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You’re probably reading this for one of two reasons: either you’re curious about what it is, or you already know and want to find out which model is the best siphon coffee maker.
I promise to go through the nitty-gritty details of how it works, but first, let me share with you what I love about this coffee maker – it’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Although I’m in love with my Keurig & Hamilton Beach babes, I also love the traditional ways of prepping my morning cup of joe.
If you want to look like a geeky scientist in front of your guests, and be able to prep your coffee and tea and impress and delight them with the smell of coffee, this article is for you.
Without any further, let’s find out the best siphon coffee maker, the cost of acquiring one, and how to make the most of this “antique” piece of jewelry.
What Is A Siphon Coffee Maker?
A Siphon coffee maker is also known as a vacuum coffee maker, but the two terms are used interchangeably.
Some might tell you it’s an early form of vacuum brewer, which is true, but the conical chamber wasn’t always there.
The name siphon comes from how it works – you heat water, place it in one chamber and the coffee grinds in another chamber above.
The heat from the water in the upper chamber is transferred to the grinds in the lower chamber.
Steam builds up in this phase and is released through a valve when it reaches boiling point. This makes a vacuum inside the bottom chamber, which pulls in more water.
A Siphon coffee maker is a wonderful, traditional way of preparing coffee that involves pouring water over grounds in a glass container which results in a vacuum motion that forces the brewed coffee into another container.
While the brewing process is visually attractive, it also makes for a wonderful cup of joe…or tea if you’re not a coffee drinker.
How Does a Siphon Coffee Maker Works?
The secret of a siphon coffee maker relies on a single component that’s been around since before it made its way into coffee shops – the piston.
It’s the piston that’s responsible for creating a vacuum inside the bottom chamber.
When you heat water, it evaporates quickly and builds up pressure in the top chamber.
The piston is connected to this chamber through a tube.
When pressure builds up inside the upper chamber, it pushes down on the piston and gets transferred to the lower chamber with coffee grinds.
The vacuum is created when enough water evaporates and is replaced by more hot water from the reservoir.
The piston then pushes more hot water into the bottom chamber, creating another vacuum.
This goes on until all the hot water in the upper chamber has evaporated, at which point it’s finished brewing.
The piston is also attached to a valve inside the lower chamber, so when the pressure gets too high, it releases whatever fine coffee grinds are left inside.
The result is a coffee with a higher concentration of solids than you’d find in other coffee brewers.
The Pros of a Siphon Coffee Maker
OK. Now you have a basic idea of how it works. Here are the perks of using a siphon coffee maker.
1. Beautiful & Functional Design
This is an antique coffee maker that will have your friends thinking you’re nuts for using something so old-fashioned to brew your joe.
But you can tell them all about how it works and impress them – and yourself – with how much work it takes to make a cup of coffee.
Before you start making fun of me, check out this gorgeous antique French glass siphon coffee maker.
This is not your average maker. It features a glass container that looks like it belongs in a laboratory and is almost too pretty to use.
And it’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for a decorative, functional coffee maker for your home bar, then this is the one.
2. Time-Tested Brewing Method
The brewing method behind the siphon coffee maker has been time-tested by millions of coffee & tea lovers over the years and won’t let you down in terms of results.
Yep, you can make a wicked cup of coffee with this thing.
3. Quick & Efficient Brewing
No matter what your skill level, a siphon coffee maker will be a breeze to use.
If you’re a beginner who’s worried that all this stuff about backwoods coffee making is too much for you, then think again.
This thing is easy to make delicious coffee with.
4. No Sleeving or Filtering Necessary
You don’t have to worry about using a special device called a filter to strain the coffee, as the siphon coffee maker requires no filtering.
5. Versatile & Easy To Maintain
There are almost no moving parts that require maintenance, which means you can use this without fear of breaking it if you’re not careful.
You can clean it with dish soap and warm water and you’re good to go.
6. Maintains Full & Balanced Flavor Profile
Most coffee machines use paper filters to strain out coffee grounds.
