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Blue belt level 3

How to brew coffee with a Syphon or a Vacuum pot

Syphon/Vacuum Brewing Wrap Up

With Sensei Joe

  1. Allow the water temperature to stabilize at 198-201 degrees in the upper chamber prior to adding the ground coffee
  2. Brew time= 45 seconds total brew time (times may very slightly according to your grind size. IE smaller means shorter time and larger means longer time. Keeping a log will help you hone the grind size and time)
  3. Have a wet towel ready to help cool the lower chamber post brew. Always use a wet towel of the same size and thickness to help stay consistent (every brew that is) with the heat draw out as you finish the brew cycle. Never skip the wet towel as the atmosphere around you will effect each brew differently, the towel will minimize this effect.

The Syphon or vacuum brew method of brewing coffee is one of the most intriguing ways of brewing coffee out there. It is a very old method originating in Europe in the early 1800’s. I am very safe saying Europe as it is disputed who actually invented it and when. In my studies I would say that it was invented and unpatented by the original inventor. After which at least 3 other people/companies made copy designs and were “officially” considered the inventors even though there was an earlier version of the machine. Let’s all learn an important lesson here, if you come up with a new device, big or small, that no one else in the world has, patent and trademark that thing!

A perfectly syphon brewed cup of coffee is indeed a cup to be envied. The result is a cup that exhibits all tastes perfectly, be it sweetness, spicy, earthy, or citrus. The cup will be everything that a manual pour over is but better. This is a cup to be chased after and the perfect grind for this cup is something worth pursuing.

I strongly recommend a burr grinder as this type of grinder will help you hone and maintain the perfect grind. I suggest spending a minimum of $100 as a cheaper burr grinder will just need to be replaced anyway and you will likely spend more than $100 in the long run. A $100 grinder will likely be what is known as a step grinder. This means that you are “married” to the preset step intervals (grind sizes) set up by the manufacturer. This means that you may not actually achieve the “perfect” grind required for the 45 second brew as described in the video above. Don’t panic, use the closest setting possible, keeping in mind that one step might seem under extracted and the very next step might seem over extracted, just pick one or the other and adjust the brew time. The under extracted setting may require a 55 second brew time while the over extracted setting may require a 40 second brew time. In other words, if you cannot change one variable then change one that you have full control of. Like in the case of syphon coffee change the brew time!

Posted by Joe Kuehler, your Sensei at The Art of Coffee
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