The vacuum coffee maker, also referred to as the siphon or syphon is a coffee making method that uses two pots and then adds water pressure and a vacuum to brew.
For a long time brewing coffee using the siphon method was something that was really only possible in artisan coffee shops. Now though with the latest vacuum coffee makers, doing this brewing method at home is an easy process to achieve.
This is not for anyone wanting to brew a fast cup as the method is slow, and I think it is probably fair to say, a brewing process designed for coffee nerds just like me.
Before looking any further into this fun process I suggest that you check out the video below, so as you can see what is involved.
Video on Using a Vacuum Coffee Maker
We found this very useful video of the vacuum coffee making process being shown from end to end. Watch this and you will know all that you ever need to get started.
The word "vacuum" instantly suggests something that is sealed or can not escape, and in case it is both the taste and the aroma of the coffee being brewed.
The water inside the maker reaches the ideal or perfect temperature and when it does, it extracts the oils and flavours from the coffee bean.
If you like coffee with a strength similar to the French Press method, then this vacuum method is it, but without any risk of those dreaded sand like sludge at the bottom of the cup.
You know that feeling, when you take your last mouthful, and there it is a mixture of sand like grains all over your teeth.
How do Vacuum Coffee Makers Work?
The majority of these work by adding hot water to the bottom beaker and then placing it on top of a stove or cooker. The other type and one that many people use is a small butane gas burner to heat the lower bowl. This method is the more traditional style of siphon brewing.
The very odd one works using a fuel lamp as was used in days gone by.
These coffee brewers are made of high heat resistance glass, usually a borosilicate glass that is strong, tough and scratch proof. Water is heated in a lower bowl and that creates a certain level of pressure. This pressure pushes the heated water up the coffee grains in the upper funnel.
When the heat is then turned off, the pressure drives the coffee back down (the draw down)and through a filter into the lower bowl once again. The coffee grains are left in the upper bowl when finished and should leave a nice dome looking shape.
When you first see one of these they can remind you instantly of some nutty professor's lab.
Initially this may look like quite a complex process but it really is a lot easier than you think. Now sad as this may seem, it is also a pretty cool way of making coffee.
And for those of us who like to show off a little, then this does look impressive and it does make great tasting coffee.
What Does Vacuum Coffee Taste Like?
If you have ever cooked using some type of smoked method, or even using a sealed method of cooking, then you will know that these methods are all about sealing in the natural aromas. So it is with the siphon method as you should end up with a rich aromatic cup of coffee.
Why Use a Coffee Siphon Maker?
There are three reasons that I use this method:
- I really enjoy the richer flavour and aroma
- It is a very fun method to do and you get to do a little experimenting along the way
- If you love gadgets and love coffee, then you just got to try it
Brands of Vacuum Maker
I have listed below some of the main brands who make vacuum coffee makers. The first one, and the one against which all others are judges is the Cona. That is made and has always been in the United Kingdom.
Top Buyer Rated Vacuum Coffee Makers in the UK
Just below we have included a few of our favourite vacuum coffee makers. That way you will at least know which are the best rated on the UK market.
The Bodum Pebo 8-Cup Vacuum Coffee Maker
This one is from the excellent Bodum brand. It has the classic scientific "geek" look to it and I do like this laboratory look.
Now I love to watch the process happening as the water bubbles down below, is then sucked up into the upper bowl, and over the coffee grains.
And then of course my favourite part is to watch it get down into the lower bowl once again, but this time in the form of a rich and aromatic coffee.
This one costs around £45 and is available at Amazon UK.
Hario 1-Piece Glass 5-Cup Syphon Coffee Maker
This interesting one is made by Hario and comes with a burner which makes the kit pretty complete.
I have used this one and it is pretty easy to clean and use. It also makes great tasting coffee. Having the burner with it, I think makes this a complete and stand alone set.
It is not cheap but you should be able to pick it up for around £80. The good news is that unless you actually drop the glass, it is highly durable and will last for many years
Online buyers rate this one at 94% buyer satisfaction so highly rated as you can see.
It is made from the best heat resistant borosilicate glass and comes with both a fabric filter and a metal one.
Silver or Gold Coffee Master Royal Vienna Balance Coffee Maker
If you want a touch of utter decadence and luxury, then this vacuum balance coffee maker, is most certainly one that will catch the eye.
This is more like a work of art than a coffee maker, and as such comes with a hefty price tag, as you can see.
This one will make an amazing gift for any genuine coffee lover, and is also an amazing coffee maker to watch in action.
Coffee Master 5-Cup Syphon/Vacuum Glass Coffee Maker
This model makes, as the name would suggest, 5 small coffee cups of perfectly brewed coffee.
It comes with a long spoon, bamboo paddle and a reusable filter.
This model has a very simple design, and we think will look great in any kitchen
We also think this makes a very unique gift idea for any coffee connoisseur.
Finally it is well priced for anyone wanting to try out this brewing method
Our Verdict on Vacuum Coffee Makers
I have seen these starting to creep into some of the gourmet coffee shops throughout the UK. They are certainly not a mainstream option, but their popularity is increasing.
Personally, I think they are an interesting option for anyone who likes to entertain, as they certainly make a great centre piece.
They are more on the scientific side of things, and for anyone who wants the utmost pleasure out of enjoying brewing their coffee.