Making coffee the siphon way

A less common way to brew.

We look at a more traditional, and less common way, to make a brew.

What is a coffee siphon

A coffee siphon is an “older” or traditional method of making (delicious) coffee. It uses the principle of differential pressure to make coffee, a method supposedly invented in Germany in the 19th century (but please feed back if you know otherwise!).

Are coffee siphons a “design classic”

Well, you probably wouldn’t invest in one just for show. The reason you would buy one is because if looks fantastic, makes nice coffee, and would surely impress visitors and dinner-party guests. But more that that – because it gives you more control over the brewing process, you could use this anytime even just for the morning brew.
Because they can easily make more than one cup at a time, they are particularly suited to ‘after dinner’.

Note that some siphons use an open flame so extra care and attention is needed.

Who are these aimed at?

If you are a coffee lover or like the artisan feel of the method then you would be sure to enjoy using a siphon. If you prefer just to stuff a coffee pod or capsule into a machine because its less fuss, then a siphon is probably not for you. But if you have received cash for Christmas and are looking to expand your coffee experience then…

And as siphons are not exactly the world’s biggest selling type of coffee maker, (most!) coffee enthusiasts would secretly love one. So a siphon would make a fantastic gift for any coffee nut. You are very welcome to buy us one if upi feel you must…

How does a siphon work?

It is actually quite straightforward. The process varies a little between manufacturer because of the different filters and heating methods used, but essentially:

  1. You put water is put in the bottom section
  2. You put ground coffee in the top section (some guides say to add coffee after step 4)
  3. You heat the bottom section
  4. Hot water is pushed up into the top where the brew takes place
  5. You remove the heat from the bottom
  6. The coffee flows back to the bottom (through a filter), pulled by the partial vacuum that forms in the bottom section
  7. You remove the top section
  8. Pour and enjoy

Getting the best from your siphon

A siphon is like a coffee-maker’s chemistry set, so you can experiment with the brewing process. But – as is common across all coffee making – use fresh water (some makers recommend filtered water) and fresh coffee grind. Water and bean freshness are important for any brewing method really.

OK, where do I get a siphon?

As we said above, siphons are not the world’s biggest coffee makers, so they are not as readily available in the high street as, say, pod machines.
Here are a few units to consider (we have not tested these, but we kinda like the slightly more modern build of the Kitchenaid unit):


Kitchenaid Artisan Siphon Coffee Maker

“a siphon coffee maker is a must to have in your kitchen, not only does it look like a stylish piece of kitchen equipment with its glass carafe and bulb shaped vacuum chamber, this certainly has a striking look to it, but the looks are there for a very scientific reason”


Hario Syphon

“the Syphon’s precise science of expanding and contracting air pressure allows you to monitor every element of the brewing process – from the grind and the water temperature, to the time taken to extract the coffee and the quantity produced”

Price and availability were as stated at time of writing.