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Thread: New way to make coffee - Coffee Siphon

  1. #1
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    New way to make coffee - Coffee Siphon

    Well... new to me. This method has been around since the 1830s. Apparently is was very popular in the US from late 19th century until the pump percolator gained popularity in the 1950's and then later, the MR. Coffee drip machine.

    I saw this in a coffee house while on business in Taiwan. This method of brewing is still very popular in Asia. After doing a little bit of research, I found that the Hario brand was no longer available in the states so I picked one up while still there. You can however get the similar Yama through amazon but I read that the quality was not quite the same. I also picked up a Hario hand grinder and 1 minute "hour" glass.

    It came with a bowl and wick to burn methanol or similar fuel. The owner of the coffee shop told me this would take too long so I picked up a butane burner. I think the burner gives the whole thing a kind of science experiment look. And while fairly simple in concept - heated air/water vapor movers water to upper portion, remove heat and vacuum pulls water down - something as simple as how often you stir can make a big difference in taste.

    This makes a cup of coffee that I feel is better (with some practice) than a french press.

    Here are some pics of the process:





    01.jpg02.jpg03.jpg04.jpg05.jpg06.jpg07.jpg

  2. #2
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    Interesting. How are the grinds filtered?
    Measure twice, cut three times, start over. Repeat as necessary.

  3. #3
    And does that CD come with it? Looks very interesting even without the CD.

  4. #4
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    We had a vacume coffee pot back in the 50's that just used your stove. I believe they are still available but without the 'cool' factor of yours. Like a french press they make superior coffee compaired to the drip kind because the water is substanually hotter.
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  5. #5
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    It is great table side after a dinner party. Can't remark on the Yamas, but I've got a Cona, which you can get in the US via places like Sweet Maria's.

  6. #6
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    It is very hard to see in photo 2, but you can see a beige disk covering the hole in the top half portion sitting on the left. It is a stainless steel disk with holes in it covered by a piece of cloth. If cleaned properly after each use, the cloth filter will last 100+ uses. You can also get disposable paper filters for the disk. However, they block the oils from getting into the coffee - which kind of goes against the reason you would be making coffee this way.

  7. #7
    And if you leave it out on the counter between uses, you can try to convince visitors that it is part of your meth lab.

  8. #8
    So how many different ways ARE there to soak ground up roasted coffee beans in hot water and serve it up? Personally I don't think it matters much. While I haven't drank meth-lab coffee yet, I have drank coffee perked from many different brands of electric pots, 60-cup office-break-room pots, several different stove-top pots, drip type makers galore, single-serve pour-your-owns, Keurig makers and their clones, 3 or 4 espresso makers, couple of french presses, good ol' sheepherder's coffee, $7 Starbucks coffee, 10-cent Sambo's coffee... they all taste pretty much the same to me. And I know why: It's because I don't let psychosomatic thinking tell me that one tastes better than the other just because I think it's supposed to -the main differences that I do notice are the results of water-to-coffee ratio and water temperature.

    Ever watch Penn & Teller's 'bottled water' episode? I'd link it up but the language is on the rough side. A funny look at people believing what they're told
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  9. #9
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    My mother had a couple different coffee pots like this. My recollection is one plugged into the wall. It may have been the Sunbeam mentioned earlier.

    It came with a bowl and wick to burn methanol or similar fuel. The owner of the coffee shop told me this would take too long so I picked up a butane burner.
    -the main differences that I do notice are the results of water-to-coffee ratio and water temperature.
    Yes!

    Cyrus, you might want to give the wick a chance and see if that has any effect on the flavor of your coffee.

    The temperature range of the water used to brew coffee can have a definite influence on the flavor. Some like it hot brewed and some like it brewed at a lower temp.

    Some like the taste of burnt coffee.

    jtk
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    So how many different ways ARE there to soak ground up roasted coffee beans in hot water and serve it up? Personally I don't think it matters much. While I haven't drank meth-lab coffee yet, I have drank coffee perked from many different brands of electric pots, 60-cup office-break-room pots, several different stove-top pots, drip type makers galore, single-serve pour-your-owns, Keurig makers and their clones, 3 or 4 espresso makers, couple of french presses, good ol' sheepherder's coffee, $7 Starbucks coffee, 10-cent Sambo's coffee... they all taste pretty much the same to me. And I know why: It's because I don't let psychosomatic thinking tell me that one tastes better than the other just because I think it's supposed to -the main differences that I do notice are the results of water-to-coffee ratio and water temperature.