But the design of the siphon coffee maker prevents this, meaning its flavor is more balanced and full. You can use it to make cold-brewed coffee or hot drip brew, both of which are great options for your taste buds.
The Cons of the Siphon Coffee Maker
1. Not For The Faint of Heart
This is a difficult coffee maker to use if you’re not familiar with it.
And even if you are, you still have to pay close attention as the process can go awry quickly as the coffee boils up and spills over.
In other words, it’s not a great coffee maker for those who need to multitask while brewing their coffee.
2. Not For Beginners
Like any other coffee maker that involves a piston, this siphon coffee maker is a bit intimidating for beginners.
The notion of brewing coffee by using a hand-cranked mechanism makes it seem like a complex sci-fi device from the future.
But it isn’t really. There’s nothing hard or complicated about making a delicious cup of coffee with this thing.
But if you’re not familiar with the process, it may leave you feeling intimidated and frustrated.
3. Elegant But Not For The Budget-Conscious
While not as expensive as the French glass siphon coffee maker, this is still an elegant coffee maker that you shouldn’t purchase if you’re looking to save money.
If you’re not too concerned about aesthetics and just want a kick-ass coffee maker that produces great results, then you can opt for the Kendal Glass Siphon Maker.
4. Can Be Difficult To Clean
Because you can’t use a filter, you have to clean everything by hand to remove all coffee dregs.
This is a lot of work and time to spend on cleaning the appliance itself.
But if you’re up for this task, then it should be fine.
5. Takes A Lot of Space
If you have limited space in your kitchen, then you might want to reconsider this particular coffee maker.
Rethink of all those siphon coffee maker reviews you’ve read.
The machines are quite large and consume a lot of space on your kitchen counter. If this is a problem for you, then the Kendal glass siphon coffee maker allows you to use a pretty small space on your countertop.
Two Most Popular Types of Siphon Coffee Brewers
1. The French Style Siphon Coffee Maker
French-Style Siphon coffee makers are a step up from the regular siphon coffee makers in terms of functionality and aesthetics.
With a French-style siphon coffee maker, you don’t have to worry about the long clean-up process.
Although expensive, they look beautiful on your kitchen counter and give off an old-world feel that makes you feel like you’re in Paris or some other European city.
The French-style glass siphon coffee maker uses a siphon action to create the brewing action.
Siphons are well-known by science teachers and science nerds alike. If you’re looking for an elegant siphon coffee maker, then this is it.
The French-style glass siphon coffee maker comes with beautiful copper accents on the exterior, round copper top, and black rubber base as well as handles on the side of the device.
The bottom also features a circular foot, which helps the coffee maker to stay stable while you’re using it.
This kind of siphon coffee maker can accommodate cups up to 32 ounces of java.
If you want to keep your French-style glass siphon coffee maker clean, then you have to be very careful because just like other siphon coffee makers, it will spill over if you’re not careful.
The French-style glass siphon coffee maker is great if you’re looking for a beautiful and functional coffee maker that will keep you entertained as you observe the brewing process.
2. Japanese Siphon Coffee Maker
The Japanese siphon coffee maker is a bit different than the French-style siphon coffee maker.
It utilizes a hand-crank mechanism coupled with a special tube to create the siphon effect.
This type of apparatus is good for those who like to create their own concoctions using custom coffee grounds and other ingredients such as cinnamon or vanilla extract.
What To Consider Before Buying A Siphon Coffee Maker
The prices for siphon coffee makers vary dramatically depending on the type of device you want to buy.
You can purchase a copper or glass siphon coffee maker for under $100 or go all out and pay more than $200 for a high-end model.
The price may be indicative of its quality, but this isn’t always true.
Sometimes you will find that some cheaper versions still do the trick and some expensive versions don’t live up to expectations.
When taking your measurements, you should consider the dimensions of your kitchen as well as the presence of a stove and an oven.
If you’re buying a glass siphon coffee maker, then be careful and check for proper clearance and ease of use.
