VIDEO: Coffee Siphon Brewing Guide

Siphon brewing guide video

Is siphon coffee worth the effort? We think so. It's the most complex of all manual brewers and the cup it produces might be the most unique. For a clean, full, and flavorful coffee, hit play and let Chris walk you through the whole process.

You'll need: fresh beans and water, a coffee grinder, a scale, a timer, a stirrer, and a thirst for adventure.

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Thanks Chris & Co. Great video! I guess everyone's complaint about background noise is that the production values are... not professional, but I could hear just fine. Very informative and appropriately detailed (and covers things my Japanese manual does not!) Makes me want to make another cup out of my siphon.

The best siphon is going to be highly subjective, since many models are quite similar apart from aesthetic details. However, there are some truly unique siphons out there too. The Hario NEXT we use in the video has some modernized details like an ergonomic handle, a wide upper bowl, and a tapered lower bowl for better heat absorption. Hario's Sommelier siphon is a more ornate brewer, with a very wide base, a rubberized sheath for pouring, and you can actually remove the whole siphon from the stand to use as a carafe. For a more classic siphon, you can't go wrong with the Yama tabletop or stovetop models. As for burners, we're big fans of using butane instead of the spirit/alcohol lamps that usually come packaged with the siphons. Butane burners have variable gas flow, so you can tune your heat level very easily, and expend less fuel.

You've got it right, too, Greg. We recommend turning down the heat as the upper chamber fills up mainly to prevent the lower bowl from boiling dry, as well as a means of heat management. There are a multitude of target temperatures when it comes to siphon brewing, and while some folks will find the water's at their target once it's filled the upper bowl (note that Chris was actually too hot in the video here), others will find they need a bit more time to heat the water before adding their coffee. In either case there's no hard and fast rule, but the heat should be lowered at some point if possible - both the conserve fuel as you've noted, as well as to maintain vapor pressure in the lower bowl to prevent an early drawdown.

This video is absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for you giving me the proper information to be equipped to make great siphon coffee! Now, if I wanted to truly get the best siphon brewer out there, and best burner, what would you recommend?

In your Siphon Brewing Guide it states to turn down the heat source as water fills the top chamber. What is the reason for that? I typically will turn down the heat when it's around 10 degrees from optimal temperature. That way I can get the water up to temperature quicker and expend less fuel. Best Regards, -Greg P.S. I love your site and chris's blog. It's what got me into Siphon Coffee.

What a horrible video. You guys didn't even get the full shot of the equipment and the background noise is horrendous.

I would love to see a "How To" video for how to brew with Chemex!

Yes, you can brew a siphon at high altitudes. Best results will be around 9,000 ft above sea level, or below. Siphons mainly work off vapor pressure, so you may find that your water travels "north" into the upper bowl at a lower temperature, but you can also pre-boil your water and wait for it to heat longer before sealing the lower bowl. Once the water is up top, measure the temperature to make sure it is within the 195-205 F range -- granted that higher altitudes may find your water boiling between 200-205. Once your water is at the desired temperature, add your ground coffee and steep as normal. Happy brewing!

Can siphon brewing be used at high altitudes being waters boils at a lower temperature?

Thanks for the input, Phred, and we do apologize for the background noise. We'll be sure to keep that in mind in the future, as we don't always have the most ideal shooting locations available to us. You'll be happy to know, however, that we're currently underway on transcribing a good deal of our videos, so captions should be available fairly soon. In the meantime, you can find some more tips on siphon brewing at Brew Methods. Hope that helps!

By watching this video, I feel I could get a reasonable coffee. However; my hearing is not the best, and the background noise meant I could not hear you properly. I don't know what tips you may have made in your commentary. Respectfully suggest you consider this when making videos.

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