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As much as I love popping into my local coffee shop, I also love bringing those hipster vibes into my own home. What started out with a french press or Moka pot, turns into a coffee-making station complete with every kind of device imaginable.
I really thought I had it all when it comes to brewing delicious coffee so I was shocked to learn that there’s a device out there that I hadn’t heard of. The Siphon coffee maker.
A siphon or syphon coffee maker (different spelling of the same word) looks so ultra-hipster that it seems too much for the average coffee joe. The truth is, these devices date back to the early 1800s so they are just about as vintage as it gets.
Luckily, the modern designs mean that the brewing process is actually pretty straightforward forward and you can just sit back and watch the show unfold. Siphon coffee makers are a whole new world of coffee brewing and if you’re keen to join in on this craze then read on!
Here are the best siphon coffee makers available in a range of designs and at a range of prices to suit every need!
The Best Siphon Coffee Makers Reviewed
- Top Choice – Diguo Belgian Balance Syphon Coffee Maker
- Runner Up – Hario Technica Glass Syphon Coffee Maker
- Best Balance Siphon – Nispira Belgian Luxury Royal Family Balance Siphon Coffee Brewer
- Best Stovetop Siphon – Bodum PEBO Coffee Maker Vacuum Coffee Maker
- Best Electric Siphon – KitchenAid Siphon Coffee Brewer
1. Top Choice – Diguo Belgian Balance Syphon Coffee Maker
Heat Source: Integrated Spirit Burner
This Belgian balance siphon is a complete winner when it comes to these kinds of coffee makers due to the fact it ticks every box and that’s why it’s our top pick. It’s the most stunning piece to have in your kitchen and makes a really great conversation starter for when you invite friends and family.
You add water to the stainless steel chamber and heat this up using the integrated burner underneath. Add some ground coffee to the glass beaker and start the burner. As the water heats up, the pressure displaces it into the coffee chamber and this causes the water chamber to rise, automatically switching off the burner.
The coffee brews and then it’s siphoned back into the water chamber, passing through a cloth filter to ensure no grounds end up in your cup. There’s a plug to break the vacuum and the coffee is served via a tap in the brewing chamber straight into your favorite coffee cup.
2. Runner Up – Hario Technica Glass Syphon Coffee Maker
Heat Source: Alcohol Burner
The runner-up is a slightly more affordable option that retains all the lovely vacuum brew characteristics just without the aesthetic balancing act. The Hario Technica has a top chamber and a lower chamber. An alcohol burner is included but it’s recommended to swap this for a butane burner as these are cleaner and more efficient.
The water goes into the bottom chamber and there’s a hook to hold the reusable cloth filters onto the siphon tube. It’s best to use warm water from the kettle when you start brewing as cold water takes a long time to heat up in this way. When the water heats up, vapor pressure causes it to combine with coffee in the upper chamber. Remove the burner now.
Finally, the brewed coffee falls back into the coffee pot and this can be enjoyed immediately.
3. Best Balance Siphon – Nispira Belgian Luxury Royal Family Balance Siphon Coffee Brewer
Heat Source: Integrated Burner
If you’re looking for the ultimate vintage brewing method that creates a full theatrical drama then this is the coffee-making setup for you. It’s made of high-quality stainless steel with heat-resistant glass for the brewing chamber. The base is wooden and this gives it a classic feel.
It comes with an alcohol burner that needs to be topped up to half full with every use. The water is heated in a steel boiling chamber until the vapor pressure sets of the siphon brewing mechanism.
It’s reasonably easy to use, fun to watch and makes a really delicious, smooth-tasting cup of coffee. As with most of these brewers, it’s more artistic than practical and the glassware is delicate so it’s an ideal brew system for entertaining but not for quick, easy daily use.
4. Best Stovetop Siphon – Bodum PEBO Coffee Maker, Vacuum Coffee Maker
Heat Source: Stovetop
It can end up being easier to use the heat source you have available in your own home and that is exactly what the Bodum PEBO takes advantage of. It’s a vacuum pot with a simple design, just an upper chamber for the coffee grounds and a lower chamber to heat the water.
It’s electric stovetop compatible but you can also buy it with a stand and burner to use it anywhere. It can make pretty large batches of coffee as this option can brew 1 liter of coffee (that’s 34 oz or 8 cup capacity).
It has its own built-in, reusable filter, and replacement parts are available to buy so you don’t have to worry about things breaking. It even comes with a lid to keep the brewed coffee warm as you sip on your first cup.
5. Best Electric Siphon – KitchenAid Siphon Coffee Brewer
Heat Source: Electric Heating Element
Capacity: 1.2 Liters
An open flame can look really appealing but it’s not the best option in a busy household. If you prefer to just press a button and have hot coffee brewed as you watch then this is the siphon brewer for you.
It is sold in 8 cup capacity and it can brew up to 1.2 liters of coffee. The device is stainless steel and glass so brews a clean tasting cup whilst being easy to keep clean. It has the option of a stainless steel filter or a cloth filter for a lighter coffee taste.
As well as ease of set-up, the machine automatically switches itself off when the water reaches a temperature so you don’t need to keep an eye on it constantly. It’s the perfect standalone coffee machine if you want the ease of a drip coffee maker combined with the delicious tasting coffee you get from a siphon brewer.
Syphon Coffee Maker Buyers Guide
The Syphon coffee maker combines full immersion brewing with a pressurized environment in a show-stopping brew process. The idea is that you have two chambers connected by a thin tube. One chamber is exposed to heat and the other contains coffee grounds to act as a brewing chamber. Then as the temperature increases, until you almost have boiling water, this creates steam which makes a pressurized environment.
