Did you know Syphon Coffee Makers or also known as vacuum brewers, vacpots, and even silexes is one of the most popular brewing methods used for a long time in American Homes? Yes, it’s true! Syphon Coffee Makers were very sought-after, especially between the early-1930s and the mid-1950s. Dozens of American companies were producing, marketing, and selling syphon coffee makers back in the day. It was a ruler in the coffee industry during those years!
They were almost completely cut off though due to the economy and inconvenience. However, they have made a return in the past 20 years and are now very appreciated by coffee lovers and enthusiasts. Not only do Syphon Coffee Makers create a splendid and flavourful taste in your coffee, but the process of using this brewing device is such a satisfying sight to see.
Syphon Coffee Machine: How They Work
A syphon coffee maker functions by the gas created from water vapour. Syphon coffee makers use the water vapour to have a full infusion of coffee that filters it cleanly leaving a clean cup of coffee without any coffee ground residue.
The device itself contains mainly four parts:
- The bottom chamber of the device, where the finished brewed coffee that is completely filtered drops into.
- The top chamber of the device or also known as the “brewing chamber” thanks to the open-ended syphon tube that’s attached to it. This part of the device is where the actual brewing part takes place.
- The sealer part of the device, usually a rubber gasket, is used to make that vacuum and suction part of the brewing experience.
- A filter that is used to filter out the unwanted coffee grounds. Filters can be made out of glass, paper, metal, or cloth.
There are different types of heat sources used for syphon coffee brewing. The slowest is cloth-wick alcohol and a slightly faster heat source is a gas or electric stovetop. Some use a speciality butane burner which is one of the fastest heat sources used to brew your coffee. And the final one is a halogen light heating device that is designated for making syphon coffee. However, the last heat source is mostly used in Japan and fancy coffee bars.
But how does the syphon coffee maker work? The bottom chamber of the coffee maker is inserted with a specific water level and is then heated up by the heat source to produce steam or water vapour. The air pressure that is building up is making the boiling water go through the syphon tube. Once the heat is off and the vapour converts back to water, it creates this vacuum type of process to suck down the water back to the bottom chamber and produce fresh coffee.
Syphon coffee makers are one of the oldest methods of coffee brewing going all the way back to 1840 in France where the device was designed and created. Although it is a very old method of making your coffee, it still hasn’t changed much over the hundreds of years.
Syphoning Coffee – A Step-by-Step Guide
This type of device doesn’t require a very complicated set of instructions to use. It has a simple way of using and this is how:
- Freshly roasted coffee
- Filtered and clean water
- Syphon Coffee Brewer
- Coffee Grinder
- Butane Burner
- Small Scale
Steps to Syphon Coffee
- Add Water to Syphon Base Vessel. Make sure to use clean and filtered water and measure your water depending on how much coffee grounds you are planning to use. A ratio of 7 grams of coffee needs about 100ml of water. Water can be preheated to make the boiling process faster. However, room temperature or even cold water can still be used for making this coffee.
- Apply Heat to Syphon Base. Place your heat source under the bottom of your syphon bowl. It does not matter what type of heat source you use whether it is the slowest or fastest, you will place it under the bowl of the device and turn it on. Let the water in the bowl come to a boil.
- Add Filter to Top Syphon Section. While waiting for your water to boil, place your filter in the top section of your syphon coffee maker. Normally, syphon coffee makers use a cloth filter and are placed on top of the glass portion of the device. Please make sure to keep your filter clean and sanitary before using it.
- Attach Top and Bottom Syphon Sections. Connect your top portion of the device to the bottom where the water is boiling. Be sure it is completely sealed.
- Add Coffee to the Assembled Syphon. Once the water starts to move up to the top section of your device, place the ground coffees in the water.
- Stir the Coffee. Use a bamboo wood stirrer to mix the coffee and water. You can also use a metal spoon but make sure to be gentle. Stir a few times to combine the water and coffee.
- Time to Brew. Let the device do its thing and brew your coffee into a delicious liquid mixture. You can set a timer for 90 seconds on a three-cup model or 100 seconds on a five-cup model.
- Remove Heat Source. Once the timer has ended, remove your heat source and optionally give a quick stir to your coffee slurry.
- Watch Coffee Filter Down. This is the most mesmerising part of making syphon coffee. Due to the lack of heat, the steam starts to reduce and eventually stops, turning back into water. Gases that are inside the chamber contract and create a vacuum. This “vacuum” part drags down the water, through the filter, and back into the bottom chamber as time goes on.
- Remove Top Chamber and Serve. Once all the coffee mixture is transferred into the bottom chamber, remove the top portion of the device and pour the coffee mixture into your serving cup.
Syphon Coffee: Additional Tips
Now that we’ve covered how to use a Syphon Coffee Maker in the simplest and easiest way, it is time to show you some additional tips. These tips will help you create the best syphon coffee with minimal problems and bad outcomes.
- Use fresh roasted and freshly ground coffee. Using coffee that has only been roasted a few weeks before using, and grounded right before using, will ensure the best tasting coffee that you will have.
- Use good quality coffee. Using good quality coffee will affect your outcome. Having good quality coffee will make your finished coffee mixture taste splendid.
- Use good quality water. You can use filtered water or boiled water to remove any bacteria from your water. Water used in coffee makes up 95% of it.
- A good quality grinder. Using a good-quality grinder can help with your finished product.
That is all for how to make the simplest but great syphon coffee with minimal problems. You do not have to be a very experienced barista or use a very expensive syphon coffee maker to create a good quality syphon coffee. Just by following this article, you can end up with a great coffee to have in your own home.