Coffee in the syphon – not only does it sound special, it also tastes that way! The siphon preparation is one of the most exciting ways to prepare coffee - for yourself and for your friends.
With the Hario Coffee Syphon you can make a wonderfully aromatic filter coffee with a barista show at the same time, you only have to pay attention to a few simple tricks.
The coffee not only tastes great, the preparation can become a real experience for your viewers. So, let’s find out how the Hario Syphon works and if it’s the right brewer for you!
HARIO Syphon – Everything You Need to Know
People have been enjoying the preparation of coffee using vacuum in glass flasks since at least 1830. According to stories, Beethoven preferred to drink his coffee from a vacuum maker!
The preparation in the coffee syphon is not only a feast for the eyes, but also a feast for the senses. Because it combines the principle of completely dissolving the coffee powder in water (“full immersion”) with a paper filter. The coffee has a lot of body, while at the same time its aromas can be tasted clearly.
The siphon is particularly suitable for light, fruity types of coffee. When preparing the coffee with the syphon, the body of the coffee is reduced. The result is a very aromatic coffee with a harmonious taste.
How does the Hario Syphon work?
Making coffee with the Hario Syphon might look complicated but it’s really not. The brewer consists of two vessels placed on top of each other, which are connected to each other with a tube. The lower vessel must be sealed in such a way that only the tube acts as a connection to the environment.
In the lower vessel, water and air are heated with the help of an external heat source. As it is heated, the water and air expand and rise through the tube from the lower to the upper tank as there is no other way to expand. The heated water collects in the upper vessel and is mixed with the ground coffee there.
As soon as the siphon is removed from the heat source, the water and air remaining in the lower vessel cools down and contracts in the process. The resulting negative pressure in the connecting pipe sucks the water-coffee mixture into the lower vessel, where the finished coffee is now.
Depending on the system used, cotton, paper or plastic filters are used, which are placed in the upper vessel on the connecting pipe. They are held in place by a spring that is pulled through the connecting tube and hooked into its lower edge.
Brewing with the Hario Syphon
The coffee from the Hario Syphon not only tastes particularly good, the preparation itself is a real eye-catcher. The vacuum machine arouses curiosity just by looking at it and makes you want more. Since the coffee powder is extracted directly in the water, this method of preparation is somewhat reminiscent of the French press. Let’s go through a step-by-step process on how you can brew delicious coffee with the Hario Syphon.
Grind your coffee to a medium grind, comparable in size to grains of table salt. I recommend using 28g of coffee in 450ml of water. This has always given me excellent results. Insert the cloth or paper filter into the upper chamber with the chain sticking out of the glass tube.
Pull out the chain until you are able to catch the hook at the end of the glass tube. Make sure the filter is level and centered. Use a spoon or something similar to center the filter if it's not in the right place right away.
Fill the lower glass chamber with 450 ml of preheated water and place the heat source underneath. Of course you can also use cold water. But then it takes longer for the water to boil and the preparation takes longer.
Now you can put on the upper glass chamber. It is important that the chain reaches into the water, because the water rises from the lower chamber to the upper one. Just before the water starts to boil, make sure the seal between both chambers is closed. Since they are easy to close, you don't need to use too much force to do so.
To do this, twist the two seals slightly into each other; so they can be easily disassembled again after use. Now watch the water rise. When the water has almost completely risen and the level is at the bottom of the tubes, stir the hot water in the upper chamber again. So it cools down a bit and is not hotter than the ideal 96°C for preparation.
I use 28 g of coffee for the suggested 450 ml of water. Add the ground coffee and stir immediately.
Stir the coffee powder vigorously so that it is quickly immersed in the water and can be extracted evenly.
After stirring, a clear separation should form in the coffee grounds. This is an indicator that the coffee aromas are being extracted evenly, i.e. dissolved out. Lower the temperature of the heat source a bit so the coffee doesn't get too hot.
Stir again after about 45 seconds. The aim is to break through the crust on the surface so that the remaining carbon dioxide is released from the coffee. This time you don't have to stir as vigorously. Now set the heat source to the lowest level.
The ground coffee should be completely retained by the filter. The ideal filter bed is flat with a slight heap in the middle. Your coffee is ready to serve!
Tips and Tricks
I love to get the best out of my coffee beans, regardless of roast and preparation method, that's why I am going to give you some valuable tips and tricks for the Hario Syphon and how your brew is going to taste the best:
Is the coffee too bitter?
The water temperature during siphon brewing is generally very high. This means that this type of preparation tends to over-extract from the ground up. It is therefore best to use light or medium roasts with little bitterness.
If the coffee tastes too bitter for you, then check whether…
- You have ground the coffee powder too finely.
- The contact time was too long (ideally: 2:00 min).
- You used the "wrong" coffee (ideally: light to medium roast).
- The water was too hot (you should definitely turn down the burner).
- You used too much coffee powder (ideally: 7g/100ml).
Does the coffee not have the optimal aroma?
The causes of this problem are usually not due to the preparation itself. Since flavors are lost immediately after grinding, you should grind the beans immediately before preparation and only in portions! In addition, freshly roasted coffee should be used, as unfortunately valuable roasted aromas are lost if your coffee has been stored away for too long.
Is the coffee too strong for you?
The wonder weapon called caffeine makes us awake and focused. Many people are not used to strong coffees, i.e. coffees with a higher caffeine content. Since coffee in the syphon is filter coffee, the caffeine content is also higher here.
The explanation for this: caffeine is water soluble. The extraction time is closely related to the strength of the coffee, and the brewing time is longer with the siphon than it would be with an espresso, for example.
So: The longer the coffee powder has contact with the water, the more caffeine is released. In order to achieve a weaker coffee, you should therefore pay attention to a shorter extraction time.
Pros and Cons
- Very stylish and rare preparation method
- Smooth and balanced result in your cup
- All parts are very filigree
- Difficult cleaning
- Relatively expensive - compared to other brewing methods
Cleaning your Hario Syphon
In order to enjoy your coffee maker for as long as possible, you should clean your Hario syphon (like all other coffee machines, of course) after each use. It is best to rinse all components under clear water and let them dry well.
In this way you can ensure that no coffee residues spoil the taste. This can be a rather long process in comparison to other brewing methods as the syphon has many parts that need cleaning and you gotta be extra careful not to break the glass.
If you're looking for a unique way to brew coffee, the Hario Syphon is definitely worth trying out. The process takes a bit of practice, but it's well worth it for the delicious cup of coffee you'll end up with. It may not be a brewer for everyday but it definitely is a classy addition to your kitchen counter and you can impress your friends with your Syphon brewing skills when they visit!