A Syphon is a classic coffee maker adored by coffee enthusiasts for its unique design and exceptional results. It uses immersion and vacuum filtration to create a flavorful cup of coffee.

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What is a Syphon coffee maker?

What is a Syphon

Syphon is a coffee brewing device that uses pressurized water vapor to extract coffee. It incorporates two chambers, a lower and an upper, attached by a tube. Water is filled to the coffee brewer's lower chamber, and the upper chamber holds the coffee grounds. Below it, there is a heat source which initiates the brewing process. Once the water rises to the upper chamber due to vapor pressure, it immerses the coffee grounds, resulting in a thorough extraction. Coffee enthusiasts also call it a vacuum brewer or vac pot.

History of Syphon Coffee Maker

  • The history of Syphon is as rich as its taste. In the early 1800s, a German inventor named Loeff came up with this idea. He created a device with two glass chambers, using steam and pressure to brew delicious coffee. It wasn't exactly what he planned, but it played a significant role!


  • Later in 1840's French lady named Marie took Loeff's idea and assembled it in a fancy way. She devised the elegant double-chambered Syphon we use today, like an elegant hourglass for coffee lovers. She also filed the patent for this first commercially successful vacuum brewer in 1840.


  • From there this coffee brewing equipment gained attention across the world and landed in Japan, where it became a beloved ritual. People there cherish the slow, careful brewing process and the smooth, delicious coffee that it brews.


  • Later in 1910, Mrs. Ann Bridges and Mrs. Sutton, the sisters from Salem, Massachusetts, applied for a patent for a device they called the “Silex,” a vacuum brewer constructed of Pyrex glass similar to Syphon manufactured by the Corning Glass Works of New York.


  • Today, the Syphon is an art loved by coffee lovers globally.

Roast level

Light roast


Grind Size

Medium Fine


Water temperature



Steeping time

1.5-2 minutes

Best Coffee to water ratio



Syphon Parts Explained

Syphon parts explained

How to use a Syphon

Step 1: Place the filter

Drop the filter inside the top chamber such that the chain attached to the filter hangs from the tube of the chamber and then pull the chain and hook the filter to the edge of the tube.


How to Make a Syphon Coffee Stronger

Step 1: Change the coffee-to-water ratio

Start by tweaking the coffee-to-water ratio. You can decrease the amount of water while keeping the coffee quantity the same. A common ratio is 1:15, but for a stronger brew, you can alter it as per your preference.

Step 2: Choose finer grind

Using finer grind size increases the surface area of the coffee grounds, allowing for better extraction and a bolder taste. You can aim for a grind size similar to table salt.

Step 3: Increase the brew time

Raise the brew time slightly. Letting the coffee grounds steep for a longer duration improves the extraction of flavors. However, avoid long brew times to save it from over-extraction, which can lead to bitterness.

Step 4: Increase the water temperature

Give preference to hotter water. Increasing the water temperature can result in a more efficient extraction of flavors from the coffee grounds. So use a temperature around 200°F (93°C) for a stronger caffeine fix.

Syphon Cleaning Guide

Wondering how to clean a Syphon to last it longer? Follow these simple ways to maintain your coffee maker.


Let your It cool down

Once you are done with brewing, let your coffee maker cool completely as the hot glass and metal can cause burns.


Disassemble your Syphon

Now, gently remove the upper chamber, filter cone, and any other detachable parts.


Discard the used coffee grounds

After disassembling, dispose of the used coffee grounds from the top chamber of the Syphon. Now rinse the filter thoroughly under running water to remove any remaining coffee residue.


Use a cleaning solution (Optional)

Take a mild soap and mix it with water. Wash the chambers, cones, and other parts completely with this soapy water solution.


Brush out the stubborn stains

Use a soft brush (such as a bottle brush) to get rid of the tough stains in the interior of the chambers and the filter cone. Then rinse everything well to remove any soap residue.


Try a vinegar rinse

For an extra boost, consider a vinegar rinse. For this, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl. Now dip a clean cloth in the solution and wipe down the interior of the chambers well. Rinse it thoroughly with clean water afterward.


Let it dry

Let your Syphon dry completely. Once it’s dried, use a lint-free cloth to wipe all the parts, especially the glass ones. Leaving them wet can form water spots and residue buildup.


Reassemble It

Finally, put all the components back together, ensuring a secure fit. Check that the seals are in good condition to prevent leaks during brewing.


Why Syphon

Full immersion brewing

As Syphon allows coffee grounds to be fully soaked in water during the brewing process, it ensures a thorough extraction of flavors, yielding a rich and full-bodied cup of coffee.

Temperature control

This coffee equipment uses heat to create a vacuum, pulling the water through the coffee grounds. It lets you have precise temperature control during brewing, which is vital to achieve optimal flavor extraction.

Consistent brew

The iconic design of the Syphon results in a consistent brewing process, eliminating the risk of over-extraction or under-extraction that can occur with other brewing methods.

