Like all coffee brewing methods, there’s a fine art to getting it right with a siphon system. It’s a relatively fool-proof brewing method in general, but show your coffee a little TLC and it’ll give you so much in return.
For the purpose of this guide, we’ll assume you’re using a relatively standard siphon coffee maker - nothing unnecessarily elaborate. We’ll also be going with a standard ratio of 35g of fresh ground coffee to 560ml of hot water, which you’ll be looking to heat as closely as possible to 93° C (i.e. 200° F).
Here’s a brief step by step overview of how to brew an exceptional cup of siphon coffee at home:
- Step One - Take approximately 35g of premium quality coffee beans and grind them to a medium coarseness. Once they’re looking similar to beach sand, you’re in the right ballpark.
- Step Two - Measure out 560ml of water, which can either be preheated or used at room temperature. Add the water to the bottom globe of the siphon coffee maker and place over a high heat.
- Step Three - While the water is heating, rinse the paper filter under hot water and place it in the upper chamber as required. Never use a paper filter without rinsing it first, or you risk compromising the aroma and flavor of your coffee.
- Step Four - Wait until the water just begins to boil, before securing the top chamber in place. When the water begins to rise into the top chamber, lower the heat significantly and hold the temperature of the water at 93° C or 200° F.
- Step Five - When the water has passed into the top chamber and the temperature is keeping it elevated, gradually pour in the ground coffee and set your timer going. At this point, you can also give the coffee a good stir to ensure that it is fully saturated, followed by another gentle stir after around 30 seconds.
- Step Six - Wait until your stopwatch hits 2 minutes, at which point it is time to turn off the heat source entirely. After a short time, the ‘drawdown’ of the coffee will commence - i.e. it will begin moving slowly into the lower chamber.
- Step Seven - Give the coffee another gentle stir while the drawdown is taking place, though not to such an extent as to damage or potentially tear the paper filter.
It’s a comprehensively straightforward process from start to finish, perhaps with the slight exception of heating the water to the perfect temperature and holding it there. This is where practice makes perfect, as it’s simply a case of noting which settings on the cooker you use work for which parts of the heating process.
Investing in a decent thermometer is advisable in any case, unless you choose a siphon coffee maker that has one built into its design.
Other than this, it’s simply a case of experimenting with different water to coffee ratios, different coffee grounds consistencies and different types of coffee. Once you’ve nailed the perfect recipe to suit your tastes, you’ll know exactly what all the hype surrounding siphon coffee is all about!
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