The hot water is then forced into the brewing chamber to give total immersion of the coffee. At this stage, it’s time to remove the heat source. Once the steeping process is finished, the vacuum in the lower flask draws the brewed coffee back down into it through a filter.
The brewing time takes around 10 minutes for most devices and is sped up a lot if you use hot water, to begin with, rather than cold. The vacuum environment means no aromas are lost and more flavor is extracted from the coffee beans.
Heat Source Options
Most siphon coffee brewers come with an alcohol burner so they can be used on any countertop. These work fairly well but can leave soot on the device. Butane burners are cleaner to use and heat the water more efficiently.
Stovetop options are available and these can work well on electric and gas hobs. They’re typically made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass so withstand the heat well and don’t hold onto stains or odors.
When you choose a new coffee maker, alongside making sure you check prices, it’s a good idea to investigate if you can get replacement parts. Glassware is delicate and prone to breakages, especially when it’s exposed to changing temperatures a lot.
Check the Amazon listing to see if they offer warranties, replacement carafes, fuel refills, and spare filters to ensure you don’t end up with a device that doesn’t last.
The average siphon coffee maker isn’t compact like a french press or pour-over set-up and you need to consider the size of the device before you click buy. By design, they are very bulky and won’t pack away easily into a cupboard or drawer.
Make sure you have a good idea of where you plan to keep the device and be sure it’s somewhere safe from being knocked or having something dropped on it.
Most siphon coffee makers require medium coffee grounds. These are typically a bit finer than those used for drip coffee but not as fine as an espresso grind. I’d recommend a medium to dark roast coffee and beans from Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia work very well.
Are siphon coffee makers any good?
Siphon coffee makers are a good option for any budding barista looking to expand their coffee-making repertoire. They are mostly for show but actually do make a beautifully balanced and smooth tasting cup of coffee but it does take practice to brew a perfect cup.
What is the best grind for siphon?
It can vary a bit depending on the device used but typically a medium grind is best so that’s similar to drip coffee and coarser than an espresso grind.
What are the benefits of a siphon coffee maker?
They are not as complex to use as they look and make a really impressive show of brewing coffee. It’s a fun centerpiece for dinner parties or if you have any guests round to stay that are coffee lovers.
What is the difference between a vacuum brewer and a siphon?
A vacuum brewer is a siphon coffee maker, it’s just a different name for it.
Do you need a filter for a siphon coffee maker?
Most siphons do require a filter to ensure grounds don’t end up in the coffee. Some models have the filter built-in and some require cloth or mesh filters to be fixed in place.
How do you clean a siphon coffee maker?
Once the device has cooled remove the coffee grounds by holding it upside down over a bowl or bin and gently tap it (with your hand, not anything else!). Use warm water to rinse away the rest of the coffee grounds. Glassware can be cleaned with dish soap and brushes provided along with the coffee maker.
Rinse away all soap suds and let the equipment air dry before you reassemble it.
Yama Glass Stovetop Siphon Coffee Maker
Brand: Yama Glass
Heat Source: Stovetop
If you’re looking for an option that’s simple and understated then this Yama stovetop siphon is a reasonable choice. It’s made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass which can be placed on a gas or electric stovetop. It even comes with a wire grid so you can use it on electric coil burners.
It has mixed reviews with some saying it works really well and others noticing a potential for issues. This seems to be due to counterfeit models being sold in place of the real thing.
A minor design flaw is that the handle is designed to be heatproof but if used on a gas flame it can end up getting very hot. Make sure you use oven mitts to pour the coffee.
Another thing to be aware of is some customers report that the seal doesn’t hold very well to maintain the vacuum in the brewer so that’s worth considering if you like the look of this option.
Yama Glass Tabletop Siphon Vacuum Coffee Maker
Heat Source: Integrated Burner
Yama doesn’t only do a stovetop option as this tabletop siphon demonstrates. It comes with its own base stand and burner so you can use it anywhere. The basic design of the coffee-making part is very similar to the stovetop option with a cloth filter held in place with a spring and chain.
It’s a simple, slow process to brew coffee but this option is a really budget-friendly choice for making a reasonable amount of coffee in this manner.
Klarstein Electric Siphon Vacuum Coffee Maker
Heat Source: Electric
This electric option is great if you want to avoid an open flame ie if you have children running around. The base has the option of automatic mode to take care of the coffee for you or switch it to manual mode if you want more control over the brewing process.
The electric heater base is a really nice design with an LCD display and touch button controls. It makes sure the water is never overheated so your coffee doesn’t end up burned.
This is a nice, simple-to-use option. It’s pretty sturdy and won’t break the bank.
Budget Option – Glass Vacuum Siphon Coffee Maker with Alcohol Burner
Heat Source: Alcohol Burner
This is the best option if you want to give this brew method a try but don’t want to fork out a lot for it. It has all the key features, a stand, burner, cloth filter with coil and spring and it can brew up to 500ml of coffee.
You can use the stand as a handle to pour out the coffee when it’s brewed which makes it quite nice to use. It’s compatible with many other heating options so you can swap out the alcohol burner if you prefer.
It’s simple, effective, and well designed. The only reported issue is that the glassware is very fragile so be careful when handling and cleaning it!
So that’s it for siphon coffee makers. These devices are 50:50 aesthetics and great tasting coffee and are the perfect show-stopping piece for any coffee lover. They’re not as complex to use as they look and can make really balanced smooth-tasting coffee. If you love coffee then it’s well worth giving these devices a go, you won’t regret it!
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