Customizable brew time

Users can control the brewing time as per their preference with this coffee maker. There is no fixed time. Users can experiment with different durations to achieve the desired strength and flavor profile.

Enhanced aroma

Its sealed brewing chamber helps to retain the fine aroma of the coffee. When the coffee is released into the lower chamber, the full aroma of rich coffee is released, lifting the overall experience.

Quality construction

Most Syphons are made with high-quality materials such as glass and metal, which not only play a part in durability but also add an aesthetic appeal to the overall process.


This coffee brewer is cherished for its versatility and can be used to brew various types of coffee, either single-origin beans or specialty blends.

Other Uses of Syphon Coffee Maker

Herbal infusions

Try the full immersion technique of Syphon for herbal teas! Change coffee grounds with dried herbs like chamomile or lavender. The gentle heat from the heat source and controlled extraction pull out the essence of the herbs, creating soothing and fragrant infusions.

Cold brew perfection

You can also make a cold brew using this efficient coffee maker. For this, you simply have to fill the lower chamber with cold water and place your coarsely ground coffee in the upper chamber. The pressure will draw the cold water up, resulting in a smooth, concentrated cold brew.

Aromatic delights

It can even aid you with homemade essential oils! Just add water and citrus peels, herbs, or spices to the lower chamber. As the steam rises, it will carry the extracted essential oils, creating fragrant oils for aromatherapy, homemade perfumes, or even cleaning solutions.

Culinary products

Syphon's precise temperature can be used to simmer delicate sauces, infuse vinegar with botanicals, or extract flavors from spices for your dishes.

Science showstopper

You can also use it as an educational tool to demonstrate the principles of pressure, vacuum, and phase changes to students in a visually compelling way.

Floral extracts

With Syphon, you can even experiment by creating floral extracts by placing fragrant flowers in the upper chamber. The vacuum process will help to extract essential oils, resulting in a concentrated floral essence.


Common Mistakes

Using the wrong grind

Too coarse grind will lead to under-extracted coffee while too fine can make it bitter. So aim for a medium-fine grind, like table salt, for proper extraction and smooth coffee.

Using the wrong temperature

Not using the right water temperature can also result in an unsatisfied cup. Too cold water can make extraction fall flat while too hot and your coffee will spoil, losing its delicate nuances. So, find a sweet spot and use a thermometer for precision.

Extensive steeping

Steeping for a longer duration can cause bitterness while under steeping can yield weak coffee. So begin with 1.5-2 minutes and adjust accordingly based on your taste.

Using damaged filters

Using a damaged or clogged filter can cause pressure issues. So inspect your filter before each use, and replace it at regular intervals. Cleaning it gently with soapy water is also a favorable option.

Making a mistake with a coffee-to-water ratio

Make sure you begin with a 1:15 or 1:16 ratio (e.g., 25g coffee to 375g water) and adjust as per your preference.

Avoiding seal quality

Maintaining a proper seal between the upper and lower chambers is crucial for the vacuum brewing process. Overlooking this seal can result in pressure loss and affect the overall brewing efficiency.

Accessories to Enhance Syphon Brewing


Syphon tube with filter

This tube eases the passage of brewed coffee from the upper chamber to the lower chamber by holding grounds and debris.


Lower bowl for Syphon

This bowl serves as the collection chamber to collect the brewed coffee while Syphon brewing.


Hario Syphon adaptor

With this handy adaptor, you can brew incredible coffee through filter paper using a Hario Syphon.


Diguo permanent coffee filter

This filter reduces waste, preserves oil, and acts as a reusable stainless steel filter designed for syphon brewing.


Cloth replacement filter for Syphon

This cloth replacement filter provides consistent and flavorful cups by effectively separating coffee grounds and preserving the natural oils and flavors.


Syphon filter K

This Syphon filter has a fine mesh to separate coffee grounds, ensuring a clean and flavorful extraction.


Vacuum brewingA brewing technique in which a vacuum is created to promote the movement of water between the upper and lower chambers of the Syphon, resulting in a flavorful and controlled extraction process.
Syphon tubeThe major tube connecting the upper and lower chambers of the Syphon, using which brewed coffee travels during the vacuum brewing process.
Filter chainIt is a chain mechanism used to attach and secure the filter to the Syphon tube, preventing grounds from passing into the lower chamber.
Preheating SyphonThe process of heating the water in the bottom chamber of the Syphon before attaching it to the upper chamber, ensuring a consistent brewing temperature.
Extraction TimeExtraction time refers to the duration it takes to brew a coffee, especially in espresso. It plays a critical role in determining the flavor and strength of the coffee.
SealThe airtight link formed between the upper and lower chambers of the Syphon, necessary for creating the vacuum for brewing.
Filter clothThe absorbent fabric or mesh material used in Syphon filters to separate coffee grounds from the brewed coffee during extraction.
Heat sourceThe external device (e.g., alcohol burner) used to heat the water in the bottom chamber, starting the vacuum brewing process.