Personal tools
log in | join | help

5 Favorites: Siphon Coffee Brewers for the Cogniscenti

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Oct 03, 2012 01:04 AM
Editorial Rating: 1 2 3 4 5
Average Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 ( 0 votes)
by Janet last modified Oct 02, 2012

A centerpiece of Blue Bottle Coffee's Mint Plaza shop in San Francisco is a siphon coffee bar that looks like something out of a steam punk science lab. Watching the coffee brew in the glass orbs is magical (and so is resulting coffee). Lest you think this fine brew is limited to artisanal coffee shops, siphon (also called vacuum) coffee brewers for the home are in easy reach. What sets these coffee makers apart is a brewing process that's entirely sealed off so that no aroma can escape. When the water reaches the coffee, it is said to be the perfect temperature to extract the oils and rich flavors. The coffee has a great body similar to French press, but without the chewy sediment. Vacuum coffee brewers are made of stovetop-safe borosilicate glass, which is extremely strong, is scratch and heat resistant, and won’t become cloudy over time. Heated water creates pressure in the lower bowl, pushing the water up to mix with the coffee grounds in the upper funnel. The heat is then turned off and the pressure drives the coffee back down to the lower bowl through a filter. For a thorough primer, see Coffee Geek's Using a Siphon Coffee Maker , which includes the whys, the hows, and what you'll need to achieve the perfect cup (like the perfect grind). What is your favorite brewing method? Above: Siphon coffee makers (right two photos) at Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco. Kyoto cold brewers on the left. Image via Cafe Hound . Above: Cona, out of the UK, has been making vacuum brewers since before World War II, and their designed has remained unchanged. The Cona Vacuum Brewer is the home vacuum brewer against which others are compared. This is not a stovetop variety. Rather, it is heated by a spirit lamp fueled with denatured alcohol. As Sweet Maria's says: "it's the brewing method for romantics." The classic size D maker is $215 (a smaller size C is available for $209) at Sweet Maria's. Above: Bodum has been making a siphon coffee maker since the 1970s; the Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker is their latest iteration. It has a 34-ounce capacity and features a stay-cool handle and a stopper to keep coffee warm; $79.95 at Sur La Table. Above: Bodum's Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker on the stovetop. It comes with a coffee scoop and resting stand (and it's dishwasher safe). Above: The Yama Vacuum Brewer is a stovetop model from Japan. It is a utilitarian vacuum-siphon brewer that can stand up to daily use. The Yama Vacuum Brewing Pictorial is a useful guide for getting started; $35 for the 5-cup size and $40 for the 8-cup size at Sweet Maria's. Above: The vacuum brewing method fell out of favor in North America with the introduction of the electric automatic coffee makers in the 1960s. Wonderful vintage makers ranging from complex 19th-century contraptions to the 1925 Sintrax Coffee Maker (shown above), a Bauhaus interpretation by Gerhard Marcks, can be found through auctions and vintage sellers. Explore more: Appliances .






Website migration, maintenance and customization provided by Grafware.