You probably loved Breaking Bad. If you haven’t, please think again. Anyways, these Siphon coffee makers will make you feel like Walter White in his trailer. Don’t worry, making coffee via this method is a bit simpler than making meth.
The Siphon brew method is quite special- you’ll need special equipment for it. That’s why I’m here, to show you all the best siphon coffee makers available. Vacuum coffee brew method (which is another term for this technique)
How does siphon coffee maker work?
There are two glass chambers- upper and lower. The lower chamber contains water, while the upper chamber contains coffee grounds. The heating system heats up the lower chamber, evaporating the water. The water then goes to the upper chamber and mixes with grounds.
Now we have some complex physics going on- the heat actually makes a kind of vacuum in the lower chamber (hence the name, vacuum coffee maker). When water evaporates completely and mixes with the grounds, the vacuum is on max and it draws the coffee to the lower chamber. Between the two chambers, there’s a filter. That’s about it- it wasn’t so scary after all!
Sometimes people want to sound fancy, using the term total immersion for the siphon brew method. This simply means that all the water (vapor) mixes with the ground coffee.
How did this brewer get its name? Who invented siphon coffee maker?
When I first got into this technique I thought it was a Japanese thing. But it turned out that it was invented back in the 19th century by Loeff of Berlin. Enough with siphon history. Let’s get back to business.
My pick for the best siphon coffee maker is Hario Vacuum Brewer. It has all the makings for a great coffee+ incredible Japanese quality. It’s even somewhere in the middle in terms of price which is fascinating considering the quality of this product.
Vacuum Coffee Maker Benefits
Coffee experts agree that boiling the water mixed with coffee grounds takes out much of the flavor. And if you drink coffee every day (I’m sure you do) you’d really want to keep that essence and taste. It’s the same with your car- you want something nice and comfortable especially if you’re covering great distances each day.
Heat constancy is another great benefit. Over the years I learned that hitting that sweet spot and keeping it constant (temperature-wise) is extremely important. Siphon brewers will do just this- they offer a rather constant temperature and consistent brew.
Finally, with its beautiful looks and spectacular brewing process, your guests will love it. Whether you have a commercial siphon coffee maker or a simple vacuum brewer, people will just be amazed to see it in action.
Siphon Coffee Brewer vs Drip Method
The difference is quite obvious- it’s the question of full immersion vs drip. With the drip coffee makers, you mix the boiling water with the grounds and let them pass through the filter. As you’ve seen the situation is a bit different from vacuum brewers.
While these techniques are sort of similar- they are also the opposite, in a way. While siphon uses vaporized water that climbs up the upper chamber, with the drip method you pour the water over the grounds. This section also answers the question of the siphon vs pour-over method, since the latter is just another term for the drip method.
Siphon Coffee Maker vs French Press
The difference is quite obvious- while vacuum makers generate their own pressure via heating up of the water, the French Press uses your power. Otherwise, the French Press is more like a pressurized drip method that kind of speeds up the process.
Most importantly the taste is quite different. A French press will brew you a cup of dark, oily, and strong coffee. Siphon on the other hand will get you a sort of clarified coffee with bright tastes. French press coffee has a lot of silt, which isn’t the case with the vacuum technique.
DIY Siphon Coffee Maker
At first glance, this apparatus might look like something that came straight out of a steampunk video game. But when you look at it closely (and when you read this text) you’ll realize that it isn’t that complex. This is why many people ask: can I make a vacuum coffee maker at home? Yes, and many homemade siphon coffee makers can compete with commercial products.
Luxury Siphon Makers
In this text I mention only the standard vacuum brewers. There are several reasons why I choose to do this- for instance, most people will be happy with standard models. Moreover, while luxurious models do exist, you wouldn’t want to buy such an expensive piece of equipment over the Internet. You’d want to meet the craftsman that makes them. Japanese people love the vacuum brew method, and some serious Japanese masters will make custom siphon makers.
List of 5 Siphon Coffee Makers:
|Nispira Belgian||Check On Amazon|
|Hario Glass Technica||Check On Amazon|
|Japanese Style ALVQ||Check On Amazon|
|Diguo Belgian||Check On Amazon|
|Bodum PEBO||Check On Amazon|
1. Nispira Belgian – Family Balance Syphon
This coffee maker comes in gold color, so it tends to look kind of flashy- some would even say over the top. Nispira Belgian has a wooden base (brown color).
The parts are made from heat-resistant glass and stainless steel (water retainer). Good thing is that you don’t need to buy additional butane burners. You will only have to purchase the fuel, and of course, coffee.
