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GaryH
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GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 6:29pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

Mark, very nice article with lots of information and great photographs. Nice job!

Question. The siphon coffee maker was invented 160 years ago. Did they know at that time that siphon coffee could make a better cup of coffee or did they invent the siphon coffee method because it was just a cool different way of making coffee? What was the quality of coffee beans (processing and roasting) 160 years ago?
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MarkPrince
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Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,618
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 7:30pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

Siphon coffee making and the "steam age" went hand in hand. Between 1830 and 1860 (and beyond), there was a huge plethora of new devices invented to brew... and more importantly, filter coffee. This is excellently detailed in books like Coffee: 300 Years of Invention by Bramah, and Coffee Floats, Tea Sinks, by Bersten.

As steam became more recognized as a power source, of sorts, efforts to use steam to push or pull brewing coffee through a filter device were experimented with. The idea then was the forerunner to espresso: a theory was generally held that the finer you could grind coffee, the more complex and "deep" the extraction could be, and the faster you could brew.

Machine inventors had hit a wall, of sorts, with how fine they could grind coffee up to this point - because they were relying solely on gravity to allow brewed coffee to pass through the grinds and filter to the coffee-containing vessel.

Experiments with the contraction and expansion of steam and water vapour lead to the development of balance brewers, vacuum brewers, and the unidirectional Napierian brewing devices, all devices that could hold finer grinds and also automate the brewing process... the balance brewer is, AFAIK, the world's first "automatic coffee maker", invented in the 1840s.

These were the forefathers (and mothers - the disputed inventor of the vac pot was a woman) of modern day espresso.

Mark
PS - during this stage, some coffee aficionados discovered that steam is not friendly to coffee. So as the development of steam use in brewing coffee continued, a new path was sought - how to use steam, but keep it away from the actual brewing.

 
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sweaner
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Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 8:46pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

Excellent article.  I will need to acquire one of these very soon.

When searching Youtube for a video I came across this.  What kind of vacuum brewer is it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXKVYktxtV8

 
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GaryH
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GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Fri May 23, 2008, 10:07pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

So how does vacpot coffee taste different from coffee made on a Clover?
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IMAWriter
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Espresso: Bezzera Strega
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Posted Sat May 24, 2008, 8:26am
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

MarkPrince Said:

I have four of them, three New in Box, New Old Stock (whatever the phrase is), never used, never opened. Part of my retirement fund :D

Mark

Posted May 23, 2008 link

LMAO!!!!! I think Craig Andrews had a stash at one time as well. Eh, Craig?
On a previous note...For the sake of clarity and to verify your explanations of various filter types,  I need to modify my statement regarding the Silex Lox-In and 'fines"....actually you are closer to correct...there ARE definitely more fines with the SLI than using a nylon mesh (like the Infuze...very clear brew there) and the cloth filter...TOTALLY clear brew...like a Chemex Drip, but more body.
I guess I'm in love with the ease of use with a glass rod, and don't mind the bit of silt.
If you ever want to sell an Infuze?........

 
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MarkPrince
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Posted Sat May 24, 2008, 7:57pm
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

sweaner Said:

Excellent article.  I will need to acquire one of these very soon.

When searching Youtube for a video I came across this.  What kind of vacuum brewer is it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXKVYktxtV8

Posted May 23, 2008 link

That's a balance brewer. I mentioned them in the article, and in my previous post in this thread. I have four of them functional, one that isn't (antique from the late 1800s, gasket's completely gone).

Mark

 
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Tcampbells
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Tcampbells
Joined: 3 Jan 2008
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Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia / Stove top...
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Vac Pot: Hario 3 cup Siphon
Drip: Braun 4 Cup classic
Roaster: My local Organic coffee...
Posted Sun May 25, 2008, 1:13am
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

sweaner Said:

Excellent article.  I will need to acquire one of these very soon.

When searching Youtube for a video I came across this.  What kind of vacuum brewer is it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXKVYktxtV8

Posted May 23, 2008 link

That is called a "Balanced Siphon" or an "Automatic Siphon" in Taiwan. It is rather nice, though unlike the traditional Siphon Pot (Vacuum Pot), you can not control the time. It is all automatic. You're control is in the grind and the amount of water you add. It is amazing to watch and a great conversation piece in dinner parties. though more work to clean and takes up more space then the Hario pots I use.
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Tcampbells
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Tcampbells
Joined: 3 Jan 2008
Posts: 101
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia / Stove top...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky / Solis 166
Vac Pot: Hario 3 cup Siphon
Drip: Braun 4 Cup classic
Roaster: My local Organic coffee...
Posted Sun May 25, 2008, 1:15am
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

GaryH Said:

So how does vacpot coffee taste different from coffee made on a Clover?

Posted May 23, 2008 link

Taste, I wouldn't say there was much difference, though in cost a great deal.
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Tcampbells
Senior Member
Tcampbells
Joined: 3 Jan 2008
Posts: 101
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia / Stove top...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky / Solis 166
Vac Pot: Hario 3 cup Siphon
Drip: Braun 4 Cup classic
Roaster: My local Organic coffee...
Posted Sun May 25, 2008, 1:22am
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

kokoloco Said:

Is there a big difference between the yama, hario, and cona?

Posted May 23, 2008 link

Here in Taiwan, Yama is cheap to buy and can be bought amost anywhere.
Hario is in the middle price range. It is what all the coffee shops use, and the quality of metal is much better then that of the Yama.
Cona is the most expensive and harder to fine. Never really seen any shop or anyone using one though they can be bought.

Hario is pretty much the standard.
There are a few other companies that make Siphon brewers now, though. They can be very cheap and actually look cheap, though often the glass ball on the bottom is actually thicker glass. strange.

This method of of brewing has been the most common in Taiwan until Starbucks showed up. Though any "coffeeshop" still uses Siphons as their main method of preparing coffee.
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MarkPrince
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Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,618
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sun May 25, 2008, 2:03am
Subject: Re: Using a Siphon Coffee Maker
 

Tcampbells Said:

This method of of brewing has been the most common in Taiwan until Starbucks showed up. Though any "coffeeshop" still uses Siphons as their main method of preparing coffee.

Posted May 25, 2008 link

I would love to see some Youtube video of cafes in Taiwan (or elsewhere) doing "high volume" service with siphon coffee makers. How the baristas handle multiple orders, how fast they work the siphons, how fast they serve coffee, the works.

Could you accommodate? Video a few cafes as they do their thing, and post it to Youtube?

Mark

 
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