fbpx

Best Siphon Coffee Maker. Look like a Coffee Chemist!

TOC

Sasha Pavlovich

06/18/2021 · 11 min reading

Just when you think you’ve sampled all that the coffee world has to offer, a new and exciting trend is bound to pop up. The siphon coffee maker has been around since the early 19th century, but it’s only recently come back onto the radar of coffee lovers.

If you’re used to simple and straightforward coffee brewing methods like drip or French press, a coffee siphon might just blow your mind. These coffee makers can look intimidating and take practice to perfect your brew. But once you get the hang of it, they’re a really fun and exciting way to brew coffee.

To help demystify these strange devices, we’ve reviewed some of the top vacuum coffee maker models on the market. We’ll also walk you through exactly why these coffee makers are so exciting, how they work, and what to look for when you’re buying one.

So! What is a Siphon Coffee Maker?

A vacuum siphon or syphon coffee maker is an exciting and unique way to brew coffee. These contraptions look like something you’d find in a chemistry lab. The process of brewing the coffee looks like a science experiment too.

There’s a range of designs, but they all consist of the same basic parts. There are two chambers that the water passes back and forth through in order to brew the coffee. The name vacuum siphon describes this brewing process. The heat creates a vacuum which pulls the water from one chamber into the next. That’s where it mixes with the coffee grounds and brews. When you turn off the heat, the fully brewed coffee drains back into the original chamber and is ready to sip.

Siphons are unique because they brew the coffee by fully immersing the grounds in water. Along with French press, it’s one of the few brewing devices that uses this method. The more common brewing method is what you’ll find with drip, pour over, and espresso makers. They involve passing water through the grounds and gradually filtering them out. The full immersion method helps create an even extraction and rich tasting cup of coffee.

Why Even Get a Siphon/Vacuum Coffee Maker?

If you’re totally new to vacuum siphons, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. We’ll walk you through what makes them so cool and why you might want to consider investing in one.

Key Product Features

The first thing you’ll notice about vacuum siphons is how wild they look. With two separate chambers, a burner attachment, and sometimes even more bells and whistles, it’s unlike any other coffee maker on the market. It’s a really cool piece of equipment that’s guaranteed to impress your guests.

Once you actually start brewing the coffee, the show really starts. Water defies gravity, traveling from the bottom chamber to the top. There, it immerses the grounds and steeps the coffee. Once it’s fully brewed, the ready-to-serve coffee drains back into the bottom chamber. It’s way more exciting than watching your standard drip machine trickle coffee into the pot. Siphons probably won’t become your daily morning coffee routine, but they’re the perfect choice for a special occasion brew.

All those design features aren’t just for show though. Vacuum siphons really do produce an excellent cup of coffee along with an impressive spectacle. The full immersion method of brewing and the consistent application of heat helps extract the best flavor from your coffee beans. The filtration method also helps create a really clean, sediment-free cup of coffee. Lots of people swear by this brewing method as the highest quality cup of coffee you can make.

Pros and Cons

  • No matter which model you get, the basic design of a vacuum siphon means you’re guaranteed a superior cup of coffee. The total immersion, consistent heat, and fine filtration, makes for a consistently incredible sip of coffee.
  • These gadgets will look awesome displayed on your kitchen counter. Even the simplest models have a sleek and intriguing design to them.
  • Siphons are really fun to use once you get the process down. Coffee geeks who want more control and involvement in the coffee brewing process will have a great time with this method.
  • It’s a sure way to impress your guests with a great cup of coffee and a show.
  • They’re more labor intensive than your average cup of coffee. In most cases, you won’t be able to just set it and forget it.
  • There are lots of different parts to these contraptions, including two chambers, filters, and more. Some people might find them to be a hassle to clean and maintain.
  • Depending on which model you get, they can be bulky and take up valuable real estate on your kitchen counter.

Product Reviews

1 HARIO Technica Three Cup Coffee Siphon

HARIO Technica Three Cup Coffee Siphon
See More Reviews
Check Price

The HARIO Technica Siphon is an impressive looking standalone coffee maker. Of all the products reviewed here, it looks the most like something you’d use for a science experiment. With an affordable price tag and durable design, this one has long been a fan favorite for good reason.

Key Features

  • Fully standalone design that doesn’t require a separate heat source.
  • Comes with a removable alcohol burner and cloth filter.
  • The lid doubles as a stand where you can place the top chamber after brewing.

Pros:

  • The design is completely portable and doesn’t require a stovetop to brew your coffee.
  • It’s made with durable glass that’s less likely to break than some other models.
  • It’s a striking piece of equipment that’ll look great on your counter.
  • You have full control over the brewing process and can easily customize it to your liking. While it comes with an alcohol burner and cloth filter, you can easily swap these out for a butane burner and metal filter if you prefer.

