How To Make Siphon Coffee

Grab Your Lab Coat; It’s Time To Make Siphon Coffee

You might think you’re in an episode of Bill Nye, the Science Guy, when you unpack your siphon coffee kit, and that’s part of the fun of it! But a more apt comparison would be Murdoch Mysteries, as siphon coffee was invented in the 1800s.

Siphon coffee makers (also known as syphon or vacuum coffee makers) use two chambers to brew coffee. The bottom carafe holds water, and the top is for the coffee and brew process. When the water is heated, it rises up into the top chamber and extracts the flavor from the coffee grounds. When it comes off the heat source, there’s a vacuum effect, and the brewed coffee flows into the bottom, ready to drink.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

About Siphon Coffee

Coffee / Water Ratio1 tablespoon / 4-5 ounces
Cupstandard cup or mug
Brewing Processa butane burner heats water in the bottom chamber; water rises and brews the coffee in the top chamber; coffee is pulled back down after the coffee maker is taken away from the heat
Benefitsmore full-bodied than drip coffee (and more fun to make!)
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how to make siphon coffee, making siphon coffee, siphon coffee maker
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Benefits of Siphon Coffee-making

The benefits of using a siphon coffee maker include a more consistent coffee extraction compared to other methods, as well as the potential to brew coffee with a higher level of acidity. But you really can’t get past the fact that the process of watching the coffee move through the siphon tube can be fascinating and entertaining. Every time you use it, you’ll feel like you’re coming up with a new formula!

You have some flexibility with coffee variations, but the best type of coffee grounds to use for siphon or vacuum coffee is a medium grind. It will result in a stronger cup of coffee, while the coarser you go, the flavor becomes more delicate. Additionally, because the coffee is typically brewed for a longer period of time, it’s important to use freshly ground coffee that hasn’t been exposed to air for too long. (maybe you’ll invent a new grinding system!).

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Spillin' the Beans, coffee
siphon coffee making, how to make siphon coffee, what is siphon coffee, what is vacuum coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

How To Make Siphon Coffee – Step-by-Step

The following are general instructions on how siphon coffee-making works. Keep in mind that they’ll vary slightly depending on the system you use and the power of your heat source.

1. Fill the lower chamber of the siphon coffee maker with cold filtered water.

2. Place the lower chamber on a butane burner (wood burners with denatured alcohol are excellent choices).

3. Place the filter screen or cloth filter in the upper chamber and place it on the lower chamber – the chain will extend from the top into the water below.

4. Make sure the two chambers are connected securely and put the top on the upper chamber.

5. Turn the burner on and heat the water to 190 to 200°.

6. Lift the lid and add your coffee grounds – medium grind (one tablespoon for every 4 ounces of water).

7. Give the grounds a good stir and then replace the cover.

8. Allow the coffee to brew on the heat for 1-2 minutes.

9. Remove the siphon coffee maker from the heat source, and the coffee will begin to flow back into the lower chamber.

10. Serve the coffee immediately, and enjoy the fresh, crisp flavors!

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vacuum brewed coffee, siphon brewed coffee, how to make siphon coffee
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What’s in the Kit?

When you purchase a siphon coffee maker, also known as a vacuum coffee maker, you get much more than just the basic components of the device. Along with the parts you need to make coffee with your siphon machine, such as a carafe and an upper chamber, you’ll find other items that can help elevate your overall experience. These include cloth filters designed specifically for use in these types of brewers.

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Why a Cloth Filter?

With vacuum coffee-making, cloth filters allow for an extra layer of filtration when brewing, which helps prevent unwanted flavors, oils, and sediment from making their way into your cup. The material is usually made from cotton or linen and allows hot water to pass through while trapping any particles that could otherwise impact the flavor of your drink. Cloth filters can be purchased separately or come included with some models, depending on the brand and type you choose.

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Butane Burner

In addition to cloth filters, another item that often comes included with siphon coffee makers is a butane burner. This small stove-top accessory is used to heat up the water for brewing within the carafe and upper chamber of the device. Butane burners come in various shapes and sizes depending on the model you buy and provide steady heat without having to use an open flame like a traditional gas stovetop burner. With this convenience-based tool, it’s easy to control the temperature of your brew for optimal extraction every time.

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The strong aroma is another reason why some coffee enthusiasts prefer siphon coffee to other brew methods

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Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

What is siphon coffee?

Siphon coffee (or vacuum coffee) is a full-immersion brewing method using two chambers separated by a narrow tube. Water is heated in the bottom chamber, and vapor pressure forces the water up through the tube and into the top chamber, where it is then steeped with coffee grounds. After brewing, the pressure is released, causing the brewed coffee to flow back down into the bottom carafe.

How does siphon coffee taste?

Siphon coffee is known for its clean, smooth flavor. That’s because the process is much slower and more controlled than other brewing methods, allowing the flavors of the coffee grounds to be extracted in a consistent manner. Siphon coffee was invented as a better-tasting alternative to the old boiling method of the 1800s.

What type of grind should I use for siphon coffee?

A medium grind is the best for siphon coffee. It allows for optimal extraction and a balanced flavor. If the grind size is too fine, the coffee could seep through the filter but if it’s too coarse, the brew will be weak and watery.

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