    Ever watch Penn & Teller's 'bottled water' episode? I'd link it up but the language is on the rough side. A funny look at people believing what they're told

    Iím curious if you are a smoker. I ask because smokers lose some sense of taste. Donít read this as being snide- itís a serious question. I absolutely love French pressed coffee and greatly prefer it over drip filtered. I cannot drink Starbucksí horrible excuse for coffee. Keurig makes a bitter, coffee-ish brew. A good percolator makes a very smooth, but bold-flavored coffee similar to a French press. Drip filtered coffee isnít terrible, but it lacks the boldness and sort of ďnuttyĒ flavor that comes through with a French press or percolator. The oils are a large part of that.

    It isnít because someone told me one is better than the other. If it were, I would be in line at Starbucks ordering a mocha crappuccino (intentional misspelling). Hopefully we can at least agree that the worst thing to ever happen to coffee is flavored additives. If I want pumpkin spice, Iíll eat a pie.

    I do believe certain people taste coffee differently. Itís like beer: some like stouts; some like pilsners; some like Bud Light. I believe the bitter and sweet taste buds and their sensitivity are part of the reason. For me, absolutely and without question, there is a difference in taste between certain brewing methods as well as between coffees grown in different regions.

    Back on topic: That contraption looks like a complicated way to make a very small amount of coffee. I have tried the stovetop version others have mentioned, and they do make a nice flavorful cup of coffee. I may experiment with this thing one day. It seems you would need to really be able to control your flame.

  11. #11
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    Interesting, from my perspective the range of flavors and tastes in things that get called "coffee" in the US is perhaps the greatest of any single food, surpassing even things like "pizza". Other places, Italy for example, the range of what you get when you order coffee is very much narrower.

    I used to participate some times in blind tastings of coffees and it was pretty clear that the method of preparation of the same coffee (grind, temperature, time of extraction, concentration), handling of the beans (freshness, roasting), and the enormous genetic and regional variability of the beans themselves lead to a bewildering array of tastes.

    Clearly different people prefer different tastes and the market responds. I discovered Major Dickason's blend (mostly Sumatran coffee) at Peets in Menlo Park forty years ago and have never looked back. I currently brew it using a Jura superautomatic espresso machine to help reduce the caffeine content while maximizing flavor, but think it's probably best in a simple pour-over with 194-196 degree water. A Clover machine would no doubt be optimal, but that's a step too far even for me!

  12. #12
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    I discovered Major Dickason's blend
    That is also the only one in my cup when brewing my own coffee.

    Not sure about what temp my water is at for brewing. My mentor taught me to listen to the sizzle of the water before it boils.

    Some doctors want me to stop drinking coffee. So my intake now is only one cup a day, it better be a good one.

    Cup of Coffee.jpg

    That's about what my "coffee habit" used to be.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
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    Technology Connections on YouTube did a video on percolators that's interesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9avjD9ugXc

    He's smart & very entertaining, if a little long winded.

  14. #14
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    I used a Sunbeam vacuum coffee pot until the '80's. The problem is the rubber gasket between the two sections gets stiff and leaks. Back in those pre-online days I couldn't find a replacement.

    Then I started using a Chemex making my kitchen look even more like a meth lab. My wife smashed it to bits within a week after she moved in. After 20+ years of use our Bunn sprung a leak so now we've resorted to a keurig. It's OK.

    I still use an electric percolator when I'm make coffee that's going into a thermos. The serving temp on my Quickperk is over 200 degrees F so it stays hot for a long time.

    I can taste the difference between different brewing methods but I'll drink just about anything hot, dark and strong.

    -Tom

  15. #15
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    That definitely has a major cool factor but I’ll stick with my quick, easy, and consistent pod machine.
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    My wife asked me to take her to one of those restaurants where they make the food right in front of you. So, I took her to Subway and thatís how the fight started.

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