Have you come across the syphon coffee maker? It’s easy to use and does not require barista skills to brew. Also referred to as a vacuum coffee maker, it uses a simple science technique to brew.
The syphon coffee maker is not new to the baristas. It was invented in the 19th century by Loeff of Berlin. Later, Madame Vassieux from French grew the popularity of the coffee maker. She designed the first commercial vacuum, coffee maker.
The Vacuum coffee maker is suitable for use at home and in a cafe. There is a difference between Japanese and American siphon brewing methods.
If this is your first encounter with it, we have everything you need to know about the syphon coffee maker.
We’ll also look at the top 5 vacuum coffee makers. But first, let’s look at what a syphon coffee maker is.
What Is a Vacuum Coffee Maker?
The method of brewing relies on the contraction and expansion of water vapor. When the pressure in the lower chamber builds up, it forces the water up through the tube.
After the coffee brews, remove the burner, and the vapor contracts, forcing the brewed coffee down into the lower chamber.
How does a Syphon Coffee Maker work?
The syphon coffee maker also referred to as a vacuum pot, consists of a burner, two glass chambers positioned vertically, and a filter. There are the top and bottom chambers.
A syphon coffee maker is not your ordinary brewing machine. You add water to the bottom chamber and ground coffee to the top chamber.
It’s interesting how this coffee machine brews coffee. As the water in the lower chamber starts to boil, it produces vapor. As a result, it increases the pressure in the bottom chamber.
The pressure forces the boiling water up the tube into the top chamber. The water mixes with the ground coffee, and after successful brewing, it flows back to the bottom chamber.
One thing you will notice about the syphon coffee maker is that not all the water will rise. The water that remains in the bottom chamber prevents it from overheating and cracking.
The vacuum coffee maker is not as complex to use. Look at the brewing guide below and see how you can sip your coffee within 10 minutes.
Step by Step Guide on How to Brew Coffee With a Syphon Coffee Maker
For a barista or home coffee brewing, the siphon coffee maker is easy to use. Unlike other coffee machines, you are in control of the brewing process.
To start with, you need a:
- Cloth filter
- Syphon coffee maker
- Ground coffee (medium or finely ground)
- Warm water
- Heat source/burner
- Scale (optional, but it helps to be precise)
- Heat water in a separate jug to use in the syphon coffee maker.
- Grind the coffee beans with a coffee grinder or use pre-ground coffee.
- Soak the cloth filter in water to allow it to expand and cover the opening of the siphon.
- Set up the coffee maker. Place the cloth filter in the top chamber and hook it on the side to give it a firm grip.
- Add warm water to the lower chamber. The reason for using warm water is to fasten the brewing process. Using cold water will take you a longer brewing time.
- Heat the water using a burner.
- Place the upper chamber to the lower one and twist gently to seal them together. Do not apply too much pressure when sealing. As the brewing continues, the glass chambers will get too hot, making it hard to separate them after brewing.
- You can add coffee to the top chamber before the water rises. But, you can also choose to add it after the water rises.
- The build-up pressure forces water up the top chamber.
- Stir the mixture after 45 seconds, then give it a second stir.
- Let the coffee brew for about 90 minutes, then remove the heat and turn it off.
- Wait for the coffee to pour into the bottom chamber. Remove the upper chamber and place it on the lid.
- Serve your hot coffee and enjoy.
As for coffee, freshly ground coffee beans enhance the taste of the coffee. Having a coffee grinder gives you control over the grind size.
If you are going to stick to the cloth filter, there is one thing you need to have in mind. After cleaning the filter, you need to store it in water.
Add water to a can and place the filter after each brew. It keeps it fresh and free from the previous flavor.
Top 5 Syphon Coffee Makers
There are different siphon coffee makers. Our top pick for the best syphon coffee maker is the Hario Glass NEXT coffee maker. It is made of glass and aluminum windbreak.
If you have not tried the syphon coffee maker, check out the review below. We will look at the features, pros, and cons of each coffee maker.
Let’s get started.
1. Hario Glass NEXT Syphon Coffee Maker with Silicone Handle, 5-Cup
The Hario Glass syphon coffee maker is from Japan, and it is of glass material. It has two glass chambers, a burner, and a filter.
The two glass chambers, the upper and lower chamber, are made of borosilicate glass. It makes them heat resistant. The coffee maker makes 5 cups of coffee in a single brew.
