Most people who like coffee see it as not just a cup of caffeinated drink to keep them energized. It is an exquisite drink with amazing taste and aroma.
Actually, most coffee enthusiasts appreciate such qualities of their drink as flavor, aroma, rich aftertaste, sweetness, and others rather than its strength. And, if you are one of them, you know well that your brewing method has a great impact on all those qualities. Each brewer has its specific brewing method; for example, dual coffee makers use two brewing methods.
Siphon coffee brewing is actually one of the best brewing methods for those who like to enjoy some high-quality drinks instead of simply fulfilling their need for caffeine. The only issue about this method is that you need to use a pretty complex device for it.
What Is a Siphon Coffee Maker
Siphon coffee maker is one of those unusual devices that look like a piece of lab equipment. You for sure have spotted one of them at those trendy coffee shops, but, likely, you have never known what it is.
Actually, there are two answers to the question of what is a siphon coffee maker – simple and detailed.
The simple one – it is a coffee brewer that looks complicated and unique. However, it doesn’t explain anything.
If you want to understand what it actually is, you need to opt for a detailed answer. A siphon coffee maker – it is a full immersion brewer that, with the help of heat, creates a vacuum to move water from one chamber to another. During this process, water soaks coffee grounds and allows them to steep well.
Benefits of Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
If you are an experienced coffee enthusiast, you know really well that there are numerous ways to brew coffee. Of course, it is absolutely clear that each method has its advantages, disadvantages, and specifics. It means that you need to choose a brewing method according to your preferences and qualities of the drink you are aiming for.
Siphon coffee maker also has its advantages that may be really important and absolutely great for you.
Rich, Refined Taste
Using a siphon coffee maker, you can brew a rich and delicious cup of your favorite drink. That is one of the main reasons why siphons are so popular among coffee lovers.
This method allows brewing such a great cup of coffee due to the vacuum brewing mechanism and special filters that allow extracting aroma and oils from coffee beans really well.
For this method, you need to use coarse and grainy coffee grounds, but due to its construction, the system does not allow any grounds in your cup.
Fun to Watch the Brewing Process
It may sound strange and even childish, but the truth is that the process of brewing coffee with siphon brewer is really exciting and interesting. It is a great way to make your wait for your coffee less boring, lifeless, and distressful. Also, using it, you can feel like a real chemist.
Flexible and Customizable
If you have ever used a siphon maker, you know well that you just need to add more grounds or more water to change the aroma, taste and strength of your coffee. Moreover, siphon makers are usually made of transparent glass, which means that you can control a brewing process. Also, the whole process of temperature control is so simple that even a real newbie can deal with it.
Delicate and Elegant Design
Most popular coffee makers are either stylish or functional. When it comes to the siphon coffee makers, they have both and the process is so unusual that it will catch your attention and even maybe your heart.
How Does Siphon Coffee Maker Work
When looking for a siphon coffee maker for the first time, it may look complicated and difficult. Nevertheless, the truth is that it is pretty simple and easy to use. Believe us; you need just some short description of this device to understand how it works.
The brewer consists of two simple chambers that are placed one on top of another. When your brewer is filled with some hot water, the steam appears and soak coffee grounds properly.
As soon as your coffee is ready, you just need to remove the heat source and let your coffee sit down and get it done. As soon as your coffee starts getting colder, the water from one chamber will drip to another where already brewed coffee is gathered.
Types of Siphon Coffee Maker
Stovetop Siphon Coffee Maker
A stovetop siphon brewer, as well as premium stovetop espresso maker, need a source of heat. Each stovetop siphon brewer has a sort of stand so you can easily and comfortably place your brewer on an alcohol or gas burner. The burner should be located right under your coffee maker.
Standalone Siphon Coffee Maker
Standalone siphon coffee makers can be used with both electric and gas stoves. Just keep in mind that it is better to use some hit defuser when brewing your coffee with this method. It is very important as you need to avoid direct exposure to the heat as a glass reservoir can easily overheat and broke, and even cause some damage. By the way, if you look for as fast and simple brewing method as possible, Keurig offers different models of coffee makers.
Features of Siphon Coffee Makers
Siphon coffee makers use a unique brewing method that is known as total immersion. The name can be pretty dramatic, but actually, it is quite easy to understand as it means that during the whole process, coffee and water constantly stay in contact. The same method is used by Aeropress and French press brewers.
In fact, total immersion is quite similar to steeping, but it allows getting clearer brew with a lighter flavor. However, if you prefer a stronger flavor such as you can get with a drip method, then a siphon coffee brewer may not be an option for you.
After you add hot water and let the grounds steep for a while, the vacuum will be created in the bottom chamber that allows the coffee liquid to move through the filter. During this process, your coffee is filtered very well, so you can be sure there are no solubles. Unfortunately, it makes the flavor lighter and not so rich. Nevertheless, you can be sure that the aroma will be amazing and the taste will be really delicate.
When it comes to other brewing methods, you need to use some pre-heated water, but if you use a siphon coffee maker, it heats water constantly as it uses some heat source.
Heat is a very important part of a brewing process and using a constant heat source; you have an opportunity to control the process better.
