Tag Archives: vac pots

Syphon Brewing

There’s nothing better than a beautifully brewed Syphon coffee and almond biscottis to awaken your senses and face the winter blues head on. I had been flirting with the idea of experimenting with Syphon brewing for a few months now. A brand new Hario TCA 3 cup Syphon adorned my kitchen counter on a Sunday morning, beseeching me to reveal it in all its glory.

Syphon coffee makers, also known as vac pots and vacuum brewers, made its grand debut on the coffee scene in Germany and France in the 1830s and remained popular until the mid-20th Century. This brewing technique remains relatively niche, having been safeguarded and propelled into the 21st Century thanks to coffee geeks around the world.

I sampled my first Syphon at Penny University in London last summer. The sensorial yet scientific nature of Syphon making is enthralling and I strongly urge you guys to give it a go.

Syphon brewing method

1. Grind: Measure 20.4g of coffee beans and grind (slightly finer than an aeropress/filter grind). I used Sightglass Coffee’s Rwanda single origin beans for this brew.

2. Water: Fill the bottom chamber with 340 ml off-the-boil water (preferably filtered).

3. Heat: Place the heat source underneath the Syphon maker and gaze intently as the water in the lower gas chamber transforms into a vapour and forces the water to travel up the tube to the upper glass chamber, passed the cloth filter.

4. Saturate: The full saturation of the coffee grounds takes place in this upper chamber. Once the water reaches a temperature of 93°C (200°F), carefully pour the ground coffee and stir to create turbulence and saturate the grounds. All the while, take great care to adjust and control the heat source to ensure the water remains in the top vessel, without boiling it.

5. Brew: Gently steep for 50-60 seconds.

6. Turbulence: Remove the heat source. The water vapour will contract and return to its liquid state. The water in the top vessel is drawn back into the vac pot, as the air is sucked back down filter and the grounds are ‘vacuumed’, resulting in turbulence and bubbling. This signals that your brew is done.

7. Dismantle: Carefully remove the top vessel from the vac pot and place it in the stand.

8. Indulge: Let the coffee cool slightly, to allow the complex aromas to develop. Indulge in a balanced, clean cup of coffee.

The following Intelligentsia video will help you guys visualise this process: