Coffee Alchemy: Brewing with the Syphon Pot

Our very first instructional video.  I’m still wearing my pajamas.  My nail polish is chipped. I babble.  But hey, this weirdo makes a mean cup of coffee in her very own kitchen. I’m confident you can do it, too.

I’m not one of those people that wakes up and presses a button, or better yet, has an automatic timer on my coffee maker so that it’s brewing by the time my alarm goes off.  That would be too simple.  Too easy.  I’m just not one of those people.  No, I had to go out and get the weirdest coffee pot on the planet.  The truth is that I was never even much of a coffee drinker until the past year.  A few years back my mom came to visit me, was appalled that I didn’t have a coffee maker and bought me a small french press.  Which I liked, but never really got into.  And then somehow, in the past year or so, I just became obsessed with this caffeinated, aromatic drink.

My parents now have a Keurig and were eager to buy me one as a Christmas present.  But I was turned off by how expensive the seemingly simple machine is, how expensive the cartridges are and how much waste it produces.  I also have a pretty sensitive palate and actually really appreciate coffee brewed with beans that have been freshly ground.  So I started doing some research and I discovered three methods that are decidedly THE ways to make coffee: 1) The Pour Over Method 2) The Vacuum or Syphon Method 3) The French Press Method.

So yes, The French Press does make an excellent cup of coffee.  I like my coffee really strong, I like to have the oils from the beans, and the French Press does these things.  But it also tends to leave some sediment in the bottom of the cup, and that I don’t like.

The pour over method is amazing as well, and I actually think that it produces the best cup of coffee that I’ve ever had, but it’s so complicated.  You need a scale, you need a fancy (and expensive) Hario Buono tea kettle.  I don’t mind paying upwards of $3.50 for a cup of pour-over at my local coffee shop from time to time, but I also wasn’t interested in that much effort for just one cup on day to day basis.

And then I saw the Syphon Pot in action.  It was beautiful.  It was like Science class.  There’s something about the glass, the light, the steam…

This video won my heart:

As you can see, the pot that this barista uses is like a piece of Nouveau Art, which was quite appropriate considering these pots were invented in the 19th century.  My coffee pot is the cheapest version you can find from North West Glass.  I got a pretty low-end Supreme Grind Burr Mill because it produces a more uniform ground and I have more control of whether it’s coarse or fine.  And now I’m in love with my Syphon pot.  There’s nothing like waking up every morning and feeling convinced you’ve made the perfect cup of coffee time and time again.

My coffee pot for me is fun, it’s like a technique you have to perfect.  Watching the water steam up to the top chamber and brew with the coffee is like magic every single time.  It doesn’t take much.  However, I do recognize that everyone who sees my coffee pot is intimidated, afraid to touch it, and somewhat mystified.  But I’ll admit, I kind of like being the sacred coffee brewer of my house.  And everyone who tries a cup admits that it’s worth the hassle.

3 responses to “Coffee Alchemy: Brewing with the Syphon Pot

  1. My parents owned a Keurig and got rid of it because of the cost and it always got clogged. This way looks interesting. I ❤ my french press and have you ever tried a coffee sock? I think that's the name…

    • I have not tried a coffee sock but they sold them at the Coffee Plantation that we visited in Costa Rica. I think they told me it’s the most popular way to brew coffee there. It would work just like a pour over, but not as exact. My parents still love their Keurig. I still love it sometimes when I go to visit, but just for the variety of flavors. I definitely wouldn’t spend that much money on it, though. When they visit me everyone in my family agrees that my coffee is the best. 😉

  2. Pingback: Counter Culture Bourbon Variety | rooster & wheat·

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