Not only a beautiful way to brew, syphons also produce delicious cups of coffee. Invented in the 1840s, this brew method is useful in that the brewing temperature remains relatively constant. Pour over method temperatures raise over time as the apparatus heats up and the volume of water increases. The water temperature of infusion methods like the French Press always drops. This means certain compounds, both desirable and undesirable, might be missed because of fluctuating temperatures.
Furthermore, the syphon doesn't boil the water but maintains ideal brewing temperature (90-96C). The steam pressure created by the heat pushes water up the funnel and into the brew chamber, mixing with the coffee grounds until the heat source is removed. A natural vacuum then pulls the brewed coffee back past the filter into the starting chamber. As the water doesn't boil, overly bitter compounds are less likely to be extracted, resulting in a perceivably sweeter cup.
As always, try different amounts of coffee with a medium grind.
Coffee Rambler recommends brewing between 20-25 g of coffee to 300 ml of water.
Brew time | 2-3 minutes
Brew Ratio | 1:12 - 1:15
Water Temp | 90-96C
Remember these are guidelines, experimentation is encouraged.
Boil your water & grind your Coffee
Boil your low mineral content water in a kettle to save your burner working too hard. Weigh out as much coffee as you need (23g) for the size of your brew and grind it to a medium coarseness (like granulated sugar).
Keep the ground coffee sealed until ready to use.
Set up your syphon
Ensure your syphon is set up correctly. There are many different kinds of syphon, some that look like scales and others built vertically. The syphon in the picture linking to this page is manufactured by Hario.
Check your filter is well placed, we don’t want ground coffee finding its way into your cup.
Fill the water (lower) chamber
Fill the chamber with 300ml of hot water and fully assemble the syphon. Turn on the burner and apply heat to the water chamber.
Be sure to pre-boil the water to speed up the process.
Add coffee and stir
Once the water has entered into the brewing chamber reduce the heat. Do not extinguish the flame. Here you can use a thermometer to measure the temperature, aiming for 90-96C. Add your coffee and stir.
Allow the coffee to steep for 80 seconds. If the coffee is clumping together, give it a gentle stir
Turn off the heat, pour and clean
After 80 seconds extinguish the heat and allow the coffee to filter back into the water chamber. You will see the rate at which it drains accelerate due to the syphon’s vacuum. This should take 50-60 seconds.
Clean up and make sure the filter cloth is done so carefully (to avoid rancid stains). Pour and enjoy.
An impressive but expensive syphon
Look out for the Steampunk, another vacuum brewing method. Coffee Rambler found this expensive kit to be highly adept at extracting super sweet and exciting flavours with extraordinary clarity.