Your Complete Guide to Syphon Coffee Maker

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When talking about Siphon Coffee Maker, it is like talking about a laboratory experiment. Indeed, it is really an experiment. Unlike other kinds of brewing techniques like French Press, you not only need to take care of the grinding, you also need to take care of the heating method you used. It is like playing with LEGO.

Siphon Coffee Maker has many names, you can call it Syphon Coffee Maker, Vacuum Coffee Maker, acpots or Silexes. But the most common name is Siphon Coffee.

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The History of Siphon Coffee

Siphon Coffee was invented by Loeff of Berlin in the 1830s. You may not aware of this kind of maker in a normal coffee shop but you will hear some coffee lovers talk about it. Actually, during the 1930s, the Siphon Coffee was very popular in the US. At that time, to get an expresso is not that cheap and easy, but people still want a good taste of the coffee. So they delve themselves into the Siphon Coffee.

With the vacuum mechanism, Siphon Coffee Maker is able to brew a deep flavor coffee with rich taste. However, it was disappeared after the auto machine was developed. And also with the busy life of modern society, people tend to make a cup of coffee in a short time. They turned to Pour Over or Dripping Coffee Makers. Some of the busiest of them just go for instant coffee.

Lifestyle Matters

However, Siphon Coffee Maker managed to make itself back to the market by the Japanese who turn them into art and lifestyles. Well, coffee is not just something that stimulus you by your brain only. It is also an art and lifestyle. Think about it. What busy life can give to us while we just have not time to taste the process of brewing? It is nothing.

Japanese keep their life busy but they also try to make fun of it by performing some kind of complex ritual on it. That ritual is important. For the Syphon Coffee, they try their best to develop the best coffee from this technique via different combinations. Yes, it is an experiment. Well, life is an experiment, right?

So after the 1970s, Siphon Coffee was back and become popular among coffee lovers. Some coffeeshop even use it to showcase their technique of making a different style of coffee. If you happen to see someone making a cup of Siphon Coffee, just go and grab a cup of it. You are tasting a kind of lifestyle rather than just a cup of coffee.

Is It Dangerous and Its Mechanism

At first glance, you may think Siphon Coffee Maker is dangerous as it is like a laboratory. And many media, only report the incident in laboratories. So you may have a stereotype that laboratories are dangerous. But to name a few inventions that changed the world like the fiber, they are all came from laboratories. Are they dangerous? No, right?

Nowadays, Siphon Coffee is made of glasses that are not easy to be broken by the pressure from inside. The iteration of modern days has also taken safety into consideration, like using the halogen burner to make it easy to control the heating process. And you can also use a heat detector to monitor the temperature of the heating process to ensure it is not overheated. However, just like everything in life, if you use it wrongly, they are all dangerous. The mechanism of the Siphon Coffee Maker is somewhat complex but easy to understand.

Mechanism

The Siphon Coffee Maker has four parts:

  • the bottom container is also called a vessel. It is used to store the water and then heated them up here. Then pour it into the vessel.
  • a top container. After heating up the water, the vapor will push the water inside the bottom container to go up to the top container. In this container, you will also need to pour your ground coffee beans into it.
  • a type of sealing material, like rubber, etc. It is to prevent the vapor from leaking.
  • a filter.
  • a heating device. The heating device may not be needed. Depending on your choices, you can also heat up the water somewhere like using a boiler. The heating device could be an alcohol burner or gas or electric stovetop or a specialty butane burner or

Knowing the structure of the Siphon Coffee, it will be easy for you to understand how the Siphon Coffee Maker works:

  1. You need to heat the water to make some vapor.
  2. The vapor will push the water from the bottom container to the top container via a tube.
  3. Then you need to brew the coffee in the top container.
  4. After some time, the vapor is cooled and turns back to the water again. The water in the top container will run back to the bottom container or halogen burner.

It is simple, right? All happens here are about heating and pressure. Just like doing an experiment.

The Phases For Coffee Brewing

If you have read French Press Guide, you shall know the 3 phases of brewing and you can skip this section. If you don’t, let me explain to you again.

There are 3 phases for coffee brewing, understanding the brewing process will help you control the time you need for French Press and Siphon Coffee Maker. The phases are wetting, dissolution, and diffusion.

Wetting

In our article about the roasting process, we have pointed out that after the roasting, there will be CO2 gas inside the coffee cell. The CO2 needs to escape from the cell by wetting the ground coffee beans and stir. So why we need this? It is because we need the dissolution process to do well for our solubles in the coffee beans.

Dissolution

The dissolution process is to let the solubles in the coffee beans to be dissolved. The main ingredient of the brewed coffee is just a small part of the coffee beans. We need them to be better dissolved. The pleasant substances are easier to be dissolved then the unpleasant ones. A long-time dissolve may get you a bitter and gritty taste only.

Diffusion

This process way to drive the substances out of the coffee cell. The coffee cell is a permeable membrane, The osmosis pressure of the two sides will be inequal after dissolution. Hence the solutes will be taken from one side to the other side.

How to Make Siphon Coffee

The steps to make a good cup of Siphon Coffee is easy. You just need to follow the steps below:

Heating of a Syphon Coffee Maker
  1. Pour the water into the bottom container.
  2. Heat up the water in the container.
  3. Place the top container into the container, but just don’t seal the conjunction. Leave some room for it. This is to ensure the top container will not be too cold to drive the water cooler when the water goes up.
  4. Wait until the water is nearly boiled. Seal the top container. Now you shall see the water goes up to the top container. Wait for some time till all the water goes up.
  5. Now pour your ground coffee beans into the top container. 7g for every 100ml of brewing water you’re using. Wait for 1-2 minutes. Some people may pour the coffee ground before the water goes up. It is really up to you to pour it before or after the water goes up. But the important thing is that don’t let the wetting process to go for too long if you have fine ground coffee beans. Remember the wetting and dissolution process? If you wet the ground coffee beans for too long, some unpleasant substances may go out of the cell. This will leave you a bitter taste.
  6. Stir the water. It is a technique here. You need to stir enough to get the coffee ground to dissolve enough to release the pleasant substance but also avoid letting the unpleasant substance go out. A suggestion here is to stir 12.5 circles.
  7. Remove the heating device. Wait till the water get cooler. You shall see the water goes from the top to the bottom.
  8. After the water goes down, remove the top container. Pour the coffee to your cup now:)

Important Notes for Good Cup of Siphon Coffee

Well, to make a rich taste, you may need to practice a few times to master the technique. There are some notes here for you to take care of when making the coffee:

  • Use fine coffee if you want a heavy taste. Otherwise, grind coarser. You can refer to our grinder guide for the detail.
  • Use fresh coffee and grind as you need. Just grind before you are going to brew. Don’t grind the day before you are going to make a cup of coffee. The air will drive away from the freshness of the coffee. Unless you don’t like fresh coffee.
  • Use good water. Why? It makes up 95% of your coffee.

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