Of course, the design of your brewer has nothing to do with the quality of your coffee. Nevertheless, it is always great to have some sort of a stylish and unique device on your kitchen that can be a cool part of your interior and can impress your guests as well.
Siphon coffee makers are for sure look cool, stylish, and unique, so you can proudly display it on your countertop instead of hiding it in one of your cupboards.
How to Choose the Best Siphon Coffee Maker
As we have mentioned before, there are two main types of siphon coffee makers that are stovetop and standalone brewers.
Both these options can provide you with an equally great cup of coffee. The only difference between them is design and price. Stovetop brewers are usually much cheaper than standalone ones, but the last ones are more stylish and appealing.
As well as almost any other brewer, a siphon coffee maker can range in size, which means that you can brew a different amount of coffee at once. Average size options for this type of brewer range between 3-8 cups of coffee. So, when choosing this brewer, you need to consider how many regular cups of coffee, you need to get at once without repeating the process.
Siphon brewers that are also called vacuum brewers were created in the 1830s. Back then, mostly brass and stainless steel were used for their production. Nowadays, these materials are mainly used for decorations, accessories, and some parts of the device.
Most modern siphon coffee makers are made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass. Just keep in mind that this material makes your brewer more long-lasting but not indestructible.
The most common type of filters for a siphon coffee maker is a cloth filter that catches all the grounds perfectly. However, these filters are hard to clean as you need to empty it, scrub well, and then let it dry completely. If you don’t feel like doing all of this, you can always choose a model that is equipped with a stainless steel filter.
If you decide to buy a standalone siphon brewer, you need to think about a heat source as well. Most siphon coffee makers can be easily used with a burner.
The most popular options are those that use gas, butane, or alcohol, but there are also electric and halogen burners that gain popularity rapidly. If you decide to choose one of the last two options, make sure your device is compatible with it.
The cheapest option among listed above is alcohol burners, but they are harder to control and a bit tricky. Also, it may cause lots of soot on the bottom of your brewer.
Actually, gas or butane burners are much better as they easy to use, much cleaner, and very reliable.
As we have already mentioned, there are siphon brewers that can offer you a different amount of coffee. It means that they can be bigger or smaller in size. Also, if you are going to use a separate burner for your device, it will take even more space. So you need to make sure that you have where to keep your siphon coffee maker before buying one.
The prices for siphon coffee makers range greatly and depend on numerous aspects such as materials, size, type, design, and brand. Bigger options will be more price than smaller. Also, standalone devices are more expensive than the stovetop. Finally, the unique design you are looking for the higher will be the price.
How to Brew Coffee in a Siphon Coffee Maker
Actually, brewing coffee with a siphon coffee maker is much easier than it may seem. There are some common things you may need and some regular steps you should complete.
- Fresh ground coffee;
- Hot water;
- Scale or measuring spoon;
- Siphon coffee maker.
Step 1 – Ensure all your equipment is clean
Before starting the process, you need to make sure that all your equipment, including filters, is absolutely clean. By the way, if you want to protect your filter from hassles, you can keep it in a zip-bag inside your freezer between uses.
Step 2 – Preheat your brewing water
If you are thinking about using a burner to heat water, it is not the best idea as it can be pretty long and may impact the result. Actually, it is much faster to use a kettle to pre-heat some water before starting the brewing process itself.
Step 3 – Add water and heat
You need to add a specific amount of water into the bottom part of your brewer, depending on the amount of ground coffee you are going to use. An average ratio is about 100ml of water per 7g of coffee. You can use a scale, a measuring cup, or a measuring spoon to get the required amount of coffee and water
Place your brewer on a burner and light it up. Wait until the water in the bottom section starts to boil.
Step 4 – Assemble top section
Attach the clean filter to the glass globe of your brewer. Make sure everything is set up properly, including the filter and the spring catch.
The next step is to attach the upper part to the bottom one. Don’t forget to ensure that the gasket is well sealed, but it shouldn’t be too firm.
Step 5- Adding coffee
Now, it is time to grind your coffee beans and add them to the brewer. It is always better to choose manually grinding your coffee beans before each brew. Do not forget about the ratio.
It will not take much time for water to move from the bottom part to the top chamber where coffee grounds are placed. So, you can just sit and observe the magic.
Step 6 – Stir the coffee and start the timer
Use a regular spoon and stir the soaked grounds gently. Make sure not to touch glass parts with a metal spoon. If possible, it is better to use a paddle or a wooden spoon.
As soon as all the water was transferred to the top part of your brewer, you need to set up a timer. A minute and a half will be enough.
Step 7 – Reduce the Heat
If you are using a burner, especially a butane one, it is time to reduce the heat a little bit. You need to make sure that the water at the bottom keeps boiling, but the brewer isn’t overheated and doesn’t burn your coffee.
After 90 seconds pass and the timer is off, turn your burner off. With just one quick stir, you will add the slurry up top to your coffee. Just make it right after turning off the burner. Just avoid using metal spoons or be careful if you have any other option.