The French glass siphon coffee makers are taller than most other models because it allows you to pour your preferred cup size depending on how large you like your coffee to be.
Siphon coffee makers are a bit different from other types of coffee makers.
If you’re a beginner at using a siphon coffee maker, then it might be a good idea to start with a French glass siphon coffee maker or a regular model.
This way you can familiarize yourself with the process and learn how to use these devices before you invest in an expensive model.
What’s best for your kitchen depends on your personal preference as well as the amount of money you’re willing to spend on it.
Regardless of the type of siphon coffee maker you purchase, you will be guaranteed a delicious and aromatic cup of coffee that will keep you energetic and ready to take on your day.
What is the Best Siphon Coffee Maker?
Phewwww! That’s a lot of words about siphon coffee makers.
Now you know everything there is about siphon coffee maker reviews and the various kinds of makers on the market.
We’ve covered everything from the French glass siphon coffee maker to home versions, fakes, and kit versions.
By now, you should have a good idea of what to get for your kitchen or gift recipient.
If you decide that an antique style or authentic kit version is worth the money, then I say go for it.
1. Hario Glass Technica Syphon Coffee Maker (Best Overall Japanese Style)
As far as siphon coffee makers go, this is one of the most beautiful models I’ve seen in action.
The Hario Technica upper bowl and lower bowl are made from glass.
The type of glass is borosilicate glass, which is the highest grade for heating purposes.
The middle ring of glass is used to hold the smaller tube in place, so it doesn’t wobble when in use.
The other parts such as the stand and the burner cover are made from stainless steel.
The stand and burner cover features a small groove that helps keep the tube in place and the bottom of the device is flat on the bottom, so you can set it down safely on your countertop.
The Hario Technica is a Japanese-style siphon coffee maker.
This particular model has a very interesting design on the upper glass bowl.
You can add some decorations such as tea or herbs for infusing into your coffee grounds to make unique-tasting coffees.
This glass siphon coffee maker is a bit different from other models in that it uses an extra piece of glass to keep the two tubes in place safely.
The silicone that comes with this glass siphon coffee maker allows you to clean all parts easily, removing any leftovers or grinds that get stuck.
This makes cleaning this device pretty straightforward, especially if you use cold water and dish soap.
One of the advantages of The Hario Technica is that you probably won’t need additional filters for a long time.
If you know how to care of the existing filter, it can last a very long time.
2. Bodum PEBO Siphon Coffee Maker
Made in Europe, this Siphon coffee maker from Bodum can make an 8-cup carafe of coffee.
It looks like the French glass siphon coffee maker, but it has a more modern design with removable parts made from stainless steel.
The top and bottom are made from glass while the actual coffee maker part is made from stainless steel.
This ensures that there will be no rusting, scratches, or warping anytime soon.
Like other models in the same line, this Bodum PEBO features a glass window that allows you to see your brewing process in action at all times.
Also, unlike the other models, I find the PEBO a bit quicker as it can brew your coffee in less than 10 minutes.
I’ve tested it at a friend’s place and I got my coffee ready in 6 minutes and 35 seconds.
The brewing time also depends on how strong you want your coffee.
The Bodum PEBO is a siphon coffee maker with a removable bowl and a stainless steel filter basket.
A simple cleaning procedure can result in a more efficient brewing process as well as your cup of coffee.
The Bodum PEBO is an easy-to-maintain, domestic model that is made from high-quality materials for a reasonable price tag.
It’s extremely durable and I’ve seen friends of mine using it for years now without any problems.
The Bodum PEBO also comes with a coffee scoop, measuring spoon, and a set of instructions to make it easier for you to brew your first cup.
3. Diguo Belgian/Belgium Family Balance Siphon
Are you more of an antique-style coffee drinker?
Then you should look at the Diguo Belgian/Belgium Balance Siphon Coffee Maker Set.
The whole set can give your kitchen a royal look as well as a very modern look.
