured by the well-known Japanese company Hario, this popular brewer is known for its high quality yet affordable. It has a simple yet stylish design and is available in either a three or five cup size. The brewer is made of borosilicate glass, which keeps coffee at an ideal temperature and is more durable than regular glass. This is a standalone brewer that also comes complete with an alcohol burner. However, many users recommend upgrading to a butane gas torch like the Yama, which is more efficient.
Yama glass coffee siphon for hobs
The Yama siphon coffee maker is a good option if you are looking for a cheap entry-level model. This impressive model is the cheapest on our list. It has a neat and compact design and comes in either a 22 oz. or 40 ounces. Size. As a stove siphon, it is designed for direct use on a stove and is very easy to use. Despite being affordable, this model has been plagued by quality issues. The brewer is made of thinner glass than other brewers, making it prone to cracking. Some have also reported problems with the seal between the two chambers, leading to drainage issues. While this isn't the highest quality brewery, it's a good option if you're just starting out and want to test the waters.
Bodum Pebo Herdstaubsauger
The Bodum Pebo is another option if you're looking for a stovetop brewer. The Bodum Pebo has a clean and simple design and is made from slightly higher quality materials than the Yama. The lower chamber has a flat bottom so it can be placed directly on top of a heat source, or you have the option to purchase the brewer with a burner and stand. Known for brewing a consistent cup of great-tasting coffee, this Bodum offers excellent value for money. It has a plastic filter instead of a cloth filter, which makes cleaning easier. It does have a few quirks though... It doesn't use a cover for the top chamber, this isn't a problem unless you use too much water. It's also a large brewer, so takes up a lot of space.
Yama table siphon made of glass
The Yama Glass Tabletop Siphon is a beautiful vintage looking piece that will grace any countertop. While it's more expensive than some of the other options on this list, it's a well-made coffee maker and comes with an alcohol burner and reusable cloth filter. If you're serious about siphon coffee makers, consider the Yama. It can produce a damn good cup of coffee! You can also purchase a butane torch and additional cloth filters that are compatible with the Yama. The only problem some people have found is that the rubber seal is not always effective, which can prevent a vacuum from forming.
Kitchenaid Siphon Coffee Maker
If you're just getting started with siphon brewing and are concerned it might be too complex, the Kitchenaid coffee maker might be for you! Kitchenaid has automated the process of making coffee, resulting in a consistent and easy way to brew siphon coffee. This coffee machine has a modern look and is made of high quality materials. The filter is made of stainless steel and is therefore easy to clean. While the Kitchenaid Siphon Coffee Maker is easy to use, it is expensive and a coffee connoisseur may not appreciate the automated process.
The Final Verdict
If you're looking for the best siphon coffee maker, you really can't go past this oneHarry Technik.This is a high quality and stylish brew at an affordable price. If you are looking for an electric siphon coffee maker thatKitchenaid Siphon Coffee Makeris the best option.
How do you make siphon coffee?
Siphon coffee makers can be difficult to master and require some patience and time to get consistent results. Below is a general guide to brewing siphon coffee, but we would recommend using a recipe such asThis one here, where you weigh your coffee and water.
what you will need
- Freshly ground coffee (medium grind)
- Hot water
- Soak the filter in warm water for at least five minutes, then drop it on the floor of the upper chamber and fasten it there.
- Grind coffee to a medium grind size according to the capacity of your brewer
- Fill the lower chamber with hot water (pre-boiled water speeds up the brewing time)
- Insert the upper chamber and then place the coffee maker over the burner
- Turn on the burner and watch the water begin to boil and rise to the upper chamber
- Once the water has migrated to the top chamber, reduce the heat slightly, then add the coffee grounds and stir gently to ensure everything is submerged
- Let the coffee grounds steep for a minute
- Remove the coffee maker from the heat source and stir vigorously 10 times to create a vortex
- The coffee is drawn down into the lower chamber
- Remove the top chamber and allow the coffee to cool
- Serve and enjoy!