As with most syphon coffee makers, the filter has a chain that goes down through the upper chamber. This handle is made of silicone, while the filter, burner cover, and stand are made of stainless steel.
When serving coffee, you do not need a carafe to pour coffee. The Hario Glass NEXT syphon coffee maker has brass fasteners that hold the lower chamber firm. It helps prevent accidents.
2. Yama Glass, Glass Stovetop Syphon Coffee Maker
Yama stovetop syphon coffee maker uses vacuum technology to maintain the flavor and aroma of the coffee brewing. It is relatively cheaper than a Hario Glass Next siphon coffee maker.
Depending on the number of people serving, you choose from a 20 ounce or a 32 ounce. The siphon coffee maker works on electric and gas rangetops.
It comes with a scoop and lid, which also acts as a stand for the top chamber. In addition, it comes with a washable cloth filter.
3. Bodum PEBO Coffee Maker, Syphon Coffee Brewer
The Bodum Pebo syphon coffee maker brews coffee within 5-11 minutes and serves 4-8 cups of coffee. It is made in Europe.
Depending on the type of coffee that you use, the coffee maker uses the vacuum brewing process to extract the oils from the brewing coffee. This method maintains the coffee flavor and aroma.
4. KitchenAid KCM0812OB Syphon Coffee Brewer
Unlike other syphon coffee makers, the KitchenAid siphon coffee brewer automates the brewing process. It makes 2-8 cups of coffee in each brew.
With an automated full immersion siphon brewing, it delivers coffee at a precise temperature and vacuum technology. It has a magnetic locking seal that holds the carafe and the brewing unit together.
Other features are a brew unit stand, stainless steel filter, cleaning brush, and a scoop.
5. Boeng 5-Cup Coffee Syphon Tabletop Syphon Coffee Maker
The Boeng syphon coffee maker has a 5-cups capacity and serves 3-4 people. It has glass material that is heat resistant.
Upon purchase, it comes with a wooden stirrer, plastic coffee spoon, alcohol burner, and cloth filters. It’s durable and easy to use.
Brewing coffee using this coffee maker takes less than 10 minutes.
Features of A Syphon Coffee Maker
A vacuum coffee maker has grown in popularity. But what makes it a preferred option for home or cafe use? The siphon coffee maker is consistent in coffee brewing.
Here are the features that make it a unique coffee maker:
- Total immersion extraction method
Total immersion means that you add ground coffee into the water. You stir the mixture and wait for the coffee to brew.
Once the brewing is complete, the grounds are filtered in a cloth filter. This method of brewing is similar to that of the AeroPress and French press coffee makers.
The resulting coffee is clearer, lighter, and flavored.
- The vacuum
This coffee maker is also referred to as a vacuum coffee maker. In the brewing process, boiling water rises up the top chamber.
It creates a vacuum in the bottom chamber. The vacuum pulls down the coffee after removing the heat source. The brewed coffee passes through the cloth filter.
- Heat source
The brewing process cannot take place without a burner or a source of heat. Having a consistent heat source results in a consistent cup of coffee. There is also an electric siphon coffee maker.
Changes in temperature can affect coffee extraction. For this reason, you need to have a precise temperature for maximum flavor extraction.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Syphon Coffee Maker
What should you consider when choosing a coffee maker? Is it the price, time to brew, coffee quality, or the design of the coffee maker?
While all these are some of the factors you need to look out for, what else should you consider?
Vacuum coffee makers come in different sizes. The siphon coffee maker brews 3-8 cups of coffee. Depending on your coffee drinking preference, you choose a coffee maker that meets your drinking needs.
- Stovetop or standalone
Siphon coffee makers can use an electric gas, stove or a built-in burner. The bottom bowl of the siphon is designed in a way that it can sit on an electric or gas stove.
Stovetop coffee makers are not different from other vacuum coffee makers. They brew coffee in a similar way, only that they have a flat surface. The advantage of using them is that they are simple and easy to use.
However, they may not have an appealing look as the standalone coffee machines.
Standalone syphon coffee maker:
Standalone burners come with a built-in burner or an alcohol burner.
An example of a siphon coffee maker with an external heat source is the Hario Technica 5-cup Coffee Maker.
Depending on your preference, you can purchase a coffee maker that is most convenient for you.
Coffee machines come in different designs. When buying one, you can go for a coffee maker that will match your kitchen countertop.
