What is a Coffee Syphon?

JustBrewIt.Blog - What is a Coffee Syphon?

If it has anything to do with Coffee, then I want one, probably two.

This couldn’t be more true for a Coffee Syphon.

I first lay eyes on one of these crazy Coffee contraptions whilst mindlessly browsing Pinterest one evening. I love Coffee and I’m particularly fond of science. This seems to appeal to both of those interests. It looks like it’s for Chemists who want Coffee. I wanted needed one immediately.

Hario sell them, for an eye watering £110.

I got mine for £35 delivered, it’s not Hario but it certainly looks like one, not that this fact is important. Mine is by ‘Coffee Master’ and the build quality is superb. Does it need to be Hario? No it doesn’t. Does it need to make great Coffee? Yes and it does.

Apparently the Coffee Syphon dates back to the 1800s, the first successfully marketed one was by a French Lady but the name of Marie Fanny Amelne Massot, better known as Mme. Vassieux.

The Coffee Syphon is commonplace in most speciality Coffee shops now, it’s not just about getting a quick cup of Joe, it’s all about the experience. In fact, some Coffee Shops now have ‘experience’ bars within their shops. There’s going to be a future blog post about the ‘experience’ bars in London. Any excuse to drink coffee.

The Coffee Syphon is constructed of two glass chambers, supported by a frame. The lower chamber looks like a glass balloon and the upper chamber looks like a glass beaker. The upper chamber has an open top, so that it is under the same forces as the atmosphere around it. There’s a a fixed pipe on the bottom of the upper chamber which sits perfectly into the lower chamber and creates a seal. A cloth filter is held in place inside the upper chamber with a chain that connects to the pipe.

For any Coffee Syphon to work, there needs to be a heat source, some use halogen heaters and some use a flame. The Coffee Syphon I have has a small vessel which I fill with methylated spirit and light a wick. I love the smell of coffee and I love the smell of burning methylated spirits, it reminds me of camp cooking.

I found several different videos and instructions on how to use the Syphon, but I learnt one important factor, put the Coffee in AFTER the water has risen into the top chamber. If you don’t do this, then the coffee mixes with the water immediately, which prevents you getting the water to the right temperature before mixing the Coffee.

I’ve created this rather useful graphic to show how to prepare and use a Coffee Syphon, feel free to use it, print it, pin it and so on:

I’ll leave you with this little gem of a video, something I’m particularly jealous of:

Intelligentsia have created an awesome video which shows the process of a Coffee Syphon in operation, check it out:

Ryan – JustBrewIt.Blog

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