There are several kinds of siphons out on the market today. Each of them has their pros and cons to different people. Today this article is going to help you choose what kind of siphon you should get based on a few things.
Siphons Being Reviewed
- Hario Glass Technica Syphon Coffee Maker
- Hario Glass NEXT Syphon Coffee maker
- Yama Glass 5-Cup Stovetop Coffee Siphon
- KitchenAid KCm08120B Siphon Coffee Brewer
- Boeng 5-Cup Coffee Syphon Coffee Maker
How To Pick Your Siphon
What kind of Siphon do you want?
There are two types of Siphon Coffee Makers, a standalone or stovetop. The coffee they produce is the same.
The big difference between a standalone and stovetop is where the heat source is coming from. A standalone will have a built in burner or a separate burner that’s usually powered by alcohol or gas. If your siphon needs a separate burner, make sure it’s compatible with that model.
As the name implies, a stovetop will sit on your stove to get heat for the brewing process. You’ll need to get a diffuser to place between the siphon and your stove. This prevents the siphon from coming into direct contact with the heat source, which could cause it to crack and break.
They both do the same thing, so it’s really up to you. Standalone versions look cooler and can be a talking point if you’re entertaining guests.
Type of Burner
Most people use either an alcohol or butane burner with a standalone siphon. There are a couple differences between the two. Alcohol burners do not burn as hot as a butane burner. It’ll take you longer to heat up your water. Unlike alcohol burners, butane burners will not leave black soot on the bottom of the glass it’s heating. That means less cleaning for you.
How Much Coffee Do You Need To Brew?
The most important question before buying most coffee makers, is how much coffee do you need to brew. Siphons come in either 3, 5, or 8 cups. They follow along the standard 1cup = 4-5 ounces, like other coffee makers. Make sure you choose a model that is big enough, before you order one and it’s not able to brew enough coffee for you.
Stainless Steel or Cloth Filters?
A Siphon will come with one of these types of filters. There are subtle differences between the two that will have a small impact on the taste of your coffee.
Stainless Steel filters are super easy to clean and can be reused for a long time. They let a lot of the coffees oils through, which contribute to the flavor and aroma your coffee can have. But they also let micro-grounds through. This can be a good thing if you like a more thick coffee and bad if you don’t.
Cloth filters are somewhere between a stainless steel filter and a traditional paper filter. Most of the time they won’t let any coffee grounds through, while still letting coffee oils through. They do have to be cleaned everyday if you want them to last a while. With very good care, some say they can last up to 100 brews. If not you’ll probably want to replace them every few dozen brews. Replacements and extras are fairly cheap to get.
Hario is known for making some great coffee products and that includes their siphon coffee makers. This siphon makes up to 5-cups of coffee. The Hario Glass Technica Syphon Coffee maker is constructed out of thick borosilicate glass and has a stainless steel stand. This is a standalone siphon.
They give you pretty much everything you need to start making coffee out of this thing. An alcohol burner, cloth filter, burner cover, and windbreaker are included with it. I do recommend getting another burner that doesn’t use alcohol though. The alcohol takes a while to heat up the water and leaves black soot on the bottom of the glass.
The scoop that is included is very large. Remember to go by the measurements that are provided in the user manual, it’ll help you make a better cup of coffee without the headaches of trying to experiment.
The Hario Glass NEXT is the next generation of siphons made by Hario. I’m just going to be getting into the main differences between the two models for this review since they both produce tasty coffee.
How this model is constructed slightly differs from the previous model. The top chamber of the siphon is more conical, making it easier to clean compared to the other one.
The bottom chamber has more of a flat bottom, instead of a rounded bottom. Having a flat bottom distributes heat more evenly, so the water heats up faster.
The handle has changed from being just vertical, to a more bent shape to fit the hand. It’s made out of silicone. It’s way easier to hold and pour your coffee with this handle than the previous straight bar handle.
It also features a permanent metal filter with this one. You can still use cloth filters if you would like.
After researching this product, anyone who has owned the previous model and this one, have stated that this model is an improvement on the last. And I would have to agree with them. Although the changes between models are small they make this one more convenient.
