If you’re like me, you can’t even remember being taught how to use one —…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vacuum siphons take a bit more attention than other brewing methods, but with a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it.
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.
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.
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.
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.