What is a Coffee Siphon?

The coffee siphon often causes your average coffee drinker to become quite skeptical when a third wave barista plops one on the counter. With its flasks, burner, and science experiment vibe; many people become a bit uncomfortable around them. Let me explain what has often been deemed the “weirdest” coffee brewing method.

How does a Coffee Siphon work?

A coffee siphon coffee using vacuums and water vapor. It is similar to a french press in that it is immersion brewed, however, it is unlike a french press in that the coffee travels through a cloth filter, producing a more clean, balanced cup of coffee.

In a coffee siphon, water is heated in a lower chamber. Once the water begins to boil, it rises through a tube to the upper chamber in which the water will mix with the coffee. The coffee brews in the upper chamber until the heat source is removed. When the heat source is removed, the brewed coffee in the upper chamber travels back down the tube into the lower chamber. Once finished, you remove the upper flask and pour your fresh brewed coffee into a mug!

Where does the Coffee Siphon come from?

The Siphon was invented in the 1830s by a German named Loeff. Since then, it has become a very popular coffee brewing device widely used in Asian countries. The craft coffee movement has started to become very interested in it in recent years and now it is not difficult to find a coffee siphon sitting on a counter in many of the craft coffee shops in major cities such as New York City, San Fransisco, or Portland.

What does Siphon Coffee Taste Like?

The Siphon has this unique ability to pull out the distinct flavors in the coffee bean without lacking the richness that you typically expect in a cup of coffee. It essentially carries the best of both worlds between the french press and the pour over.

Should you get one?

I personally have a coffee siphon in my coffee bar at home. I love the way that I can have french press bodied coffee without having the silt at the bottom of the cup. Also, the experience of making a cup of coffee with the Siphon is truly mesmerizing and is absolutely worth the extra energy it takes to make it.

If you like french press coffee, but don’t like the grounds at the end of your cup; then you will love the siphon. However, if you do not think you will appreciate and thrive on the extra time it takes to prepare the coffee, then maybe you will enjoy something more like the AeroPress which yields much quicker results, yet is far less exciting to make.

Happy Coffee Drinking!


Here is the exact Coffee Siphon I use at home:

Hario Technica 5-Cup Glass Syphon Coffee Maker

8 thoughts on “What is a Coffee Siphon?”

    1. Hi Sheila! There are a variety of types that you can use. To keep it clean, after every use, I rinse it out very thoroughly, and then I stick it in a cup of water and put it in the fridge until the next time I need it. The key is to let the filter soak!

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