The Yama Siphon coffee maker can brew up to 5 cups of deliciously smooth coffee. It’s constructed out of heat resistant glass and has a handle that is heat resistant as well. The parts of the siphon are dishwasher safe, making cleaning really easy. They’re also microwave safe, if you ever decide you want to microwave something in it, but I don’t think you ever will.
This siphon can work on either gas or electric rangetops. A diffuser is included for electric coil burners.
The craftsmanship on the Yama siphon could be a little better. The glass is thin compared to other models on the market. You’ll need to be more careful when handling one of these. Remember you are exposing heat to glass, so it will affect it. This model is in the mid-range prices on this list and replacement parts are easily available through the manufacturer.
Overall, it brews great coffee at a reasonable price.
Here we have the KitchenAid Siphon. This fully automated siphon is on the higher end range for pricing on this list. But it will make you siphon coffee with the flip of a switch! Next to the switch there is a little indicator light that tells you if it’s on. The switch will pop back up when the brewing process is finished.
It’s constructed with thick glass that gives it a sturdy feeling and has stainless steel accents. The top and bottom pieces are securely fastened to one another with a magnetic locking seal. With a little moving and twisting you’ll feel the magnetic pull your pieces together and into place.
This thing brews great coffee and automates a lot of what you have to do when using a siphon coffee maker. A little issue that I found when researching this product, is that the carafe (bottom half of siphon) is hard to clean out. The opening is too small for your hand to fit in there, so you will need to use a brush. Other than that it makes making coffee out of a siphon really easy.
A few things are included with this unit
- Cleaning brush/coffee scoop
- Brew stand unit, to hold the top portion of the siphon
- A lid that fits both the top and bottom parts of the siphon
- A rotating removable base
- Reusable stainless steel filter and cloth filter pack
The Boeng 5-Cup Coffee Syphon is the cheapest coffee maker on this list. It costs a lot less than the other models and there are reasons for it.
To start off it is made out of glass and plastic. Having both plastic and glass makes this thing extremely fragile. Another thing is that the construction on this could be a lot better. More than one person has said that this thing sits slightly angled. It’s not a huge deal when it comes to the brewing process, but can be an eyesore. The instructions are not very clear either.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I even included this thing on my list, since it seems like it has so many problems. I would say that you get this siphon if you just want to try out and play with one. It still makes pretty decent coffee and is very affordable.
This thing is awesome if you’re just starting out with standalone siphons and don’t have the money to shell out for a more expensive one. If you’re more experienced, I probably don’t have to say this, but this one isn’t for you.
Other Pickups [optional] & Tips
If you were planning on getting a better burner for your siphon, I would recommend the Yama Glass Mini Butane Siphon. It works great with either of the Hario brand siphons and could be used with the Boeng. This is a butane burner, so it won’t leave soot on your siphon when it heats it up.
Now, if you wanted to get a couple extra filters, here is what I recommend. Hario has their own brand of siphon cloth filters. I think these are the most well made and won’t impart any taste on your coffee.
How to brew in a Siphon Coffee Maker
If you needed help starting your journey making coffee in a siphon, I thought this video by Atria Creative was very helpful. You should look up a video on the model you use to get the most help, but this is a good general guideline to follow.
Cleaning Your Filter
After you’re done making coffee you’re definitely going to want to clean your filter. If you’re using a stainless steel filter, this is going to be really easy for you. You just have to rinse it off and you’re good to go.
If you’re going to be using a cloth filter you can just use soap to clean it out. But if you want to get it really white and clean, add a little bit of bleach, just make sure you rinse it out thoroughly afterwards.
Once you’re done the easiest way to save some time for the next brewing process is to soak your filter in some water and leave it in the fridge.
A quick little tip to save you time and some fuel for your burner, is to heat the water up before putting it into your siphon. It can cut down your time to brew from 15-20 minutes to around 5-10 minutes.
Which Siphon Is For You?
My favorite siphon on this list is the Hario NEXT Syphon Coffee Maker. For a small price increase compared to the previous model, you get more convenience out of this coffee maker. The easier cleaning, heating up faster, and handle design are all little benefits that I think make it worth it.
If your budget isn’t in that range for a coffee maker, the Yama is a great pick also. Costing half as much as the Hario’s, it’ll still make very good tasting siphon coffee. The craftsmanship of the glass is a little thinner than the Hario’s, so you’ll have to handle it with care.