Siphon Coffee Maker

syphon_coffeeI 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.

New Semester for DJGingerbeard

I am very ecstatic to say that this semester I only attend classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays (compared to last semester when I had to commute every, frickin’, day). With this change, my show time is no longer Fridays at noon, but Thursdays at 9am. Anyways, how do I start my day?

I wake up at 5:30am for a stretch/scream. This is where a human being wakes up and instantly stretches and flexes his or her entire body. This pressure builds up an animal-like bellow which shakes the room. After that ordeal, I climb out of bed wearing nothing but boxers and a black tall-tee. In the kitchen, I make some coffee and am greeted with a furry smack to my leg by my cat Baxter. Adding two sugars and non-fat milk to my cup of Joe, I pour some into a saucer for Baxter. He enjoys coffee as much as I do. After slamming down breakfast at the speed of light, I lumber with a fully belly back to my room to put on clothes and pack my bag for school. Climbing in my car around 6:15, I then put one of my thirty-gazillion mix CD’s into the radio and zoom off.

I get to school around 7am, which is perfect because I beat the traffic, find a good parking space under some trees, and check Instagram for things that amuse my eyeholes. My first class, Government: International Affairs, starts at 7:30am. In this class, I usually just shake my head in agreement with whatever the professor is saying while doodling and copying notes from his powerpoints. Such hard work. Ending at 8:45, I then get a break until 10:30. During this time I either catch up on volunteer hours, sleep, or have my radio show. The time is 10:30, and Introduction to Archaeology has begun. I sit in the back and do the exact same thing from my Government class.

At noon I head over to my Philosophy class.  Last year I took two philosophy courses so I thought to myself, why not take this one? It sure does interest me, so “YOLO”. After my favorite class is my most despised class at 1:15, Intermediate Algebra and Business Math. Don’t get me wrong, I do not hate math and I am pretty good at it, but this classes pains me to my core. The professor is an older Asian woman with a very thick accent, so some math terms are hard for my brain to comprehend when everything sounds out of whack. Also, the classroom is HUGE and sometimes she does not use the microphone! Typically, I leave class twenty to thirty minutes early (she does not even notice) to go do what humans are best at- eat. I eat either lunch I have brought in my car or go get Panda Express because you can never go wrong with Panda. Well, at least I can’t.


Well, there ya have it! A day in the life at CSUS with DJGingerbeard! Be sure to listen to my show Thursdays at 9am on! Now get on out of here and get some Panda!

Caffeine Crawl

CoffeeThe beverage of choice of every single college student is probably coffee, which we can all agree is what gets us through the semester. Many students usually just get their cup of Joe at the local Starbucks, or another coffee corporation. Personally I prefer to shop small and support the local coffee scene here in Sacramento, which has been booming by the way. I constantly find myself finding new coffee shops that are importing organic coffee from all over the world, and because of that I have taken it upon myself to visit every coffee shop in Sacramento. Sometimes it does get difficult to find a nice little coffee shop that fits your style, but one thing that made it easier for many was a little event known as Caffeine Crawl.

Sacramento had its first Caffeine Crawl over the weekend I had the pleasure of participating in it. Caffeine Crawl is basically a Sacramento coffee shop tour. I found myself riding my bike along with others all over midtown and downtown trying complimentary signature beverages at every shop we stopped at. We were split into groups of about 15 or so people which was actually a great idea because it made it easier to connect with all of the participants in your group.  Due to the fact that it was the first time this event came to Sacramento only 8 total shops participated, but when I spoke to the event coordinators they all mentioned about coming back next year and working on building up the number of participating shops hopefully up to 10-12. The Caffeine Crawl really exposed me to a new side of coffee that I have never seen before, it also helped me understand just how passionate these shops are about their coffee and roasting methods. As if the entire Crawl wasn’t enough fun already, they still held an after party with live music in a packing warehouse at one of the coffee shops. The event was overall a great experience and I will definitely be participating in next years crawl.

Participating Shops:

Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, Fluid Espresso Bar, Insight Coffee Roasters, Old Soul Co, Pachamama Cooperative Coffee Bar, Shine Coffee, Son of a Bean Coffee House, Temple Coffee Roasters.

What I liked:

I really loved the diversity of the participants in each group, there were people that were older along with Sac State students. There were also participants who were just getting into the whole coffee scene while others knew so much about coffee that it almost seemed that they were addicted. Every shop also gave a small presentation about their background and why they are different than the other shops which was a really nice touch while you sipped on some of their best coffee/tea. The fact that we were separated into groups made it much more personal, and everyone was able to get to know each other while enjoying a beverage that had brought us all together.

What Could Be Improved For Next Year:

There were only 8 participating shops, and there are many other coffee shops in Sacramento that are basically hidden gems at the moment. It would be nice for the number of shops participating would rise to at least 15.


I would definitely recommend that you participate in next years Caffeine Crawl, although there were only 8 shops it was still a lot of fun and a unique experience. Even if you aren’t a huge coffee aficionado it is something that everyone will be able to enjoy.

Fabian is a dj with kssu Sacramento State’s student run radio station.

The Shine Cafe: A Great Place to Study in Sacramento


For students who find the enjoyment in studying in areas outside the library, they will be happy to learn about different local cafes that are great for studying. One of my new favorite places is located on E Street in downtown Sacramento called The Shine on 1400 E Street in Sacramento.

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Experimenting with Pescatarianism


So I’m not an expert on this stuff, but with Wikipedia as my guide I have begun the long road of Pescetarianism. If this seems to be an alien term to you, then in the words of the Pleague (Hackers) “Never fear, I is here.” A Pescetarian as far as I understand it is a person who, much like a vegan avoids meat, but where as a vegan wouldn’t eat fish or eggs or even milk to the Pescetarian these are A-OK options. Which is a good thing for without creamer my coffee would be a shell of it’s former self, and without coffee I would be lost.

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Customer Service: The Humans behind the counter

Customer service, what do the people in this line of work mean to you? Do you see us as the people who tirelessly work to provide you with a good or service that you treasure? Our value isn’t lost on you, right? Sadly for many, we in customer service are merely the middle men and women between you and that burger you’ve been craving, that coffee you so desperately need or that dress that looks oh-so-cute on you. [Read more…]