It never fails to surprise most coffee connoisseurs and aficionados that the siphon brewing method has been around for almost 200 years. Despite coming across as one of the most complex, advanced and sophisticated ways of making a cup of coffee, it’s actually one of the oldest and simplest out there.
Still, there’s something fantastically theatrical about a siphon coffee maker that makes a visual spectacle of the whole thing. The original concept has been modified innumerable times over the years, resulting in a bewildering array of products of all shapes and sizes on the market.
Whether looking to spend £50 or £5,000, you’ll find a siphon coffee maker to suit your budget.
The basics of siphon are relatively simple, incorporating two chambers at the bottom and the top. The chamber at the bottom is filled with water, which is then heated to create vapor pressure to propel it upwards. It then mixes with the coffee grounds in the top chamber, after which the heat source is turned off and gravity takes over.
The brewed coffee in the top chamber then gradually makes its way back into the bottom chamber, travelling through a filter along the way to remove the coffee grounds. All of which results in a smooth, satisfying and decadently delicious cup of coffee, with the added bonus of a memorable visual spectacle!
As for whether siphon coffee is the best coffee you can brew, it depends on who you ask. Nevertheless, there are at least five reasons why getting into siphon coffee is something you should be doing if you’re not already hooked on the whole thing:
Above all else, the fact that the siphon method produces consistently gorgeous coffee says it all. Rather than scalding the coffee grounds with boiling water, the siphon system extracts the coffee’s aromatic and flavorful compounds at a much lower temperature. A small change that adds up to a noticeable difference.
Particularly when you step up to a somewhat elaborate device, there’s no denying the enjoyment of watching the science take place before your eyes.
Experimenting with different sizes of coffee grounds, water quantities, coffee quantities and so on paves the way for producing your perfect cup. There’s endless scope for experimentation, which is where the fun often lies in brewing quality coffee at home.
Of course, you could also argue that a prestigious siphon coffee maker represents an attractive and decorative feature for the home in its own right. Something of a centerpiece for your coffee paraphernalia, which is guaranteed to impress anyone lucky enough to see it.
Last but not least, brewing siphon coffee isn’t nearly as difficult as most people think. In fact, it’s pretty much the same process as any other method - add water, add coffee, add heat and let the science take care of the rest. Some of the more elaborate devices may look complex and convoluted on the surface, but are usually far easier to operate than you might expect.
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