The Coffee Siphon – The Simple Tutorial

A few months ago I received a wonderful gift. A coffee siphon. The coffee siphon may appear intimidating at first glance, however it is really easy to brew excellent coffee with it. There are more comprehensive guides out there. This is a simple one just to get you started with the basics.

Step #1 Measure and Grind

The most common dosage recommendation for vacuum pot coffee is to use 8 grams of coffee for every four ounces of water. The grind will be a little bit finer than what you would use for drip coffee. See the Coffee Grind Chart for a visual approximation.

Step #2 Pre-Heat the Water

You could apply the siphon flame directly on cold water, but it takes forever and wastes butane. I use an electric kettle to bring the water up to about 180 F. If you have a PINO Kettle, you can dial in this temperature, otherwise use your best judgment. While the water is warming up, close the filter on the on top chamber of the siphon by latching the chain hook to the edge of the glass tube. Once this is in place, add the ground coffee to the top chamber.

siphon start

siphon filter

Step #3 Secure the Siphon Together

Place the top chamber securely into the bottom glass chamber.

siphon secure

Step #4 Light the Flame

Turn the knob on the heating element to release gas and then press the pedal to ignite the blue flame. This will provide enough heat to complete the brewing cycle.

siphon flame

Step #5 Brew and Stir

The water from the bottom chamber will rise to the top. Once there, provide a gentle stir so all the coffee grounds are making contact with the water. Allow the brew cycle to go 60-90 seconds and then turn off the flame.

siphon brewing

siphon turn off flame

Step #6 Allow Coffee to Return to the Lower Chamber and Serve

Once the flame is turned removed, the coffee will flood into the bottom chamber. Once the brewed coffee has completely emptied the top chamber, remove the top chamber and serve.

siphon remove top

Photos by Amanda Sparr.

Resources

Yama Coffee Siphon with butane burner – Product page on Amazon.com.

Vacuum Pot Brewing – A guide to different vacuum pot brewers available and a brewing tutorial.

Vac Pot Primer – An article that covers the rich history behind vacuum pot coffee brewers.

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Michael Allen Smith

Michael Allen Smith fell in love with coffee while attending college. Shortly after graduating college, he found himself in the Tampa Bay area far away from the good coffee he had at The Ohio State University. That is when he starting home roasting coffee. Less than a year later in April 1999, he launched the coffee website INeedCoffee.com. INeedCoffee.com has been going strong ever since with hundreds of articles and tutorials submitted by over one hundred contributors.

In 2007, Michael moved to America's coffee capitol Seattle, Washington. He has visited close to two hundred different coffee places in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver and met many of the top roasters and baristas in the country. Since 2009, Michael has been the Organizer of the Coffee Club of Seattle, which is a Meetup group of over 600 coffee enthusiants. Besides the social aspect of the group, the Coffee Club of Seattle partners with local coffee professionals for educational events such as coffee cuppings, brewing demonstrations and roasting tours.

Unrelated to coffee, Michael has a personal blog at CriticalMAS.com which covers several topics including fitness, cooking and finance.

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