The Coffee Siphon - The Simple Tutorial


A few months ago I received a wonderful gift. A coffee siphon. Years ago I made vacuum pot coffee using the Bodum Santos, but that brewer shattered during one of my moves. The coffee siphon may appear intimidating at first glance, however it is really easy to brew excellent coffee with it. There are more comprehensive guides out there. This is a simple one just to get you started with the basics.

Step #1 Measure and Grind

The most common dosage recommendation for vacuum pot coffee is to use 8 grams of coffee for every four ounces of water. The grind will be a little bit finer than what you would use for drip coffee. See the Coffee Grind Chart for a visual approximation.

Step #2 Pre-Heat the Water

You could apply the siphon flame directly on cold water, but it takes forever and wastes butane. I use an electric kettle to bring the water up to about 180 F. If you have a PINO Kettle, you can dial in this temperature, otherwise use your best judgment. While the water is warming up, close the filter on the on top chamber of the siphon by latching the chain hook to the edge of the glass tube. Once this is in place, add the ground coffee to the top chamber.

Coffee Siphon Start

Coffee Sipon Filter Chain

Step #3 Secure the Siphon Together

Place the top chamber securely into the bottom glass chamber.

Secure Siphon Together

Step #4 Light the Flame

Turn the knob on the heating element to release gas and then press the peddle to ignite the blue flame. This will provide enough heat to complete the brewing cycle.

Light the Flame

Step #5 Brew and Stir

The water from the bottom chamber will rise to the top. Once there, provide a gentle stir so all the coffee grounds are making contact with the water. Allow the brew cycle to go 60-90 seconds and then turn off the flame.

Stir Siphon Coffee

Coffee Siphon Brewing

Turn off Flame

Step #6 Allow Coffee to Return to the Lower Chamber and Serve

Once the flame is turned removed, the coffee will flood into the bottom chamber. Once the brewed coffee has completely emptied the top chamber, remove the top chamber and serve.

Siphon Remove Chamber

Photos by Amanda Sparr.


Yama Coffee Siphon with butane burner - Product page on

Vacuum Pot Brewing - A guide to different vacuum pot brewers available and a brewing tutorial.

Vac Pot Primer - An article that covers the rich history behind vacuum pot coffee brewers.

Published: April 2012, Author Google+