Cons:

  • The included alcohol burner doesn’t get super hot, so it can take a while to heat up. You may want to heat your water separately before adding it to the siphon.
  • It doesn’t include fuel for the burner, so you’ll need to buy that separately.

2 Yama Siphon 8 Cup/32oz/950ml Stove Top Coffee Maker

Yama Siphon 8 Cup/32oz/950ml Stove Top Coffee Maker
See More Reviews
Check Price

If you’re just stepping into the world of vacuum siphons and not sure about making a big investment, the Yama Siphon might be the right pick for you. It’s the most affordable option on our list and has a super simple design that’s less intimidating for beginners.

Key Features

  • Large 8 cup capacity.
  • Works on gas and electric stovetops.
  • Includes cloth filters that are reusable and washable.
  • The lid doubles as a stand where you can place the top chamber after you’re done brewing
  • They also sell replacement parts just in case you get clumsy with this glass contraption.

Pros:

  • It’s the most affordable of the siphons reviewed here.
  • The large size lets you brew a full pot of coffee for a crowd.
  • No plastic parts come into contact with the coffee, which gives it a superior taste.

Cons:

  • The glass is somewhat thin and requires caution to avoid breakage.
  • It’s known to sometimes have issues with improper sealing between the chambers.

3 Bodum PEBO Coffee Maker, Vacuum Coffee Maker

Bodum PEBO Coffee Maker, Vacuum Coffee Maker
See More Reviews
Check Price

The Bodum PEBO Coffee Maker is another simply designed stovetop siphon. You may have seen this same model formerly under the name Bodum SANTOS. It’s a classic, easy to use stovetop siphon that won’t steer you wrong.

Key Features

  • 8 cup capacity.
  • Can be used on gas or electric stovetops.
  • Includes a plastic filter, a stand for the top chamber, and a lid for the bottom chamber.
  • They offer replacement parts in case you have any mishaps with the delicate pieces.

Pros:

  • The large 8 cup capacity lets you brew a full pot of coffee.
  • They sell spare parts, so you won’t need to buy a whole new siphon in case pieces break or wear out.

Cons:

  • The included filter is made of plastic which can impart some unwanted flavor.

4 KitchenAid KCM0812OB Siphon Coffee Brewer

KitchenAid KCM0812OB Siphon Coffee Brewer
See More Reviews
Check Price

The KitchenAid Siphon is the most expensive option on our list, but that’s with good reason. This coffee maker is fully automatic which makes this complex brewing method accessible to anyone. It’s also the most durable option on our list, so you can trust that it’s a worthwhile investment.

Key Features

  • Fully automated brewing process.
  • Includes a cleaning brush/coffee scoop and a stand for the top unit.
  • Includes both a stainless steel filter and a cloth filter, so you can pick which one you prefer.

Pros:

  • Automation makes it super easy to use. Just add your grounds and water and press start.
  • The large 8 cup capacity makes it great for entertaining a crowd.
  • It’s durably built and less intensive to use, so it’s likely to last longer than some other models.

Cons:

  • It’s the most expensive of the siphons reviewed here.
  • There’s no heating element to keep your coffee warm after it’s brewed.

5 Diguo Belgian/Belgium Balance Siphon/Syphon Coffee Maker

Diguo Belgian/Belgium Balance Siphon/Syphon Coffee Maker
See More Reviews
Check Price

The Diguo Balance Siphon is easily the most impressive looking device in our roundup. It’s the only one that uses a balanced brewing method which makes the process partially automatic. Not only will this device look great in your kitchen, but it also brews a fantastic cup of coffee.

Key Features

  • Comes with a cloth filter, coffee scoop, and water measuring cup.
  • Includes an alcohol burner.
  • Semi-automatic design. The balance brewing method means the burner will shut off automatically when the coffee is done brewing. As the water changes sides of the siphon, the weight changes and the chamber lifts away from the burner, causing a mechanism to shut off the burner.

Pros:

  • It has a beautiful design and an even more unique brewing process than some other siphons.
  • The standalone design doesn’t require a stovetop.
  • The built-in spigot makes it easy to serve coffee once it’s ready. You don’t need to disassemble the pot in order to pour the coffee.

Cons:

  • The burner fuel isn’t included.
  • It’s somewhat more complicated to use than other siphon models.
  • It has a smaller capacity than other models, only brewing about 3 cups.
  • The alcohol burner heats slowly. You may need to preheat your water to speed up the process.

Things to Consider Before Buying Siphon Maker

The vacuum siphon is a wholly unique way to brew coffee. Depending on what you’re looking for in your perfect cup, it may or may not be the right choice for you. Then, once you decide to invest in one, there are lots of different types of equipment to take into account when shopping.

Is it worth the effort?

