Siphon Coffee

Siphon Coffee

Siphon coffee isn’t a new concept. If you haven’t enjoyed a cup of java from this brewing method, you’re in for a thrilling taste sensation. Siphon coffee machines rely on two vessels that force vapor through gravity to brew coffee. It’s a concept developed in the 1830s.

What Is Siphon Coffee (SC)?

Siphon coffee isn’t a brand but a coffee-making process. Since the Yeminese discovered how to appreciate Ethiopian coffee beans in the 15th Century, people have been on a mission to extract coffee’s full aroma and flavor.

Although increasingly high-end coffee shops feature a siphon coffee maker, they still look like a steampunk concept from the latest blockbuster.

Essentially a siphon brew extracts coffee’s genuine flavor components using boiling water with a different method. But instead of pouring boiling hot water directly onto the ground coffee, a two-part chamber in the siphon brewer forces the hot water via a vacuum to filter the coffee.

For coffee connoisseurs, the argument about the best method of brewing a full-bodied cup of coffee is all about the heat. That’s how the siphon brew method came about. People who value good coffee know that the temperature of the water is crucial. 

Those with a palate for something more sophisticated want their coffee done right. That means extrapolating coffee around the sweet spot between 195°F – 205°F degrees. Other methods, like percolating coffee 12 degrees hotter, significantly influence taste and bring out bitterness.

A smart French woman took the idea and brought the first siphon vacuum coffee maker to market.

What Makes Siphon Coffee Different?

Coffee aficionados have a thing or two up their sleeve. They understand that drinking coffee is closely linked to the entire brewing experience, from selecting and grinding the perfectly roasted bean to indulging in the aroma to that first sip.

Baristas make brewing that perfect cup of coffee art. Using vacuum coffee makers brings out all the nuanced layers. It’s not about measuring the correct number of scoops or pressing the brew button. It’s impossible to rush the siphon-based brewing process. It’s an intricate balance of blending the correct water temperature with the perfect coffee bean.

Drinking and savoring siphon coffee is less about your to-go cup but about the siphoning process releasing the fragile taste and brewing it, extracting the best quality of the bean. For siphon fans, it’s a feast for the senses that you build on instead of gulp.

Some people liken siphon coffee to an indulgent tea-like experience. However, while tea is the world’s most loved hot drink, it isn’t coffee. The beauty of siphon brew methods is that they unleash the coffee beans by allowing them to bloom. 

Blooming is a process that releases CO2. Siphon coffee is one of the hand-brewing methods that control the process and unlocks the delicate attributes of the luxurious beans we spend so much money buying. 

In other words, we’re washing all those flavor components down the drain and burning the rest using pour-over boiling methods. 

Science Behind Coffee Siphon Brewing

As coffee consumption spread in the 15th Century from Yemen and Ethiopia, people wanted to perfect the brewing method. (Weird coincidence that homo sapiens also derived from Ethiopia.)

For the average coffee drinker, siphoning coffee seems like a daunting process. However, any method of brewing coffee is a scientific process, regardless.

We should have listened closely in high school science and chemistry when our teacher went on about the expansion and contraction of gases. Back then, the word gas made us giggle.

Siphon coffee maker uses these basic principles to extract a pure coffee taste experience without dragging residual aftertaste into the brew. Siphon brewer doesn’t burn the beans, which develops the bitterness we don’t want in our coffee.

A siphon coffee machine looks a bit like a rudimentary still. The siphon brewing method relies on five facets to deliver the best coffee experience.

  1. A brewing chamber at the top, also known as the top chamber or the upper chamber.
  2. A water vessel or bulbous compartment on the bottom, also known as the bottom chamber or the lower chamber.
  3. A vacuum sealed with a gasket
  4. A siphon filter system that extracts the grind from the liquid
  5. A constant heat source (built-in or additional source like a stove). You may use any type of burner that provides a consistent heat source, like the butane burner or halogen burner.

The principle of siphon coffee brewing hasn’t changed since 1840, when the patent office issued the first siphon coffee patent. As with all things good, inventive people improved the coffee brewing methods, including the balancing siphon

Steps for brewing siphon coffee take precise measures and patience. The right ingredients and measurements make all the difference.

