Total immersion, drip, or filter brews are very appealing coffees because of the experience that you can have around the process. The siphon or vacuum pot coffee maker is a perfect instrument to make a clear but full-bodied coffee.
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What is a siphon?
A siphon is known mainly from chemistry and is also known as a vacuum siphon or a Japanese siphon coffee. It is a device used to transfer a liquid from one container to another. The special feature here is that the liquid is first drawn upwards and then transferred to a container at a lower level. The method applied uses hydrostatic pressure. The difference in height is the central factor here.
The same procedure can also be used if you want to steal gasoline from someone’s tank with a hose.
However, the coffee siphon is a bit different from this principle. It is a construction of two vessels, usually sphere-shaped, which are arranged one above the other and connected internally through a tube. There is also a base where the flame is lit that is connected to the middle part of the siphon.
The water is poured into the lower vessel and heated with a flame. The heating causes the water to expand and due to the pressure created, the water seeks its way into the upper vessel through a filter. As soon as the flame is turned off and the temperature drops again, the pressure also decreases and the water flows back into the bottom globe.
History of the siphon
To learn a little more about what a siphon is and how it works, we need to look at the history since 1830, when the first design was created in Berlin. That is, the siphon did not originate in Japan, but in Germany. A man named Loeff decided to make a coffee in this instrument that was slightly different from the one we know today.
Although there is not much information about this first experiment, the siphon was used for decanting medicines and for some chemical experiments. However, it soon turned out that it was a good idea to use it to make good coffee.
Later, in 1841, a French housewife named Madame Vassieux created the French balloon, which already had a shape very similar to the present one. Later, at the beginning of the 20th century, the siphon became popular in the United States, and two women from Massachusetts developed the Silex brand siphon, made of tempered glass. A great innovation for that time.
Since then, the siphon has been known for its excellent coffee quality. It is a method of full immersion, similar to the French press, combined with a filtering method similar to a V60 or Chemex. The result is a smooth, full-bodied coffee with lower acidity that intensifies the flavors of chocolate and caramel.
How does it work?
The water in the lower container is heated, causing it to flow to the top. Once most of the water has accumulated in the upper area, you add the coffee to the hot water in the upper container. You can stir occasionally with a spoon or other object. After a minute, you can turn off the heat source and the brewed coffee will flow back into the lower container. The coffee grounds remain in the upper container in the form of a dome.
Ingredients for making siphon coffee
How to make siphon coffee?
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Number of cups: 2
Coffee grind degree: Medium
- Insert the filter into the upper container. If it is a paper filter, you should moisten it with hot water to avoid paper taste.
- Remove the water you added for the paper filter.
- Now add 300 ml of the preheated water to the lower container. This will speed up the preparation. With the heat source on, wait for the water to rise into the upper container.
- Add the ground coffee to the upper container for a 30-second pre-brew. This will give your coffee even more flavor.
- Gently stir the coffee with the help of a spoon. Wait another 30 seconds.
- Turn off the heat source and watch the filtered coffee sink into the bottom container.
- That’s it! Now you can serve your coffee and enjoy its great taste.
The 3 best siphons on the market
Hario – Technica Siphon
Capacity: 5 cups
Product weight: 1.54 lbs.
Dimensions: 41.5 x 12.4 x 16.5 cm.
Hario is a leading brand in immersion and drip coffee makers, as well as in brewing accessories.
- It is made of borosilicate glass, which is very heat resistant and therefore more durable.
- It is imported from Japan and offers a traditional design.
- It includes a cloth filter and a measuring spoon, which you can also use to stir the first brew.
- The capacity is enough for several cups.
- It is best to add preheated water to shorten the brewing time.
Yama – Glass Siphon
Capacity: 8 cups
Product weight: 2.4 lbs
Dimensions: 20,3 x 20,3 x 27,9 cm
This siphon has a slightly more modern shape without losing sophistication. It has a larger capacity tank, making it ideal for coffee shops.
- It is also made of high quality borosilicate glass. The glass produced by this brand has been on the market for more than 40 years and is known for its quality.
- It includes a filter and a measuring spoon. The measuring spoon is also used to stir the coffee during brewing.
- The brand also offers spare parts for the coffee maker when parts need to be replaced.
- Simple and professional design for beginners and baristas alike.
Capacity: 3 cups
Product weight: 5.5 lbs
Dimensions: 43.8 x 35.5 x 15.2 cm
This option is a little different from the previous two models. At first glance, it appears to be an instrument for a chemist. However, it is a luxurious Belgian-style design in refined colors.
- The product is available in gold, rose gold and silver. All products have a very elegant design and a wooden base.
- The siphon is made of stainless steel and glass to ensure a long life.
- The two containers are not one above the other, but side by side. However, they function in the same way.
- It includes a measuring spoon.
- The siphon has a U-shaped handle to make it easier to move from place to place.
- Due to the materials and construction of the siphon, this is a very heavy product with a lower capacity. So it is not recommended for businesses.
What you should consider when buying a coffee siphon
As you have seen above, there are several options when it comes to choosing your siphon. Although they are all very similar, there are a few things you should look for when buying.
With any coffee maker, the material is pretty important. It should be made of durable and heat-resistant glass, as well as the other parts made of resistant materials. Therefore, we do not recommend products with plastic parts.
Capacity and size
These siphons are quite large but have different capacities. Also, note that size is not always proportional to the capacity, and some siphons feature more practical designs. Choose one that fits your requirements.
Siphon coffee brewers are not cheap. However, in general, the price is also related to the quality of workmanship. Remember that, as a rule, all siphon coffee machines have the same function, which is simply to brew coffee.
The siphon is not a coffee maker for everyone. It is for the true lovers of having a coffee experience. So, dare to try one of these siphons and surprise any guest with the coffee it makes!