But, most of the siphon coffee makers come with an appealing design. They amplify the style of any countertop.
The siphon coffee machines are made of thick borosilicate glass. It makes them resistant to heat. With proper care, a siphon coffee maker can last for a long time.
Siphon coffee makers have a range of prices. The prices will vary depending on the features and design.
The best models have higher prices. As you budget for a coffee machine, check to find out if it meets your brewing needs.
- Burner type
Like earlier mentioned, siphon coffee makers need a heat source. You can have a coffee maker that sits on an electric gas or one that uses a burner.
Butane, gas, or alcohol burners are the most commonly used heat sources. But, the alcohol burner may deposit soot at the bottom of the brewing chamber.
The electric or butane burners are cleaner and easy to control. Be careful when handling the alcohol burner to avoid fire accidents.
Unless you are brewing Turkish coffee, you will need a filter to trap the ground coffee. Coffee filters are different. There are paper, reusable, and cloth filters.
A siphon coffee maker uses a stainless steel filter or a cloth filter. A stainless steel filter is easy to clean.
However, a cloth filter is quite involving. You have to scrub it to avoid mildew. These filters can be a pain to clean, and therefore, you need to consider a filter that is convenient for you.
Let’s look at the filters in details:
Stainless steel: these filters allow the coffee oils and some coffee grounds into your cup. This results in silky coffee with an intense aroma.
Cloth: a cloth filter seems like the most preferred type of filter. It’s the most commonly used with the vacuum coffee maker.
Unlike the stainless steel filter which passes some of the coffee grounds, the cloth filter does not allow the sediments to pass
Paper filter: paper filtered coffee is smooth and clean. It is rich in coffee oils as well and can also be used with the vacuum coffee maker.
Why Choose a Vacuum Coffee Maker?
When brewing coffee, a vacuum coffee maker maintains the aroma and flavor of the coffee brewing. For a coffee lover who loves a bright cup of coffee, you should try the siphon brewing method.
It borrows the technique of a drip coffee brewing and french press. It extracts coffee at low pressure, hence resulting in a quality tasting cup of coffee.
Unlike other coffee machines, you get to watch the brewing process. As a coffee lover, having this machine gives you room to test your skills.
The main advantage of using the siphon coffee maker is the full immersion method. The ground coffee is immersed in water and brews at the same temperature.
In the bottom chamber, there is a vacuum created after the hot water rises. After removing the heat source, the coffee drains into the lower chamber.
The reason why you should choose a siphon coffee maker is that it brews a consistent cup of coffee at a precise temperature.
The vacuum coffee maker is suitable for home and cafe use. No expertise is required. Unlike an AeroPress coffee maker that brews 3 cups of coffee, a siphon brews up to 8 cups of coffee in a single brew.
Parts of a Syphon Coffee Maker
The siphon coffee maker has different parts, two glass chambers, a heat source, and a filter. Let’s have a detailed look at each of these parts.
- Bottom chamber
In the bottom chamber, the barista or user adds water for brewing. This part is not detachable from the base. You can also use it to serve coffee instead of using a separate carafe.
From this chamber, pressure from the heat source builds up, forcing water to rise. A vacuum is created, which is later occupied by coffee after a brewing process is complete.
That is after turning off the heat source.
- Top chamber
This chamber holds the ground coffee. Also, hot water rises in this chamber, soaking the ground coffee. It has a tube, which goes inside the bottom chamber.
You place the cloth filter in the top chamber. It should fit well to collect all the ground coffee. The upper part is where the water and coffee mix, forming a final product, which is coffee.
- The sealing part
The top part and the bottom chamber need to be firmly closed together. Most of the siphon coffee makers come with a rubber seal.
- Heat source
Not all siphon coffee makers will automate the brewing process. Some coffee makers are used on stovetops while others require alcohol or butane burner.
Before buying a vacuum coffee maker, check to find out the heat source. It saves you from additional costs, especially if the burner is not included.
To trap the ground coffee, you need a filter. It can be paper, stainless steel, cloth, or metal filter. One of the tricks of a cloth filter is that you should rinse it before use.
It helps to expand it so that it sits flat on the top chamber. The cloth and paper filter does not pass residues to the lower carafe.
How to clean a syphon coffee maker
To have the same fresh cup of coffee, you have to clean the brewer after every use. A siphon coffee maker is different from an automatic machine, which will remind you to descale.