Once again, you just need to take a seat and enjoy the magic happening inside your brewer. Due to the vacuum in the bottom chamber of your brewer, you will see as the coffee from the upper part goes through the filter and right back into the bottom chamber. Because of the strong vacuum effect, the whole process will be pretty fast. For example, if you use this brewer, making a latte at home is fast and fun.
Step 8 – Remove the top chamber and pour
Now, it is time to remove the upper part of the siphon coffee brewer. Just rock the top gently back and forth until you feel you can easily disconnect it from the bottom part. Just be careful as it is really hot and place the top chamber onto a special holder. Take your favorite coffee mug and pour some coffee to enjoy it.
How to Clean a Siphon Coffee Maker
Step 1 – Let it cool down
The first thing you should do before cleaning your siphon after brewing some coffee is to let it cool down. As soon as it is cold enough, you should toss coffee grounds into a waste. Gently tap it with your palm to remove the remaining grounds.
Step 2 – Remove filter handle
Use the filter handle to remove the filter and wash it properly with some warm water. Let it air dry completely.
Step 3 – Fill with hot water
Cover the bottom part of a tube in the top part of your siphon and fill it with hot water. Rinse it properly to make sure there are no grounds remained.
Step 4 – Pour the water out
Use the tube at the bottom of a chamber to pour the water out from it. Repeat the process several times if necessary.
Use some warm soapy water and an angle brush to clean all the parts of your brewer properly. After it, rinse it well with clean water. Don’t cover it with a lid and let it dry completely.
Siphon Coffee Maker vs Similar Devices
Siphon Coffee Maker vs French Press
While having lots in common, French press and siphon coffee makers still have some crucial differences that result in absolutely different cups of coffee.
Siphon brewers have a more complex construction, while a French press is more simple both in terms of construction and design.
Speaking of the brewing process itself, a vacuum is an essential part of brewing coffee with a siphon brewer. At the same time, the most important aspect of brewing coffee with a French press is steeping.
As a result, using a siphon brewer, you will get a delicate, refined, and exquisite cup of coffee with light and smooth texture. A French press will provide you with coffee with rich, robust flavor and gritty texture. If you are interested, you can also read about pour-over vs French press coffee brewing.
Siphon Coffee Maker vs Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Pour-over coffee makers are one of the most popular brewing methods all over the world. In comparison with siphon brewers, pour-over coffee makers are faster and easier to use. The reason is that you just need to place coffee grounds in a filter and pour some water on it. After it, just wait for a few minutes and Voilà! By the way, the size of grounds depends on the filter you are using. Also, ceramic pour-over coffee maker keeps the heat high.
At the same time, siphon coffee brewer can offer you a more delicate and refined cup of coffee.
Siphon Coffee Maker vs Percolator
Percolators are perfect in those cases you need to brew like really lots of coffee as their capacity can significantly bigger than the one your siphon brewer can offer. Also, it is known as the best stainless steel coffee maker.
Brewing coffee with a percolator, the mechanism used for it is almost the same that is used for standard drip brewers. In simple words, as soon as the water inside the brewer starts boiling, it goes through the filter filled with coffee grounds brewing your drink.
As a result, you will get a rather chunky and coarse drink while a siphon brewer can offer you a cleaner drink with a great aroma.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
As we’ve mentioned before, several points influence the price of a siphon coffee maker – size, type, style, brand, and materials. While the first 3 have nothing to do with the quality, the last two actually can impact it.
First of all, famous brands tend to have great quality control and use good materials. Also, when it comes to materials, they need to be compatible with coffee oils and acids and don’t impact the taste of your drink. Moreover, the need to be durable and, as you know, high-quality materials are more pricey.
Do’s And Don’ts With Siphon Coffee Maker
- Use clean filters.
- Make sure to use a compatible source of heat.
- Clean your brewer after each use.
- Dry it properly after cleaning.
- Avoid metal spoons when using a siphon brewer.
- Never leave the filter dirty.
- Don’t use a very strong heat source.
- Don’t leave the filter and the whole brewer wet.
- Don’t clean it right after the use as it is very hot.
FAQ About Siphon Coffee Makers
Where to buy a siphon coffee maker?
You can look for some options in one of your local coffee or kitchen supplies shops. Also, you may visit one of the numerous online stores and marketplace platforms such as Amazon. By the way, Amazon has great collections of quality coffees as well.
What does siphon coffee taste like?
Using a siphon coffee maker, you can get a clean brew with great aroma and delicate taste due to the fact glass is the main material of the brewer. Also, because of the specifics of the brewing process, it is pretty light and exquisite.
What is a cory rod?
Cory Rode is a special glass filter designed specifically for vacuum coffee brewers. It is simple and easy to use as you just need to replace your old filter with this one. It looks more luxurious and stylish than a standard filter in your brewer.
Now, when you’ve learned everything you can about siphon brewers, it is time to give it a try and enjoy some delicious coffee. Just choose the option that suits your needs and have fun with this magical device.
It is absolutely beautiful, stylish, and great, so you’ll be really impressed with it. Just make sure to follow usage instructions properly.
Photos from: Syda_Productions / depositphotos.com, pomphotothailand.gmail.com / depositphotos.com and [email protected] / depositphotos.com.