The set features a glass ball tube, a brass burner, and a special lid to keep your coffee warm.
It is one of the most classic-looking models out there at the moment, so this is certainly an amazing gift for your favorite coffee lover.
I had the chance to enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend who just received one as a gift and all I can say it’s pure coffee.
No inconsistency, full flavor and aroma, and a very delightful taste.
This is an exceptionally well-designed model that is very easy to maintain, so you won’t have problems with maintaining this glass siphon coffee maker for years.
You just need to clean your glass tube once or twice a week and that’s it.
Shop Diguo Belgian/Belgium Family Balance Siphon
4. KitchenAid KCM0812OB Siphon Coffee Brewer
Although it doesn’t look like a true siphon coffee maker, the KitchenAid KCM0812OB is a unique coffee maker.
It is a hand-blown glass tube with a cool design that will definitely give your kitchen a unique look.
This siphon coffee maker from KitchenAid has two thick glass tubes that can hold up to a 4-cup carafe of coffee.
The upper tube has the coffee grounds and the boiled water goes through the lower tube before it hits the bottom heating element, collecting in the bottom bowl.
Unlike other brands, the KitchenAid Siphon Coffee Brewer has a magnetic seal that keeps the two glass parts together for a safe and secure appliance.
The glass tubes are thick and clear so you can watch the process of brewing.
I would say that this model is a bit pricier than other models, but the materials used are the best you can find on the market so it is worth investing in this beautiful piece of kitchen tools.
Another great feature is that you won’t need to purchase other filters.
This means you won’t need to waste money on another for years since the filter it comes with is reusable.
5. Yama Glass Siphon Vacuum Coffee Maker
This 20oz glass vacuum coffee maker looks like a basic glass siphon coffee maker, but the small differences in the glass make it unique and attractive.
Hand-blown with premium borosilicate glass, it’s non-porous which makes it difficult to absorb smells or odors.
This can be a problem that sometimes happens with other models.
The Yama Glass Siphon Vacuum Coffee Maker is also scratch resistant and this ensures that your daily coffee will always look new and shiny.
The glass tube is made from three parts: the upper part is where you place the coffee, the middle part has a filter and an airtight seal and the bottom part is where you place the water.
The top and bottom of this model are made from thick glass and they hold up to a 5-cup carafe of coffee.
The upper part has a coiled metal tube that is attached to the lower part of the machine with a strong magnet.
The upper part has a hole that allows you to see your brewing process at all times.
Shop Yama Glass Siphon Vacuum Coffee Maker
Why Siphon Coffee Makers Still Exist & Why You Think You Should Get One
A siphon coffee maker is the same way it always was.
The coffee doesn’t taste much different from your average drip machine, but it takes a lot longer to brew and there’s no need to add any kind of fancy flavors or scents.
The coffee makers are still around because they look cool and they work.
How To Brew A Siphon Coffee Maker – 101 Guide for Beginners
Using a siphon coffee maker couldn’t be easier – just follow these steps.
Add the water to the pitcher, making sure it reaches the lower chamber, and attach the glass on top.
Heat up the water until you see steam coming out of the tube on top of the coffee maker.
If you don’t see any steam, increase the heat setting.
Set your electric kettle to boil the water, but make sure it doesn’t overheat. When you see steam coming out of the tube, turn off your machine.
Put your gas stove on medium-high. Turn it to medium when you see steam coming out of the tube.
Start a fire in the wood burner and let it burn steadily while adding wood as necessary to keep the flames high.
Place the pitcher on top of the cylinder (the one with the tube running through).
Place the glass over the opening, which will allow you to see if any water has escaped.
Final Thoughts on Siphon Coffee Maker
Siphon coffee makers are a great addition to a serious coffee lover’s kitchen.
They look really cool and they give you amazing coffee that will surprise you from the first sip.
If you have been enjoying the idea of purchasing one, I really hope this article will help you to make the right decision.
The options we have shared today are some of the best siphon coffee makers out there and I am sure that one of them will be the right option for you.