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.
Step #3 Secure the Siphon Together
Place the top chamber securely into the bottom glass chamber.
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.
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.
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.
Photos by Amanda Sparr.
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.
In 2007, Michael moved to America's coffee capitol Seattle, Washington. He has visited close to three hundred different coffee places in Seattle, Portland,Vancouver and San Francisco 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 800 coffee enthusiasts. 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 economics.
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