Some vacuum coffee makers come with a brush, which you use to clean. So, here is how you clean the brewer.
First, if you are using an electric brewer, remember to switch it off, then remove the plug from the brewer. Clean the glass using a sponge, rinse it, and you are good to go.
Place the top chamber on the lid and place it in a secure position. As for the bottom chamber, it can be hard to clean with a sponge. Use a long brush to keep the inner surface of the container clean.
For a vacuum brewer with a built-in heating mechanism, never immerse it in water. Especially for the bottom part. Use a cleaning brush to clean the inner surface.
As for the top parts, you can use a sponge and soap to give them a thorough cleaning. Use a clean dish towel to wipe off the water that could easily flow into the heating area.
Depending on the type of filter that you are using, you need to keep it clean after every brewing session. The cloth filter is very delicate as it could trap flavors and some of the residues.
After cleaning, it’s recommended that you store it in a jar with clean water. It helps to keep off coffee build-ups that could interfere with the original taste of the coffee.
In the case of soot, you use a more friendly burner. Most baristas who use alcohol burners have an issue with soot forming at the lower part of the bottom chamber.
Pros and Cons of A Syphon Coffee Maker
Similar to other machines, there are advantages and disadvantages of using a coffee maker. The coffee maker extracts coffee at low pressure, resulting in a high-quality cup of coffee.
It is fun watching the coffee brew in a siphon coffee maker. Before you settle on the coffee maker, check out the pros and cons from the table below.
|Do not require electricity and so you can brew from the table.||Very fragile. Excessive heat can break the glass. Also, in case of an accident, they can drop and break off.|
|Brews coffee that has no sediments or coffee residue.||They are hard to clean as they are narrow.|
|Come in an appealing design.||Brews coffee in ten minutes. This is a longer time compared to other coffee makers like the AeroPress. It takes 1-2 minutes to brew.|
|Full immersion of coffee grounds extracts the full aroma and flavour.||Come with additional cost. A burner and special filters.|
|High-quality cup of Joe. The coffee is rich and delicious||Uses an open flame unless you budget for a more expensive burner.|
|Easy to use|
|The user or barista controls the temperature|
|There is no limit for time to brew.|
|They are flexible and customizable.|
|Siphon coffee machines are stylish and functional.|
Syphon Coffee Maker Frequently Asked Questions
If you are planning on buying a siphon coffee maker, here are some of the answers to the questions which you may be having.
Q. Why should you use warm water and not boiling water when using a syphon coffee maker?
Using warm water in the bottom chamber speeds up the brewing process. Cold water will take longer to boil.
Therefore, before you begin brewing, make sure you warm the water to use.
Q. Which are the components of a syphon coffee maker?
A vacuum coffee maker has four main components. These are top and bottom chambers, filter, and a siphon tube.
In addition to the four components, you also need a burner or heat source. Not all vacuum coffee makers will require a separate burner. This will depend on the type of coffee maker that you want.
Q. Which type of filters should you use with the vacuum coffee maker?
Most of the siphon coffee makers use a cloth filter to trap the ground coffee. But, this should not limit you to this type of filter. You can also use a paper filter, stainless steel, or metal filter.
However, a stainless steel filter has a higher chance of passing some of the coffee residues.
Q. Which are the available sizes for the coffee maker?
The vacuum coffee maker brews 2-8 cups of coffee. If you have a larger family or several people to serve coffee, you can go for a coffee maker with a bigger capacity.
The most popular sizes are 3-cups, 5-cups, and 8-cups. Choose a siphon coffee maker based on your serving needs.
Q. Why should you consider a vacuum coffee maker?
First, these coffee makers come in beautiful designs. They add an appealing design to your countertops. Secondly, they are very affordable, especially for someone working on a tight budget.
In addition, they use the vacuum brewing method, which maintains the flavor and aroma of the coffee.
Should you Buy a Syphon Coffee Maker
There is a lot to like about the vacuum coffee maker. First, it is easy to use. It also has an appealing design, which makes it suitable for any countertop.
From the list above, you can get a coffee maker, that is, within your budget and suits your experience. Review the features of each and pick one that meets your coffee brewing needs.
To have a final, quality cup of coffee, do not go for low-grade coffee. Use freshly roasted coffee to have a high-quality cup of coffee.
What are your expectations from a siphon coffee maker?