  1. Measure the amount of water and pour it into the bottom vessel
  2. Heat water to the steaming point (near the boiling point); this steaming point pushes the water through the siphon. 
  3. Steam helps to stabilize the perfect temperature.
  4. As the steam cools, it turns into water. The water falls into the coffee grounds before passing back into the bottom vessel.
  5. These rotating temperature changes create a cycle and vacuum effect that extract the best of the coffee flavor.
  6. After a specific amount of time, the drinkable coffee collects in the bottom vessel.
  7. It is poured ceremoniously into delicate cups.

Brewing siphon coffee is a gorgeous and enlightening process. It takes a dedicated amount of time and research to perfect the art. 

Siphon Coffee Brewing

The History of Siphon Brewery

Someone by the name of Loeff invented and registered the first patent for the siphon in Berlin back in 1830. However, Mme. Vassieux (Lyons) received credit for developing the first successful and practical countertop version.

Most households consumed coffee the old percolator way, but it wasn’t ideal. As siphon coffee rose in popularity across Europe, it founds its way to the USA. At the turn of the early 20th Century, another company patented the Silex vacuum brewer.

Today, siphons are still a popular niche market system. Hario (Japan) produces modern siphon coffee brewing systems that remain household gadgets in Japan and Taiwan.

What Does Siphon Coffee Taste Like?

Coffee connoisseurs would never say that a good cup depends on one factor or ingredient. It’s about the whole experience and bringing out the best that a machine and bean can produce.

Many siphon coffee lovers enjoy this type of coffee for its delicate balance. Using a light, single source or medium roast bean is best. Most agree that you must splurge a little to find that perfect blend of Arabica, Colombian, or micro blends.

Fans of vacuum brew coffee exalt it as the best coffee experience. The siphon coffee technique brings out the best of the French Press and drip method. It’s a total immersion method with low pressure that draws out the divine flavor of the beans.

Siphon coffee, therefore, delivers unique velvety coffee without the burnt aftertaste. Since siphon brewing uses a lower temperature, the acid in coffee isn’t overpowering but clean and smooth. It leaves a sweeter residual on the palate. Siphoning coffee also reduces the caffeine content.

When you ask people what siphon coffee tastes like, tea is one of the most common comparisons. However, this can make some people think siphon coffee is weak and don’t possess the typical traits of coffee. So a better way to describe it would be coffee in its pure state.

Siphoning coffee helps the freshly ground bean open and reveal its natural texture and flavor. Each bean origin and roasting method is going to impact the result. Also, the quality of the water influences the outcome.

Siphon Brewing at Home 

Looking at the siphon brewing contraptions on the market is daunting for most of us. Our biggest fear is, what if we get it wrong?

The answer is so what? The truth is that once you try siphon coffee with an open mind, of course, you’re stepping back in time to what coffee should taste like.

Siphon coffee makers are quietly finding their way into a niche market for coffee lovers who want something off the radar. It’s easy to find an affordable machine on Amazon, Wayfair, or your favorite specialty shop near you. Some have an outrageous price point, and others are very affordable. 

Good brand options are:

  • Bodum 
  • Yama Glass

Start by researching the bean flavor you enjoy, whether it contains fruity undertones or a deep earthiness from your favorite Arabica, Excelsa, Liberica, and Robusta coffee bean family. 

Also, find a designated safe spot on your kitchen counter or coffee station. A significant component of these machines contains glass.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations or watch handy videos on finetuning your blend from experienced resources. Have patience and indulge. Once you get the hang of brewing, it will only take two to four minutes to pour the perfect cup.


Coffee brings out the snob in many of us. We all have our expectations of what we want our brew to taste like. Siphon coffee brewing is an involved process. It takes the brewer on a journey of the senses and brings us closer to coffee’s experience and flavor profile. 

We hope this rekindles your passion for coffee and experimenting with unique methods. If you’re already cheering for siphon coffee’s comeback, share your feedback about your experiences and how-to techniques.

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