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Brewing your siphon coffee is the most inexpensive way for you to appreciate the physics, experience the process, and enjoy the rich rewards. Although it might appear too complex for you to learn about, the truth is, it’s quite simple.

Siphon coffee making came into being in the 1840s. During this time people thought that fine ground coffee always gives better flavor compared to coarse grounds. This is considering how finely coffee beans could be milled had it’s limit. That’s because brewed coffee could not drain through when the coffee grounds were too fine.

How Do Siphon Coffee Makers Work?

Bodum siphon coffee maker
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As the name suggests, siphon or vacuum coffee makers optimize on the influence of atmospheric pressure to make an extremely fine brew.

The siphon coffee maker or vacuum coffee pot works based on the law of contraction and expansion of gases – particularly water vapor – which allows the device to make an infusion style brew while effectively filtering the grounds. This then leaves a clean and pristine cup.

Vacuum coffee makers have four parts which include:

  • A bottom container (or bottom globe or bottom chamber) where water first sits and your brewed coffee will eventually rest;
  • The top container (or brewing chamber or top chamber or siphon chamber) has an attached open-ended siphoning tube. Here the brewing takes place.
  • Some form of sealing material (often a rubber gasket) which helps create a vacuum in the bottom vessel during the brewing process; and
  • The filter may be made of metal, cloth, or glass

Also, you’ll need a heating source. After the bottom container of your siphon coffee maker is full of water to a specified level, it’s heated up. Soon enough the water will start turning into steam.

Hario coffee maker
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In this brewing coffee maker, steam is essential as it is what gets everything going. At a near-boiling point, the steam then forces liquid water up an internal siphon. Vapour continues the brewing action at the right brewing temperatures.

As the steam starts to reduce and it’s converted back to water it further helps in the “vacuum” stage in this brewing process. Thereby your ready brew will be drawn back into a lower chamber.

Brewing Siphon Coffee: The Guide

If you are new to manually making coffee, this method of coffee brewing is something you could make at home. Net, we’ll look at the gear you’ll need to begin:

  • A gram scale
  • A coffee grinder
  • A siphon coffee maker
  • A heat source (comes with the siphon)
  • A stopwatch or timer

Steps to Brewing Coffee with a Siphon Coffee Maker

Although vacuum coffee makers have recently experienced an increase in popularity, they aren’t new to coffee-making. These amazing brewing vacuum coffee pots have been rediscovered. How then do you brew with a vacuum coffee machine? Let’s find out.

Instructions

Step 1 – When you choose to use a cloth filter, you should begin by soaking it in some warm water for a few minutes. In doing so lets the filter expand so that it completely covers the opening of your siphon device.

Step 2 – Using a scale, measure the grounds based on your desired profile.

Step 3– Place the filter gently over your siphon opening. Placing it from the top vessel, then ensuring that the attached chain drops to the bottom chamber.

Step 4 – Next, add water into the bottom vessel and turn on the heating source. Some people prefer near-boiling water as it quickens the process.

siphon coffee maker
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Step 5– As your water starts boiling, position and seal the upper vessel on top of your lower vessel.

Step 6- As your water continues boiling the pressure building in the chamber will push its way into the upper vessel – a process popularly known as the “kick up.”

Step 7– After about half the water has been forced into the upper vessel, add your grounds, and stir them quickly with a bamboo stir stick.

siphon coffee brewer
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Step 8– Be sure to shut off your heat source once all the water is pushed into the upper vessel and allow your coffee to steep. Note: often the steep time varies for different manufacturers – so always confirm with your user manual.

Step 9– Next, break the seal to allow the brew to gradually filter back into your bottom vessel ( the “kick down.)

Step 10– Once your brew has completely drained, empty it into your carafe and disconnect the different chambers. Finish by cleaning the device.

Siphon Coffee Maker: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Has temperature controls

  • Reusable cloth filters

  • Fully and evenly saturated grounds

  • With a controlled stirring of grounds

  • Lets you control brew time

  • Aromatically and visually stimulating

Cons
  • Additional clean up time due to heat source (i.e soot)

  • Uses open flame except for when you use a halogen heat source

  • Brew cools quickly due to glass decanter

  • A few of its parts might be hard to find and costly 

Siphon Coffee: Troubleshooting Your Brew

While brewing siphon coffee vs espresso is different. Making siphon coffee is not difficult. Even then, some easily-made slip-ups might throw off your brew. Here’s a look at some of those mistakes and ways you can fix them.

Your coffee tastes weak or light                                     

This probably indicates under extraction and that means you need to extract more out of your grounds. Put the grounds in the water and next time; add an extra 15 seconds to your brewing time.

Your coffee drains slowly or too quickly

The draining speed concern is almost certainly due to the grind size. Your beans are either too finely ground which causes the draining to clog or stall. If the grounds are too coarse, the water tends to drain immediately. Next time grind finer to have a slower drain and coarser for a faster drain.

Your coffee tastes bitter or overpowering

You’ve likely extracted too much from your grounds, leading to an over-extracted flavor. Next time decrease your brew time by around 15 seconds.

Why Choose a Vacuum Coffee Maker 

Ultimately, brewing an excellent cup of coffee is both an art and a science – and the siphon coffee machine gives you that. For a fervent coffee aficionado or a barista, this unusual brewing technique is worth trying. While brewing coffee using a siphon coffee maker isn’t as simple as with other coffee brewing methods, the rewards are well worth the effort.