How Does a Siphon Coffee Maker Work?

Siphon coffee makers continue to gain ground in most cafes and coffee shops across the globe. Even so, the vacuum brewing concept is not new at all. It all started back in the 1830s when the first vacuum brewer came into existence. But how does a siphon coffee maker really work?

The siphon coffee maker works by enabling water vapor in the bottom carafe to rise under pressure into the top chamber containing coffee grounds. Brewing takes place, and the resulting coffee then flows back through a filter into the carafe, ready for consumption.

History of Siphon Coffee Brewer

Loeff from Berlin, Germany developed the earliest known vacuum coffee maker in the 1830s. However, a French woman called Mme Vassieux of Lyons designed the first successful commercial siphon coffee maker.

Vassieux’s coffee brewer consisted of two glass balloons with a frame holding them together. And that is what is currently known as siphon coffee maker.

In the 1840s, a Scottish marine engineer presented his vacuum brewer version, known as the Napier Coffee Pot. And in the year 1856, the vacuum brewer received an award from The Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

The design of the siphon coffee maker tells it all about its invention period. When the brewer came into existence, coffee was at a take-off stage. You couldn’t use a brewer like this one in the kitchen. You had to brew in front of the guests to showcase the unique brewing process.

Today, siphon coffee makers are all over the market. Even so, you can find them mostly in coffee shops compared to homes. The most popular vacuum brewers come from Yama, Japan, and Hario.

How The Siphon Coffee Maker Works

This one-of-a-kind vacuum brewer contains two chambers. At the top section is the coffee maker and the bottom section is a carafe. Coffee grounds occupy the upper chamber while the water gets into the bottom carafe.

When you expose the bottom carafe to heat, the water inside vaporizes, creating pressure in the carafe. With continual heating, the pressure causes water vapor to move up into the top chamber, containing coffee grounds. At this point, the water mixes with the coffee grounds, enabling brewing to happen.

Afterward, you have to bring out the siphon coffee maker from the heat or switch the heat off. And the opposite now happens. All the water in the top chamber is pulled back into the cooled bottom carafe due to the drop in pressure (vacuum effect) and gravity. And that explains why siphon coffee making is also known as vacuum brewing.

There is a filter at the bottom side of the upper chamber through which the brewed coffee flows into the lower container. Therefore, all the coffee grounds remain behind while a clean and fresh brew passes through into your bottom carafe. And there, you get your delicious coffee waiting to get into a cup.

Why You Need to Try Out a Siphon Coffee Maker

There are many brewing methods, but siphon brewer stands out as unique and better than most coffee makers. Here are the five reasons for it:

1. The Brewer Yields an Unbeatable Coffee Taste

Siphon coffee tastes way better than coffee made with other methods. Coffee experts state that boiling water denatures coffee flavors. And that’s what happens in most coffee brewing methods. A siphon coffee maker does not boil water, which helps preserve all the delicate flavors and aromas in the coffee.

2. It is Visually Appealing to Watch the Brewing Process

The science that goes into making siphon coffee gives you a sensory experience. Unlike drip coffee making, siphon brewing draws people’s attention to see how everything goes.

That’s why even from the traditional old days, the vacuum brewing process was done before guests for them to see the unique art. And that explains why you will often find this coffee maker in coffee shops than homes.

3. Users can Control Variables

With the siphon brewer, you can regulate coffee strength by reducing the number of coffee grounds or increasing as desired, something not possible with conventional pod coffee. Besides, the siphon coffee maker enables you to brew several cups at a go. But the extent you can go depends on the size of your brewer.

Temperature control is another aspect that sets the siphon brewer apart. The coffee maker provides precise temperature settings to eliminate guesswork. With this, the KitchenAid’s siphon version is the best.

4. Produces More Intense Coffee Aromas

The vacuum brewer traps all the coffee aromas in the global mechanism, creating a deep coffee aroma. You cannot replicate the resulting coffee flavor with a drip coffee maker.

5. You can Brew with the Siphon Brewer at Home

KitchenAid has come up with a siphon brewer for home use. You don’t need any expertise to operate it. All you have to do is add water and coffee grounds to their appropriate chambers and then flip the switch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is siphon coffee strong?

A. The resulting siphon brew is often rich in flavor and aroma. That’s because the siphon coffee maker does not boil water, making its coffee retain all its delicate flavors and aromas. Besides, the brew tends to be brighter and cleaner compared to others.

Q. What kind of fuel does a siphon coffee maker use?

A. Most siphon burners use denatured Alcohol (100%) clean, burning fuel.

Q. How do you grind coffee for siphon?

A. A medium-fine grind like beach sand, works best for siphon coffee. In other words, the coffee grind should be a little bit finer than your regular drip coffee grind.

Q. How do you make siphon coffee?

A. Attach your filter at the bottom of the top chamber. Then add water to the bottom carafe and Switch on the burner to heat the water.

As the water heats, measure your coffee beans and grind. Pour inside the top chamber, allow the brewing to happen, and then switch off the heat. When the bottom carafe has cooled down, all the brewed coffee will drain back into it from the top chamber.

Q. What is the proper way to clean the siphon coffee maker after brewing?

A. Clean the top container with a scrub, soap, and water. A bottled brush will help you reach and clean the bottom container’s lowest parts. Thereafter, wash the entire siphon and air dry the components.

Q. What are the best models of VacPot?

A. The best models of VacPots include Hario Technica 3-Cup Siphon, Yama Glass 8-Cup Stovetop Siphon, KitchenAid KCM812OB, Bodum Vacuum Coffee Maker, and Nispira Belgian Royal Family.

Parting Shot

It’s time to try out a different brewing technique other than your regular drip process. I know you will have fun performing the science with the vacuum brewer. With all this information on how the siphon coffee maker works, your entire brewing process will flow perfectly fine.

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