Vacuum siphons can be quite a bit more labor intensive than other brewing methods. Before investing in one of these pieces, you’ll want to consider whether you’re up for a little additional work. Between getting your heating source just right, going through the hands-on brewing process, and cleaning all the different pieces, you’ll have your work cut out for you. For some people, the exciting show of watching the coffee brew and the incredible flavor make all that work worth it. For others who just want their caffeine quick and easy, it might not be the right choice.

Standalone vs. stovetop

One of the main differences in vacuum siphons is whether it’s a standalone piece of equipment or if you’ll need to provide your own heat source. In the standalone category, you’ll find electric options with a built-in heat source and options with a removable burner.

With stovetop options, you’ll heat the siphon on your stovetop. Make sure you’re buying a siphon that works with your stovetop, whether it’s gas or electric. Some siphons require a separate diffuser to properly distribute the heat and prevent the siphon’s glass from cracking.

Automatic vs. hands-on

While most siphons take a bit of hands-on effort, there are some models that are either fully or partially automatic. A fully hands-on machine will function much like your traditional drip coffee maker. All you need to do is add the filter, grounds, and water and press start. Other models are partially automatic and will shut off the heat source to complete the brewing process for you. Finally, there are fully hands-on machines that take a little more work, but lots of people see that as part of the fun of using a vacuum siphon.

Serving size

You’ll want to check the capacity of the coffee maker. Some only brew a small amount, while others are better suited for a crowd. Just note that with any siphon you’ll need to brew a minimum amount in order for it to function properly.

Filter type: cloth vs. metal

The type of filter you use will affect the flavor of your coffee. A cloth filter will allow a smaller amount of the grounds to pass through than a metal filter. They also have different care instructions for cleaning and maintaining. You may want to try both to see which you prefer.

Siphon Coffee Maker: How To Brew 101

Vacuum siphons take a bit more attention than other brewing methods, but with a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it.

  1. Prep and secure your filter.
  2. Fill the first chamber (usually the bottom chamber) with the correct amount of water for the quantity of coffee you plan to brew. In some instances, you may want to pre-heat the water to speed up the brewing process.
  3. Grind your coffee beans so they’re a little finer than what you’d use for a drip coffee maker. Place your grounds in the second chamber (usually the top).
  4. Secure the two chambers together and turn on your heat source to start the brewing process. Be careful to follow the instructions for your specific coffee maker to ensure you don’t crack the glass as it heats.
  5. As the water in the first chamber heats, it will begin to flow into the second chamber. There, it combines with your coffee grounds. With a heat-safe utensil, stir the mixture to ensure the grounds are evenly soaked.
  6. If you have an automatic model, your heat source will turn off automatically. Otherwise, you’ll need to adjust your heat and set a timer to steep the grounds for the correct amount of time. When it has finished steeping, turn off the heat and wait for the brewed coffee to be drawn through the filter and back into the first chamber.
  7. Your coffee is ready to serve! Depending on your model, you may need to disassemble it before serving.

FAQ

  • What does siphon coffee taste like?

    The incredible flavor is one of the main draws to vacuum siphons. You’ll experience a cup of coffee that’s full-bodied, clean, flavorful, aromatic, smooth, and free of any bitterness.

  • What is the best grind for a siphon?

    The right grind is super important to ensure your siphon functions properly. To brew the perfect cup, you’ll want a slightly finer grind than what you’d use for drip coffee.

  • Where to buy a vacuum siphon?

    As vacuum siphons are becoming more popular, there are plenty of brands selling them. You can find tons of options for various budgets and needs on Amazon.

Over to you

With so many different types of coffee siphons on the market these days, it can be hard to know which one to pick. We’ve extensively reviewed some of the most popular models to help demystify the world of coffee siphons for you. Our top choice from this coffee siphon roundup is the HARIO Technica.

We love the standalone design because it means you can brew coffee anywhere without relying on a stovetop or other heat source. That also gives it a more impressive and exciting design, which is a big part of why so many people love coffee siphons. You’ll really feel like you’re doing a chemistry experiment with this piece of equipment. While it might not be the quickest option for your morning cup of joe, it’s great for impressing your guests or brewing a slow weekend cup of coffee.

Unlike other standalone models, this one has a fairly small footprint, so it won’t take over your kitchen counter. It’s the most hands-on of the standalone siphons we reviewed, which we count as a plus since that’s part of the fun of making siphon coffee. Finally, it’s a super affordable option, making it an accessible addition to any coffee lover’s kitchen.


Sasha Pavlovich

Hi, I'm Sasha, and this blog is about coffee!

I'm myself an experienced barista with a high passion for coffee. Love brewing, cupping, and talking coffee non-stop. I hope you enjoy my blog and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

View all posts by Sasha Pavlovich

Share with your friends: