For One Of The Purest Cups Of Coffee, Try The Siphon Method

For specialty coffee enthusiasts, the chase for the purest, most nuanced, and flavorful cup of coffee will probably never end. But there is one method that stands out above the rest, and you'll probably be seeing it in more gourmet coffee shops. The siphon brewing method is quickly becoming one of the trendiest coffee techniques, and it actually does produce a sincerely delicious coffee. 

Siphoned coffee originated in 1830s Berlin, when coffee brewers noticed that boiling the beans directly resulted in over-extracted coffee and looked for other ways to brew and heat the drink. Over-extraction results in excessive tannins, which have a bitter, burnt taste, similar to the flavor produced when a bag of black tea is left in boiling water for too long. Siphoned coffee instead uses gravity, water vapor, and an indirect heat source (usually a flame or hot plate) to produce the perfect cup, which siphons down into the holding chamber. Think of it like a moka pot-meets-Chemex. Because the heat is indirect and uses vapor-pressured water to heat the beans, this method is less likely to over-extract the coffee beans, so you can better taste the light flavors of the beverage in an experience that is more tea-like.

How to brew siphoned coffee

The siphon device always includes two glass chambers and a heat source, and it can have either a horizontal or vertical structure. You won't be able to repurpose your other coffee makers to recreate the siphon method, so the first step to making siphoned coffee is to get the right brewer. Siphon coffee makers can run anywhere from roughly $45 to $155. There are different styles to choose from, but the one you'll most often see in homes or at gourmet coffee shops is a vertical-stacked brewer. 

The process goes as follows: Water is poured into the bottom chamber, and the coffee rests at the top. Then, you'll turn on the heat mechanism. The flame or hot plate heats the water until it steams, which travels up toward the coffee grounds. The steam helps extract the coffee so it drips back down into the lower chamber. The exact brewing time varies by the capacity of your siphon maker, but Cafe Moto says to expect to wait about two minutes for a 5-cup device. After that, remove the heat source and wait for the rest of the coffee to flow down. Once you remove the top chamber, you'll be able to use the lower compartment as a chic carafe for serving.