- Dimensions: 12.2 x 5 x 15.74 (inches)
- Weight: 5.64 pounds
You will see that the full name of this product has a lot of references to Belgium, but Nispira vacuum coffee maker is made in China.
It will make max three cups of coffee (or one big mug) at once, so be prepared for a lot of brewing if you want to show this maker to your friends.
2. Hario Glass Technica – Syphon Coffee Maker
This is one of the most popular siphon coffee makers, and not without a reason. First of all, Hario has great capacity. You’ll be able to brew max 5 cups.
The elements (lower bowl, upper bowl) are made from borosilicate glass that is actually made by the same company. This is some high-quality glass that will withstand the heat, and it will last a long time if you’re careful with it.
- Dimensions: 16.34 x 4.92 x 6.5 (inches)
- Weight: 1.54 pounds (pretty lightweight)
The stand and burner cover are made from stainless steel, which is, in my opinion, a better choice than wood (which we also see often). You simply don’t want to have something flammable attached to the heat source. You’ll also get brass fasteners and aluminum windbreak (I honestly don’t know what this is).
Hario imported from Japan. Enough said. Japanese people take their craft seriously, and they love to drink good coffee to stay energized during their long workhours. The burner uses alcohol as fuel- there was never a better reason to stack your home with liquor. Just kidding- you’ll need some pure alcohol for the burner.
The coffee will be ready in about 5 minutes which is a bit faster than the average siphon brewing time.
3. Japanese Style ALVQ - Siphon Coffee Maker
This is the most economic model- in terms of expenses of course. The bowls are made from heat resistant glass of course, while the other parts are made from polypropylene. This is not exactly the material you want around your coffee, but reducing the price comes at a price!
This one also uses alcohol burner and it’s rather flexible in terms of temperature. The taste of the coffee varies with brewing temperature, so you can experiment with different temperatures.
- Dimensions: 14.2 x 6.2 x 6.5 (inches)
- Weight: 2.1 pounds
The product description is somewhat confusing- at least when it comes to capacity. I’d say that the ALVQ siphon coffee maker will brew about 3 cups of coffee at one go, which is, as we’ve seen, a standard in this niche.
The glass on this product is quite thin, so be careful with it. Users sometimes receive broken products, so keep an eye on that.
4. Diguo Belgian - Balance Siphon
Another Belgian product on our list. Diguo siphon coffee maker comes in beautiful silver color- your guests will be amazed by the shiny, polished finish. Only the best materials were used- vacuum flask made from 304 stainless steel, borosilicate flask, and silicon seals (medical grade).
It will brew max 5 cups (500 ml capacity).
You’ll also receive some accessories like coffee scoop, cloth filter, and measuring cup.
- Dimensions: 17.25 x 14 x 6 (inches)
- Weight: 5.59 pounds
You’d want to fill the burner with alcohol, but not fill it up completely- 60% is the advised measure. You’ll have to wait about 10 minutes for your cup of coffee, but it’s definitely worth it. Finally, this product is a bit on the expensive side, so have this in mind if you’re aiming to reduce the expenses.
5. Bodum PEBO - Siphon Coffee Brewer
I’ll end this list with this fabulous Bodum vacuum brewer, which has that recognizable European quality. It has the standard 500 ml water tank- which, according to Bodum, can be enough for 8 cups which is not necessarily true.
Nevertheless, Bodum worked hard to provide an affordable yet efficient piece of equipment. The filter is made from plastic- good thing is that you can change it as soon as you receive your Bodum siphon brewer.
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 10.3 x 7.8 (inches)
- Weight: 1.55 pounds
Finally, this coffee maker is rather similar to SANTOS (another siphon maker by Bodum), which is why I didn’t include SANTOS in this list.
How To Use A Siphon Coffee Maker?
Here’s a brief breakdown of the whole process:
- Make sure the equipment is clean
- Preheat the water (especially if you’re using alcohol burner- these are notoriously slow)
- Add water to the bottom chamber
- Turn the burner on
- Add the top chamber (attach it to the bottom bowl)
- Add coffee (7 g per 100 ml of water)
- Let it bloom
- Stir (use a wooden spoon)
- Check the bottom chamber- when it’s completely empty you’d want to start tracking time
- Wait one minute (minute and a half)
- Detach the heat source
- Lay back and enjoy the science- the vacuum doing its job
That’s it from me. These are the most important takeaways from this article- the siphon method is somewhat slow, so it’s not really ideal for impatient people. You will need some time to get the gist of it, it’s not exactly a simple process. Finally, you will seldom find large siphon coffee makers, with most of them having about 500 ml capacity.