I recently received a Siphon Coffee maker(aka vacuum coffee maker) as an early Birthday present. These thing looks futuristic, requiring a heating source and a couple of glass globes. If you were to walk in to a room, you would see something that looks like a piece of Heisenberg’s set up. The science look is what made me interested in it from the get go. Although it has the appearance of how I’d imagine the Jetsons would make coffee, it’s actually a pretty old system for making coffee.
The Siphon Coffee maker was actually developed in the 1830’s predating the drip system we all know and love by almost a century. I know what you’re thinking, there must be a reason you never see Siphon makers anymore, maybe they aren’t that good? Well, I can say from personal experience, having used the thing for the first time today, it develops a mind-blowing cup of coffee. The full immersion system creates an aromatic cup of coffee that is really hard to beat. I have another system that does full immersion coffee, but I have to say the siphon coffee maker may be a little bit better.
There is a reason that it may be a bit less desirable though. This isn’t as simple as plugging a machine in and walking away. The Siphon coffee maker is a much more hands on experience than most coffee makers. We control the heating source and time the coffee spends brewing. There are a number of heating sources you can use with the various Siphon coffee makers on the market as well. Some are little alcohol burners; others butane (I love mine). There are even electric heating lamp selections. There are also siphon coffee makers built to be used on your stove.
This may seem like a lot of work to develop a cup of coffee, but the result is more than worth it, and watching these things work is actually a pretty cool sight to behold. I’m currently using the Hario Siphon coffee maker from Amazon, but there’s plenty of brands on there. One thing I would suggest if you’re planning on going down this particular rabbit hole is if you choose to get a coffee maker that requires an independent heat source, do yourself a favor and grab a butane burner. A lot of these coffee makers come with an alcohol burner, and while trying to use it, I found the process to be near impossible to complete. A Butane burner was a cleaner and more controllable solution, there are also halogen bulb burners on the market; I hear they work a little slower, and they are a more expensive choice, but they sure do look cool. It also helps to heat the water you’re going to use in your coffee maker before heating it up with your power source. I know this seems a little redundant, but it makes a huge difference in the brewing time.
The only real pain I’ve found is that you need to do a thorough cleaning of this thing before every use,
which is a bit more nerve-wracking with these large glass containers. I’m quite certain that its final moments will likely be during cleaning. It is fairly fragile, but I guess that may lead to the allure of the product.
My name is Chris Diel and when I’m not making coffee I’m a DJ on KSSU; I also do other things.